Buscador avanzado

Shiite Huthi rebels man a checkpoint at the southern entrance to the city of Sanaa 15 November 2014. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

In early 2014, I found myself in the sparsely furnished front room of a nondescript breezeblock villa in Aden, a city in southern Yemen that was once one of the busiest ports in the world. My host was a man who once fought alongside Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and later helped what would become the local al-Qaeda franchise gain a foothold in Yemen.

He was recounting how, in 1993, a distant relative had arrived at his hideout in the mountains of Abyan, to Aden’s east. The visitor, a senior military official who like my host hailed from Abyan, had come from Sanaa, Yemen’s capital, with a message from President Ali Abdullah Saleh.…  Seguir leyendo »

Bernie Sanders: We Must Stop Helping Saudi Arabia in Yemen

The likely assassination of the Saudi critic and Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi underscores how urgent it has become for the United States to redefine our relationship with Saudi Arabia, and to show that the Saudis do not have a blank check to continue violating human rights.

One place we can start is by ending United States support for the war in Yemen. Not only has this war created a humanitarian disaster in one of the world’s poorest countries, but also American involvement in this war has not been authorized by Congress and is therefore unconstitutional.

In March 2015, a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates started a war against Yemen’s Houthi rebels.…  Seguir leyendo »

I’m Afraid It Will Make Terrorism Worse

The day I left Yemen for the United States this past fall was a fairly typical one. On my way to the airport in Sanaa, I could hear the explosions of airstrikes. Out the car window, I could see people standing in long lines to get water and gunmen stationed at security checkpoints.

It had been a year and a half since Yemen’s war broke out. Somehow everyone I saw that morning had managed to survive the violence up to that point. More than 10,000 civilians had not.

On my first morning in California — where I am attending Stanford University — I woke up to the sound of birds chirping.…  Seguir leyendo »

The first counter-terrorism raid authorised by U.S. President Donald Trump over the weekend targeted al-Qaeda in Yemen. How effective was the operation, and what is known about the new administration’s broader strategy on Yemen?

The raid in al-Bayda, a key battlefront in Yemen’s civil war where al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and its local affiliate Ansar al-Sharia (AAS) are embedded in the conflict, is a good example of what not to do. The use of U.S. troops and the high number of civilian casualties – local sources report that at least ten women and children were killed – are deeply inflammatory and breed anti-American resentment across the Yemeni political spectrum that works to the advantage of AQAP.…  Seguir leyendo »

The conflict in Yemen is intensifying. The U.S. Navy launched cruise missiles at radar sites in areas controlled by Iran-backed Houthi forces in retaliation for attempted missile strikes on U.S. vessels, and Iran reportedly sent warships to the waters off Yemen. The moves risked bringing Iran into direct confrontation with the United States and Saudi Arabia, its ally. But while Iran will not skip an opportunity to poke its regional rival in the eye, Tehran does not want overt confrontation with the United States in Yemen.

The U.S. action came after two of its ships came under two separate missile attacks near the Bab al-Mandab straits.…  Seguir leyendo »

Mourners carry the coffin of Abdul Qader Helal, the mayor of Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, who was killed by an apparent Saudi-led air strike that ripped through a wake attended by some of the country's top political and security officials in Sanaa, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

In the early hours of Oct. 13, the American military carried out its first direct action against Houthi targets in Yemen, firing cruise missiles that destroyed three coastal radar sites. The strike was retaliation for two failed missile attacks on a U.S. Navy destroyer days earlier.

The Houthis presumably targeted the United States because of its support for Saudi Arabia, which has been bombing Houthi rebels and their allies in Yemen since March 2015.

Tensions in the region, already high, had been escalating for nearly a week. On Oct. 8, warplanes from a Saudi-led coalition bombed a funeral gathering in Yemen’s capital, killing at least 140 people and wounding hundreds of others in the deadliest attack since the start of the war.…  Seguir leyendo »

La reciente y dramática crisis en Yemen ha provocado un debate sobre si la administración del presidente estadounidense Barack Obama cometió un error al declarar que su estrategia de lucha contra el terrorismo en dicho país – centrada en ataques con aviones no tripulados o “drones” – es un éxito. En los hechos, tal como muestra un nuevo informe titulado “Muertes causadas por drones”, incluso si la crisis actual no hubiese entrado en erupción, los daños causados por los ataques con aviones estadounidenses no tripulados a los civiles yemenís deberían ser suficientes como para llevar a EE.UU. a repensar su estrategia.…  Seguir leyendo »

Boys who are part of the Houthi fighters hold weapons as they ride on the back of a patrol truck in Sanaa March 13, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

The recent evacuation of U.S. special operations forces in Yemen is a troubling trend for American involvement in the Middle East and North Africa, following the July 2014 evacuation of the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, Libya. The U.S. government claims that these evacuations are temporary, but American personnel are unlikely to return any time soon.

Given the way things are going in the region, and the expansion and overflow of conflicts from one country to another, there is no way that the United States can return to solid footing in Yemen or Libya in the next few years. In fact, Yemen is likely to turn into its own version of the Syrian civil war, complete with sectarian dynamics and inter-militia rivalries.…  Seguir leyendo »

News that the United States has suspended operations at its embassy in Yemen -- and reports that Houthi rebels have seized U.S. Marines' weapons -- have laid bare the failure of U.S. policy in the country.

The Houthis -- a Shiite insurgent group backed by Iran -- are now the key power brokers in Sanaa, Yemen's capital. They have also extended their presence far south of their historical northern stronghold, advances that prompted Yemen's entire executive branch to resign on January 22, following a successful siege of the presidential compound.

In the process, the Houthis have destroyed Yemen's legal government, thrown out its draft constitution, infiltrated its intelligence services and security forces, and demanded that all sides in Yemen's complex and acrimonious socio-political-economic system play by their rules.…  Seguir leyendo »

December 12 was supposed to be a day of celebration for the al-Ameri family. A young bride traveled to her wedding with her relatives in Bayda province, Yemen. But in a few dark seconds their celebrations were eviscerated. A U.S. drone fired at the wedding procession, destroying five vehicles and most of their occupants. Not even the bride’s car, ornately decorated in flowers for the occasion, was spared from the carnage. Senior Yemeni officials later admitted that the strike was a “mistake”.

Some mistake: Though the bride survived, the strike is said to have killed at least 14 civilians and injured 22 others, over a third of them seriously.…  Seguir leyendo »

Most news out of the Middle East these days is dispiriting: the devastating civil war in Syria, the autocratic nature of Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt, continued militia activity in Libya, a coalition collapse in Tunisia. Less discussed, and surprisingly positive, is the political situation in Yemen.

The United States has played a significant role in Yemen’s transition, which ushered out former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, in exchange for immunity, and inaugurated a unity government and consensus president that are overseeing a national dialogue launched last month. The United States has pledged support for the dialogue, which will lead to a constitutional referendum and new elections.…  Seguir leyendo »

Several recent attempted terrorist attacks – including the discovery late last month of printer cartridges packed with explosives on board two cargo planes bound for and, as now revealed, targeted at the United States – have put the spotlight on Yemen, the country from which the plot originated and where the suspected bomb-maker is believed to be hiding.

In addition to this most recent plot, the failed attempt to destroy a Northwest Airlines flight over Detroit in December 2009, and the failed attempt to detonate a car bomb in Times Square in March 2010, have some connection to the impoverished land at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula.…  Seguir leyendo »