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Ars Moriendi
08-18-2014, 05:21 PM
Sanaa has been been hit today pretty hard by large protests linked to the Houthis group.
Here's a basic summary:


Tens of thousands in Yemen Shiite protest

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Aug-18/267561-tens-of-thousands-in-yemen-shiite-protest.ashx

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/dailystar/Pictures/2014/08/18/339555_img650x420_img650x420_crop.jpg
Followers of the Shi'ite Houthi group march during a demonstration to denounce fuel price hikes and to demand for the resignation of the government in Sanaa August 18, 2014. Yemen raised fuel prices last month as the impoverished country tries to cut energy subsidies to ease the burden on its budget deficit. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah (YEMEN - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS ENERGY)

SANAA: Tens of thousands of people joined an anti-government rally in Sanaa Monday in response to a call by Shiite rebel commander Abdel-alik al-Houthi, an AFP journalist reported.

The protesters assembled in Change Square then paraded in the center of the capital, where supporters of the rebels, who are known as Huthis or Ansarullah, had converged during the morning after travelling from outside the capital.

A tight security cordon was thrown up around Sanaa, with increased security along the main roads, though no incidents had been reported by the middle of the day.

The demonstrators chanted slogans against the government, which has struggled to manage the political transition since the ouster in 2012 of veteran president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

They also protested against a petrol tax increase brought in at the end of July.

In a speech on Sunday night, Houthi called on his followers to march on Sanaa and demand "the fall of the government, which has failed."

He gave the government a deadline of Friday to meet the protesters' grievances.

Otherwise, additional forms of "legitimate action" would take place, Houthi warned.

In the coming days, "we will erect tents, carry out sit-ins and organize marches" in Sanaa, the rebel leader said, threatening to respond to any provocation.

"We won't stand with folded arms in the face of crime," he said.

Houthis, who have been battling the central government for years, repeatedly complained of marginalization under Saleh, who ruled for 33 years.

Ansarullah activists had demonstrated in early August against the near-doubling of petrol prices as well as seeking the government's overthrow.

A World Bank study in 2012 found that 54 percent of Yemenis live below the poverty threshold.

Ansarullah controls Saada province in northern Yemen and is suspected of wanting to broaden its sphere of influence in a future federal state, potentially comprising six provinces.

Houthi forces reached just outside Sanaa in July when they took the city of Amran, though they later agreed to withdraw.

The leader of the Houthis:

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/images/article_images/people/Abdulmalik-al-Houthi.jpg
During a televised speech broadcast by Almaseera television channel on Sunday, Al-Houthi [Pictured above] reportedly gave an ultimatum to the Yemeni authorities to dismiss the government by next Friday, warning that otherwise he will escalate to other options that he did not specify.
---
Background of the Houthis (Copied from the Middle East Monitor (https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/africa/13537-houthi-leader-calls-on-supporters-to-topple-yemeni-government)):

The Houthis are a Zaidi Shia insurgent group established in 1992 by Hussein Badr Al-Houthi, who was killed by government forces in mid 2004. This led to six wars between the group stationed in the Saada province and government forces, leaving thousands dead on both sides. The group is viewed as an extension of the Yemeni monarchy, which was present in the north of Yemen before the revolution of 26 September 1962, which unseated the ruling Zaidi Imam. Houthis say that they have suffered from discrimination ever since.
---

Ars Moriendi
08-18-2014, 06:31 PM
The call to insurrection by the Houthis comes at a point where the combats they hold in the northernmost provinces has been escalating again, following a brief pause after they returned the city of Amran (they had captured it in July).

A press release 4 days ago had already reported the fall in mediation in the province of Al Jawf.


Mediation fails after three most violent clashes in Al-Jawf between Houthis and tribes

http://www.yemenpost.net/Detail123456789.aspx?ID=3&SubID=8095

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRjD186S2-AeRUj98l324xoWhSGhx2wa-U687_mrrvul-ZC5eEyisCh_NgO
The Presidential Mediation Commission (PMC) in Al-Jawf province announced today to pull back from its mandate for the cease-fire agreement between Al-Jawf tribal militants and Houthi fighter due to the Houthi's breach of the Cease-fire agreement by showing reluctant and intransigence to implement the terms of the agreement, a member of the commission.

Despite a solution in order to bring both parties together and handing over their weapons as an act of good faith to cease fire, the commission was surprised by missiles, grenades and intensive gunfire close to them heading form an area controlled by Houthis forced the commission to withdrew immediately, the same source continued.

Until Wednesday evening, the war reel between Houthi militias and the forces of the army backed up by tribes of the Directorate of Ghail in al-Jawf province north of Yemen has been rolling over and over claiming the lives of dozens from both parties, under the appeals of the state to intervene, in particular, when Houthis breached the cease-fire agreement three days earlier.The ceasefire agreements reached with government intervention on 2nd August though PMC have repeatedly failed to stop the conflict between the two sides.

According to tribal sources, fighting erupted in the northeastern province of al-Jawf on Monday and stopped in the same evening, and then broke out again the next morning and still ongoing as of this writing reportedly with both sides using heavy weaponry including tanks that were previously captured from the army.

At least 30 armed Houthis were killed and many were injured.

24 hours ago, it was also confirmed that a minimum of 15 tribesmen had already died due to this combats, with no specific mention regarding Houthi casualties.


15 Yemen tribesmen killed in clashes with Houthis
17 August 2014


At least 15 Yemeni tribesmen were killed over Friday and Saturday in clashes with Shia Houthi militants in the northeast of the country, an official source said.

"Dozens were killed in clashes between the Houthi militants and tribesmen in Al-Safraa area on the border between Al-Jawf and Maarib provinces," the source told Anadolu Agency on the condition of anonymity.

"At least 15 tribesmen were among the deaths," he added.

Clashes are still raging in the region, but casualties are yet to be determined, the source said.

Earlier in the day, a tribal source said that President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi ordered the reassignment of a committee formed to mediate a ceasefire in the northern Al-Jawf province between the army and allied tribes on one hand and Shia Houthi militants on the other.

The committee would try to mediate a ceasefire and enforce an earlier truce deal that was signed earlier this month between the warring rivals in the region, he added.

Clashes flared up again in the restive province on Friday, one day after the mediation committee declared failure to consolidate the ceasefire and withdrew from the disputed areas.

Committee member Mohamed Daraan blamed the Houthi group for the deadlock, saying it “repeatedly stalled a deal.”

Clashes first erupted in Al-Jawf between Houthis and local tribesmen in April, resulting in casualties on both sides.

A few weeks ago, the mediation committee succeeded in forging a temporary ceasefire, but this proved short-lived.

Al-Jawf is strategically important in that it is located near Yemen's eastern Maarib province, the center of the country's oil production.

Yemen has been dogged by turmoil since pro-democracy protests forced autocratic president Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down in 2012 after 33 years in power.

By Mohamed al-Samei
-----

All this problematic in the North is simultaneous to continuing combats in the South between government security forces and Aqap (Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsulae).
A very brief release a few hours ago confirmed some arrests:


Yemen: Fight against Al-Qaeda continues as Houthis call for protests

http://www.aawsat.net/2014/08/article55335594

Sana’a, Asharq Al-Awsat—Clashes continued between the military and Al-Qaeda insurgents in Yemen’s southern Hadhramaut governorate over the weekend, as Houthi rebels called for public demonstrations against the government.

The Yemeni security forces have launched a campaign to regain control of the province in recent weeks, after it became clear that Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) had been able to take control of large swaths of the area.

A Yemeni military source said several members of Al-Qaeda had been killed in a military operation in the town of Al-Qatn, in the Hadhramaut governorate, on Sunday.

The source said: “The army attacked a terrorist group in Al-Qatn and killed four terrorists and arrested five others.” He added that one soldier was killed and five were injured in the operation.

Ironically, all of this is taking place the exact same day that an UN committee is supposed to arrive to Sanaa to verify on the progress of the supposed democratic reforms and political transition.

The outcome is pretty hard to predict, but if anything, I've noted that media outlets close to the current government has already begun denouncing the Houthi pressure as an attempt to replicate the Iranian Revolution in Yemen. Hyperbolic, yes, but worth considering at least as a reference.

Food for thought.

Any comments or additional information you'd like to post is welcomed.

Yehiel
08-18-2014, 06:43 PM
yemen has such a rich ancient history sad it turned to this

Ars Moriendi
08-18-2014, 07:40 PM
yemen has such a rich ancient history sad it turned to this

Personally I had no idea the Houthis were related to the pre 1962 coup. Most of my knowledge of recent history of Yemen is related to the South vs North cold war rivalry, and Saleh's role supporing NATO in the Red Sea.
I feel like it would be useful to study more their origins and understand the country's situation better.

Ars Moriendi
08-18-2014, 08:00 PM
This might be slightly outdated, but here's a 2012 map of the situation in Yemen:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/44/Yemen_division_2012-3-11.svg/800px-Yemen_division_2012-3-11.svg.png

It's interesting how historical borders overlap. The government + Houthi area is almost exactly the same territory of the former Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen), while AQAP's control is almost entirely over territories that were once part of South Yemen.

Wadaad
08-18-2014, 08:02 PM
Houthis are Iranian agents...All Shias are loyal to Iran first, whether zaidi, twelver, ismaili, it doesnt matter

Ars Moriendi
08-18-2014, 08:16 PM
Houthis are Iranian agents...All Shias are loyal to Iran first, whether zaidi, twelver, ismaili, it doesnt matter

Back when the Yemeni Kingdom existed betwen 1918 and 1962, was it then allied with Qajar and then Pahlavi Persia/Iran?

Xanthias
08-18-2014, 08:18 PM
Good thing, they must annihilate the sunni scum.

Wadaad
08-18-2014, 08:20 PM
Back when the Yemeni Kingdom existed betwen 1918 and 1962, was it then allied with Qajar and then Pahlavi Persia/Iran?

Not so sure since Pahlavis werent exporting Shiism...but definitely since 1979

Ars Moriendi
08-18-2014, 09:23 PM
Good thing, they must annihilate the sunni scum.

As far as I can tell. The goal is to get a government friendly to Houthis who would agree with a federative system, which in turn would mean Zaydis get more autonomy in the northern provinces.

With latest census, the majority of the population in Yemen is Sunni (I'm not sure what % would be if we only considered former Northern Yemen provinces), so it's nigh impossible for any sort of ethnic cleansing to take place, like you suggest.

Ars Moriendi
08-20-2014, 08:46 PM
It seems the protests continue and Hadi's government has already summoned the military to Sanaa.


Yemen deploys tanks amid Houthi protests
http://yemenonline.info/images/news/Tanks1.jpg
http://yemenonline.info/news-4155.html


anks and armoured vehicles have been deployed in Yemen's capital in the face of protests by tens of thousands of supporters of Shia rebels who are demanding the government change.

Protesters on Tuesday were responding to a call by Abdel Malek al-Houthi, the leader of the heavily armed Houthi group that has taken over a number of northern cities.

He has given the government until Friday to meet their demands of reinstating fuel subsidies and relinquishing power.

Yemen's supreme security committee, its most senior security body, gave warning that it would take "all measures to ensure the safety and security of the country,'' the AP news agency reported.

The committee listed what it said were "worrying signs'' of Houthi fighters on rooftops in some areas of the capital, Sanaa, as well as armed Houthi convoys entering the capital and setting up checkpoints.

Yemen's president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, said in televised remarks during a government emergency meeting that he would take "decisive and legal action'' against anyone disrupting the country's security, describing the demonstrations as "unacceptable.''

Military officials said that Yemen's elite "Presidential Forces'' were on standby in case of any attack, and were taking positions near government buildings, foreign missions and main intersections.

Ten of Yemen's international allies said in a joint statement that the Houthi actions were "antagonistic, militaristic and disrespectful".

"Threats of the kind you have made against the government are not a way to demonstrate any validity of your claims,'' said the statement posted on the website of the US embassy in Sanaa. It called upon Houthis to withdraw from the capital and hand over their weapons.

Mohammed Abdel-Salam, a Houthi spokesman, said the group rejected the "foreign mandate'' and vowed to continue "our blessed revolution peacefully".

Ars Moriendi
08-21-2014, 06:12 PM
The situation continues to deteriorate as the deadline given by the Houthis to the government in Sanaa to meet their demands (namely restoring the fuel subsidies), comes to an end today, while a massive crowd in Saada, the main stronghold of the Houthis, is apparently now heading to Sanaa to bolster the numbers of the people protesting.

Al Manar, press agency linked to Hezbollah, has made a report from the ground in Saada:


Unprecedented Massive Crowds in Yemen’s Saada, President Threatens Protestors

http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?eid=166769&frid=23&seccatid=31&cid=23&fromval=1

http://image.almanar.com.lb/english/edimg/2014/MiddleEast/Yemen/Yemenis.jpg

The massive crowds in the Yemeni province of Saada demanded President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi to end the country's crisis through giving the priority to the national interests and fighting the corrupted and the criminals.

Media reports mentioned that the protestors headed to the capital, Sanaa, where huge camps were set up for them.

The reports that Sayyed Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi, the leader of Yemen's Houthi group, will address the Yemenis tonight.

Yemeni president: State will not remain idle

The Yemeni president Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi considered that there are attempts to terminate the political process which is based on the Gulf initiative, ordering the security forces to keep alert and threatening the protestors of a decision to lift the subsidies on the oil derivatives.

"The state will not remain idle," Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi said.

At the same time, the government in Sanaa have tried to defuse the problem by asking the Houthis to join in them in a "national unity" government, while simultaneously deploying the air force over the skies of the capital. Apparently, it's implied that the protestors are armed and will turn violent if the police tries to crack down on them.


Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

http://www.france24.com/en/20140821-yemen-rebels-shiite-camps-protests-government-fuel-prices-deadlines/

http://scd.france24.com/en/files/imagecache/france24_ct_api_bigger_169/article/image/20140821-yemen-protests-shiites-m.jpg
© Mohammed Huwais, AFP | Anti-government protest in Sanaa organised by the Shiite Huthi movement

Thousands of armed Shiite rebels in Yemen strengthened their positions in the capital Sanaa this week as they pressed their campaign to force the government to resign.

The rebels have been fighting an off-conflict with government troops in the northern mountains for the past decade but analysts warned their bid for a greater share of power in a promised new federal Yemen was creating a potentially explosive situation.

The Zaidi Shiites are the minority community in mainly Sunni Yemen but they form the majority in the northern highlands, including the Sanaa region.

Rebel activists used cranes to build walls around protest camps across the capital, where protest leaders have given the government a deadline of Friday to meet their demands.

In a bid to stem the crisis, President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi called for dialogue with the rebels and invited representatives to join a "unity government".

But the protests, fuelled by a steep increase in petrol prices, are increasing in momentum with demonstrators showing no signs of backing down.

Rebel commander Abdulmalik al-Huthi said on Sunday that the authorities must address protesters' grievances by the end of the week or additional forms of "legitimate action" would take place.

On Wednesday, men armed with Kalashnikovs manned checkpoints around the protest camps, while Yemeni military aircraft circled in the skies of the capital.

On the ground, there was little visible sign of a police or military presence near the makeshift protest sites.

"Our actions are peaceful but if the activists are attacked we will cut the hand of the aggressor," said Abu Ali al-Asdi, a spokesman for the demonstrators.

"The resignation of the government is a popular demand and we are against all forms of corruption," he told AFP at a protest camp in west Sanaa.

'The government will fall'

There was also tension in the south of the capital where hundreds of armed men had built a vast encampment close to the main road linking Sanaa to the south.

"The government will fall on Saturday," declared Mohamed al-Hojari, an armed rebel stationed on the edge of the camp, where vehicles continued to bring protesters.

Concerned by the gravity of the situation, President Hadi held a meeting with representatives from political parties, the army, and civil bodies who agreed the rebels latest actions were "unacceptable", his adviser Fares al-Saqqaf said.

A delegation is due to meet the rebels' leader Huthi in his northern fiefdom on Thursday when they will deliver a letter "inviting dialogue and encouraging them to join a unity government".

Yemen has been locked in a protracted transition since longtime strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced from power in February 2012 following a deadly uprising the previous year.

The Zaidi rebels, known as Huthis from the name of their leading family, are strongly opposed to the government's plans for a six-region federation, demanding a single region for the northern highlands and a bigger share of power in the federal government.

"The Huthis are capitalising on widespread frustration with the government and the recent rise in fuel prices to rally support and extract political concessions," said April Longley Alley, a Yemen specialist with the International Crisis Group.

"What is happening now appears to be increasingly dangerous political bargaining as part of the Huthis' bid to become a dominant political force in the north and in the national government," she said.

The rebels control Saada province in the far north and parts of several neighbouring provinces.

Rebel forces reached the outskirts of Sanaa in July after seizing the city of Amran to its north, although they later agreed to pull back.

Howland
08-21-2014, 06:25 PM
This is one of tghose countries where paedophilia cant'tbe illegalized. May have been a great country centuries ago, but now is just another nest of religious lunatics...

Ars Moriendi
08-21-2014, 06:37 PM
This is one of tghose countries where paedophilia cant'tbe illegalized. May have been a great country centuries ago, but now is just another nest of religious lunatics...

What's the relation between paedophilia and the political turmoil in Yemen?
Also, wahhabism doesn't exist in Yemen, and the law isn't built over Sharia.

Ars Moriendi
08-21-2014, 06:43 PM
Just as I suspected. The Houthis are going all-in this time. That explains why they're emptying Saada and putting all their political capital over this new set of protests.


'The government will fall on Saturday' say Yemen's armed Houthi rebels

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/yemen-646526372#sthash.MuvoqtpX.dpuf

http://www.middleeasteye.net/sites/default/files/styles/main_image_article_page/public/main-images/Houthi%20protests.jpg?itok=8yfv0p_J
Houthis and their supporters protest in Hamadan, 10 km from Sanaa International Airport (AFP)

Thousands of armed Shiite rebels in Yemen strengthened their positions in the capital Sanaa on Wednesday as they pressed their campaign to force the government to resign "by Saturday."

Rebel activists, who include Houthi tribesmen and their supporters, used cranes to build walls around protest camps across the capital, where protest leaders have given the government a deadline of Friday to meet their demands.

In a bid to stem the crisis, President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi called for dialogue with the rebels and invited representatives to join a "unity government.”

After a high-level meeting in Sanaa, leaders decided to send a delegation to rebel leader Abdel Malik al-Houthi, offering a ceasefire in exchange for ten ministerial positions for Houthis in a new government.

However, it seems that military commanders are not optimistic about the success of the meeting, to be headed on the government’s side by deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Abid bin Daghr.

The Ministry of Defence has put in place an emergency plan, including deploying the Fourth Brigade of Yemen’s reservists to enhance the army’s readiness.

Protests in the capital, fuelled by a steep increase in petrol prices, are increasing in momentum, and demonstrators are showing no signs of backing down.

The Houthi leader had said in a speech on Sunday that the authorities must address protesters' grievances by the end of this week, or face additional forms of "legitimate action.”

On Wednesday, men armed with Kalashnikovs were staffing makeshift checkpoints around the protest camps, while Yemeni military aircraft circled in the skies of the capital.

While there was little clear visible military or police presence near the protest camp, commenters on the ground reported an unprecedented mobilisation in other areas of the capital.


Yemeni news site al-Tagheer expressed concern at the security situation in the capital, warning that “hundreds of Yemeni families” have begun fleeing Sanaa in anticipation of escalation on Friday.

While the protest has so far been peaceful, there are concerns that the passing of the Friday deadline will mean an increase in violence.

"Our actions are peaceful but if the activists are attacked we will cut the hand of the aggressor," said Abu Ali al-Asdi, a spokesperson for the demonstrators.

"The resignation of the government is a popular demand and we are against all forms of corruption," he told AFP at a protest camp in west Sanaa.

The protest camp has provoked strong feelings among those opposed to the Houthi presence – anti-Houthi social media users have been accusing protesters of belonging to the Islamic State.

'The government will fall'

The rebels have been fighting an off-conflict with government troops in the northern mountains for the past decade but analysts warned their bid for a greater share of power in a promised new federal Yemen was creating a potentially explosive situation.

The Zaidi Shiites are the minority community in mainly Sunni Yemen but they form the majority in the northern highlands, including the Sanaa region.

There was also tension in the south of the capital where hundreds of armed men had built a vast encampment close to the main road linking Sanaa to the south.

"The government will fall on Saturday," declared Mohamed al-Hojari, an armed rebel stationed on the edge of the camp, where vehicles continued to bring protesters from the provinces.

Concerned by the gravity of the situation, President Hadi held a meeting with representatives from political parties, the army, and civil bodies who agreed the rebels latest actions were "unacceptable", his adviser Fares al-Saqqaf said.

A delegation is due to meet the rebels' leader Huthi in his northern fiefdom on Thursday when they will deliver a letter "inviting dialogue and encouraging them to join a unity government".

Yemen has been locked in a protracted transition since longtime strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced from power in February 2012 following a deadly uprising the previous year.

The Zaidi rebels, known as Houthis after their leading family, are strongly opposed to the government's plans for a six-region federation, demanding a single region for the northern highlands and a bigger share of power in the federal government.

"The Houthis are capitalising on widespread frustration with the government and the recent rise in fuel prices to rally support and extract political concessions," said April Longley Alley, a Yemen specialist with the International Crisis Group.

"What is happening now appears to be increasingly dangerous political bargaining as part of the Houthis' bid to become a dominant political force in the north and in the national government," she said.

The rebels control Saada province in the far north and parts of several neighbouring provinces.

Rebel forces reached the outskirts of Sanaa in July after seizing the city of Amran to its north, although they later agreed to pull back.

Howland
08-21-2014, 06:45 PM
What's the relation between paedophilia and the political turmoil in Yemen?
Also, wahhabism doesn't exist in Yemen, and the law isn't built over Sharia.

Both root from the role that religion plays in their society. I'm not sure what you mean by wahabism not existing in yemen, I was refering by the simp,e fact that laws against paedophilia, forced child marriage etc. Have been revoked time and again.

Ask the muslim brotherhood.

Ars Moriendi
08-21-2014, 06:52 PM
Both root from the role that religion plays in their society.

Paedophilia has nothing to do with the political turmoil in Yemen. It's not being mentioned by any side in the conflict.
The political turmoil is built over different interests between the successors of Saleh (ousted in 2012), the Houthis linked to the pre 1962 Imamate, and the influence of AQAP as a radical Salafi organization with power in the territories that were once South Yemen.


I'm not sure what you mean by wahabism not existing in yemen

It might not be entirely absent, but religion in Yemen is overwhelmingly not linked with Wahhabism.
The Sunni majority mostly subscribes to the Shafi school, while the most significant minority is Zaydi Shia (which Houthis are trying to represent).


I was refering by the simp,e fact that laws against paedophilia, forced child marriage etc. Have been revoked time and again.

Nothing to do with the topic.


Ask the muslim brotherhood.

The Brotherhood doesn't support either AQAP nor the Houthis, it has practically no stake in Yemen.

Howland
08-21-2014, 06:59 PM
It is nit mentioned by any sidebecause for them.it is a non issue. Who cares why a bunch of allahuakbars are at eachothers throat killing each itherlike animals? Who cares what's the political context? There is no solution to this conflic. They will keep fighting until the other is wiped out. Muh like ISIS in Iraq or Syria, The IDF-hamas conflict and even to a extent, all the shit that's going m in Europe right now ( Ukraine war, balcan neverending story...etc) Everything that's touched by religion or nationalism ( in terms of politics and administrartion) is doomed to end like that.

Ars Moriendi
08-21-2014, 07:03 PM
Who cares why a bunch of allahuakbars are at eachothers throat killing each itherlike animals? Who cares what's the political context? There is no solution to this conflic.

Analysts care, so do people that are affected by the turmoil in a social level, economic actors that have stakes in Yemen, and intelligence agencies seeing as a fall in the Yemenite government might influence the power play in the Middle Eastern, and Red Sea region for years to come.

If you do not care nor have any real knowledge about what's happening in Yemen, it does not mean nobody does either.

Howland
08-21-2014, 07:12 PM
Maybe the west should leave the middle east alone instead of medling in their affairs ? Perhaps we wouldn't get millionsnof middle easterners in the West if we didn' invade and intervene intheir countries? I don't see how we need them so badly. Why not making real peace with the russians instead?

My original post questioned the validity of all this "concern" when in reality the only thing we can do is either send troops ornot send them. Either wayyouwillnever turn their countries into somgrething tgheydont want to be. And they don't want to be like us. They want to contiue living in paedophile-paradise where tribesmen in the name of Allah are allowed todo as they please with women, children etc. We used to be lime tghem, bt we fought our war for freedom.maybe instead of forcing tyhem into democracy we should let them fight their ownwars.

Ars Moriendi
08-23-2014, 02:03 AM
The protesters are taking it one step further by deciding to camp in front of Ministries, following the pattern set by the protesters in Tahrir Square, and more recently those of Maidan.

Yemen's Shiite-Rebel Group Escalate Standoff
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/yemens-shiite-rebel-group-escalate-standoff-25084163
Thousands of supporters of Yemen's powerful Shiite rebel group escalated their standoff with the government on Friday, setting up tents near three ministries to press for the replacement of a prime minister they depict as "manipulated" by their rival Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood.

In their fifth day of street rallies in the capital and across the country, tens of thousands of supporters of the Hawthi group —who adhere to a Shiite branch of Islam — marched and waved banners carrying a mix of religious, political and economic themes. One painted in red read "death to America, death to Israel," while others denounced the recent lifting of fuel subsidies, which the president has defended as a badly needed economic reform.

The Hawthis waged a six-year insurgency in the north against former Yemeni Leader Ali Abdullah Saleh that officially ended in 2010. After Saleh's ouster, they fought ultraconservative Islamists in several northern cities and towns, accusing them of turning their strongholds into incubators of extremism.

In a televised speech late Thursday, Hawthi leader Abdel-Malek al-Hawthi described the protest as a "revolution" and rejected what he described as attempts to paint his supporters' demonstrations as sectarian.

In another speech broadcast Friday, al-Hawthi denounced foreign intervention in Yemen by the United States and other western countries, which earlier this week urged the Hawthis to end their protest movement and described it as "antagonistic, militaristic and disrespectful."

"America and the west seek nothing but serve their own interests not the interest of Yemen," he told protesters.

When demonstrations started Tuesday, al-Hawthi threatened to "escalate" them if the government did not resign by Friday. The country's highest security body, the Supreme Security Committee, said Hawthi militiamen had deployed on rooftops and armed convoys were streaming to the capital from their northern strongholds.

The tension over the government has been simmering for months after critics alleged that Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Bassindwa is too weak and too close to the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing, the Islah party, inside the government. Critics also blame Bassindwa for deteriorating security and economic conditions.

On several occasions Hawthi spokesman Mohammed Abdel-Salam has described Bassindwa as a "tool in the hands of the Islah party."

After defeating Islah's affiliated militias in northern Yemen, analysts believe that Hawthis are using the latest price hikes and popular anger to push for representation inside the government, where they are currently excluded.

Meanwhile, a Yemeni official with a presidential commission formed to try to resolve the standoff said from the Hawthi stronghold city of Saada that an agreement had been reached for a government reshuffle, with discussions ongoing over whether to form a technocrat or national unity government where all political factions and groupings are fairly represented.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

The current government was formed as part of a US- Arab backed plan to ease Saleh out of power after a yearlong uprising in 2011. Islamists and leftist parties now hold half of the cabinet portfolios while the rest are in the hands of Saleh's former party. Yemen is now drafting a new constitution which should be followed by parliamentary elections, but a date for the vote has yet to be set.

Yemen, one of the Arabs world's poorest nations, is facing multiple challenges. Besides the northern rebel movement, the government is battling the world's most dangerous al-Qaida offshoot in the south, which also faces a separate secessionist movement.

Ars Moriendi
08-24-2014, 03:42 AM
It seems the Houthis are on the verge of succeeding. The government in Sanaa offered yesterday to surrender, just like the protesters said it would.
Remains to be seen what happens next.

-------


Yemen government offers to resign to end Houthi protests - source

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/08/23/uk-yemen-protests-idUKKBN0GN06M20140823

Images of the Protests
http://s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20140823&t=2&i=966384150&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=700&pl=378&r=LYNXMPEA7M026
http://s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20140823&t=2&i=966384153&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=700&pl=378&r=LYNXMPEA7M027
http://s4.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20140823&t=2&i=966384151&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=700&pl=378&r=LYNXMPEA7M028
http://s4.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20140823&t=2&i=966384154&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=700&pl=378&r=LYNXMPEA7M029
http://s1.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20140823&t=2&i=966384155&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=700&pl=378&r=LYNXMPEA7M02A

(Reuters) - Yemen's government offered on Saturday to resign within a month and to review an unpopular decision to cut fuel subsidies, in an attempt to end protests by the Shi'ite Houthi movement, a government source told Reuters.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis massed in the capital Sanaa on Friday in a protest called by the Houthis to demand the government's resignation and a reversal of the subsidy cuts.

The rally came at the end of a week of demonstrations that have piled pressure on President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who has struggled to keep order in the U.S.-allied country which borders major oil exporter Saudi Arabia.

The source, who is from Yemen's presidential committee, said officials had handed to the Houthis a draft proposal that includes an offer to form a new government within a month and to set up an economic committee to review the fuel subsidy issue.

"This proposal will take effect in exchange for the Houthis removing their camps from Sanaa, they can either respond or leave the capital if negotiations fail," said the source.

There was no immediate response to the offer from the Houthis, who have been fighting for years for more power for their Zaydi Shi'ite Muslim sect in north Yemen.

However another source from the presidential committee told Reuters that they had received a positive response from the Houthis and would hold a final meeting with them later on Saturday.

"We will meet with them again tonight and the signing of agreement will be tomorrow morning," said the source.

Public anger over the subsidy cuts has helped bring people onto the streets, demanding participation in a future government as the majority Sunni country moves towards a federal system that devolves more power to regions.

On Friday, the movement set up tents near the interior, telecommunications and electricity ministries in a side street that leads to Sanaa's airport, saying they would stay until their demands were met.

Yemenis are unhappy about the government's decision in late July to cut energy subsidies to reduce its budget deficit, a move which led to a rise in fuel prices.

The government spent about $3 billion on subsidies last year, nearly a third of state revenues.

A previous attempt to cut subsidies, in 2005, led to unrest that left about 20 people dead and more than 200 wounded. The reform was cancelled.

(Reporting by Mohamed Ghobari; Writing by Amena Bakr; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

------------

It's quite likely that the federalization of Yemen will be the next objective, transforming the majority of provinces north of Sanaa (Amran, Saada and Al Jawf, just to name a few) into an unofficial stronghold for the Houthis, somewhat similar to the situation of south Lebanon under Hezbollah.

Ars Moriendi
08-28-2014, 11:41 PM
The situation is deteriorating rapidly in Yemen, seeing as the talks have failed and the government has refused to step down.

The Houthis have vowed to escalate their protests, while the Yemeni president has openly accused Iran of destabilizing the country. The GCC's joint leadership has scheduled a meeting for next Saturday to assess the situation in Sanaa.

Yemen Shiite rebels rally in Sanaa and vow 'escalation'
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/yemen-shiite-rebels-rally-sanaa-vow-escalation-190056583.html#7WnNI7q

https://s2.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/weMWUcxh7zhSDIGINDVGNA--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7Y2g9NTEyO2NyPTE7Y3c9NzY4O2R4PTA7ZH k9MDtmaT11bGNyb3A7aD00MjA7cT04NTt3PTYzMA--/http://media.zenfs.com/en_GB/News/AFP/6058e5cf74d9b003ca9673de5c417eed07fbff25.jpg

Tens of thousands of supporters of Yemen's Shiite rebels demonstrated in the capital Sanaa on Wednesday, threatening escalation which their leader vowed would be "painful", an AFP correspondent reported.

"The people want the government out," chanted protesters gathered in Sanaa's northern district, shunning a plea by President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi on Tuesday for the rebels to disperse.

"We will not back away. Our people will step up the pressure," they called out, waving flags of the General People's Congress -- the party still headed by former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The protesters, rallying on a road leading to Sanaa airport, brandished portraits of Syria's embattled president Bashar al-Assad and of Hassan Nasrallah, head of the Shiite Lebanese militia Hezbollah, an AFP correspondent said.

Shiite rebel leader Abdulmalik al-Huthi on Tuesday threatened a "third phase of escalation", pledging it will be "more painful and worrying" to authorities.
Three days of talks last week between authorities and the Zaidi Shiite rebels, known as Huthis or Ansarullah, failed to reach a deal to end the impoverished country's latest political impasse.
Huthi's followers want the resignation of the government they accuse of corruption, the cancellation of a recent fuel price rise and a broader political partnership.
The rebels have mobilised armed fighters camped out around Sanaa for the past week, while civilian activists have staged a sit-in near the interior ministry inside the capital.

Huthi announced last Friday the start of the "second phase" of escalation during which his supporters set up camps on the road where several ministries are located.
The fresh threats came after President Hadi urged Huthi on Tuesday to withdraw his militant followers from the capital following the failure of the negotiations.

UN special envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar has said the situation is "very worrying" and warned all sides that "a way out of the crisis is through concerted and peaceful effort".
The impoverished country has been locked in a protracted transition since long-time strongman Saleh was forced from power in February 2012 after a deadly 11-month uprising.


Yemen's President Blames Iran for Inciting Conflict
http://www.voanews.com/content/yemen-fighting-raises-cocern/2431178.html

http://gdb.voanews.com/89A67710-B608-4867-8D1D-A23EDEE464CC_w640_r1_s.jpg

CAIRO—
Yemen's president is accusing Iran of provoking current unrest in his country as Shi'ite Houthi rebels advance on the capital Sana'a. Fighting overnight north of the capital reportedly killed 11 people.

A number of casualties were reported in fighting between the rebels and government forces in Jawf province overnight. It was part of a series of low-level clashes between Yemen's army and the Zaidi Shi'ite forces under Abdel Malik al Houthi who are moving toward Sana'a.

Yemen's President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi is blaming Iran for inciting the conflict. He claimed in a statement that Iran was trying to “trade Sana'a for the Syrian capital, Damascus,” a reference to Iranian support for Syria's Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war.

A meeting between the Yemeni president and representatives of the rebels originally scheduled for Thursday was postponed by 48 hours. The U.N. Security Council is scheduled to discuss the current conflict in Yemen on Friday.

Rebel leader Abdel Malik al Houthi demanded this week that the government resign and a new government be appointed. He also insisted that the government back down on a recent decision to raise fuel prices.

Hakim Almasmari, editor-in-chief of the Yemen Post newspaper, tells VOA the Houthi rebels are trying to assert themselves as the most powerful political force in Yemen.

"We could easily say that 20 percent of the Yemenis right now support the Houthis and that's a very big majority, The Houthis are attempting to be the main force in the country, not to take power," Almasmari said. "They will not invade Sana'a, but their main obligation and their main goal is to ensure that they control the policy making of Yemen."

Almasmari says it's known that Iran is helping the Houthis, but notes the rebels are indigenous Yemenis who feel they've been marginalized by the Sunni majority.

"It is not a secret that the Iranians have been helping the Houthis for years now," Almasmari said. "So, the presidential comments like this is a sign of weakness. It's not a secret. He's not saying anything new. The Houthis today have hundreds of thousands of armed gunmen willing to fight and those are not Iranians. Those are Yemenis."

In July, the U.N. Security Council and the United States, in separate statements, expressed concern about Yemen's fighting and urged a peaceful reconciliation.

---------

GCC Foreign Ministers to discuss developments in Yemen Saturday
http://yemenpost.net/Detail123456789.aspx?ID=3&SubID=8152

The Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Abdul Latif Al-Zayani has revealed that GCC foreign ministers will meet to discuss the latest developments in Yemen this Saturday.

The Bahraini news agency quoted Al-Zayani as saying that the meeting will take place in Saudi Jeddah city and will focus on the threats by Houthi militants who have been rallying inside and outside the capital city of Sanaa.

"The meeting will thrash out the situation in the Arab region and the performance of the GCC at a time when the Gulf countries are seeking to deepen their cooperation and ties," Al-Zayani was quoted as adding.

Separately, Transition President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi said on Thursday the latest acts by the Houthi Group has put Yemen in a very worrying situation while crticizing attempts of Houthis to create crises for internal and external agendas.

"The problem of Yemen at the moment is that it is moving from a crisis to another and that is because some factions are exploiting the public criticism of recently approved reforms to spread chaos," Hadi was quoted as saying by state media.
"Could it be that the latest crisis in the capital caused by Houthis was inspired by the Islamic State in Iraq," Hadi said, while adding, "There is no similarity between the slogans and goals of both groups and the truth is that some regional countries are using some groups to serve their interests in Yemen".

On Wednesday, Hadi met with the recently formed popular alignment committee and revealed that advisers of leader of the Houthi Group have Iranian nationalities.
According to reports, Hadi also said the Yemeni authorities had arrested two experts from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards while they were trying to build a missile factory in the country.

Hadi has been accusing Iran of meddling in Yemen's affairs through providing all support to Houthis.

Ars Moriendi
09-01-2014, 07:05 AM
In what appears to be a tactical decision to seize the opportunity from the chaos and political turmoil in Sanaa, AQAP has seized the chance to attack more heavily the Yemeni military in the South.

Several Yemeni soldiers killed in al Qaeda attacks in south Yemen
http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/377215/news/world/several-yemeni-soldiers-killed-in-al-qaeda-attacks-in-south-yemen

ADEN, Yemen - Suspected al Qaeda militants carried out two separate suicide car bombings against military locations in the south Yemen province of Shabwa on Sunday, killing several Yemeni soldiers, local officials and medical sources said.

Ansar al-Sharia, al Qaeda's local affiliate in Yemen, said on its Twitter account it had launched a "widespread campaign in Shabwa province on Sunday at noon that targeted a number of military and security locations for the Sanaa regime."

The same Twitter account has posted news from the group in the past.

The attacks were some of the most significant to be carried out by the insurgents in southern Yemen since the army launched a major campaign earlier in the year to flush out militants of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) from their strongholds in Abyan and Shabwa provinces.

Sources gave different death tolls.

One local official said a suicide car bomber blew himself up at a military checkpoint in Gol al-Rayda district in Shabwa province, killing three soldiers.

Another official said another suicide car bomber attacked a military checkpoint in Azzan, also in Shabwa province, killing a further three soldiers. Some militants also died, he said.

Medical sources at a hospital in the port of Balhaf said they had received the corpses of 13 Yemeni soldiers and 33 others, some in critical condition, were receiving medical attention.

Hours after the attacks, a military source cited by the state news agency Saba in a text message later said that seven Yemeni soldiers had died when they confronted an attack in Shabwa and that a "number of terrorists" had been killed.

On Saturday, security forces killed five militants who tried to take over a police station in the eastern province of Hadramout, state news agency Saba said.

AQAP has become more active in Hadramout since being driven out of their power bases in the southern provinces of Shabwa and Abyan. In recent years the group has killed hundreds of people in attacks on state institutions, including army camps and state buildings across the country.

In 2011, the group took advantage of a power vacuum left by a uprising that toppled President Ali Abdullah Saleh after 33 years of rule and seized entire towns and districts in the south. They were later driven out by the army.

Yemen, an impoverished country of 25 million people, shares a long border with the world's top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and lies near some of the world's busiest shipping lanes.

The United States and its allies in the region have long worried that Yemen's political instability could allow AQAP to flourish and launch attacks overseas. —Reuters
I'm not sure what Hadi's options are now that the Houthis are entirely galvanized and almost entrenched around Sanaa, that AQAP will progressively realise they have a perfect chance to increase their power in South Yemen, all while remembering that the armed militias of the Islah party (Hadi's ally and an organization affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood) had been routed from their stronghold in Amran a couple of months ago.

The two questions to consider now are in my opinion:
1) How will the Yemeni military respond to the rising chaos? I've already seen some soldiers abandoning their positions and joining the Houthi protests (probably Zaydi men).
2) What will the West and the GCC come up with now that the Yemeni situation is on the verge of getting completely out of hand.

The deal that the IMF sprung will clearly not be honoured, and NATO simply cannot afford to completely lose Yemen for it'd mean a severe blow to their power projection in the Red Sea, and could even compromise Operation Atalanta around the shores of the Horn of Africa.

Ars Moriendi
09-02-2014, 10:35 PM
Being pushed against the cords, Hadi has gone one step further in trying to appease the Houthis and has dismissed the whole Yemeni government (Yemen has both a Primer Minister and a President like France), and offered to hand over several ministries and reinstate 30% of the fuel subsidies, while attempting to keep the most important ones for himself.

Being consistent with his gamble to go all in, al-Houthi has however rejected the move and seemingly calls for the unconditional end of Hadi's rule and possibly the full return of the government subsidies.

The Western media has started to pick up on the current method being used in Sanaa, and just like I stated to you in the beginning of this page (check first post of page 3), it would appear a very similar scenario to the Kiev Euromaidan rebellion is on the verge of taking places.

Intelligence leaks suggest that Hadi's decision to dismiss the whole Yemeni government followed an interception that suggested the Houthi militias were getting ready to storm the Parliament and the government offices. On the meantime, they still keep trying to cut the fuel supplies to Sanaa coming from Aden and the southern regions, fighting pro-government paramilitaries to do so.

I've not picked up any particular new move coming from AQAP since they gunned down the Yemeni soldiers 48 hour ago, but this sign of terrible weakness from Ha is bound to lure them into more daring operations.

A few sources to back up this brief update:

------

Yemeni President Dismisses Cabinet to Ease Tension
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/minute-effort-end-crisis-yemen-rebels-25205213

The Yemeni president on Tuesday dismissed the Cabinet including the prime minister who led it for two years, while partially reversing an earlier decision to lift fuel subsidies in a bid to end a standoff with Shiite rebels holding anti-government protests across the country.

Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi made his decision during a meeting with the now outgoing government, representatives of political parties and parliament members, the official news agency SABA reported. The decisions came in response to an "initiative" submitted by a presidential committee formed by Hadi to examine peaceful resolutions for the Yemeni crisis.

"The nation is passing through tough times," the agency reported Hadi as saying during the meeting. "It is standing at a crossroads: either walk the path of life, development, and a new Yemen, or chaos, lawlessness and the unknown."

Hadi pledged to represent the interests of the Yemeni people as a whole and not privilege particular factions or groups. He said he would appoint a new prime minister within a week, after which political parties will nominate Cabinet ministers from their own ranks. Hadi will appoint defense, interior, finance and foreign ministers, SABA said.

Rebel spokesman Mohammed Abdel-Salam said his group rejected the move and would continue to pressure the government. "We are not giving in ... but we will also not shut the door to dialogue."

Faris al-Saqqaf, Hadi's political adviser, told The Associated Press the rebels, known as Hawthis, had surprised him by reacting in what he described as a harsh and swift manner.

"It shows that the Hawthis have other goals and are using the subsidies as a pretext to execute another agenda," he said. On Monday, Hadi alleged that there are "countries in the region that want to create chaos in Sanaa and burn it like Damascus and Baghdad are burning now" — a thinly veiled reference to Iran, which he says supports Hawthis.

Hadi's decision comes a day after Hawthi rebel leader Abdel-Malek al-Hawthi escalated the confrontation with Hadi by calling for civil disobedience against the government. He also urged the expansion of mass protests that have disrupted life in the capital for over two weeks. The rebels had been demanding the government to step down and also reinstate fuel subsides.

Fuel prices nearly doubled after the subsidy cuts, but the reaction on the street was limited when it was announced in July. Opponents say the Hawthis are using the issue as a cover and are really just want to seize power.

The Hawthis' ability to mobilize tens of thousands in the capital and set up sit-ins near several ministries has put security authorities on alert.

A senior Yemeni security official said that Hawthis are plotting a Ukrainian-style revolution in the capital and that they plan to storm the cabinet and parliament over the coming days.

The conflict between Hawthis and the government is rooted in enmity between the Shiite rebels and rival Sunni militias that are linked to the Muslim Brotherhood group and its political arm, the Islah party.

Hawthis recently defeated the Islamists after months of battle in the north, where they eventually took over the city of Amran. Critics view their current push on the government as an extension of that victory — opportunism using the subsidies issue as a pretext.

The Islah party is part of the government. Critics saw outgoing Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Bassindwa as week and too close to the party. The change of the prime minister is the first since the election of Hadi in 2012.

The Hawthis waged a six-year insurgency that officially ended in 2010. The following year, an Arab Spring-inspired uprising shook the country, eventually forcing longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down as part of a U.S.-backed deal giving him immunity from prosecution.

Al-Hawthi said late Sunday a campaign of civil disobedience would begin Monday, "but it will not be about closing stores or groceries ... it will be a different kind." He didn't elaborate.

"If our demands are not met there will be decisive measures that we will talk about in time," he said.

Yemen, one of the Arab world's poorest nations, is facing multiple challenges. In addition to Hawthi rebels, an al-Qaida branch in the south poses a constant threat as it tries to impose control over cities and towns.

On Tuesday, al-Qaida militants shot three men dead in the southern province of Hadramawt, a security official said. Next to the bodies of the three men, he said, the militants left a statement describing them as "spies" for the United States who had been helping target al-Qaida militants for U.S. drone strikes.

"The spies sold their religion and themselves to the devil in return for money," the official quoted the statement as saying. "The Americans with their drones in the sky and those with their evil eyes on the ground," it added, warning others who cooperate with the U.S. that they would "face the same destiny."

The U.S. considers Yemen's local branch of al-Qaida to be the world's most dangerous, and has helped support Yemeni government offensives against it with drone strikes.

Official: Yemen Protesters Plan Ukrainian-Style Revolution
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/02/yemen-revolution_n_5752302.html

SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- The Yemeni president on Tuesday dismissed the Cabinet, firing the prime minister for the first time in two years, while partially reversing an earlier decision to lift fuel subsidies in a bid to end a standoff with Shiite rebels holding anti-government protests across the country.

Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi made his decision during a meeting with the now outgoing government, representatives of political parties and parliament members, the official news agency SABA reported. The decisions came in response to an "initiative" submitted by a presidential committee formed by Hadi to examine peaceful resolutions for the Yemeni crisis.

"The nation is passing through tough times," the agency reported Hadi as saying during the meeting. "It is standing at a crossroads: either walk the path of life, development, and a new Yemen, or chaos, lawlessness and the unknown."

Hadi pledged to represent the interests of the Yemeni people as a whole and not privilege particular factions or groups. He said he would appoint a new prime minister within a week, after which political parties will nominate Cabinet ministers from their own ranks. Hadi will appoint defense, interior, finance and foreign ministers, SABA said.

Rebel spokesman Mohammed Abdel-Salam said his group rejected the move and would continue to pressure the government. "We are not giving in ... but we will also not shut the door to dialogue."

http://i.huffpost.com/gen/2012516/original.jpg
Supporters of Yemen's Hawthi group chant slogans during the anti government protest at Taghyeer square in the capital Sanaa on Sep. 1, 2014. (Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Faris al-Saqqaf, Hadi's political adviser, told The Associated Press the rebels, known as Hawthis, had surprised him by reacting in what he described as a harsh and swift manner.

"It shows that the Hawthis have other goals and are using the subsidies as a pretext to execute another agenda," he said.

Hadi's decision comes a day after Hawthi rebel leader Abdel-Malek al-Hawthi escalated the confrontation with Hadi by calling for civil disobedience against the government. He also urged the expansion of mass protests that have disrupted life in the capital for over two weeks. The rebels had been demanding the government to step down and also reinstate fuel subsides.

Fuel prices nearly doubled after the subsidy cuts, but the reaction on the street was limited when it was announced in July. Opponents say the Hawthis are using the issue as a cover and are really just want to seize power.

The Hawthis' ability to mobilize tens of thousands in the capital and set up sit-ins near several ministries has put security authorities on alert.

A senior Yemeni security official said that Hawthis are plotting a Ukrainian-style revolution in the capital and that they plan to storm the cabinet and parliament over the coming days.

http://i.huffpost.com/gen/2012540/original.jpg
Supporters of Yemen's Hawthi group stage anti government protest in the capital Sanaa on Aug. 29, 2014. (Samet Dogan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The conflict between Hawthis and the government is rooted in enmity between the Shiite rebels and rival Sunni militias that are linked to the Muslim Brotherhood group and its political arm, the Islah party.

Hawthis recently defeated the Islamists after months of battle in the north, where they eventually took over the city of Amran. Critics view their current push on the government as an extension of that victory -- opportunism using the subsidies issue as a pretext.

The Islah party is part of the government. Critics saw outgoing Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Bassindwa as week and too close to the party.

The Hawthis waged a six-year insurgency that officially ended in 2010. The following year, an Arab Spring-inspired uprising shook the country, eventually forcing longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down as part of a U.S.-backed deal giving him immunity from prosecution.

Al-Hawthi said late Sunday a campaign of civil disobedience would begin Monday, "but it will not be about closing stores or groceries ... it will be a different kind." He didn't elaborate.

"If our demands are not met there will be decisive measures that we will talk about in time," he said.

http://i.huffpost.com/gen/2012554/original.jpg
Supporters of Yemen's Hawthi group stage anti government protest at Taghyeer square in the capital Sanaa, on Sep. 1, 2014. (Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Yemen's Houthis reject government move to quell protests
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/09/02/yemen-government-protests-idUKL5N0R32K120140902
By Mohammed Ghobari

(Reuters) - Yemen's president dismissed his government on Tuesday, proposed a national unity administration and suggested reinstating fuel subsidies, government sources said, in moves to quell weeks of unrest by a rebel movement.

But the Houthis, a Shi'ite Muslim group that had massed tens of thousands of supporters in the capital Sanaa with camps set up near the Interior Ministry, rejected the compromise proposals by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The impasse raises fears of worsening instability in Yemen, an impoverished Arabian Peninsula state bordering oil exporting power Saudi Arabia, and which is also struggling with a stubborn al Qaeda insurgency and southern secessionists.

The Houthis, who are demanding that the government resign and subsidies be fully restored, have been fighting for years for more power for their Zaydi sect in north Yemen.

Government sources told Reuters that Hadi had dismissed his government, suggested a national unity administration and planned to reduce petrol and diesel prices by 30 percent to offset unpopular cuts to fuel subsidies, which had drained Yemeni coffers but buoyed impoverished citizens.

A government source said implementation of the initiative depended on the Houthis' acceptance.

Mohammed Abdulsalam, a spokesman for Houthi leader Abdulmalek al-Houthi, said in a statement on his Facebook page: "We do not agree to it. Our position is still that we (stand) by the Yemeni people who have gone out in a blessed popular revolution to demand their legitimate and just rights."

A member of the Houthis' political bureau, Abdel Malik al-Ijri, told Reuters: "What was demanded was a cancellation of the fuel price rise, and the lowering which was announced today represents nothing."

With the Houthis' rejection, it is unclear what the government's next move will be. However, Hadi, in a speech before the meeting where the proposal was signed, suggested his patience was running out.

"I affirm that I will deal decisively with all attempts to shake security and carry out division," he said in remarks on the state Saba news agency.

Insecurity and political turmoil have mounted in Yemen since Arab spring protests ousted veteran autocrat Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2011 and Hadi took his place in a complex deal mediated by the United Nations, Gulf neighbours and the United States.

The United States and Saudi Arabia were alarmed by the rapid growth of al Qaeda in Yemen in the disorder created by the anti-Saleh uprising and are keen to avoid a spread into the majority Sunni Muslim state of sectarian bloodshed plaguing other regions of the Middle East.

In a copy of Hadi's initiative seen by Reuters, the president plans a minimum wage rise and the allotment of ministerial posts to the Houthis and other constituencies while retaining the right to the weightiest portfolios of finance, foreign affairs, defence and the interior.

Ars Moriendi
09-02-2014, 10:54 PM
Topic was moved to Geopolitics given that I intend to keep working and adding information to this for a while.
Special thanks to Loki for helping out with that.

ProN00b
09-02-2014, 11:32 PM
Imbeciles fighting over religion, no matter if it's Christianity, Islam, Shintoism or whatever, it's just non-sense, one big crap.

Ars Moriendi
09-02-2014, 11:37 PM
Imbeciles fighting over religion, no matter if it's Christianity, Islam, Shintoism or whatever, it's just non-sense, one big crap.

Religion only plays a part of the equation in the conflict in Yemen. True, the Houthis have positioned themselves as the speakers of the Zaydi minority (30%+ of the population), which is a majority in North Yemen, but if you look at the conflict in detail, it's more a political struggle with ethnoreligious overtones.

Hadi, just like Saleh before him, has been supported by the Western powers, as well as Saudi Arabia (the majority of his international official trips have been to Jeddah), and even Qatar, since the Muslim Brotherhood affiliate Islah party is one of his main allies.

While the government is broadly Sunni, that hasn't helped them to stall the advance from AQAP, and the Houthis are not asking for a conversion of Yemen into a Zaydi confessional State, as much as they're trying to federalize the country and solidify their autonomy in the North, with a secondary ideal objective of becoming the most cohesive political and military force in the country, similar to Hezbollah's success in Lebanon.

ProN00b
09-02-2014, 11:45 PM
Religion only plays a part of the equation in the conflict in Yemen. True, the Houthis have positioned themselves as the speakers of the Zaydi minority (30%+ of the population), which is a majority in North Yemen, but if you look at the conflict in detail, it's more a political struggle with ethnoreligious overtones.

Hadi, just like Saleh before him, has been supported by the Western powers, as well as Saudi Arabia (the majority of his international official trips have been to Jeddah), and even Qatar, since the Muslim Brotherhood affiliate Islah party is one of his main allies.

While the government is broadly Sunni, that hasn't helped me stall the advance from AQAP, and the Houthis are not asking for a conversion of Yemen into a Zaydi confessional State, as much as they're trying to federalize the country and solidify their autonomy in the North, with a secondary ideal objective of becoming the most cohesive political and military force in the country, similar to Hezbollah's success in Lebanon.

It's just evil Western powers, bitch please, those are uneducated religiously indoctrinated cretins, America and West have full right to use them for their goals. Who could force me to go to die for some fuckin country or religion? America is just excuse for some people being morons. Now you're gonna tell me I'm wrong or what?

Ars Moriendi
09-02-2014, 11:55 PM
It's just evil Western powers, bitch please, those are uneducated religiously indoctrinated cretins, America and West have full right to use them for their goals. Who could force me to go to die for some fuckin country or religion? America is just excuse for some people being morons. Now you're gonna tell me I'm wrong or what?

I said that the conflict in Yemen is first and foremost, a political struggle between factions with different goals, that use ethnoreligious factors to solidify their camps and make their goals more easy to identify.
Unlike what you seemed to state at the beginning, religion isn't the core of it. If it was, you'd be seeing an unified Sunni camp trying to convert or cleanse the Zaydis, and you'd see a Zaydi camp trying to occupy Sunni areas and annex them.
Factors like AQAP, the negotiations between al-Houthi and Hadi, or the agreed withdrawal from Amran are clear examples that political, and military, calculations play a major role in the future of Yemen.

When I mentioned the West, I said so to clarify that on top of their own interests, each faction also has to consider the objectives of their backers. Hadi owes his position to the US and NATO, Islah depends greatly from Qatari funding, the Yemeni military receives assistance from the Saudis, AQAP has recently declared their allegiance to the Islamic State, and the Houthis are widely rumoured to be recieving some form of Iranian assitance.

All this intertwined factors make the conflict more complex than a simple jihad vs jihad dynamic, which ignorant Western media seems to portray at some times.
The Arabian Peninsulae today is not the same as during the Rashidun days.

Ars Moriendi
09-07-2014, 04:27 PM
Combats in Al Jawf have resumed in force with the Yemeni Air Force joining in to attack positions held by the Houthis.
Simulatenously, protesters affiliated to the Houthis have blocked the road that links the city of Sanaa with its international airport in their bid to completely cripple the capital and force the government into an unconditional surrender.

Yemen's Houthis block airport road, army bombs their rebel positions in north
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/09/07/uk-yemen-protests-iran-idUKKBN0H20IH20140907
http://s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20140907&t=2&i=970719684&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=700&pl=378&r=LYNXMPEA8608M
Followers of the Shi'ite Houthi movement shout slogans as they erect tents along the Airport road to extend their protest camp as part of a civil disobedience campaign staged by the movement in Sanaa
http://s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20140907&t=2&i=970719681&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=700&pl=378&r=LYNXMPEA8608N
Followers of the Shi'ite Houthi movement erect tents along the Airport road extending their protest camp as part of a civil disobedience campaign staged by the movement in Sanaa September 7, 2014.
http://s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20140907&t=2&i=970719683&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=700&pl=378&r=LYNXMPEA8608Q
Followers of the Shi'ite Houthi movement erect tents along the Airport road extending their protest camp as part of a civil disobedience campaign staged by the movement in Sanaa September 7, 2014.
http://s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20140907&t=2&i=970719680&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=700&pl=378&r=LYNXMPEA8608P
. A follower of the Shi'ite Houthi group holds the flags of the movement and Yemen while standing on the top of a lamp post during a civil disobedience campaign staged by the movement in Sanaa September

(Reuters) - Protesters from the Shi'ite Muslim group the Houthis cut off the road between the capital and Yemen's main airport while warplanes bombed Houthi rebel positions in the north on Sunday in a sharp escalation of weeks of tensions with the government.

Tens of thousands of Houthis, a religious insurgent group from northwest Yemen, have spent weeks camping around Sanaa in protest at the government against whom they fought a decade-long on-off war.

On Sunday, they set up tents blocking the main road to Sanaa's airport and the interior ministry, while planes pounded positions of armed Houthi rebels in al-Jawf province, killing 13 of them, according to government sources.

Intermittent fighting has been going on for months between the Houthis, who carry the name of their leaders' clan, and Sanaa-backed tribes in Yemen's north, but the government had paused air strikes to give truce talks a chance.

The group, which belongs to the small Zaidi branch of Shi'ite Islam, first launched their uprising against the central government in Sunni-dominated Yemen in 2004 and fought several bitter wars against it in the years that followed.

Attempts to involve the Houthis in mainstream politics in the aftermath of the 2011 Arab Spring protests and the ousting of long-time Yemeni ruler and arch enemy of the Houthis, Ali Abdullah Saleh, have failed, and the group has returned to its more radical and isolationist ways.

The Houthis, who say they want to topple the government, have centred their current protest on a call for recent fuel price rises to be reversed, though they rejected a broad compromise proposal on fuel subsidies by President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi last week.

The United States and Sunni Muslim neighbour Saudi Arabia fear for the stability of Yemen, which is fighting a deadly insurgency with al Qaeda militants and contains many of the same sectarian rifts that have set ablaze other Arab countries.

Iran denied a suggestion by Hadi that it was helping incite the turmoil, saying it "backs peaceful attempts to realise legislative aspirations...(and) participation of all groups in the political process," its foreign ministry said on Sunday.

The Yemeni government and Iran's rivals among the Sunni Gulf states have long accused the majority-Shi'ite powerhouse of interfering in Yemen, something Iran and the Houthis deny.

"Some do not wish security, stability and an exit to the crisis for Sanaa, but want to light a fire like in Damascus, Baghdad and Libya," Hadi told tribal leaders on Saturday.

Hadi called upon Iran to "exercise reason and logic in dealing with the Yemeni people, and they must deal with the people and not just one class, group or sect," according to the state news agency Saba.

The president wants the Houthis to join a unity government and announced fuel prices cuts of about 30 percent last week.

Rebels rejected the compromise plan and the renewed subsidy as "meaningless," and a national consensus government dismissed last weeks remains in place pending progress in the truce talks.

Bloodnigger
09-07-2014, 04:32 PM
Tanks will roll in, make no mistake. This has got the Saudis sweating bullets.

Having a non-puppet state at your back is not how they are used to running things.

Ars Moriendi
09-07-2014, 04:39 PM
Tanks will roll in, make no mistake. This has got the Saudis sweating bullets.

Having a non-puppet state at your back is not how they are used to running things.

I've been wondering about this myself. The GCC did meet a week ago, but other than empty calls to stability and a tacit condemnation of Iran for supporting the Houthis, nothing seems to be decided yet.

At first, I was thinking that a joint incursion similar to what they did in Bahrain to repress the rebellion and make sure tha the Al Khalifa were kept in their throne would happen in a broadly similar way in Yemen. But with the passing of weeks, and specially after the Houthis captured Amran, it seems that the Saudis don't want to go in personally in the mountainous regions of North Yemen, much larger than the tiny island of Bahrain, where they'd be prey to the effective insurgency of the Houthis.

I've begun to wonder since then if Yemen is heading more towards a Lybian-style situation, with an imploded powerless central government and very powerful regional/islamist actors, rather than a Bahrain-style case with an illegitimate government held together by foreign force. Really worth keeping an eye here, if Yemen goes any further down the confrontational path, it's not unlikely that we'll see a new civil war before the end of this year.

Ars Moriendi
09-09-2014, 06:45 AM
Hadi's men tried to break the protesters blocking the road to Sanaa's airport, but the Houthi protestors repelled them.
Following the humiliation, Hadi had to fire the chief of the Yemeni Special forces.

Yemen’s president fires head of special forces
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/sep/8/yemen-president-fires-head-of-special-forces/

http://media.washtimes.com/media/image/2014/09/08/5077950a38340a235f0f6a70670017ca_c0-36-3581-2123_s561x327.jpg?bbd1767ccfc7c3d370e347a1320869dc 007366b5
Yemeni riot police use water canons to disperse Hawthi Shiite protesters during clashes near the Foreign Ministry at a main road leading to the airport in Sanaa, Yemen, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Yemeni security forces briefly broke up a sit-in

SANAA, Yemen (AP) - Yemen’s president fired the head of the country’s special forces Monday following a botched attempt to disperse a sit-in of Shiite rebels that blocked the capital’s airport road.

In presidential decrees, President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi appointed Maj. Gen. Mohammed Ghadra, an Interior Ministry official, as the new head of the special forces. Its fired commander, Maj. Gen. Fadl al-Qoussi, was demoted to assistant to a deputy interior minister.

On Sunday, security forces tried to disperse the Shiite Hawthi group’s expanding sit-in. Scores of protesters blocked the airport road and two main roads into the capital from the west and south. Security forces, using water cannons, tear gas and bulldozers, moved in to disperse the sit-in. But after an hour of clashes, security forces retreated and the rebel supporters held their ground. One person died from tear gas inhalation, hospital officials said.

A security official said the action against the protesters was “flustered” and the move didn’t appear well coordinated with the government. Rebel leaders had criticized the decision to disperse their sit-in, calling the decision “foolish.”


The rebel group has rallied tens of thousands of people in daily demonstrations for weeks. They want the president to fire the government and reinstate fuel subsidies. Despite a decision by Hadi to replace the current prime minister and dismiss the Cabinet, the rebels refused to budge, demanding a stronger role in the government’s decision-making process.

On Monday, security officials said the rebel demonstrators expanded their sit-in on the airport road, advancing near the strategic Interior Ministry. The officials said roadblocks imposed by the rebels on routes leading to the city from Taiz and another province prevented security and military vehicles from entering the capital. Some tents were set up only meters (yards) away from government ministries, raising fears of an imminent confrontation.

Some Arab embassies, such as the Saudi Arabian Embassy, have evacuated its diplomats, officials said. The oil-rich kingdom and Yemen’s northern neighbor is at odds with the Hawthi Shiite group, accusing it of serving an Iranian agenda.

In 2009, the Saudi military was drawn into rare fighting in northern Yemen, using airstrikes and artillery to battle a Hawthi rebellion that was spilling across its border.

The security officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief journalists.


And on the meantime, Yemeni tribesmen have seized the main oleoduct in the country, thereby cutting the flow of fuel.

Yemen's main oil pipeline attacked, pumping halted
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/09/08/uk-yemen-pipeline-sabotage-idUKKBN0H30KT20140908

(Reuters) - Tribesmen attacked Yemen's main oil export pipeline on Monday, halting the flow of crude, officials told Reuters.

Yemen's oil and gas pipelines have been repeatedly sabotaged by tribesmen feuding with the state, especially since mass protests against the government created a power vacuum in 2011, causing fuel shortages and slashing export earnings for the impoverished country.

The stability of Yemen is a priority for the United States and its Gulf Arab allies because of its strategic position next to top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and shipping lanes, and because it is home to one of al Qaeda's most active wings.

Saboteurs blew up the pipeline near the Wadi Abida production field in central Marib province. The state-run Safer oil company owns the pipeline, which leads to the Red Sea.

Heavily-armed tribes carry out such assaults to extract concessions from the government - to provide jobs, settle land disputes or free relatives from prison.

A Yemeni oil official speaking off the record said the line could be repaired in one or two days if tribesmen allowed it.

In December, Yemen said oil was being pumped through the pipeline at a rate of around 70,000 barrels per day (bpd). The pipeline used to carry around 110,000 bpd of Marib light crude to Ras Isa on the Red Sea.

Ars Moriendi
09-10-2014, 11:03 PM
Seven protestors were killed by the Yemeni Security Forces, prompting the Houthis to threaten with more violent action. Combats in Al Jawf have not stopped either.
Hadi has seemingly left Sanaa and is now sheltered in a military base in the south of the city. At the same time, Iran has now approached the Yemeni crisis, with a routinary statement aimed at promoting national dialogue.

Articles so you can update yourselves:

Further protests rock Yemen as conflict reaches boiling point
Amnesty International warns of 'full-blown conflict' after protestors are shot dead in the streets of Sana’a

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/further-protests-rock-yemen-conflict-reaches-boiling-point-603285953#sthash.wKIWiHkV.dpuf
(One video could not be embedded, go to the link to see it).

http://www.middleeasteye.net/sites/default/files/styles/main_image_article_page/public/main-images/houthi%20water.jpg?itok=LmvjpaxD
A protester sprays water at a Houthi anti-government protest during hot weather (AA)

There were further clashes between Houthi rebels and Yemeni security forces in the capital on Wednesday, just one day after a bloody crackdown killed seven protesters.

Wednesday’s clashes occurred in the Sana’a suburb of Sabaha, where protestors have been camped out for weeks in a campaign to bring down what they see as a corrupt government, end a controversial increase in fuel prices and secure greater representation within state institutions.

There were also clashes between protestors and security services near Sana’a international airport.

As reserve troops were called up, President Mansour Hadi visited troops at a military base just south of the capital.

He wore a military uniform for the first time since he acceded to power in 2012, according to Anadolu.

As the security situation in the capital continues to deteriorate, toppled former president Ali Abdullah Saleh fled his central Sana’a home for an outlying area of the governorate, according to Yemeni news site, Yemen Now.

However, Yemeni media outlets were awash with reports that Jalal al-Beleidi, leader of al-Qaeda in Yemen, had been seen in Sana’a after a long absence.

Outside the capital, four armed Houthi rebels were killed and three tribesmen were injured during clashes in the northwestern province of al-Jawf.

On Tuesday, seven activists were shot dead as Houthi protesters reportedly attempted to storm government headquarters, while thousands blocked main thoroughfares in central Sana’a.

There were reports that unarmed protestors were shot by snipers who were placed on rooftops near the march, while Baraa Shiban, an activist working with anti-torture charity, Reprieve, reported seeing two bodies of protestors, who had died from direct gunshot wounds to the head.

Amnesty International condemned the killings, saying they “heightened fears that the current confrontation there will escalate into a full-blown conflict.”

The organisation called on the Yemeni authorities to respect the right to peaceful protest and “refrain from using excessive force to disperse demonstrations.”

Graphic footage broadcast by Houthi-run television channel al-Masira - one of whose cameramen was injured in the shootings - appears to show uniformed troops firing on demonstrators as they wave white flags. The video could not be independently verified.

However, Yemeni authorities denied that army troops were responsible for the deaths, and alleged that soldiers had been among the dead.

Yemen’s Supreme Security Committee announced that “a number of soldiers and Houthi protestors were killed,” alleging that the shots were fired by “armed persons in the area, as well as from among the protestors themselves.”

Also on Tuesday, troops in Hiziaz - a southern entrance to Sana’a - clashed with rebels who tried to drive a vehicle loaded with arms into the capital.

A civilian was killed and 15 others wounded in the confrontation, according to Yemen's top security commission, adding that several police and soldiers were also wounded.

It accused rebels of firing machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades.

Houthi rebels have so far rejected overtures from President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, who has offered to name a new prime minister and reduced a disputed fuel price hike.

Both concessions were core demands of the Houthis, who launched protests on 18 August, after battling loyalist forces for months for control of key cities north of Sana’a.

Though President Hadi has reduced fuel prices slightly, Houthis demand the return of prices to their pre-2011 levels, before Arab Spring revolts toppled the government and started a long process of political transition in the country.

Analysts speculate that rebels could be attempting to become a top political force in the majority-Shiite northern highlands of Yemen, close to the country’s border with Saudi Arabia.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oaYmvM5D3I


Iran Calls for Yemen's Restraint over Popular Protest
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday called on the Yemeni government, parties and political groups to show restraint regarding the recent unrest and popular protests in the Arab country.

http://www.tasnimnews.com/English/Home/Single/494610

http://newsmedia.tasnimnews.com/Tasnim/Uploaded/Image/1393/04/18/139304181343395133170423.jpg

Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham also voiced Iran’s concern about the “violent crackdown on the peaceful protests by the Yemeni people.”
“Settlement of the issue, only through dialogue and in a political and peaceful process with the cooperation and presence of all political and social parties, groups and streams, would restore stability, security and calm to Yemen,” she added.

Her comments came after the Yemeni government forces opened fire on revolutionaries and their supporters on Tuesday as they were marching towards the office of Prime Minister Mohammed Basindawain in capital Sanaa, killing at least seven people and injuring more than 100 others.
The protesters accuse the government of rampant corruption and mishandling the economy.

They also call on President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his government to step down.

Yaroslav
09-10-2014, 11:11 PM
Yemen is the next Syria, Iraq, Libya... More balkanization.

Ars Moriendi
09-10-2014, 11:35 PM
Yemen is the next Syria, Iraq, Libya... More balkanization.

I'm starting to think it may develop like that.
Even with all the weight of the West, Saudi Arabia, and even Qatar through the MB-affiliated Islah party, it seems Hadi will simply not bounce back from this crisis, now that Al-Houthi has gone all-in against him.

Supposing he could somehow cling to power thanks to sheer military pressure and outside support, the whole national circuit will be severed. Recovering Amran and Saada from the Houthis is just not in the cards right now, Sunni tribesmen are plundering the oil sector given the withdrawal of most of Yemen's military to the capital, and AQAP is really now able to control indepedently most of South Yemen. I only see a confederacy-like agreement, granting near total autonomy to the Houthis in the north, as a way for Yemen to move on. That way, most people can get in the same page in order to fight AQAP and expel them from the South.

Time is running out for that though. The more violent the protests in Sanaa and the combats in Al Jawf get, the more likely it is that Al-Houthi will start a full civil war, starting with all the neighbourhoods that he already controls in the capital.

Ars Moriendi
09-16-2014, 06:02 AM
All the symptoms of a coming civil war or fracturing of the State are adding up. While the death toll in combats keeps rising, negotiations break up, Saleh comes back to the Yemeni political scene to add more fuel to the fire, and AQAP keeps ravaging the country almost unchecked.

Articles next:

Negotiations in Yemen break down amid claims of a proxy war
http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/negotiations-yemen-break-down-amid-claims-proxy-war-8944789

Negotiations between Houthis and government 'frozen', as government spokesperson warns that Yemen is the site for a proxy war

http://www.middleeasteye.net/sites/default/files/styles/main_image_article_page/public/main-images/houthi%20protests%20sanaa.jpg?itok=I-hvBOe9
One of the Houthi protests camped out in the capital Sana'a (AFP)

Negotiations between Houthi rebels and the Yemeni government are “frozen”, according to a statement from the Houthi spokesperson on Monday morning.

The Ansarullah movement, composed mostly of rebels from the Houthi tribe, has been organising protests and encampments in the capital Sana’a for almost a month, calling publicly for the dissolution of the current government and the return of fuel subsidies.

Houthi spokesperson Mohammed Abdel Salaam told Yemeni daily al-Oulaye that, though President Mansour had signed off on a draft agreement between the two sides, talks have now broken down.

In his statement, he condemned the “intervention” of UN Special Adviser on Yemen Jamal Benomar, who has been mediating the talks, and the G10.

A group of G10 ambassadors, including representatives from the UK, the US, France and Japan, warned in a press release issued on Saturday that the Houthis were responsible for “the deterioration of the security situation in Sana’a.”

On Sunday, the Houthis said that the statement had returned negotiations to “square one”, and by Monday their spokesperson accused the G10 ambassadors of attempting to give the talks “an international dimension based on the Gulf Initiative and the UN Security Council.”

The UN Security Council accused Houthis in late August of attempting to “undermine the country’s political transition.”

Benomar, who is now leading negotiations between Houthis and the government, said at the time that the council wanted to send a “strong message” to the Houthis.

‘Battle-ground in the conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia’

In a further sign that negotiations have broken down, an official from the government’s negotiating team told al-Jazeera that the rebels have “other demands” that they are not announcing publicly.

Accusing the Houthis of attempting to establish control of the country “by force”, Abdel Aziz Jabari also alleged that Iran is playing a role in backing the supporters of the Ansarullah movement, most of whom are Shiites from the minority Zaidi sect.

He called on Saudi Arabia to intervene and prevent the fall of the Yemeni state.

“Unfortunately, Yemen has become a battle-ground in the conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia. We are paying the price for this struggle.”

Saleh turns against Houthis

In a blow for the Houthis, former President of Yemen Abdullah Saleh publicly criticised the movement for the first time.

“Sana’a is a capital for all Yemenis…don’t block the streets and set up encampments on the roads.

“Resorting to violence and terrorism will not bring safety and stability to this country.”

Saleh, who stepped aside as president in 2011 after months of popular protest, has frequently been accused of supporting the Houthis, reports Arabic news site al-Arabiya.

Deteriorating situation outside the capital

Three quarters of the schools in al-Jawf province, just north-east of the Sana’a governorate, are closed due to an ongoing war between Houthi rebels and tribesmen fighting alongside the government.

Yemen’s education ministry in the province said on Monday that education throughout the province is “virtually paralysed”, and that large numbers of people, including teachers, have fled the ongoing war.

A presidential commission arrived in the province on Monday to investigate a bombing by government forces that killed a civilian and injured seven others in al-Jawf on Sunday.f

Rising Al Qaeda In Yemen Calls Into Question US Strategy Against ISIS
http://www.ibtimes.com/rising-al-qaeda-yemen-calls-question-us-strategy-against-isis-1689094

http://s1.ibtimes.com/sites/www.ibtimes.com/files/styles/v2_article_large/public/2014/09/15/rtr45ofa.jpg?itok=Oq_mjLzw
Followers of the Shiite Houthi group attend a gathering at the group's camp near Sanaa Sept. 10. Yemeni soldiers traded gunfire with Shiite Muslim rebels near a military base at the southern entrance to the capital Sanaa Tuesday, residents said, hours after soldiers killed at least four Shiite protesters outside the cabinet building

As the U.S. and other Western governments ramp up efforts to form an international coalition to fight the Islamic State (http://www.ibtimes.com/what-obama-means-when-he-says-he-wants-degrade-destroy-isis-1684454), another crisis is brewing in the Middle East: Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is trying to gain back both the influence and the territory it once held in the region, particularly in Yemen.

As Yemen falls deeper into political strife and warring militias fight for power, Al Qaeda has found an avenue into the capital itself. The Wall Street Journal reported (http://online.wsj.com/articles/al-qaeda-militants-flow-into-yemens-capital-1410737916) Sunday more than 60 Al Qaeda fighters had made their way into Sanaa in the past several weeks, taking advantage of the country’s current state of chaos.

“Terrorists love power vacuums -- they gain traction there,” said Max Abrahms, a terrorism researcher and professor at Northeastern University.

For more than a decade the U.S. has fought al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, both covertly and openly, in countries across the Middle East, but most prominently in Yemen. The offshoot of al Qaeda is one of the most destructive and effective groups operating under the main leadership.

In Yemen, the U.S. campaign included CIA drone strikes on al Qaeda targets, a model that is going to serve as the basis for the strategy behind taking out ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Obama said in a speech last week.

But the resurgence of al Qaeda in Yemen proves a strategy of attacks from the air and special forces raids does not necessarily work in eradicating a terrorist group entrenched in a territory.

The latest violence that threatens to plunge Yemen further into turmoil that would benefit al Qaeda happened earlier this month when authorities shot into a crowd of Shiite Muslim protesters. A Human Rights Watch report (http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/09/14/yemen-lethal-force-against-houthi-protesters) published Sunday said at least eight people were killed and 67 wounded on Sept. 7 and 9 when the Houthis, a Shiite resistance group, demonstrated in the capital. They were protesting the government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who took office in February 2012 after Ali Adbdallah Saleh was ousted by mass demonstrations.

The clashes in Sanaa (http://www.ibtimes.com/al-qaeda-suicide-bomb-attacks-kill-six-soldiers-yemen-1674762) came after months of fighting between the Houthis and the Yemeni military and other armed groups in the northern part of the country, which has created an opportunity for al Qaeda to gain ground, Abrahms said.

Obama said in his speech last week (http://www.ibtimes.com/president-obama-isis-speech-full-text-1685184) his counterterrorism strategy to fight ISIS would “be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL [the administration's name for ISIS] wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years."

Yet al Qaeda is still present in Yemen and is growing. An al Qaeda affiliate group, Ansar al-Shariah, killed six soldiers in Yemen at the end of August, announcing on Twitter the deaths marked the start of a "widespread campaign" in the country. The attacks were among the deadliest and most coordinated in southern Yemen since the army launched a campaign, earlier this year, to rid Abyan and Shabwa provinces of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula militants.

The threat is not limited to the region.

"Our nation faces a serious threat from these groups, particularly from those based in Yemen, home to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula," then-CIA Director David Petraeus told Congress in 2011 (https://www.cia.gov/news-information/speeches-testimony/speeches-testimony-archive-2011/statement-on-the-terrorist-threat-after-9-11.html). "As al Qaeda’s core has been weakened, the initiative has been shifting somewhat to al Qaeda’s affiliates and sympathizers outside South Asia."

The threat may become worse now also because al Qaeda, including the faction in Yemen, may try to compete with ISIS, Abrahms said. "The rise of ISIS incentivizes al Qaeda affiliates to perform a massive attack," he said. "Violence is a good way to outbid rival organizations and recruits."

Ars Moriendi
09-19-2014, 06:42 AM
The Houthis have operated the most important escalation since the beginning of the crisis in Sanaa.
Their armed forces have entered the city and have occupied an university, long rumoured to be a recruitment point for hardline Sunnis.
Simultaenously, the Houthis surrounded and attack the headquarters of the national television network, but were succesfully repelled by security forces.

The only positive news, was that the fighting in Al Jawf has stopped after a truce was agreed. In my opinion, it's quite likely that the Houthis have decided to put a pause in their campaign to extend their power over northern provinces, in order to mobilize large numbers of their fighters south to Sanaa.

This has prompted yet another emergency meeting between Hadi and his cabinet, trying to find a larger compromise to difuse the tensions. The UN, through its envoy has been trying to achieve a compromise, after the Houthis refused the last agreement proposed to them.

What is more interesting to note, is that Iran has seemingly started to see a problem in the intransigence from the Houthis, and has enlisted Oman's help (normally a very neutral actor in the Gulf), to pressure the Houthis into accepting the agreement.

Chances are, that if Hadi offers even more generous terms and Iran takes a firm stand, the Houthis will probably agree to a political partitioning agreement, thus temporarily saving Yemen from a total power vacuum. If it happens, the question will be how long can it last.

AQAP seems to have remained still over the course of the last couple of days, no new actions from their part have been registered.


Articles for this update (First two are essential, second two are only complementary):

Armed Shiite rebels push into Yemen's capital
http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/armed-shiite-rebels-push-yemens-capital-1070179193

Houthi militants force their way into a suburb of Yemen’s capital Sana’a, where they are besieging a religious university and fighting rival militia

http://www.middleeasteye.net/sites/default/files/styles/main_image_article_page/public/main-images/000_Nic6371219.jpg?itok=dnJdlqyg
An Armed Yemeni Shiite Huthi rebel in Saada on 17 September, 2014 (AFP)

After almost a month of protests against the government Houthi militants have forced their way into a suburb of Yemen’s capital Sana’a, where they are besieging a religious university and fighting Sunni militias, security officials said, raising fears of a wider conflict.

The capture of Iman University, a few kilometres from president Hadi’s residence, marks a dramatic victory for the Houthis, a Shiite group based in the northern province of Saada who are demanding government changes.

Explosions and gunfire sounded on Wednesday as Houthi militants battled it out with fighters loyal to general Ali Mohsen, a rival of ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Residents in the east of the capital said the two sides were using anti-aircraft missiles. Others fled their homes.

Meanwhile negotiations are ongoing between the rebels and Yemen’s government, mediated by the UN special envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar.

In a statement released after a new round of talks on Thursday, Houthi spokesperson Mohammed Abdel Salaam stressed that the Houthis and the Yemeni army reached a final ceasefire in al-Jawf province just north-east of the capital, where rebels had been engaging in bloody battles with Yemeni soldiers and local tribesmen affiliated to government forces.

A government official who did not wish to be named told Middle East Eye that the Houthis were working on two fronts.

“There is a diplomatic political front to maximize gains via dialogue and a military-style ground campaign to weaken their adversaries mainly the Islah party,” the official said. The ultimate goal is to be the next kings maker in Yemen.”

Al-Imam, a university on the Western side of the capital, hosts nearly 4000 students from 40 different countries. Most specialise in religious studies. Western authorities have long been suspicious of the school’s activities labelling it a recruiting center for Islamist extremists.

The university was founded in 1993 by Sheikh Abdul Majid Al-Zindani who the UN says has ties to al-qaeda.

Iran, Oman pressure Houthis to accept government deal
http://www.aawsat.net/2014/09/article55336720
UN envoy describes talks with Houthi leader as "constructive and positive"


http://www.aawsat.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/houthis5.jpg
Houthi protesters perform Friday prayers during a funeral procession of fellow protesters who were killed in recent clashes with Yemeni police in Sana’a, Yemen, on Friday, September 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

Sana’a, Asharq Al-Awsat—Yemen’s Houthis and the central government appeared to move closer to an agreement to end the bloodshed that has recently gripped the country, following Omani–Iranian pressure on the Shi’ite Houthi movement.

Yemeni sources have told Asharq Al-Awsat that renewed international and regional efforts are currently being exerted to secure an agreement between Yemen’s Shi’ite Houthis and the central government to end the ongoing conflict, currently taking place in several regions across the country, between rebel fighters on one side and government forces and allied tribes on the other.

A high-level Yemeni source, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media, cited Omani–Iranian mediation that is seeking to pressure the Houthis to sign a UN-brokered agreement. The UN’s special adviser on Yemen Jamal Benomar has intensified mediation efforts with both parties this week, meeting with Houthi leader Abdul Malik Al-Houthi in Saada on Wednesday.

The Houthis had walked out of previous government talks, citing “foreign intervention” in reference to a G10 statement accusing the Shi’ite movement of being responsible for the deteriorating security situation in the country.

Embattled Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi has already offered to appoint a new government, granting the Houthis broader powers and rolling back a controversial fuel subsidy cut. The Houthis, who have moved from protests in Sana’a to armed confrontations against government troops in other parts of the country, have so far rejected the deal.

Following his meeting with Abdul Malik Al-Houthi on Wednesday, Benomar told Yemen’s state-owned SABA news agency that the talks had lasted three hours and focused on “solutions to the crisis that can be agreed on by all parties and which are based on the outcomes of the Comprehensive National Dialogue Conference.”

Benomar described the talks as “constructive and positive,” adding that the consultations with the Houthi leader would continue on Thursday. However, local and regional sources reported that armed Shi’ite rebels had advanced into the Yemeni capital Sana’a on Thursday after clashing with the army in the city’s northwest outskirts in what represents the biggest escalation in the ongoing clashes.

Reuters reported that Houthi gunmen were advancing eastwards into the city center amid fears the latest round of violence could destabilize the talks. A military source also said that Houthi fighters had attacked an army camp located on the southern entrance of the capital but that soldiers had repelled the assault.
-----------------------------------------------
Yemen's Shiite Rebels Attack State TV Building
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/18/yemen-shiite-sunni-rebels-university-houthi

Thousands flee homes and number reported dead rises to 60 as Houthi fighters expand area under control in north of country

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2014/9/18/1411036313668/Supporters-of-Shiite-Hout-009.jpg
Yemeni supporters of the Shia Houthi movement in a sit-in near the interior ministry in Sana'a. Photograph: Yahya Arhab/EPA

Security officials say Shia rebels have reached a suburb of Yemen's capital, Sana'a, where they are fighting Sunni militias and besieging a university run by one of the nation's best-known Sunni radicals.

The officials say Thursday's fighting in Shamlan has forced thousands to flee their homes, but they have no word on casualties. They say the rebels, known as Houthis, are surrounding the Iman University, an institution long viewed as a primary breeding ground for militants.

They say 60 people have been killed in the fighting during the past 48 hours.

The Houthis have recently routed their rivals, expanding the area under their control in northern Yemen.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the press.

Yemen's Shiite Rebels Attack State TV Building
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/yemens-shiite-rebels-fighting-sanaa-suburb-25587420

http://a.abcnews.com/images/International/WireAP_32f58ad4ad05420ebd765683603e70e7_16x9_992.j pg
In this photo taken on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, Hawthi Shiite protesters walk near tents at a sit-in in a main road leading to the airport in Sanaa, Yemen.

Yemen's state television said on Thursday that its headquarters in a northwestern suburb of the capital Sanaa has come under attack by Shiite rebels.

The attack, a serious escalation by the rebels known as the Hawthis, prompted President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to hold emergency talks with top Cabinet aides.

The officials also said heavy fighting raged Thursday between the rebels and Sunni militias in Shamlan, a suburb also northwest of Sanaa that is home to the Iman Islamic university, an institution long viewed as a primary breeding ground for militias.

The officials say the fighting in Shamlan has forced thousands to flee their homes, but they had no word on casualties.

The Hawthis have recently routed their Islamist rivals in a series of battles that expanded their control of northern Yemen.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Yemen, one of the Arab world's poorest nations, is facing multiple challenges. In addition to the Hawthi rebels, an al-Qaida branch in the south poses a constant threat as it tries to impose control over cities and towns. There is also a growing separatist movement in the south, a region that once constituted an independent state before it merged with northern Yemen.

Ars Moriendi
09-21-2014, 05:03 AM
Ok, it seems the Iranian-Omani call for the Houthis to desist was heard 1 day after it was made. Perfect timing too, as the fighting in Sanaa today was the most deadly over the course of the last week, to the point of jamming the state TV network for a few hours (Houthis seized control of the chain's headquarters) and forcing the international airport outside the city to suspend operations.

The Qataris (Al Jazeera) released a note in the afternoon, prior to the agreement highlighting the dire situation in the city, and warning about the impending civil war that would happen if the Houthis managed to overpower the Yemeni military and capture Sanaa. A bit excessive probably, but still worth checking.

After the HQ was stormed, Hadi's government established a curfew in the entire city, possibly preparing for nocturnal fighting against the Houthi commands.

Yet, before everything exploded, the UN mediator made a statement saying that the Houthis had agree to a truce and a future political agreement. Nothing regarding the content of the agreement was said, which makes me conclude that in reality, Al-Houthi had to stop his forces on their tracks following the pressure he received from Iran through Oman. I guess this confirms, unfortunately for the Houthis, that the Iranian hand does hold influence over Ansarullah.

Still, it remains to be seen how long this truce will hold, and if the increasingly weaker Hadi can actually find a carrot to keep the Houthis from trying to seize Sanaa again. Chances are, as the negotiations unfold, it will become clear that those have truly have the political weight and means to exert control over the country, are the Houthis, and the Islah party. The Yemeni military has proven through this current crisis that it does not hold a proper chain of command and esprit de corps to defend the State, and in reality, Hadi has been kept afloat by the Sunni tribesmen affiliated to Islah.

A partitioned, quasi-confederate, Sunni - Muslim Brotherhood (Islah) and Zaydi (Houthi) unity government might be the last chance Yemen has of avoiding civil war. AQAP hasn't done much over the course of this crisis, perhaps trying to let the Houthis and Hadi weaken each other before making a move; and the Southern secessionist haven't made any statement either, although their political weakness renders them immaterial for the time being.

The next week in Yemen promises to be of paramount importance, in order to see if the political forces of the country can find a compromise, and if the great powers of the region (Iran and Saudi Arabia chiefly), can find enough common ground to boost the new government, in an effort to prevent the rise of yet another civil war in the Middle East.


Here are some articles for the events I mentioned in this brief summary. Analysis and forecast are entirely mine:

Yemen's Houthi rebels advance into Sanaa
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/09/yemen-houthi-rebels-advance-into-sanaa-201492091233845119.html
Fierce battles between army and rebels continue for third day in the capital, forcing hundreds to flee their homes.
http://www.aljazeera.com/mritems/Images/2014/9/19/2014919195721272734_20.jpg

Yemen's government troops have been battling Houthi rebels for a third day in the capital Sanaa after the collapse of ceasefire talks, officials and residents say.

On Saturday, heavy fighting broke out at the state television building and explosions were heard earlier in the day near the Interior Ministry in the northern part of Sanaa.

The Shia fighters shelled the state television building on Friday as they advanced into the city.

Khaled Hammadi, a journalist based in Sanaa, told Al Jazeera that heavy smoke was hanging over the area of the state TV building on Saturday.

"Fighting is expanding hour by hour and the Houthi rebel fighters are advancing into neighbourhoods near important areas," he said.

Meanwhile, reports from Sanaa said the Yemeni army was commencing a counterattack on the Houthis with back-up from the Republican Guard unit.

Hakim al-Masmari, the editor-in-chief of the Yemen Post, told Al Jazeera that Saturday's clashes have been the fiercest since fighting began on Thursday. He said that dozens of Houthi fighters were killed in Sanaa in the latest round of fighting.

He added that there could be a truce between the warring sides later in the day.

At least a 123 fighters have been killed over the past three days, according to a tally by the Associated Press news agency.

Thousands of Houthis have been staging protests in Sanaa for more than a month now, besieging ministries and blocking the road to the main airport.

Fighting in Sanaa had become so intense that by Friday international airlines suspended flights in and out of the nearby airport.

The UN has failed to mediate a peace deal between the warring sides.

Jamal Benomar, the UN envoy to Yemen, left the northern city of Saada on Friday after trying to mediate a deal that could pave the way for a new government and more political representation for the Houthis.

Clashes have raged on the outskirts of Sanaa for days, with dozens of deaths reported.

Earlier, Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from Sanaa, said the country "is just a few hours" from plunging into a civil war as the capital is divided along sectarian lines, with one half run by Sunnis and the other by Houthis".

"The Houthis have control over most of the north of the country - from Saada to the gates of Sanaa," he said.

"They have thousands of fighters and some military commanders and members of the former regime with them. And if in the coming hours they decide to control Sanaa, they can definitely control the capital.

"If the Sunnis decide to join the fight against the Houthis, it's definitely going to be civil war in the country [...] It's either peace or war."

The Houthis are a Zaidi Shia group whose traditional power base is in the north. They are demanding a new government (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/08/yemen-houthis-hadi-protests-201482132719818986.html) and also more political power for their community.

The government's plans for a six-region federation in Yemen has been rejected by both the Houthis and the southern separatists.


Yemen sets curfew as fighting with Shiite rebels roils capital
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/sep/20/yemen-sets-curfew-as-fighting-roils-capital/

http://media.washtimes.com/media/image/2014/09/20/823951310b433b25600f6a70670016a5_c0-143-1809-1197_s561x327.jpg?20b2c064b613979aa4a1e26ca066ea1a 3912a1eb
Smokes rises from near the Yemeni Government TV building, background, during clashes between Sunni militiamen and Hawthi Shiite rebels in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. The Hawthi fighters and militias and army units allied with the Muslim Brotherhood's Islah party battled in Sanaa for a third day Saturday in clashes that have shaken the Yemeni capital, killed over 120 people, and led to thousands fleeing their homes. The violence raises fears that this chronically unstable country could be dragged into the sort of sectarian conflicts that have plagued other nations in the region. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

SANAA, Yemen — Yemen’s top security body imposed an overnight curfew in restive areas of the capital, Sanaa, on Saturday after Shiite rebels took over the state television building amid heavy clashes and the U.N. envoy to the country signaled that a deal had been reached to end the violence.

The Supreme Security Commission said the curfew was being imposed in the north and west of the capital and will remain in place indefinitely. It follows days of clashes between Shiite rebels, known as Hawthis, and Sunni militiamen affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islah party that have left more than 140 dead and prompted thousands to flee.

Yemeni government reaches agreement with Shia Houthi rebels
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29298897
The deal will 'advance the path of peaceful change,' says UN special envoy, following weeks of violence in Sanaa

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2014/9/20/1411253441127/Yemen-state-run-televisio-009.jpg
Smoke rises near Yemen's state-run television headquarters during an attack from Shia Houthi rebels. Photograph: Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

The Yemeni government and armed Shia Houthi rebels reached an agreement on Saturday to end the worst violence for years in the capital Sanaa, UN special envoy Jamal Benomar said.

The fighting, which intensified on Thursday after weeks of protests and clashes, appeared to be the biggest challenge yet to a UN-backed transition to democracy launched after veteran ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced to step down in 2012.

Fighting raged on Saturday on the outskirts of Sanaa, and rebels said they had taken control of the headquarters of state television. Yemen's higher security committee announced a curfew in four areas of the capital from 9pm until 6am, and schools were shut until further notice.

"This agreement shall be a national document that will advance the path of peaceful change, and will lay the foundations for national partnership and for security and stability," Benomar said in a statement, adding that preparations were being made for the signing.

Benomar had held talks with Houthi leader Abdulmalek al-Houthi in their home province of Saada on Wednesday and Thursday.

One Houthi rebel leader, Abdelmalik al-Ajri, told Reuters his group's representatives could reach the capital from Saada by Sunday to sign a deal to end the crisis.

President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi had earlier publicly backed Benomar's efforts.

Insecurity and political turmoil have grown since Saleh was ousted by Arab Spring protests. The Houthi insurrection is one of several threats to the stability of Yemen, which borders oil exporter Saudi Arabia and is struggling with a secessionist movement in the south and a spreading al-Qaida insurgency.

The Houthis, who belong to the Zaydi sect of Shia Islam, have been struggling for a decade against the Sunni-dominated government for more territory and autonomy in the north.

Houthi forces have been fighting on the outskirts of Sanaa since Thursday (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/18/yemen-shiite-sunni-rebels-university-houthi) against the army and tribesmen allied with the powerful Sunni Muslim al-Ahmar clan, whose members hold senior positions in the army and the government.

The headquarters of state television, near to other state institutions, caught fire on Saturday after three days of mortar attacks.

The head of Yemeni television, Hussain Basleem, told Reuters the building had been surrounded by Houthi rebels, after which broadcasts were cut and TV employees told Reuters rebels had stormed the building. Houthi member Ali al-Emad said his group controlled the military checkpoints guarding the station.

Yemen TV later came back on air, saying it was airing from an alternative location.

Clashes also erupted around the religious Iman University, near an army base.

Residents and relatives of victims reported at least 16 deaths between Friday night and Saturday morning. Ten members of one family were killed when their minibus was hit by mortar fire as they fled their home in the Shamlan district of northern Sanaa.

Medical sources said 13 Houthis had died on Saturday in fighting with the army in the capital.

Officials were not available to confirm the death tolls.

The ministry of education announced it would close schools from Sunday for the safety of students and teachers, the state news agency Saba reported.

The University of Sanaa, Yemen's biggest, was shut on Saturday after a mortar landed inside its grounds.

In recent weeks, Houthi protesters have blocked the main road to Sanaa's airport and held sit-ins at ministries. They have called for the government to step down, and for the restoration of subsidies cut by the state in July as part of economic reforms.

Ars Moriendi
10-07-2014, 02:18 AM
The UN brokered agreement has been made immaterial.

The Houthis armed forces have taken control of the entire capital of Yemen. The newspapers, radio and TV services of the government are under Houthi control, as well as the public offices (Ministries) and even the military base of the 1st Armoured Division right outisde Sanaa.

Following their capture of the city, the Houthis have proceeded to release a couple of Hezbollah operatives that had been previously captured by the Yemeni government. Even more intringuingly, a number of alleged members of the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard), the fighting core of the Islamic Republic have also been set free.

It would seem that such a move has earnt Abdelmalek Al-Houthi enough leverage in Tehran (as well as in Southern Beirut), to proceed with his plan to transform the Houthis into the main power of Yemen, with undisputed influence over most of the region.

Unlike what the UN agreement they had agreed upon a little while, the Houthi Forces have remained entrenched in Sanaa, and have refused to abandon the city like they did in Arman, back in July. While he does so, a large contingent of Houth fighters have been dispatched to gain control of yet another province: Marib.
The province is located east of Sanaa, and should the Houthis succesfully seize the wells and pipelines located there, they'd control yet another key asset of the country's economic infrastructure.

It's worth remembering that following their capture of the capital, they ordered the Finance Ministry, to stop all sorts of public payments except for the salaries of government employees. By adding the extractive hidrocarbure industry of Yemen to their assets, the Houthis would succesfully hold both the institutional and infrastructural cores of the Yemeni budget.

Seeing the rising momentum of the Houthis, ex-president Saleh, who waged war against them between 2004 and 2011, has left the country and pleaded asylum in Ethiopia. Most likely fearing reprisals against his actions as President of Yemen.


AQAP, has stopped observing and has started a new fighting campaign, this time (following the complete breakdown of the Yemeni military) against the Houthis of course. A number of assassinations and explosions have taken place already, killing a number of members of Ansarullah (the official name of the Houthis).
While doing so, AQAP has summoned all Yemeni Sunnis to wage war on the "infidel" Zaydis, thus adding more fuel to the sectarian tension fire.



Finally, and as an anecdotic evend that hightlights the growing crisis and breakdown of the the Yemeni State, the Malaysian government has begun repatriating all of its citizens from the country. Several charter planes have already begun moving all these people to Kuala Lumpur.


-------------------------------

A number of sources are available here, for you to complement and contrast my summary:

Houthis to Remain in Yemen Capital Until New Government Is Formed
http://www.abna.ir/english/service/middle-east-west-asia/archive/2014/10/06/642514/story.html

Houthis will stay in Yemen's capital Sanaa until a new government is formed, Dhaifallah al-Shami, a member of the Houthis' Political Office told RIA Novosti on Monday.

According to al-Shami, the group is to remain in the city until the establishment of a new government which can "provide security". Houthis are not to take part in the formation of the government, and will only supervise the authorities' implementation of their responsibilities, he said.

The group opposes the appointment of a prime minister, who is loyal to "foreign countries", he noted.

Al-Shami stated that so-called "people's committees" are more capable of providing security in Sanaa than their enemies, and those who demand that Houthis leave the city are provoking unrest and helping extremists.

The Houthis, a Zaidi Shia group, have been accusing the incumbent government in Sanaa of discrimination against Shiites. The group has been carrying out protests against the government since mid-August, calling for economic and political reforms.

According to Yemen's Health Ministry, about 300 people mostly from Houthis were killed in clashes between government forces and followers of the Houthi movement in late September. Hundreds of residents of Sanaa have been forced to flee for fear of escalation in violence.


Iranians, Hezbollah members among those freed from Yemen intelligence HQ: source
http://www.aawsat.net/2014/09/article55337033

http://www.aawsat.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/1411837900158173500.jpg
Shi'ite Houthi rebels man a checkpoint in the Yemeni capital Sana’a, on September 27, 2014. (Reuters/Khaled Abdullah)

Sana’a, Asharq Al-Awsat—Most of the prisoners freed from Yemen’s national security headquarters in Sana’a by Houthi rebels on Wednesday were Iranian military personnel and members of Lebanese Hezbollah, a Yemeni intelligence source told Asharq Al-Awsat, as clashes reignited in the capital early on Saturday between the Houthis and government forces.

The source, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media, added that many of the freed were “high-ranking” officers or “military trainers,” with some also “involved in smuggling arms into Yemen.”

The source said they were still in the country, particularly the Houthi strongholds of Saada and Amran.

The Shi’ite Houthi group overran the headquarters of the country’s intelligence service in central Sana’a on Wednesday, setting free a number of prisoners including the crew of an Iranian ship captured off the Yemeni coast in January 2013, which was allegedly being used to smuggle a large cache of weapons to Houthi militants.

A number of members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps were also reportedly among those set free.

Meanwhile, eyewitnesses reported that clashes broke out between armed Houthi rebels and government forces after the rebels attempted to raid the home of Ali Mohsin Al-Ahmar, the head of the country’s intelligence service, near the presidential palace early on Saturday.

The eyewitnesses said they had seen several dead and injured following the attacks by the rebels, which were blocked by the security forces guarding Ahmar’s home, and that both sides were continually receiving reinforcements, with the government side boosted by the arrival of members of the Yemeni Presidential Guard.

The Houthis, meanwhile, accused the security forces stationed outside Ahmar’s home of firing first, killing three and injuring eight of the group’s members during the clashes.

The Shi’ite group have been in control of large sections of the capital since last Saturday, following a month-long series of large protests staged by the group across Sana’a to demand the formation of a new government and the reinstatement of fuel subsidies.

A UN-brokered ceasefire was signed between the government and the Houthis last Sunday which stipulated an end to hostilities and the protests, the appointment of a new government, the reinstatement of subsidies, and the appointment of members of the Houthi-affiliate Ansar Allah to act as advisers to President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, together with some members of the pro-secessionist movement Al-Hirak.

However, clashes have continued despite the agreement, with the Houthis laying siege to several government buildings including the intelligence headquarters.

Meanwhile, eyewitnesses told Asharq Al-Awsat that unknown assailants fired rockets on the US embassy building in the capital on Saturday.

The eyewitnesses said the Houthis then took control of the security checkpoint next to the embassy and the Sheraton Hotel, which staff and security personnel from the embassy have been using as a base since a rocket attack by the Al-Qaeda-affiliate Ansar Al-Shari’a on the embassy in 2012.

Although Ansar Al-Shari’a claimed responsibility for the attack on Saturday, saying it was retaliating against an American drone attack in the northern Al-Jawf province on Friday, an embassy spokesman cast doubt on the group’s claim.

The spokesman told Asharq Al-Awsat there was “no reason to believe the attack was intended for the embassy,” adding that the Yemeni government was now looking into the matter.

One security source, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media, told Asharq Al-Awsat two rockets had hit the embassy building, and that there had been no casualties or injuries. The source said the security services were now investigating the attack.

Meanwhile, a Houthi spokesman said on Saturday that the movement had signed an addendum to the ceasefire agreement signed last Sunday, stipulating the end of fighting in Sana’a, Amran, Al-Jawf and Ma’rab, the withdrawal of all Houthi fighters from these areas, the redeployment of government forces to their posts, and the return of weapons seized from military and security installations and personnel.

The movements’ refusal to sign the agreement last week had fueled fears of continued large-scale clashes between the Houthis and the Yemeni government, and even outright civil war.

Yemen: Houthis push to control oil-rich province
http://www.aawsat.net/2014/10/article55337214
Source warns of violent clashes breaking out in home of the country’s main oil-export pipeline

http://www.aawsat.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/yemen-houthi.jpg
Member of the Shi’ite Muslim Houthi movement mans a machine gun during a patrol in Sanaa. (Reuters)

Sana’a, Asharq Al-Awsat—Yemen’s rebel militias are closing in on the oil-rich Marib province, a source told Asharq Al-Awsat, as uncertainty continues to shroud the country’s political scene.
Houthi militants launched on Friday a military campaign to seize control of oil and electricity facilities in the Marib province, 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of the capital Sana’a, as part of the group’s efforts to boost its control of the country’s natural resources, a political source who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Militants loyal to Shi’ite leader Abdel Malik Al-Houthi have remained in full control of state buildings after almost two weeks of storming the Yemeni capital.

It was reported that dozens of Houthi rebels have been deployed recently near the country’s key oil and electricity facilities, including the Ministry of Oil and Minerals, Masila Petroleum Exploration and Production Company and Yemen Oil and Gas Corporation, among others.

Controlling oil and electricity resources in Yemen will give a boost to the group that is almost in full control of all public funds, he said.

The source warned of violent clashes breaking out in the province which is home to the country’s main oil-export pipeline.

On Thursday, Houthi rebels ordered the Ministry of Finance to suspend all public payments except salaries to government workers in a step they said was aimed at protecting government funds.

The Shi’ite movement has also banned the Ministry of Civil Service and Insurance from making any decisions regarding employment until a new government is formed under an UN-brokered deal, the source said.

Meanwhile, no progress has been made in government formation talks between President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and Houthis, a source said.

“Houthis want almost entirely to control government formation, a process which is supposed to be agreed by all parties,” a government source who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The official also warned that “Houthis will fail to honour their agreement with the UN Envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar to withdraw from Sana’a before Eid Al-Adha holiday.”

Last month, Yemen’s central government and Houthis signed a deal under the aegis of the UN to put an end to the crisis that has engulfed the country. The terms of the agreement included forming a new cabinet, reversing a controversial fuel subsidy cut and allowing Shi’ite rebels wider participation in the government.

AQAP attacks Houthis in Amran, Sana'aç
http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2014/10/aqap_attacks_houthis_in_amran.php?utm_source=feedb urner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LongWarJournalSiteWide+(The+L ong+War+Journal+(Site-Wide))

On Oct. 5, a Twitter account (https://twitter.com/ansarnews111) affiliated with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed credit for attacks targeting the Houthi rebels that took place on Oct. 2 and Oct. 3 in Amran and Sana'a provinces, respectively.

AQAP claims (https://twitter.com/ansarnews111/status/518677943875559424) to have attacked a Houthi gathering with an improvised explosive device (IED) in northern Amran province on Oct. 2. The statement posted on Twitter states that AQAP fighters detonated the IED in the al Ahnoum region of Amran where a gathering of Houthis was taking place. Although the AQAP media wing, "Ansar al Shariah News," did not have any details regarding the result of the attack, the AQAP statement noted that local media outlets report that the attack led to the death or injury of 15 Houthis.

The second AQAP attack (https://twitter.com/ansarnews111/status/518680499137810432) took place on Oct. 3 in Sana'a and targeted what AQAP referred to as a "Houthi headquarters in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a." This attack was carried out by AQAP fighters lobbing a grenade on the "Houthi headquarters" in the Habra region of Sana'a. The AQAP statement on the attack claimed vaguely that the guards protecting the headquarters were killed and injured in the attack.

These latest developments come amid an escalation of AQAP attacks against the Yemeni military and the Shiite Houthi rebels. The Houthis staged a lightning sweep (http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2014/09/houthi_rebels_sweep.php)of Sana'a on Sept. 22 and quickly consolidated their power in the capital in the following days. Since then, AQAP has declared an open war (http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2014/09/in_the_midst_of_a.php) against the Houthis and called on Sunnis to take up arms against the Shiite rebels.

Yemen's Saleh seeks refuge in Ethiopia
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/14498-yemens-saleh-seeks-refuge-in-ethiopia

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/images/article_images/people/ali-abdullah-salah.jpg

Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has decided to flee to Ethiopia to escape a likely attack by armed Houthi militias, after the group directed many threats at him and besieged his home, a media source close to the presidential palace said.

The news website Yemen Ethadi reported that "the regional and international pressure exerted on the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh aims to force him to leave political life and Yemen".

"Ethiopia received a request from former President Saleh to reside there and it accepted the request on the condition that he does not partake in any political activities during his stay on its territory," the site continued.

Al-Quds Al-Arabi quoted informed sources as saying that the Houthis besieging Saleh's home after the fall of Sanaa. He received threats from militants who want revenge for the six wars that took place during his reign against the group between 2004 and 2010; the first of which lead to the death of the founder of the Houthis, Hussein Badreddin Al-Houthi, in Saada.

First batch of 61 Malaysians evacuated from Yemen
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/10/06/yemen-first-batch-of-malaysian-evacuees-to-arrive-home/

KUALA LUMPUR: The first batch of 61 Malaysians have left Sana'a, the capital of Yemen, for Malaysia in three separate flights.

Wisma Putra said in a statement that the first two groups of 41 evacuees are expected to arrive at KL International Airport (KLIA) at 8.55am and 8.30pm, Tuesday.

"The third group of 20 is expected to arrive at KLIA at 8.25am on Wednesday," it said.

The statement said the government decided to bring back the Malaysians in view of the current situation in Yemen and as a precautionary measure.

The National Security Council and the Foreign Ministry together with the embassy of Malaysia in Sana'a are working closely in coordinating the exercise.

"The government, through the embassy, has provided temporary accommodation to 449 Malaysians since Sept 19. The embassy will continue to provide assistance to all Malaysians with the support of the Malaysian Students Association in Yemen (Permaya) until their safe return to Malaysia," it said.

Yemen's latest conflict occurred following the battle between the Houthis movement and the military that saw the rebels seizing important institutions in the capital city.

The Foreign Ministry also advised all Malaysians to avoid or postpone all unnecessary travel to Yemen due to the current situation, which it said remained fluid.

"The ministry also seeks the cooperation of Malaysians who are still in Yemen to register with the embassy if they have not done so," it said.

Malaysians who require assistance can contact the Malaysian Embassy in Yemen via 009671429781 and 009671429782 or e-mail mwsanaa. - Bernama

Ars Moriendi
10-13-2014, 05:39 PM
A new Prime Minister has been named, with the agreement of the Houthis (that had previously refused Hadi's office director as a possible choice for position).
It remains to be seen if this time, Ansarullah's forces will be withdrawn from Sanaa.

A new number of attacks by AQAP have targetted some of their camps, killing dozens of people.


Yemen: Khaled Bahah Announced as New Prime Minister
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/yemen-khaled-bahah-announced-new-prime-minister-1469787

By Thomas Wyke
http://d.ibtimes.co.uk/en/full/1397869/houthi-protest-sanaa.jpg?w=720&h=554&l=50&t=40
Soldiers loyal to the Shi'ite Houthi group shout slogans during an anti-government rally in Sana'a

Yemen's President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi has named former oil minister Khaled Bahah as the country's new prime minister.

Yemen's previous prime minister, Mohammed Basindwa, stepped down on 21 September. (http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/yemen-prime-minister-mohammed-basindwa-resigns-rebels-take-control-government-headquarters-1466498) Basindwa had been heavily criticised for the government's failings in preventing the Houthis, a Shi'ite rebel group, from seizing the Yemeni city of Sana'a.

Bahah hails from Hadhramout, south Yemen and studied at the University of Pune.

The 58-year-old leaves his job as permanent representative to the United Nations. He had previously held the position of oil minister for four months and served as the Yemeni ambassador to Canada.

Bahah also supported the 2011 revolution, which led to the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

It is hoped that Bahah will be a unifying figure at a time of deep division within the country. The Houthis have already welcomed the decision to appoint Bahah.

Abdelmalek al-Ejri, a member of the Houthi political bureau, said: "We believe Bahah is the right person. His appointment will help the country overcome the difficulties it is going through."

It was initially thought that Hadi's office director, Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, was going to be the new prime minister but his nomination was rejected by the Houthis last Thursday. The Houthis viewed the proposed appointment of Mubarak as being an attempt to improve relations with Washington.

The Houthis, who are mainly based in the north of the country, have been refusing to leave Sana'a until a new inclusive government has been formed.

Last week, a triple suicide bomb (http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/yemen-suicide-bomb-shiite-houthi-kills-42-sanaa-1469216) attack in Hadhramout left 42 civilians dead, including several children. The attack, which appears to have targeted Houthi supporters, was later claimed by Ansar al-Sharia, a terror cell affiliated with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

The UN Security Council is expected to hold a meeting on Monday, focusing on the current security and political situation in Yemen.

AQAP claims credit for attacks in Sana'a
http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2014/10/aqap_claims_credit_for_attacks.php

By OREN ADAKI

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released statements today claiming credit for two attacks in Sana'a, the Yemeni capital. The first of these attacks was the massive suicide attack that took place on the morning of Oct. 9 in Tahrir Square, while the second occurred the following day.

AQAP claimed (https://twitter.com/ansarnews111/status/520601441086754816) that "more than fifty rafidi [Shi'ite] Houthis" were killed and tens were injured in the Oct. 9 suicide attack that targeted a gathering of Houthi supporters preparing for demonstrations in Sana'a. According to the statement (https://twitter.com/ansarnews111/status/520601441086754816), the attack was carried out by Abu Mu'awiyah al Sana'ani, who detonated his explosive belt as Houthi supporters amassed in the city square. Although the statement says it is difficult to determine the exact number of casualties resulting from the attack, it notes that local and international media outlets reported that more than 50 Houthis were killed and 150 others were severely injured.

Regarding the attack on Oct. 10, AQAP claimed (https://twitter.com/ansarnews111/status/520607133231226880) that its fighters targeted the Houthi leader Ibrahim al Mahtouri with a sticky explosive device which was detonated in his car at around 11:30 a.m. Al Mahtouri is a prominent Houthi figure and brother of Al Murtada bin Zayd al Mahtouri, a Zaydi Shiite religious authority. The AQAP statement (https://twitter.com/ansarnews111/status/520607133231226880)explained that the mujahideen had previously planted the explosive device in al Mahtouri's vehicle and detonated it while al Mahtouri was driving the vehicle in the Sa'wan neighborhood of Sana'a. Although the mujahideen could not confirm al Mahtouri's death, they claimed that he had suffered severe injuries as a result of the explosion.j