twitter

Friday, November 20, 2009

Did visit by McCain to Yemen precipitate anti-Shia offensive?

This is from an Iranian website although not not a government site. However the report is based upon an Arab website. It sounds rather conspiracy oriented. However there have been other reports that Yemen is allowing some Al Qaeda members to operate freely in return for support against the Houthi rebels who are Shia. There have been reports too that Iran is helping to finance the rebels. Certainly Yemen is in danger of losing part of its territory to separatists in the north but they are also facing rebellion in the south as well. No doubt the West is worried about Yemen and may indeed send troops. It has already carried out at least one drone attack. No doubt too that the US is happy enough that Saudi Arabia is attacking the rebels. However, to suppose that the US is actually actively recruiting Al Qaeda members to fight the rebels seems a bit of a stretch but then in the war on terror truth is often stranger than fiction!



Report: McCain's Yemen visit led to anti-Shia war

A recent air raid carried out on a residential area in the northern Yemeni province of Sa'dah by what were believed to be government or Saudi force
A meeting between the Yemeni president and a US delegation led by John McCain instigated the new round of fighting in northern Yemen, a report says.

At the time of the meeting, back in August, it was announced that the former US presidential candidate was meeting with Ali Abdullah Saleh to discuss the possibility of recruiting al-Qaeda forces for the Yemeni army, the Al-Minbar website reported.

According to the Arabic-language news outlet, the meeting focused on how al-Qaeda members could be persuaded to stand by the Yemeni army in the event of new clashes with the Shia Houthi fighters in the north.

The report said that McCain had embarked on the trip to Yemen after several closed-door discussions were held about the Arab state at the US congress.

The outcome of the secret discussions was a series of suggestions that were floated to President Barack Obama, the most important of which centered on the importance of "saving Yemen" before it becomes necessary to engage in a military intervention.

However, now that Sana'a and the US-backed Saudi government seem unable to defeat the fighters, despite repeated attacks and air raids, the US and their British allies plan to deploy their forces to Yemen, the site predicts.

As a prelude to the military attack, Washington has already released "hundreds" of al-Qaeda members from prisons in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Guantanamo and transferred them to Yemen with false nationalities, the report claimed.

The conflict between Sana'a and the Houthi fighters first began in 2004, but on August 11 the Yemeni army instigated a new wave of violence by launching a major offensive, dubbed Operation Scorched Earth, on the northern province of Sa'ada.

The government claimed that the fighters, who are named after their leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi, seek to restore the Shia Zaidi imamate system, which was overthrown in a 1962 coup.

The Houthis, however, said that they are defending their people against government marginalization policies which they say have been adopted under pressure from Saudi-backed Wahhabi extremists, who consider Shias heretics.

The Saudi Arabian government has aggravated the situation by launching an offensive against northern Yemen based on an allegation that the Houthi fighters had killed two of its soldiers on the border.

While Riyadh insists that it is targeting Houthi positions on 'Saudi territory', the fighters say Yemeni villages are being targeted with deadly phosphorous bombs, which cause massive injuries among the Shia civilian population.

As Sana'a does not allow independent media into the conflict zone, there are no clear estimates available as to how many people have been killed in the Shia province of Sa'ada since the beginning of the unrest in 2004 and in the recent violence.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), however, estimates that since 2004 up to 175,000 people have been displaced by the fighting.

No comments: