Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 02, 2017

Yemen - Saudis Throw The Towel - Saleh is Baaack - Russia Wins

The war on Yemen has finally taken a turn towards an end. Former President Saleh is back in his leading position. They Saudis accepted their defeat. The Houthis will be thrown out of the capital Sanaa and return to their northern areas. Yemen is devastated and will need to rebuild. Everyone who participated in this war has lost. The only winner is Russia.

A recap:

During the "Arab spring" (U.S.) induced Yemeni revolution President Saleh was kicked out after ruling the country for 34 years. In 2012 the former Vice-President Hadi was "elected" as the new president on a one choice ballot. With U.S. support the system prevailed.


As I noted at that time:

The U.S. missed the chance to use the movement against Saleh for some real transition in Yemen. This will come back to bite.

Hadi was a Saudi puppet unable to rule the country. He tried to form a unity government under the National Dialogue Conference sponsored by the Gulf Cooperation Council. But two major constituencies were left out of the effort: the northern Yemeni Houthis of Zaidi belief, who for years had fought against Saudi-Wahhabi indoctrination in Yemen, and the followers of the ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The Houthis and Saleh had fought each other for over a decade. Now they had a common enemy and united their efforts.

In 2015 the Houthi and Yemeni army troops loyal to Saleh took over the capital Sanaa. Hadi resigned (twice), fled to Aden in the south and later onto Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis were afraid to lose influence over their dirt poor but self-confident neighbor. They falsely alleged that the Houthis were supported by their perceived arch-enemy Iran. They declared war on the country and tried to invade it. The U.S. and the UK supported and still support the Saudi war with intelligence, refueling flights for Saudi bombers and massive weapon supplies.

The Saudis sent their troops to invade the country, their neighboring United Arab Emirates sent its forces and additional mercenaries were hired from Sudan, south America and where ever they could be found. All to no avail. While the Saudis dropped more than 100 bombs per day onto Yemen their forces were defeated every time they tried to enter the mountainous heartland. The Houthi counterattacked within Saudi Arabia. They had no shoes but huge balls. Hundreds of Saudi border posts and military checkpoints were destroyed by them.

The Saudis tried to starve the Houthis of weapons, food and other supplies. They blockaded the country and bombed weapon depots, factories and all infrastructure. They completely destroyed Houthi cities in the north and tried to assassinate the leaders of the rebellion. Tens of thousands of Yemenis died in the often indiscriminate attacks. But the Houthi held out. For decades Yemen had been filled up with weapons. During his decades long rule former president Saleh had stashed ten-thousands of tons of ammunition and equipment. Additional supplies were captured or bought from the Saudi mercenaries.

The former Yemeni army units loyal to Saleh, as well as Saleh himself, stayed in the background. Their most visible contribution to the war was the launch of short range ballistic missiles (SRBM) against Saudi cities and military positions. These weapons had been bought earlier and were modified to have extended reach (see the excursion below).

The Saudi were stuck in a stalemate that cost them over $800 million per month. Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State were flourishing in the south which the Saudis and their allies nominally controlled. Saudi proxies were infighting with troops from the UAE. Missiles were falling down on Saudi cities. While only few missiles hit their targets each of them demonstrated the impotence of the Saudi rulers.

The Saudis finally send out peace feelers to former president Saleh. The Russians, who had kept their embassy in Sanaa open throughout the war, acted as the middleman. In mid October the first results of the diplomatic efforts became visible:

A Russian medical team flew into Sanaa on Oct. 11 with the approval of the Saudis, who control Yemeni airspace. The Russian surgeons then performed a life-saving procedure on the 75-year-old Saleh. Some reports say the surgery took place at the Russian Embassy in the capital. Saleh's exact health issue is unclear, but it apparently is a result of the severe burns and other injuries he suffered during an assassination attempt in 2011.
Most likely the Saudis are hoping to break the rebel alliance between Saleh and the Houthis, which has been fraying this year.
Both King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, have their prestige heavily invested in this war. They rushed into it precipitously 2½ years ago.
Salman was in Moscow earlier this month for an unprecedented state visit to Russia. ... It is reasonable to assume that the king and Putin discussed the Yemeni imbroglio. Russia has been openly critical of the UN's approach to the conflict, which Moscow rightly says is too friendly to the Saudi argument and insufficiently even-handed.

While Saleh was sick, the Houthis became uppity. They arrested and killed Saleh followers in Sanaa, occupied bases of his troops and raided homes of his officers. They may have gotten wind of the ongoing negotiations between Saleh and the Saudis. Over the last months their behavior towards their compatriots in Sanaa became unendurable.

Meanwhile negotiations between Saleh and the Saudis were ongoing in the backrooms and on the battle field. On November 4 the Yemeni troops launched a missile against the airport of the Saudi capital Riyadh. U.S. provided missile defense systems destroyed the missile before it hit, but the public damage was done. A serious hit on the airport would likely close it for civilian traffic. The economic and political consequences for the Saudi tyrants would be huge.

The Saudis responded with a total blockade of Yemen. Neither food nor medicine was allowed to pass. This led to a famine, hundreds of death per day and finally to a public outcry from the otherwise slavish UN. Not even the hundreds of millions the Saudis spend to manipulate the global media could prevent the backlash.

Another missile was fired on Thursday to increase the pressure. It targeting the southern Saudi city of Khamis Mushait. The Saudis finally folded. They agreed to Saleh's conditions.

We do not yet know what these conditions are but Saleh publicly announced that a deal had been made and immediately went to work. His first target were the no-longer-allied Houthi:

ADEN (Reuters) - Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Saturday he was ready for a "new page" in relations with the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen if it stopped attacks on his country.

The call came as his supporters battled Houthi fighters for a fourth day in the capital Sanaa while both sides traded blame for a widening rift between allies that could affect the course of the civil war.
"I call upon the brothers in neighboring states and the alliance to stop their aggression, lift the siege, open the airports and allow food aid and the saving of the wounded and we will turn a new page by virtue of our neighborliness," Saleh said in a televised speech.

The Saudis likewise publicly announced their agreement:

The Arab coalition has made a statement on Saturday amidst the ongoing fierce clashes in Sanaa.
The coalition also said that it recognizes the noble members of the the Yemeni General People’s Congress (GPC), the GPC’s leadership and the Yemeni people who were forced to remain under Houthi-Iranian control. Also, the coalition recognizes that these noble individuals have endured numerous murder threats, torture, bombings and seizure of public and private property.

The Yemeni General People’s Congress (GPC) is Saleh's party. He is still the GPC chairperson. Saleh is now again the Saudi accepted ruler of Yemen. The "legitimate" president Hadi will be buried in Riyadh.

Saleh called on all his followers to oust the Houthi from their positions. His nephew and potential successor Colonel Tariq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh will lead a new military council and run that side of the business. Houthi posters in Sanaa have been teared down. There is some fierce fighting ongoing in the city. Sanaa is Saleh territory. His troops are prepared and he is very likely to win the fight.

It is now left to Saleh and his family and followers to clean up the utter mess the U.S. induced "revolution" and the Saudi war on Yemen have caused. The Saudis will have to pay billions in reparations. Saleh's family will plunder a huge share of these. Despite the money Saleh is, like always, no ones puppet but the snake that bites everyone who stands in his way. That is how and why he could rule for so long.

The Houthis, who bravely fought against the Saudis, became too sure of themselves and too obnoxious towards their own people to be able to rule. They will be ousted from Sanaa and pushed back into their devastated northern homelands.

Everyone in Yemen lost in this war. Many, many have died for no good reason. It will take decades to rebuild all that was destroyed. The Saudis and the U.S. behind them have lost face and standing throughout the Arab world. They tried to fuck Yemen but Yemen fucked them.

The only real winners of the war are the Russians. They again demonstrated that they are able to create peace where the U.S. only creates war and chaos.



The Saudis have alleged all along that the Houthi are an Iranian proxy force. That is not true. The Houthis are not Shia and not follower of Iranian state doctrines. They don't take orders. The military support they receive from Iran is minimal. The Saudis especially allege that the missiles fired under the Houthi label by the former Yemen troops under Saleh's command are of Iranian origin. But that is unlikely. Yemen has been under Saudi blockade for more than two years and ballistic  missiles can not be smuggled under a coat. Yesterday Reuters released a short piece in supports of the Saudi allegations. But a closer reading shows that these are false.

In mid November a confidential report by a UN panel found no evidence that the missiles launched against the Saudis are of QIAM-1 type from Iran:

The supporting evidence provided in these [Saudi] briefings is far below that required to attribute this attack to a Qiam-1 SRBM,” wrote the panel. “The Saudi-Arabia led coalition has not yet though attributed the attempted attack against KKIA” — King Khalid International Airport, in the Saudi capital Riyadh — “to any particular type of SRBM.”

The Panel has seen no evidence to support claims of SRBM having been transferred to the Houthi-Saleh alliance from external sources in violation of paragraph 14 of resolution 2216,” the brief went on.

Like the specialists of IHS Janes (see below) the UN panel assessed that the missiles were modifications of a type that Yemen had earlier bought from North Korea:

The Yemeni military, the panel added, retained existing stockpiles of SCUD-B and Hwasong-6 missiles that were not completely destroyed by earlier Saudi airstrikes. The panel cite a Houthi spokesperson who said missiles that had been damaged were subsequently repaired and modified. “The panel has not discounted though that Yemen based foreign missile specialists may be providing advice,” the brief cautioned. The panel raised the possibility that missiles may have been altered to extend their range to reach targets farther into Saudi Arabia.

Now Reuters is trying to revive the Saudi claim by reporting on a new assessment with a very deceiving headline. Exclusive: Yemen rebel missiles fired at Saudi Arabia appear Iranian - U.N.:

Remnants of four ballistic missiles fired into Saudi Arabia by Yemen’s Houthi rebels this year appear to have been designed and manufactured by Riyadh’s regional rival Iran, a confidential report by United Nations sanctions monitors said, bolstering a push by the United States to punish the Tehran government.

The Reuters claim in its opening paragraph is not what the panel really said. Deeper into the report:

The independent panel of U.N. monitors, in a Nov. 24 report to the Security Council seen by Reuters on Thursday, said it “as yet has no evidence as to the identity of the broker or supplier” of the missiles
Design characteristics and dimensions of the components inspected by the panel are consistent with those reported for the Iranian designed and manufactured Qiam-1 missile,” the monitors wrote.

I agree that the "design characteristics" and "dimensions of components" are consistent with the QIAM-1. The explanation for that is trivial. The Iranian QIAM-1 is:

a licensed copy of the North Korean Hwasong-6.

The Hwasong-6:

is a North Korean tactical ballistic missile. It is derived from the Hwasong-5, itself a derivative of the Soviet R-17 Elbrus. It carries the NATO reporting name Scud.

According to an IHS Janes report (pdf) the missiles the Saleh government of Yemen had bought from North Korea were of the Hwasong-5 and probably Hwasong-6 type:

Prior to the outbreak of the current conflict, Yemen was known to have acquired R-17 Elbrus (SS -1C 'Scud B') ... ballistic missile systems from the Soviet Union
Spanish naval vessels intercepted a ship carrying 15 Scud-type ballistic missiles to Yemen in December [2002]. That ship was later allowed to complete the delivery. The missiles found on board were 'Scud Bs' (a reference to North Korea's Hwasong-5 copy of the R-17), according to a June 2003 US diplomatic cable. ,,, [I]t is possible that it was one of several shipments that also included longer-range variants such as the Hwasong-6, which is also known as the 'Scud-C', and has a range of 500-550 km.

The Yemen army has over 30 years of experience with Scud-type missiles and knows how to modify these. They revealed "new Yemeni made" Burkan missiles before they fired on Riyadh. Janes notes:

The stated dimensions of the Burkan-1 suggest that it is a standard Scud that has been lengthened with additional sections welded into its fuselage and fuel tanks so that it can carry the additional propellant needed to extend its range. Iraq carried out similar modifications to produce Al Hussein missiles capable of reaching Tehran during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War.
The Burkan-2 appears to use a new type of warhead section that is locally fabricated. Both Iran and North Korea have displayed Scud derivatives with shuttlecock-shaped warheads, but none of these match the Yemeni version. The range of the Burkan missiles also appears to have been extended by a reduction in the weight of their warheads.

The Yemenis use locally modified Haewsong-5 and 6 missiles bought from North Korea. Iran builds a licensed copy of the Haewsong-6 under the name QIAM-1. These QIAM missiles will naturally have similar "design characteristics" and "dimensions of components" as the North Korean missiles the Yemenis use.

Reuters is pointing its readers into the false direction when it claims that the Yemeni missiles "appear Iranian". In reality both, the Yemeni Burkan as well as the Iranian QIAM, are variants of the same North Korean Haewsong-5 and 6 which are themselves copies of the Soviet R-17/Scud-B/Scud-C types. All of these were build from the same specification sheet and engineering drawings. That their dimensions and parts look alike, as the UN panel says, follows from that but proves absolutely nothing.

Posted by b on December 2, 2017 at 17:41 UTC | Permalink

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Nice. Russia got Saleh to flip sides. He's now a total Saudi stooge it seems. Flipping him not a hard thing to do apparently. Such is Russian 'peacemaking'.

Posted by: paul | Dec 2 2017 17:58 utc | 1

Look at the lies about Iran in this article:

Posted by: relament | Dec 2 2017 17:59 utc | 2

One more nail in the coffin of US the imperial project in the ME. The Israelis must be pooping in their britches.

Posted by: Colin | Dec 2 2017 18:01 utc | 3

Divide and conquer. Saudi money bought them back ailing Saleh, their long time puppet who lost control when he was replaced by new Saoudi puppet Hadi and after that when the Houthi's took control of the capital. Saleh had killed prominent Houthi leaders in the past so there was no lost love and it was quite an achievement that they formed an alliance. Saleh and his backers will perform a bloody purge of the Houthi's. That atrocious goon Salman can finally claim his victory.

Posted by: xor | Dec 2 2017 18:16 utc | 4

thanks b.. it is slightly encouraging news, especially for the ordinary yemen person..

i hate these brain-dead saudi leaders for wanting to push wahabbism and it's variants on the people of yemen thru bombing and murder of anyone who doesn't go along with it.. i can see why israel is friends with the saudis though - divide and conquer as @4 xor mentions... and the usa/uk want to be on the side of the wahabbi folks.. that is quite sick, but i guess it is the recipe for continued war and profit in the middle east... it has come down to money as the guiding force for usa/uk/israel and it is a whacked out wahabbi death cult that is the driving force of the saudis, when they are not plundering the oil wealth they sit on.. what a messed up world..

Posted by: james | Dec 2 2017 18:26 utc | 5

Anyone who thinks Saleh is Saudi puppet has no historic knowledge and no understanding of Yemen or Saleh.

For example: Saleh supported Saddam Hussein when he took Kuwait in 1990. The Saudis are still mad at him because of that. In the 2000s Saleh several times supported Houthi incursions into Saudi Arabia only to fight them the next day.

Saleh is a snake. He will bite and kill without mercy anyone that comes in his way. He is playing off everyone against everyone else. That is how he was able to rule Yemen for so long.

Posted by: b | Dec 2 2017 18:33 utc | 6

While I have not followed events in Yemen in detail, the alliance between Houthi and Saleh's forces will not be set aside so quickly. Saleh was always an opportunist. He recognizes shifting power and how to play it locally. The Houthi are still a rising force. First pro-Nasser, then pro-American. He would have aligned with the Saudi's but they refused his overtures.

He is ruthless, militarises situations so that he can skim off the top of others efforts in the region, cares little for Yemen or its' people turning them into targets of whatever scheme will keep the funds flowing.

This is hardly a victory for anyone, and will not resolve the mess. It certainly does not qualify as a defeat for the US. I predict a US special forces base paying to bomb those desert provinces where the US relocated a bunch of their ISIS and Al Qaeda cohorts.

Posted by: les7 | Dec 2 2017 18:46 utc | 7

I honestly don't know what to think of all this. Saleh recognized as the Yemeni leader and ready to talk to the Saudis if they pull out their puppet Haidi and stop attacking/starving Yemeni civilians? OK, it's a start, I guess. Kind of like the mafia agreeing to stop killing your employees and burning down your stores if you agree to talk to them (about their extortion). A truce is better than nothing, especially for Yemeni civilians.

In the mean time, the Saudis ramp up their western MSM propaganda demonizing the Houthi and suggesting (without any basis in fact) that they are now terrorist outsiders not really included in a Saleh-led Yemen. Erik Prince's UAE-based merc army has been running around Saana posing as either Houthi or Saleh loyalists killing each other. That, along with plenty of Saudi/US intelligence agency ops to sew doubt in either side's minds about the other.

It's way more import for the Saudi Caliphate to isolate those troublesome Houthi Iran-lovers for extermination than the previous plan to have their puppet Haidi run the rest of the place. I sincerely hope Saleh and the Houthis can get past the Saudi/US false flag attacks on each other and rid themselves of Saudi/US influence. Hard to say what they're really thinking in Saana right now - we're only seeing the carefully-scripted western MSM version of what is supposedly happening.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 2 2017 18:49 utc | 8

Correction: Saleh was first pro-Nasser, then pro-American.

Posted by: les7 | Dec 2 2017 18:53 utc | 9

RT reported:

"The Houthi rebels denounced what they described as “sedition,” meaning Saleh’s behaviour towards the Saudi coalition. “Saleh’s speech is a coup against our alliance and partnership… and exposed the deception of those who claim to stand against aggression,” a spokesman for the group said in a statement carried by the rebels’ Al Masirah TV. Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, the leader of the rebels, called on Saleh to “show more wisdom and maturity” in a separate statement.

Hopefully this move by Saleh will provide the Saudis some space to stop their murderous attacks against Yemen without a complete loss of face. In a worse case this signals a major schism in the anti-Saudi coalition that will result in an opportunity for the Saudis to concentrate their war against the Houthis. It is really not clear how this will play out.

Posted by: ToivoS | Dec 2 2017 19:15 utc | 10

b | Dec 2, 2017 1:33:59 PM | 6

"Saleh is a snake. He will bite and kill without mercy anyone that comes in his way."

A great way to describe this person. It makes also apparent what qualities Putin possesses as a 'Snake-Charmer'. Snake charmers seldom get bitten, they play their little song and move their lute, that captivates the attention of the snake - forgetting that it should actually bite the charmer. :-D

Besides that, it is always a pleasure to get updates from You on what is really cooking in the present theaters of US sponsored/orchestrated (proxy) wars.

I concur with the notion that this is another blowback for the rogue US empire, if for no other reason than the citizens becoming ever more doubtful about their Fascist handlers.

Posted by: notheonly1 | Dec 2 2017 19:44 utc | 11

I'm trying hard to see the good news here.

A victory for Russian diplomacy?

Yet the fighting continues. Except that it is between Saleh and Houthis. Both parts of the resistance to Saudis will weaken themselves. Will KSA try to exploit that in the future?

And what of the blockade? b reported that KSA had NOT lifted the blockade in northern, Houthi-controlled areas. It seems that will continue, with blame being put on the internecine warfare (USA essentially already does so, citing logistics problems as the cause of people's suffering).

Saleh may be no one's puppet but it is clear that he is an old, ailing man. What happens when he dies? How dependent will his family/faction be on KSA-USA?

This turn of events sounds like it sets up a future 'win' for KSA.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 2 2017 19:47 utc | 12

I agree with a number of discerning comments here that question B's conclusion...

I admit I am not up to speed on Yemen as with say Syria or North Korea...but the way it looks right now is that a major fissure is opening between the Saleh and Houthi forces...which were previously allied against the common enemy...KSA...

This looks more like divide and conquer... which case the winner might well be KSA and its so-called 'coalition'...

I have had a lot of sympathy for the Houthis...they have shown themselves to be brave and proud...

If Saleh is now moving to the Saudi camp...that leaves them on the outside...this I do not like...

What is the end game here...?

Are the Houthis to be starved and bombed mercilessly until they are decimated as a people...?

Some are saying that it is unlikely that Saleh will actually join the coalition...and I hope that proves true...

But how exactly is this a win for anybody...?

Posted by: FB | Dec 2 2017 20:36 utc | 13

Houthis aren't shia? Sure they are, fiver shia, not twelver like Iran, and in the past top saudi scholars have made positive appraisals of fiverism, it's probably the most balanced form between shia and sunni, but it is shia

Posted by: Storxian | Dec 2 2017 20:42 utc | 14

Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Saturday he was ready for a "new page" in relations with the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen...

Seems like he's ready for yet another page in his never-ending love affair with the presidency, too. Reminds me of this Murdoc guy in "MacGyver". Badly burnt face and left to a certain death time and again, only to return once more.

Any possibility some actor in Yemen was able to make use of the Iraqi Scud arsenal following the US invasion '03?

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Dec 2 2017 20:43 utc | 15

Iran and Hezbollah have been advising the Houthis in their resistance against Saudi Arabia.
Now at the request of KSA, Hezbollah has announced it is withdrawing its operators from Yemen. Is it a coincidence?
What would the Iranians get of a peaceful Yemen?
Maybe there is some sort of deal managed by Russia between Saudi Arabia and Iran on the issue of Yemen and Syria?
KSA would renounce to its ambitions in Syria in favor of Iran while Iran withdraw its support for the Houthis and accept Salah?
If next week we see the Syrian opposition (controlled by Ryadh) rescinding its call for Bashar al Assad to go, it'll mean that this the beginning of the end of the Yemen war

Posted by: Virgile | Dec 2 2017 21:08 utc | 16

>>>> Virgile | Dec 2, 2017 4:08:28 PM | 16

Making shit up again Virgile? You could at least provide links to support your exceptional claims although you should lay off quoting any Saudi or UAE owned sites.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Dec 2 2017 22:03 utc | 17

Ghost Ship @16...

I agree with you...

Virgile's supposition that Russia is making a deal with KSA on a swap in Syria for Yemen is nonsensical on its face...

KSA is dead in the water in has no say in why would the Russians bargain with a party that has nothing to bargain with...?

Pure BS...

Whether it is simply sheer ignorance on the part of this commenter...or whether it's something else...who knows...?

Posted by: FB | Dec 2 2017 22:10 utc | 18

If some silent deal is made and war against Yemen is ending, blockade removed, Houthis (and others) are part of the new government, then awesome news. BUT IS IT?

So far instead of Houthis/Saleh fighting against Saudis we see Saleh (Saudi bribed?) starting a civil war against Houthis. On the surface its the scenario being played out. If it will continue (and Houthis not allowed to be a part of the government), then the only winners are Saudis/Israel and their weapon suppliers, NOT Russia, or anyone else from the Resistance.

We will see soon which scenario is right, it might be too soon to declare Russia as a winner, more like Saudis found their Judas in Yemen.

Posted by: Harry | Dec 2 2017 22:26 utc | 19

Well...I reread carefully b's piece...and the links provided...

The first link was to a piece in US outlet Al-Monitor by Brookings Institution's Bruce Riedel...

for what it's worth...

I have a couple of quibbles...

the idea that peace is about to come to Yemen does not seem to be supported by anything that is going on now...

Second...the idea that Saleh will drive the Houthis out of Sanaa is also not a sure thing...

Certainly Russia is involved diplomatically to be an honest broker in Yemen...but I do not see them throwing the Houthis to the wolves...

One interesting thing I learned from that Riedel piece is that the south of Yemen...which is now in the hands of the KSA 'coalition' camp...was, during for a long time a Soviet client state...and not wanting to be ruled by Saleh...

So we have seen the formerly soviet half of Yemen already in the hands of the KSA and their puppetmasters in the US...

Riedel also states flatly that KSA is hoping to 'break' the Saleh-Houthi alliance...

It seems to me that is succeeding...and the losers are going to be the how does peace and Russia win...?

I do not see either an explicit recognition of Saleh's authority by the Saudis...

A lot of unanswered questions...but who knows...maybe Saleh is gettting diplomatic backing by an effort to find a way out of the crisis...

Posted by: FB | Dec 2 2017 22:42 utc | 20

good point Harry @19...

Posted by: FB | Dec 2 2017 22:43 utc | 21

Just reported by HispanTV News : "The Yemeni popular movement Ansarolah accuses former President Ali Abdullah Saleh of organizing a coup against his alliance. Call on all groups to maintain the unity and stability of the country".

It seems that the clashes between the two factions are circunscribed to the city of Sana´a.

Yemeni people should learn from the Lebanese people on how mantaining the unity of the country is a must to avoid being exterminated by the "Axis of Evil".
Of course, something must be done for the relief of the suffering of the civil population and achieve the rising of blockade, but to give up the fight just to get Saleh at the helms again is like if all this years of sacrifice would have bee for nothing.

When I visited Yemen, almost a decade and a half ago, under Saleh rule, poverty was widespread there, people was said to eat only one meal a day, and the only people who had a university degree were those original from former Popular Democratic Republic in the South, who had had the opportunity to study in Cuba and the USSR, being at that time no opportunity for nothing except allowing them working as travel guides, with the most ambitious amongst them wishing to leave the country not seeing any future at all there.
I can remember people affected by Poliomyelitis, a disase already erradicated in our developed world, like that man who was oblied to walk bent, like an animal, with two wooden blocks in his hands as if they were shoes.....Also I remember getting very impressed by a little girl playing with other children in the old city of Saada, who had one of her eyes completely in process of destruction by a serious infection,..Both her and the other children seemed to accept such a tragic destiny as a natural curse....

Before my travel, as usual, I had read a bit about the country, and amongst the things I had read was about some kidnapping of tourists which were taken place for to exert pressure on the government for providing electricity or water to the village or any other thing like this. They were adding at those readings that the kidnapped tourists were always so well treated that there had been cases where the tourists had asked for remaining some aditional days in the village when their liberation was about to come....Such friendly, warm and kindhearted is the people living in Arabia Félix....They do not deserve such a leader as Saleh who, most probably, will loot all the funds coming for reconstruction....

During this travel, my group, as the proletarian travelers we were, stayed at humble hotels and people´s homes, but, for one day we stayed in a four stars hotel at Maareb, most probably because there was no other option in that conflictive zone very hostile to the government, only for four hours of sleep before starting the crossing of Ramlat Al Sab´atayn desert to get to Hadramawt valley, the only guests I could see at that hotel were a group of about four tall anglosaxon guys wearing caps....Although at that time I was very young and ignorant about what was being cooked around the world, while I was having a funny time with my travel companions,they did not go unnoticed by me and I got to think that they only could be CIA agents...well, they were not tourists, I can asure you.....I really wondered what the hell they were doing there....

Posted by: elsi | Dec 2 2017 23:01 utc | 22

You shouldn't want to eat unlaid eggs. Saleh has yet to prove that he can prevail. I doubt he's going to have such an easy ride with the Houthis. They are now very battle-tested. Let's wait and see.

Posted by: Pnyx | Dec 2 2017 23:54 utc | 23

great post by elsi at 22...nothing like first-hand experience to shed some light...

On a somewhat related note...there is a very good piece by Robert Bridge that connects the dots between some of the big headlines recently...

At the center of it all is clown prince Kushner...on whose advice Dump purportedly fired both Flynn and Comey...his biggest mistakes...

AND...Kushner's sit-dwon with M. BS in Riyadh just days before the Hariri fiasco unfolded...

Who is Jared Kushner: Trump Loyalist or 'Deep State' Kissinger Protege?

As many might have figured out...Kushner is a lot more dangerous than he might appear...

Posted by: FB | Dec 2 2017 23:59 utc | 24

@FB #20,

Russia wins because the deal was probably set by the King when he went begging to Moscow and Russia will take the port at Aden once held by the Soviets. On the Red Sea is another port they could use, at Hodeida.

KSA can't occupy any area beyond its borders. They couldn't even fight the war.

Yes, the US will want to keep Russia out, but they have no leverage. Just SOF and proxy AQ-ISIS guys they are supposed to be fighting against.

Russia has been "working" this for several years.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Dec 3 2017 0:07 utc | 25

Another factoraffecting the shifting sands of Yemen is that the Saudi coalition appears to be collapsing:

(1) "Only two months ago, the commander of the Sudanese Army’s rapid support force, Lieutenant General Mohammed Hamdan Hamidati, quoted a figure of 412 troops killed, including 14 officers to the Sudanese newspaper Al Akhbar." “There is huge pressure to withdraw from this on-going fight,”

2) Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir "told the Russian president he needed protection from the US, was against confrontation with Iran, and supported the policy of keeping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power."

(3) "The Saudi relationship with Islah, the largest group of Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated party fighters in the ground force employed by the coalition, has at best been ambivalent." "The regional Islahi leadership are now talking of starting direct negotiations with the Houthis, a senior Islah source told MEE."

(4)“The Emiratis do not conceal their hostility to Islah. Islahi sheikhs and scholars are being assassinated, and this is being co-ordinated by the pro-Emirati militia. In addition, the UAE is clearly enforcing the blockade of Taiz, and withholding support for our fighters in the city,”

(5) The Omanis (the third for of Islam) are understood to be quietly contacting local Yemeni tribal leaders in south Yemen, some of them separatist forces, to organize a more “orchestrated response” to the militias paid for and controlled by Abu Dhabi.

Posted by: Krollchem | Dec 3 2017 0:15 utc | 26

@FB 18

It is only a supposition as I don't see Iran abandoning so easily their allies the Houthis:
"They will be ousted from Sanaa and pushed back into their devastated northern homelands."

Iran prefers to continue to be a nuisance in Yemen. Yemen is a bargaining card they won't let go so easily.

So either Saleh's reversal will not last long, or there is some kind of deal involving the Russian, the Iranian and KSA to stop the war in Yemen.

As for Syria, Saudi Arabia has a strong political leverage on the Syrian opposition that it has invigorated and united. The proof is the defiant tone of the opposition's declaration before Geneva 8 calling again for the removal of Bashar Al Assad.
This is obviously a deliberate message to show to Russia and Iran that KSA has the power to torpedo any negotiation. It has infuriated Russia and put Geneva 8 in limbo.
The question is: What does KSA want from Russia ( and Iran) in exchange for keeping Bashar al Assad in power and allow the negotiation to proceed?

My hunch is that they want Iran out of Yemen and they are pushing Russia ( and the UN) to use their leverage on Iran to get that.

I may be wrong but this is plausible.

Posted by: Virgile | Dec 3 2017 0:39 utc | 27

How does all this fit with SA being the proxy in the coming war with Iran?

Isn't this just a bit of a side step along that path?

Thanks to b and commenters for the education as I just try and see big picture of geopolitics propping up the Western elite.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 3 2017 0:41 utc | 28

Virgile @27 fantasises...

'...As for Syria, Saudi Arabia has a strong political leverage on the Syrian opposition that it has invigorated and united...'

And then goes off the deep end...

'...This is obviously a deliberate message to show to Russia and Iran that KSA has the power to torpedo any negotiation...

This is getting funny...

Here are the facts...

'...In a sign that a triumphant Putin is dividing a demoralised opposition, 10 senior figures in the Syrian opposition umbrella group, the High Negotiations Committee, resigned including Riyad Hijab, the former Syrian prime minister. They protested that their negotiating team were being pressured into accepting that any peace deal will leave Assad in office...'

We note that this same Riyad Hijab former Syrian Prime Minister...was outed recently by the former Qatari PM, Hamad bin Jassim, with his bombshell revelations about the whole Syria conspiracy...

The former Qatari official would announce that the ex-Prime Minister of Syria Riyad Farid Hijab was persuaded in fleeing Syria by his cousin, who had been a Jordanian resided for a long while...

...For this betrayal, Riyadh would pay him a handsome sum of 50 million dollars.

We recall that the 'High Negotiating Committee' is the Saudi-backed 'opposition' group...

We also note that the Cairo and Moscow opposition groups have already cut loose from the HNC and want nothing to do with them...

Seems like everyone is on board...and the one dummy who doesn't want to grab the lifesaver will be simply left to swim...or sink...

As for Geneva...please...

From that same guardian article from last month...[linked to above]

'...Western diplomats fear Putin has decided in effect to bypass the deadlocked UN Syrian peace process in Geneva, which is due to restart on 28 November, and will instead oversee a parallel peace track...'

that's right...the facts on the ground make Geneva meaningless...

Putin and Lavrov have got Turkey onside and ironed out pretty much everything...except the Kurd issue...which is the US card...and a very weak one at that...

To say KSA is even sitting at the table is a joke...

stop wasting bandwidth here...

Posted by: FB | Dec 3 2017 1:21 utc | 29

@ FB with the link to the article about Kushner being the next Kissinger

I saw some headline today about Tillerson not being happy that Kushner was doing ME stuff and then there is the report from Reuters about the ME leaders meeting Rome for 3 days and the US did not have a presence this year......

The article

The take away quote:
“At a time when you have so many sources of tension, so many fuses, so many humanitarian catastrophes, you also have so little diplomacy,” said Robert Malley, vice president for policy at the non-governmental International Crisis Group.

Underscoring this point, no one from the White House administration took part in the conference -- a signal some diplomats put down to a general disengagement from the Middle East by President Donald Trump. Last year, the then secretary of state, John Kerry, participated.

Does anyone here believe that there is "...a general disengagement from the Middle East by President Donald Trump"?

So like the war criminal Kissinger, Kushner seems to be the behind the scenes representative in REAL negotiations about the future of the well as the rest of our world.

By REAL negotiations above I mean those done by the elite anti-humanistic freak show that own the power/control tools of the Western world.....private finance

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 3 2017 1:54 utc | 30

b @6

Saleh is a snake. He will bite and kill without mercy anyone that comes in his way. He is playing off everyone against everyone else.

Welcome to the Middle East, where every thing is a zero sum game. The only loyalty if there is one is to the tribe.

Posted by: ab initio | Dec 3 2017 2:11 utc | 31

And now we have confirmation of the US throwing in the towel in Syria...

'...Washington will stop providing weapons to the Syrian Kurdish militias, US Defense Secretary James Mattis has said...

...Asked if the US indeed intends to halt is program to arm the Kurdish forces in Syria, Mattis said, “Yes,” and added that Pentagon is “going to go exactly along the lines of what the President announced.”..'

So the Kurd card has been played...and so have the Kurds that put their trust in Exceptionalistan...

Haw Haw Haw...

The senior leadership among the YPG had already seen this coming...and has already turned to Russia...they want to be in the all-Syria roundtable discussions that are coming...probably in Sochi...

The Turks have been balking at their participation...and tellingly...Moscow has postponed the conference until all the ducks are in line...

Now that Kurdish quasi independence backed by the US is off the table...some accommodation is likely to be found...

Posted by: FB | Dec 3 2017 2:41 utc | 32

Saleh is a snake, yes. Like Erdo in Turkey, Bibi in paradise and Joulani in Syria. But looking at the global situation in Yeman, starving the population there with more and more pictures of skinny kids being published is not good PR for MBS. I even tend to think that some are pushing him to find a solution in Yemen, before it gets unbearable to the West to the point that something has to be done officially. You can hide intentionally made famine forever! Hence the reports that we are beginning to see in MSM.

Posted by: Jean | Dec 3 2017 2:54 utc | 33

Good news if correct FB
Seems to a bit happening now, both with the Syrian Kurds and Yemen.
If this all comes about, then perhaps Trump is starting to take control from the neo-cons?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 3 2017 2:54 utc | 34

I meant "you CAN'T hide! sorry for the typo

Posted by: Jean | Dec 3 2017 2:55 utc | 35

>>>>> Virgile | Dec 2, 2017 7:39:52 PM | 27

It is only a supposition as I don't see Iran abandoning so easily their allies the Houthis: "They will be ousted from Sanaa and pushed back into their devastated northern homelands."

Iran prefers to continue to be a nuisance in Yemen. Yemen is a bargaining card they won't let go so easily.

You've sucked hard on the teat of US/KSA/Israeli bullshit - Iran and the Houthis are not allies except in the sense that they have common enemies and after watching numerous videos of Houthis fighting, I doubt the Houthis have any need for Hezbollah "advisers"

As for Syria, Saudi Arabia has a strong political leverage on the Syrian opposition that it has invigorated and united. The proof is the defiant tone of the opposition's declaration before Geneva 8 calling again for the removal of Bashar Al Assad.
The only opposition that Saudi Arabia had any strong political leverage on was ISIS which is being liquidated and I doubt that the KSA has the power to torpedo any negotiation - it couldn't even screw Lebanon. As for Geneva, the negotiations there are irelevant because the opposition don't understand how well and truly they have been fucked.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Dec 3 2017 3:02 utc | 36

Peter AU 1 @34 would seem that our collective hopes may be realized before long...Syria especially as Putin and co have rolled up that carpet pretty nicely...

As for Yemen...I am not as optimistic as B's article might suggest...

However...Krollchem @26 makes a point that I had not considered...namely the recent visit to Moscow of Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir...

I had not been aware that Sudan was part of the Saudi 'coalition'...

Looking at that list...we see that Qatar has already dropped out...Egypt has good ties with does Morocco and in fact all the rest...even including ringleaders KSA and UAE...

Sudan apparently now wants russia's protection from...who else...Exceptionalistan...

And what is Sisi thinking in Egypt...?...he's buying Su35s [and other toys] from Russia and probably trusts Uncle Scam as much as the next guy...

Yes Egypt gets a lot of petrodollar charity from KSA in return for political favors...but money can only buy so much...

Taking into account the increasing global attention on the utterly shocking humanitarian crisis [genocide to be honest] in Yemen...perpetrated my M. BS...and his Emirati buddy [can't remember his three letter acronym now]...

...I would not be too surprised if most of this 'coalition' will soon decide to call it a day...

In this dimension I do see how honest and competent Russian diplomacy is cutting the ground out from under the completely discredited and no longer trusted by anybody USA...

Whatever happens with this scuffle between the Houthis and Saleh...I am certainly pulling for the Houthis...

But...this old scoundrel may have some value in providing some kind of face-saving exit for KSA...

PS to Krollchem: I would not put too much stock in what 'the Duran' says about anything...I followed their spiel for a while until it became obvious that they were getting everything wrong...

..starting with Mercouris' prediction that Trump would never attack the wake of the false flag chemical attack in April...

Posted by: FB | Dec 3 2017 4:03 utc | 37

virgile #28 or there is some kind of deal involving the Russian, the Iranian and KSA to stop the war in Yemen.

Err, I believe that is the point. Funny that the US and Israel are not involved. No one can predict whether this will work but it seems clear that that the Saudis are beginning to realize that if they want a face saving exit from this fiasco it will have to be through the good graces of Iran and Russia.

Posted by: ToivoS | Dec 3 2017 5:27 utc | 38

Saleh is 75 years old, apparently in poor health, and widely despised, particularly by the Houthis. It sounds like this may be a temporary resolution in Yemen. I wouldn't bet against the Houthis. I'll miss those videos of them, in their sandals, blowing up the best KSA could buy.

Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | Dec 3 2017 5:59 utc | 39

Total nonsense and bullshit article.

Posted by: ak47toh | Dec 3 2017 9:00 utc | 40

As always, this is an enlightening post. Thanks,b. But ..."the Saudis will have to pay billions in reparations." is perhaps wishful thinking. As long as the USA is still harboring the Saudis, they would be free of responsibility, just as Israel has been. It is not a fair world, yet.

Posted by: Steve | Dec 3 2017 9:32 utc | 41

This Houthi claim is currently running all along my timeline:

Hasan Sari @HasanSari7
💢 #Yemen - #Iran - #Qatar :
This Houthis’ TV Channel claim Houthi militias fired a “Cruz Missile” targeting The “Barakah nuclear plant” in Abu Dhabi, #UAE :

It is likely false or fake:
- there are no "cruise" missiles in Yemen, only ballistic SRBMs
- neither would have the range to reach UAE (900+ miles, 1450km)
- SRBMs are supposed to be under former Yemeni army, i.e. Saleh

Posted by: b | Dec 3 2017 10:01 utc | 42

@FB 29

'stop wasting bandwith'
there is no need to be arrogant! it is free speech blog where ideas are exchanged not a competition platform of who is smarter.

Posted by: virgile | Dec 3 2017 12:16 utc | 43

Doesn't sound as though the Houthis are ready to be thrown out, according to Masdar.

In pictures: Houthis shut down Saleh’s Yemen Today TV channel

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 3 2017 14:06 utc | 44

Ancient but informative paper, sanitized and released by CIA in 2010 on North Yemen´s ( Houthi territory )economy situation and "possibilities of development", including its sources of armament which do not include Iran but, on the contrary, the US, KSA and former USSR. At the date of two decades later, when I visited the country, already unified, this supposed coming "development" had not even appear in the shadows of Yemeni people´s dreams, with only a good highway through the desert which was built by the Italians and at the time was crossed at high speed by luxury 4x4s coming from KSA, as I was timely informed by our driver when they surpassed our Toyota:

Posted by: elsi | Dec 3 2017 14:33 utc | 45

Laguerre @44...

Great news...thanks for the link...

It looks like all the speculation was way premature...never count the Houthis out...they are fighting for their homes and children...they have right on their side...

On the Syrian Kurd front...more damning revelations today from the defected former SDF spokesman Talal Silo...

The leadership of SDF is actually in the hands of PKK he says...all of it orchestrated by Brett McGurk...US special 'envoy'...

McGurk allowed ISIS fighters to withdraw from Raqqa...

'...They wanted to influence the ideas of citizens in the region via the SDF. They introduce the SDF as a force that is liberating and fighting against the terrorism. But because of them, houses were demolished, people were forced to emigrate. They did not even let the people stay in the camps, they drove them into panic...'

Should anyone be surprised...?

This is the standard MO for Exceptionalistan...

The whole SDF charade was all a sham for PR...

'...The PKK took advantage of Salih Muslim’s role in the media and was successful in using him. Normally, he had no role. During the announcement of autonomous government, they made Muslim sit on the seventh row in the hall because he doesn’t have any role in this project...'

Salih Muslim being the nominal head of the SDF...

this story on

'Former Spokesman for SDF Reveals Important Details About Its Command Structure And Relations With U.S.'

Double-dealing Uncle Scam has now painted himself into a corner...Erdogan is never going to accept what amounts to a PKK Kurdistan on his border and with US protection...

That's not to take anything away from the PKK who are heroes in my book...there are 15 to 20 million Kurds in Turkey and they have no right to even speak their own language in their own homes...

Turkey has been conducting a genocidal campaign against them for decades...but it has all been sanitized because of Turkey's strategic importance to Nato...

But as far as Syria is concerned...the 1.5 million Kurds in Syria whose own territory is only one tenth the size of what the SDF now occupies...thanks to US...the whole project was a US project to sabotage the territorial integrity of slice the country to pieces...

The Syrian Kurds had to know going in that this was a compromised choice...they may have made the mistake of actually believing the US con story...

And what happens now...?

Dump and his junta have now 'promised' to stop arming the Kurds...

But at the same time they know if they do that the Kurds will cut them loose...they will lose the only cover they have left for being in Syria illegally...

My guess is that they think they can continue conning both sides...but Erdo is not that stupid...that's not going to work for very long...

At some point either the US gets out of Rojava or Turkey walks from Nato...that's the choice...

Either way it's a win-win for the Resistance Axis...

there is a moral lesson in all of this...the US MO has always been about double dealing and nothing else...

sooner or later the card cheat gets's inevitable...

and what does that say about the mental state of those who have been practicing this method for decades...?

It, that they have the criminal mentality of dishonesty...and two, that they think they can actually get away with it forever...

Even career criminals aren't that stupid...

Posted by: FB | Dec 3 2017 14:51 utc | 46

measuring the distance on wikimapia, it is around 1270k from Sanna to Barakah. Depending on where a missile was fired from, they could get the distance down to 1100k.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 3 2017 14:51 utc | 47

re: Houthi cruise missiles

In October 2016, Houthi rebels launched numerous anti-ship cruise missiles at vessels operating off the coast of Yemen. Targeted in the attacks were ships operated by the United States and the United Arab Emirates. Houthis, armed with anti-ship cruise missiles, first fired at a transport vessel operated by the UAE. The vessel was severely damaged in the attack, and damage to the ship indicated that the Houthis used a Chinese-made C-802 anti-ship cruise missile.
A week later, the USS Mason (DDG-87), a U.S. Arleigh-Burke class guided missile destroyer, was attacked with a salvo of anti-ship cruise missiles fired by the Houthis. Using Standard Missile-2 and Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile interceptors, the USS Mason was able to defuse the incoming attack. The USS Mason was attacked again several times that month, each time using defense measures to thwart Houthi anti-ship cruise missiles. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 3 2017 14:57 utc | 48

From RT article 12-2-17

Kissinger, expert practitioner of the "strategic lie", says he first met Kushner "about 18 months ago, when he introduced himself after a foreign policy lecture I had given." The very next line suggests that Kissinger is lurking in the shadows of the Trump administration. "We have sporadically exchanged views since."

Posted by: fast freddy | Dec 3 2017 15:06 utc | 49

Last report by CIA with data actualized to 2017, in which you can test the country state fo affairs, like, for example, rates on access to electricity, alphabetization rates ( especially amongst women ), high rates of unemployment ( expecially amongst women ), rate of paved roadways and so on....Also you will be able to test one of the reason for this genocide, in spite of Yemens´ tiny rate of doctors per inhabitant and tiny health expenditures and high rates of perinatal mortality, its birth grow rate....
Attention to the "dissaperance" of foreign reserves from the Central Bank under control of Hadi which was transferred from Sana´a to Aden...

However, the conflict that began in 2014 stalled these reform efforts and ongoing fighting continues to accelerate the country’s economic decline. In September 2016, President HADI announced the move of the main branch of Central Bank of Yemen from Sanaa to Aden where his government could exert greater control over the central bank’s dwindling resources. Regardless of which group controls the main branch, the central bank system is struggling to function. Yemen’s Central Bank’s foreign reserves, which stood at roughly $5.2 billion prior to the conflict, have declined to negligible amounts. The Central Bank can no longer fully support imports of critical goods or the country’s exchange rate. The country also is facing a growing liquidity crisis and rising inflation. The private sector is hemorrhaging, with almost all businesses making substantial layoffs. Access to food and other critical commodities such as medical equipment is limited across the country due to security issues on the ground. The Social Welfare Fund, a cash transfer program for Yemen’s neediest, is no longer operational and has not made any disbursements since late 2014.

Posted by: elsi | Dec 3 2017 15:08 utc | 50

What happened to the Americans that were ensconced (they had refused to leave) in that bit of territory in Syrian no man's land?

Posted by: fast freddy | Dec 3 2017 15:08 utc | 51

Don Bacon @48...

I doubt that information from that website almost completely...'Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance...?'

Nothing but crap is going to come out of this PR outlet for the weapons manufacturers...

the whole point of that made up story was to show how these useless US weapons work great...when in fact they don't work at all...

...which is why the US has never attempted to shoot down a North Korean intermediate range ballistic missile...something the Aegis ships were expressly designed to do...

...and there are 16 Aegis ships in the Pacific fleet plus five more Jap Aegis ships with the same equipment...

The Houthis may have taken some shots at Saudi and Emirati ships...but why would they shoot at US ships...that's the same logic as Assad using chemical's only going to hurt you...

Anyway...if they do possess some capable anti-ship missiles and they do shoot them at US ships...those whips will be hit...whatever Raytheon and others may try to sell to the sheeple...

Posted by: FB | Dec 3 2017 15:24 utc | 52

@ elsi, 45.

Complementary to that paper from 2010, this update from 2011, with interesting information about Saleh´s ties with the US and Western oil companies, unpayed military debt owed to the USSR, and the fears related to the North Yemeni tribes and Yemeni military:

Posted by: elsi | Dec 3 2017 16:11 utc | 53

Yet another very informative piece about the aspiring war criminal Kushner...

Would 'Rexit Mean First Step Toward War With Iran?

Seems he is behind the push to get Tillerson out...and the reason is the long-sought neocon wet dream of war with Iran...

'...But now Tillerson may be on the way out, and the big winner if he actually is fired will be Jared Kushner, Trump’s 36-year-old son-in-law, who holds a plethora of titles: senior adviser to the president; deputy national security adviser for strategy; and special representative for international negotiations.

...If Tillerson gets fired, Kushner almost surely will have been one of the leading voices advocating such a move. He and Tillerson have been adversaries within the administration since the beginning...'


'...Kushner and MbS aren’t just close, they’re very, very close...'

And this...

'...When he was a teenager and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to visit, the Israeli leader slept in Jared Kushner’s bedroom, while the teenager occupied another room in the house...'

And of course...

'...his family has given millions of dollars to Israel, including some devoted to Jewish settlements on the West Bank...'

We recall that West Bank settlements are illegal under international law and UNSC resolutions...and even Obama failed to veto the latest UNSC condemnation resolution late last year...

Yet a personage who is breaking international law is a powerful figure in the Dump administration...

So we have a Kissinger protege that is masterminding the Dump 'MAGA' plan...which actually turns out to be make Israel great again...[with help from KSA]...


That's what Joe Lunchpail voted for last November isn't it...?

Bottom line is that Kushner is ushering in Pompeo who wants war with Iran...and a notorious neocon Senator Tom Cotton will take over at CIA...

If anybody still believes in Dump they need to have their head need to even mention the trillion plus tax giveaway to the plutocracy that just went through...

And this also brings up a not unreasonable question as to whether the presence of Kushner on Team Dump was in fact one of of the reasons that made him palatable to the powers that be who decide on who gets to sit in the Shite House...[no that's not a typo...]

Posted by: FB | Dec 3 2017 16:23 utc | 54

All very interesting, but never forget: Yemen's demographics means that no matter what sort of complex political maneuvering goes on, it will remain a hotbed of misery and chaos.

Yemen has very little water, even compared to other nations in that area. Forget 'global warming' - the population explosion has drained the aquifers, and half of what little water they ahve is sued to grow the addictive drug 'khat.' Forget all the propaganda about 'the more the merrier' and about people don't lower their fertility rate until after they become propserous: the iron law of development is that FIRST the fertility rate falls, THEN (if everything else goes well) there is slow but steady progress.

Yemen is an overpopulated hell-hole. No political wrangling will change that. It will remain dependent on imported food - and how much longer will the rest of the world feed the Yemenis in exchange for nothing? There can be no political stability when there are hordes of unemployed young men roaming the streets.

The true villains in this case are, of course, those western academic whores who demand that the path to progress is that everyone breed like a rodent, having seven kids starting at age 14 regardless of whether you can support them. "The more the merrier" be damned: how exactly is having more children than you can support the path of wisdom?

Posted by: TG | Dec 3 2017 16:49 utc | 55

FB | Dec 3, 2017 9:51:31 AM | 46

„On the Syrian Kurd front...more damning revelations today from the defected former SDF spokesman Talal Silo...“
Isn't it adviseable to be careful with statements that people in captivity release?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Dec 3 2017 16:54 utc | 56

Well, it seems that although it may seem that the Houthies are a species of
crazy beasts for launching a missile attack against a nuclear power plant, this
plant is still under construction and the attack was only a warning to
the UAE for provoking sedition attempts inside Yemen.
According to the Tehran-based analyst Rafaelle Mauriello, that the Houthies have
been able to perpetrate this missile attack could mean two things, or that the
Houthies still control part of the military installations, or that part
of the army that would supposedly support Saleh in full is on their side.....

Posted by: elsi | Dec 3 2017 16:55 utc | 57

ZeroHedge has linked a houthi news article on the cruise missile.
From the article (google translate)

"The missile force said it had fired a cruise missile type "cruise" on the nuclear reactor in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
A source in the missile force of "Al-Masriet Net" hit the winged rocket type Cruise Brakha nuclear reactor in Abu Dhabi.
The source pointed out that the launch of the missile at the reactor in Abu Dhabi, came after the successful test of the missile at the end of August last"

Missile force? sounds more like military rather than Houthi. If Yemen military can modify scud type missiles, would it be too difficult for them to build a winged missile with increased range?
Would seem relatively simple as it would not need to be designed for air, sea and underwater launches. Either rocket or turbine motor, scud type targeting system?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 3 2017 17:09 utc | 58

@22 elsi.. thanks for personal post.. as for saleh - aside from b's comment - he is a real snake, obviously being a leader of a country that is quite poor ain't a walk in the park, especially when others want to rip it off too - essentially what has happened with yemen from way back in the 20's taking a few provinces from yemen - and putting them in saudi arabia - the oil rich part of saudi arabia.. 1926 to be exact.. well, that was before his time, but the country has an interesting history, especially in connection with saudi arabia - which personally i think is going to blow apart in the next few years - if we are lucky..

@37 FB - all these mercenaries are paid for, no matter what country they come from - sudan and etc. etc... mbs and his freak advisor from usa - mbz are a couple of fanatical nutjobs.. i think uae wants to dominate as many ports in the area as possible, no matter what other country they have to tear apart to do so..and of course they use erik princes academie or whatever the new name for blackwater is.. money buys mercenaries, or political leaders, or a combo of both.

@41 steve.. i agree with you.. thanks.

@43 virgile.. i agree with what you say there too..

@44 laguerre.. thanks.. wonder how this will play out? sounds like the houthi feel they have been sold out..

@45 elsi.. indeed - can't blame it all on saleh!

@50 elsi.. hadi was just another stooge for the empire.. that's man election ain't an election..

@55 tg.. thanks.. china and walmart wouldn't have it any other way...

@57 elsi.. thanks for the translation of that.. i liked the very last line - part of the army that would supposedly support saleh in full is on their side.. makes a lot of sense... not sure what game saleh is playing here, but it is an interesting one..

Posted by: james | Dec 3 2017 17:18 utc | 59

@TG, 55,

Yemen is all but a hell-hole as you so ignorantly state. Since when the lack of water is an impediment for development? Are not Israel, KSA, UAE and others in the same zone developed and even living on rents for long years?

If you read the prospects made by the very CIA I have linked in previous comments above, you will be able to test that the development possibilities of Yemen were high if it were not for the thieving leadership of Saleh over-extended during the last decades who has looted all the revenues coming from the oil exploitation in the North. As well, Yemen as a place of passing of an important part of the oil shipments in the world, with three important ports in its wide coast, could have obtained good revenues coming from this if Western companies would not have sucked them with the consent of Saleh.

On the other hand, Yemen is a varied and very beautiful country which includes not only desert, as it is the case of KSA and UAE, but also mountains and coasts, not to mention the extrem warmness, friendliness and hospitality of its people, and which, because of that, was a growing tourist destination when foreign actors decided that its has to be destroyed and be left to their proxy-armies of takfiris to take over, especially the south ports and north oil wells.

Last, but not least, having a high growing birth rate in a country with a life expectancy about 60 years for both genders and a high perinatal mortality because of the low heath expenditure and low tax of doctors per inhabitant, is the only guarantee for a nation to survive, not to mention that a young, and aslo educated, nation is less willing to allow itself being invaded and fooled by foreing looters. You have not but to see what the age of the Houthi leaders is. This is the generation who must take over of Yemen.

This genocidal organized attack against Yemen, with the whole "international community" watching to the other side, has been, amongst other things, for to decimate and erase a whole generation of children and babies by starvation, apart from bombardment of hospitals, schools, civilian infrastructure and villages, in order to erradicate one or two generations from the future of Yemen to be then replaced anytime by Western technocrats, as has been and is since always the plan of the CIA and its associated oil companies and criminal nations in the ME.

Posted by: elsi | Dec 3 2017 17:32 utc | 60

@56 Hausmaus...

Talal Silo is not a prisoner...where did you get that nonsense...?

He is a Syrian Turkman...who is now in Turkey with great gratitude and hospitality from Erdo himself...

Posted by: FB | Dec 3 2017 17:49 utc | 61

@ FB | Dec 3, 2017 12:49:36 PM | 61
Are you sure that you know what you are talking about? A defector is free there?
Gratitude from Erdo one can believe in. His hospitality is kind of selective. BTW „Hausmaus“ - shouldn't you refrain from such childish ad hominem gigs?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Dec 3 2017 18:00 utc | 62

Elsi, some time ago I talked to a person that had spent a few years in Yemen, I think as a nurse. Her account was similar to yours. For her, the friendliness of the people there was something that stood out.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 3 2017 18:03 utc | 63

There do seem to be conflicting opinions on Silo's situation.

“We are living here alongside Kurds and Arab,” said Silo in a 2016 SDF statement. Our Syriac and Assyrian brothers are living other areas… We’ve had good relations and good neighborliness for hundreds of years. We (Turkmens), Kurds and Arabs have good family relations.”

“We will not accept the custody of the Turkish state. It is a misconception if Turkey thinks that they could take Turkmens under their custody,” he said in the SDF video statement. The SDF has fought against ISIS since it was formed in 2015. Its fighters have largely stayed out of the Syrian civil war, with only some elements like the YPG occasionally clashing with the FSA. “We are the people of the region. We the Turkmens, we are Syrians and not Turks,” Silo said in the 2016 statement.

Posted by: dh | Dec 3 2017 18:08 utc | 64

Peter AU 1 @58

'...If Yemen military can modify scud type missiles, would it be too difficult for them to build a winged missile with increased range?..'

Short answer would be too difficult...

Even if the Yemenis have the Chinese C-802 anti-ship cruise missile...its range is only 120 km...

to understand how a cruise missile is more of an aircraft than a missile...

Its wings provide lift and it uses a small gas turbine engine [as you noted], which is what aircraft also use [a gas turbine is a jet engine]...

this type of flight vehicle is also designed to fly low to the ground or water in order to avoid radar detection...the radar horizon for a ship at sea is only about 23 km...[13 miles]

In order to fly low like that it is equipped with a radar altimeter...basically a very small radar that points down and measures the aircraft's height above ground or sea level...

A ship attack cruise missile also has a separate forward-pointing radar so it can home in on a moving attack cruise missiles don't have that...they are programmed with digital maps and use a self-contained navigation system that relies on gyroscopic principles...called an inertial navigation system...[INS}

Passenger jets use many of the same turbine engine, radar altimeter and INS...

So that is why a cruise missile is a highly specialized aircraft rather than a missile in the true sense of the word...

there are many huge problems with the idea of modifying a cruise missile for longer range...such as the C802...

You need a larger airframe to carry more fuel...which increases the weight...which means you need larger well as the control the tail...which are movable and provide for bank [roll], pitch [up and down] and yaw [side to side] control...

And the biggest issue is you need a more powerful jet engine...where do you get that...only a handful of countries make jet engines indigenously...even China's jet engine's are not up to par with Russian and US engines...

This is like trying to take a small short-haul jet like a B737 and make it into a jumbo's just not going to work...

A ballistic missile is much simpler...there are no aerodynamics involved...increasing range can be done by adding fuel capacity...or a second stage...

Posted by: FB | Dec 3 2017 18:12 utc | 65

dh @64...

This is obvious propaganda by the US through its SDF puppets...

the idea that he was 'pressured' by the Turks or even kidnapped is preposterous...

He is being given the royal treatment in Turkey right now...

I never cease to be amazed how well US propaganda works...

Posted by: FB | Dec 3 2017 18:20 utc | 66

FB, I am thinking something a bit more basic. Boost glide whatever. Small wings can turn a ballistic trajectory into a glide trajectory. something not so high tech a terrain following. If a turbine, would not need to be much more than an unmanned light aircraft with 1300k endurance.
Some very basic type of cruise missile may have no chance of getting through UAE air defense, but if the story is correct, just having the legs to reach the nuke power station would put the wind up some.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 3 2017 18:35 utc | 67

Elsi @60...

Thank you for putting that moron comment @55 into its place...the dustbin...

The kind of comment expressed by this obvious dolt is part of a common meme in the white-dolt community...

Ie the idea that a high birth rate among the dark-skinned people of the world is one of the things that makes them subhuman...and is therefore the cause of their problems...

Ie blame the victim...I have even seen complete morons argue that Syria's supposedly high birth rate was the cause of the so-called 'civil war'...

when in fact the Syrian high birth rate was something that was brought on by French rule in the 1920s through '40s...whereby birth control was not allowed due to Catholicism...[as it was also not allowed in France itself...]

After the French were kicked out...Syria's socialist Baath government took active steps to promote birth control and Syria today is in the median with about 2.5 births per couple...

This kind of ideology promoted by this moron @55 is hideous...

What is never considered by these morons is the five centuries of white colonialism and imperialism that has ravaged all parts of the world...

No one ever invited the Europeans to Africa, the Americas, nor Asia or Australia...the people there were living just fine before white colonialism came and took their land, their livelihood and most of their lives...

As you pointed out and supported with excellent documentation...this neo-colonialist plundering has been a problem in Yemen [and just about everywhere else in the developing world] in recent times as well...

The blueprint in the neo-colonial era is always the off the local elites so you can plunder the ordinary folks and the resources...while the crooked puppets live in luxury...stealing everything they can...

Yemen is just another such pawn in the machinations of the imperialists and their cohorts like KSA, UAE and Israel...

Posted by: FB | Dec 3 2017 18:41 utc | 68

@ FB | Dec 3, 2017 1:20:02 PM | 66
There is this saying „the first thing to die in a war is the truth.“ I guess that I am critical enough not to buy US-propaganda. But hey: does this mean that I buy Erdogan-propagenda? „Russophile“ backed or not? How naive should one be? I have no further information about this „Russia News Now. Latest Russian News from non-Mainstream Sources“ but it seems to be just a kind of counter-propaganda. Not very credential.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Dec 3 2017 18:44 utc | 69

Don't be too quick to count out the Houthis.

Posted on Fort Russ: SANA'A, Yemen - The Houthis have entered President Ali Abdallah Saleh’s residence in Yemen's capital of Sana’a.

His whereabouts still remain unknown however.

His party has issued a statement denying siding by Saudi Arabia and calling for diffusing tensions with the Houthis.

The Saleh faction and the Houthis were only last week allied against the Saudi aggression on Yemen.

However, in a bid to monopolize his power, he attempted to kick out the Houthi militia from Sana'a.

Although making initial advancements, the Houthis have nearly completely taken the city, demonstrating Saleh's gamble was a failure.

Saleh will lose serious credibility if he goes back over to Saudi. Why endure all the suffering if you just bend over the barrel again? Sure, Saleh is a snake but one who can be trusted to only attempt to benefit himself. He saw an opening to get back into KSA's good graces and return to power as took it. It will end in utter failure for him. My reading of the above GPC statement is that even previous supporters of Saleh will not be happy over his about-face. They will be pissed and the Houthis will use this to consolidate power. Don't count on them to meekly return north.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Dec 3 2017 18:47 utc | 70

First time anybody has accused me of falling for US propaganda.....anyhoo here is Silo spilling the beans in Turkey. I'm sure he wouldn't make stuff up for the Turks.

Posted by: dh | Dec 3 2017 18:48 utc | 71

@ TG, 52,

Have you ever heard about oasis and wadis? Dring my stay, in September, still we have to cop with a heavy rain at Taiz mountains....

Here some postcards from the hell-hole, a country of breathtaking beauty unforgetable for anyone who could have the fotune to visit it..

Posted by: elsi | Dec 3 2017 18:53 utc | 72

@ dh | Dec 3, 2017 1:48:39 PM | 71
Sorry, but this is just a Turkish propaganda site. That must not mean that each detail is a lie, but an (Erdogan controlled) source is less credible than even the Washington post. If you would criticize it publicly within Turkey you would meet troubles you would not like.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Dec 3 2017 19:06 utc | 73

@elsi, 72,

If the last post occupies many bandwidth, you can delete it, only wanted to make know a bit the marvels of Yemen to the people here.....I hope now at least some of you are wishing to visit it, you will never regret....

Posted by: elsi | Dec 3 2017 19:12 utc | 74

Peter...boost-glide is a very advanced concept that is still in the development stage...even among the technology superpowers...

I know that you are thinking if this concept can be adapted somehow to a short-range ballistic missile to extend its range...

Here are some challenges with that...first the flight distance from Sanaa to Abu Dhabi is nearly 1,500 km...that's a long way and out of reach of any short-range ballistic missile...

If you look at the Scud family [A through D] you see the timeline and improvements in range and accuracy...

the first Scud A entered service in 1957 and had a range of 180 km...and accuracy of 3,000 meters...

by 1989...31 years later...the Scud D could reach 700 km with an accuracy of 50 m...

So these things are not that easy as one might imagine...

Now specifically about using something like a Scud to make a boost-glide vehicle...

Here are the big challenges...for one thing...the speed of rocket is quite high Mach 5...which is in hypersonic territory...[that's still much slower than an ICBM]

The glide vehicle itself would need to be a masterwork of high speed aerodynamics...there is no such thing today as an aircraft that flies at M5...

It would need to be made of very advanced materials to withstand the heat of atmospheric re entry...

It would also need some way to maneuver in order to reach its target...maneuvering at this high speed is a huge issue that demands incredible aerodynamic expertise...

And it would need some way to home in on its target...radar is out of the question as there is not enough a very sophisticated INS would be required...

A glide vehicle is much more suceptible to winds in the upper atmosphere...which can be over 200 mph

...because it is a lifting it is shaped to produce aerodynamic lift...hence its ability to contrast to a ballistic warhead that has much lower wind resistance [ie it cuts through the air like a bullet...]

this kind of capability is much more challenging than building a cruise missile...

The Yemenis just don't have this capability...the Iranians do have some very good missiles in this range...which they demonstrated with several strikes in Syria not far from the illegal US base at Al Tanaf...

But I doubt the Iranians are going to supply anything to the Houthis...the US is already making unsubstantiated noises in that regard, so they are going to be careful not to add fuel to the fire...

Posted by: FB | Dec 3 2017 19:27 utc | 75

@74 elsi.. i have seen those pictures before.. it looks like an incredibly beautiful place, with artistic design on all the architecture reflecting a people that are into ascetics and more..

i am not sure why you folks are so hostile to tgs comments... it is true water is an issue for yemeni people.. it is also true for syria, thanks the euphrates being dammed up for projects closer to the headwaters in turkey and indeed these pressures have had an influence on the direction of some or much for syria - i know, for yemen - i don't know as well..

i am curious what you know on saleh? it seems you perceive him as some sort of strong man dictator for the cia.. do i have that right? i never got that impression for what i have read.. he is willing to play off anyone, and maybe in the absence of anyone else - he is also interested in the wellbeing of the yemen people? or is it all like another re-run of hitler to you? just curious, as i don't know and would like someone to shed more light on him.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Dec 3 2017 19:31 utc | 76

>>>> Don Bacon | Dec 3, 2017 9:57:46 AM | 48

A week later, the USS Mason (DDG-87), a U.S. Arleigh-Burke class guided missile destroyer, was attacked with a salvo of anti-ship cruise missiles fired by the Houthis.

Nah, accounts at the time claimed that the USS Mason believed it had been attacked but there was no evidence of an actual attack and from memory I don't think the Yemenis claimed responsibility

CNO Richardson: USS Mason ‘Appears to Have Come Under Attack’ By: Sam LaGrone October 15, 2016 8:45 PM • Updated: October 15, 2016 10:05 PM
USS Mason fires missiles in Red Sea after apparent attack By Barbara Starr and Caroline Kenny, CNN Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT) October 16, 2016

The USN seem to have learnt something from The Gulf of Tonkin Incident or at least thought better of giving it another run out.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Dec 3 2017 20:15 utc | 77

@73. Let's see if I can get this straight. You are saying Silo is being held in Turkey against his will and just telling lies about the US supplying arms to the SDF/YPG for Turkish propaganda. Not so says FB. That's just US propaganda. Silo loves being in Turkey. He is getting royal treatment. It's all so confusing.

Posted by: dh | Dec 3 2017 20:20 utc | 78

@ dh | Dec 3, 2017 3:20:24 PM | 78
Well, it is most likely similar to the status Hariri had in Riyadh. As long as he serves the actual demands of Erdogan he may get „royal treatment“. But this does not mean much in a dictorial authoritarian regime like in Turkey. It does not mean that anything he says about the US-support for the YPG is wrong. But, e.g., if he would deny any support of Erdogan for IS it is better not to believe him. And: if he would like to leave Turkey for, e.g., Switzerland I do not think that they would let him go. I vote for getting away from any kind of propaganda.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Dec 3 2017 20:31 utc | 79

@79 That's a reasonable explanation pending a response from FB. I think Mr. Silo may find that anything he says will be used as propaganda by someone.

Posted by: dh | Dec 3 2017 20:40 utc | 80

"The Houthi ... They had no shoes but huge balls"

They may have no shoes but they do have flip flops, dishdashas and sportsjacket. They are the ultimate special forces fighting only with what they capture and can carry.

Posted by: Anonymous | Dec 3 2017 21:15 utc | 81

@james, 76,

Well, I do not know if they are into ascetics ( but I asure you I fell a bit into ascetis there ), but what they are not into, at least at the time I visited the country, is into greed for money, in fact, they give you what they have not, and make you favours without expecting anything in return. They are proud and honorable people who still feel and express some fraternity for the human being, even when a foreigner ( of course, whenever you are not going to loot or make offense there ).Yes, the country is a paradise for architects, since their contruction technic of skyscrapers made of clay is unique in the world.

What I found wrong with TG´s comment was his statement on that Yemen as a "hell-hole", which it is not, as was showed by the photos, but just was made into one by "those of always". Also, I found wrong, and even very offensive, that he stated that the Yemenis live on aid expenses and always will live. For starters, for any hint of aid the Yemeni people could have received anytime from any foreign nation, especially the US or UK, they, the USAmericans and the British, have looted from the country hundreds of thousandsof millions more, since any aid coming from the US is never disinterested, as everybody in the world has already been able to test. Moreover, if Yemen would have received so much aid from anyone would not have such indicators of living standards as those reflected in the CIA reports I have linked ( have your read them?, one was actualized to 2017...). And it is precisely related to this, the state of affairs in Yemen and its absolute lack of development in every field, as I could witness, but you can also read in more reliable sources than me like the CIA, leads me to have a good idea on what kind of "specimen" Saleh could be, due to his decades long uncontested presidency.....

Posted by: elsi | Dec 3 2017 21:19 utc | 82

Twitter is alive with many reports of Houthi successes and a report that Saleh is to be shot dead on sight: "NEW ORDER FOR HOUTHI FIGHTERS ON THE GROUND STRAIGHT FROM THE ANSAR ALLAH CENTRAL COMMAND: 'IF YOU LOCATE ALI ABDULLAH SALEH, YOU MUST KILL HIM ON THE SPOT'" That and much more here,

It appears that the Saudi/Zionist ploy has erupted in their face as the Houthi counterattack is very strong and effective with little of the Yemeni military turning on their Houthi allies as Saudi/Saleh/Zionist planned. Here's another good Twitter source,

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 3 2017 21:50 utc | 83

As I mentionned before (@27)about the Houthis:

"Iran prefers to continue to be a nuisance in Yemen. Yemen is a bargaining card they won't let go so easily.

So either Saleh's reversal will not last long , or there is some kind of deal involving the Russian, the Iranian and KSA to stop the war in Yemen"

It seems the first option has happened. The Saudis have lost another chance to get the Houthis " ousted from Sanaa and pushed back into their devastated northern homelands".
Now the Houhtis are threatening Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia's strongest ally. One missile on the UAE whether successful or not, will create panic and its economy will suffer tremendously.

Will the Saudis and their allies be finally convinced that they should sit on a negotiating table with the Houthis and the only countries that have a leverage on the Houthis, Iran and Oman?

Posted by: Virgile | Dec 3 2017 23:09 utc | 84

It seems that b misinterpreted the sparse information that comes from Yemen. If there is anything that is shared by all factions in Yemen it is the disregard for the opinion of outsiders. News that reach internet in English (or any language that uses Roman alphabet or Cyrilic) are rare and not particularly consistent.

Perhaps Tweets in Arabic tell more, but how close are they to the situation on the ground?


Concerning Yemen as a waterless hell hole where people breed like rabbit, in blithe disregard for that lack of water, it is not totally like that. Romans called the Arabian Peninsula to the north of Yemen "Arabia Deserta", arid Arabia, while Yemen was called "Arabia Felix", happy Arabia. The distinction was based on the presence/absence of rain and fertile croplands. Monsoon winds bring rain to the high mountain of Yemen, and for that reason the population of Arabia Felix had a rough parity with many times larger Arabia Deserta.

Nevertheless, the population growth in years 1980-2014 was extremely rapid, if slowing down toward the end of the period. One may conjecture the combination of more static material expectations, a little flat shared with wife and few kids, no birth control, with the availability of migrant jobs in KSA. If you can get enough food for a family of 5 by sending, say, 50 dollars home each month, then there is no need to slowly save money for a gift to bride family, portion of the family dwelling etc., you can get enough as soon as you reach majority and travel to construction sites or something like that in KSA or the Gulf.

Thus the sudden emergence of "idle youth" probably signifies the end of rapid increase of low level jobs in Gulf countries, and even outright decrease. One can draw an analogy between emergence of the job market in KSA for Yemen and introduction of potato in Ireland.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 3 2017 23:45 utc | 85

If Silo has been a Turkish asset from the beginning, that would explain a few things...

His background suggests so.

Posted by: BG | Dec 3 2017 23:49 utc | 86

@79 Hausmeister.. i fully concur.. thanks for your posts..

@82 elsi.. sorry! i meant - aesthetics!!! my bad, lol..

i have heard these same stories that you share before about the yemen people... i wish to go to yemen, but i don't know if i could convince my wife!
thanks for articulating what you found wrong with tg's comments.. i found those comments unfriendly too, but maybe a bit rash and quick off the cuff and let it go... i guess it goes with many western oriented people is they often have little clue of what many other countries have been subjected too and this would be the case with yemen for sure.. it is an amazingly beautiful country and the people have a reputation for being very friendly.. i am intrigued by them and love much that i see from afar.. as for saleh being a pawn of the cia, it might be that one's choices are limited too.. i like playing devils advocate just so you know..thanks again for your comments..

@83 to 86.. thanks for the additional insights here..

Posted by: james | Dec 4 2017 0:10 utc | 87

dh @80...

Hausmaus has a vivid imagination...he supposes that Silo's situation is like that of Hariri, but what does he show to back that up...?

As I said already Silo is of Turkoman ehtnicity...not a Kurd...he was a Colonel in the SAA but deserted in 2011 and went to Turkey...his family is still there...he joined the SDF in 2015...

At there is an article today where Silo reveals some quite embarrassing information about the US-run I mentioned in my @46...

'Former Spokesman for SDF Reveals Important Details About Its Command Structure And Relations With U.S.'

You can go there and read for yourself...besides what I quoted from that article in @46...Silo also complained that the Turkmen under his command numbered only 65...and when he wanted more Turkmen the US refused...

Likewise the Assyrian Christians were only a total of 50 men...

Of course anything a defector says should be treated with only point is that there is no whiff of anybody out there speculating on what Hausmaus is saying...that Silo is being held in 'captivity'...

If there were even rumors of that it would show up some media somewhere...but it hasn't...

If you do a little searching on Silo you can find more...

In August 2016 while he was still with the SDF he gave an interview to a Russian tv channel where he voiced displeasure about the way the US was running the SDF...

'...In the exclusive interview to Lifenews, Silo said that the alliance with the United States has a strategic importance for the SDF and emphasized that the United States and the US-led international coalition make decisions on strategic and tactical level that the SDF has to follow.

For exmaple: to avoid cooperation with the SAA and the Russians and to not attack ISIS if there is no a “signal” from the United States...'

If you search for will get the southfront story...

'SDF Spokesman Confirms the Group Does Nothing without ‘Signals’ from the United States'

There is a video there of the interview with the Russian TV channel...

So even a year ago Silo was not happy...he was grousing about how the US gave ISIS vehicles and free passage out of Manbij and then turned around and blamed this on the SDF...

Posted by: FB | Dec 4 2017 0:41 utc | 88

@88 You talking to me? OK. Of course Hausmeister can speak for himself but I expect he would say that Silo was only saying what Erdogan wanted to hear....and the Anatolu Agency would edit out anything that didn't fit the agenda. That doesn't mean he's chained to a wall in Turkey but he may feel safer there than in Syria.

I have no doubt the SDF belongs to the US.

Posted by: dh | Dec 4 2017 0:59 utc | 89

karlof1 | Dec 3, 2017 4:50:12 PM | 83

I was also getting the impression not all the military is against the Houthi's. Also a comment at the SST open thread that both Saleh and the Houthi's are Zeidi and much of the military may well be Zeidi.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 4 2017 1:07 utc | 90

I don't get this obsession with deriding Khat as being such a huge waste of water. Is it really? Economists tell us that the freer the market, the more efficient the use of resources. As long as they grow enough Khat for export it so they can buy relatively cheap grains, it is an efficient use of land/water. It is the Saudi blockade that is the artificial factor messing up the system.

I know, Khat is a schedule 4 controlled substance in the U.S. so it must be evil. If we had just discovered coffee in this day and age, I bet we would classify that as a schedule 4. I doubt that chewing Khat is comparable to taking it in some concentrated form. It's not like those happy pills that I read about in Syria, some amphetamine that was also euphoric. Apparently, it made you into a super-soldier for a day or two, the crash from that must be brutal.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Dec 4 2017 2:03 utc | 91

@ dh | Dec 3, 2017 7:59:08 PM | 89
„...he was a Colonel in the SAA but deserted in 2011 and went to Turkey...his family is still there...he joined the SDF in 2015...“
I would rather say the SDF belongs to the SDF and tries, will try, the same balance that Erdogan himself is trying. One should not forget over the fresh joy over Erdogan-US-tensions that Erdogans Turkey has supported all those headchoppers for many years. Quite a number of people who informed the public about it are in Turkish jails now. If Silos family is there all is said. To obtain a critical opinion does not mean to reject the „evil“ sources and start be a fanboy of the „correct“ sources. BTW: has nothing to do with you, but stupid ad hominem is not the way to go.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Dec 4 2017 7:37 utc | 92

The other article of interest on Southfront today (4/12) is headlined:


So, whatever Salih tried, didn't work.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 4 2017 9:09 utc | 93

re 91

I don't get this obsession with deriding Khat as being such a huge waste of water. Is it really?
Yes, it is. It consumes a lot of water, has to be chewed freshly cut, and has largely replaced other crops. It is why Yemen is starving today. If they were cultivating wheat, Yemen wouldn't be starving, but they aren't.

It also takes up vast amounts of time. The day I spent chewing Qat, we did a couple of hours work, then lunch about 11-12, and then seven to eight solid hours in the diwan chewing. They gave each of us a 100l bin-bag of the stuff.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 4 2017 9:22 utc | 94


Posted by: gibbon | Dec 4 2017 11:41 utc | 95

Christian Chuba says:

Apparently, it made you into a super-soldier for a day or two,...

somebody once asked if marijuana was an aphrodisiac; somebody else answered that it depends on who you’re with when you’re high.

Posted by: john | Dec 4 2017 11:42 utc | 96

@ 95

Saleh's party is denying his death, so lets wait and see. As far as I'm concerned, Saleh deserved a bullet in his head for the betrayal of Yemenis and selling out to Saudis.

Posted by: Harry | Dec 4 2017 11:57 utc | 97


Sounds like not many people intended to die for Saleh.

Ammar Aulaqi‏ @ammar82

Saleh is fighting right now with his most loyal elite forces, a thousand at best. In a small geographic area in Sanaa. With limited air support by the Saudis.

It is clear that the tribes and the army commanders have let the man down.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 4 2017 12:08 utc | 98

Salah paid the ultimate price a few minutes ago. His last gamble didn't pay off and ended up being his downfall - literally!!!

Posted by: zico | Dec 4 2017 12:55 utc | 99

I've seen videos of his dead body (won't post here). I'm just wondering, did it have to end like this? Apparently he was trying to get away towards the Saudi border and the Houthis finished him.

Posted by: zico | Dec 4 2017 12:57 utc | 100

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