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Saudi Resolve on Yemen Reflects Limits of U.S. Strategy
Cat : Yemen
Date : 23/04/2015                      Reader : 90

H.D.A : IT SEEMS NYT IS PRO ZIONIST.IT DID NOT MENTION THE ATTACK BY SALEH AND HOUTHY JUST MINUTES AFTER ENDING ATTACKS IN YEMEN!!THOSE TERRORISTS ATTACKED ARMY FLEET NO.35 IN TAIZ WHICH IS NOW UNDER THEIR CONTROL!!THAT IS WHY ALLIANCE STRIKED TAIZ,AND ANYWHERE ELSE CRIMINALS ATTACK SOUTH OR NORTH!!

 

 

NYT     22-4-2015

 

Saudi Resolve on Yemen Reflects Limits of U.S. Strategy

 

WASHINGTON — Saudi Arabia’s resumption of airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen on Wednesday, only hours after it abruptly declared a halt to most military operations, reflected the difficulty of finding a political solution to the crisis. It also showed the challenges facing the Obama administration as it increasingly relies on allies in the Middle East.

Senior Saudi officials made clear on Wednesday that they had not formally declared an end to bombing. Rather, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, said the campaign was shifting to a new phase — one in which Saudi airstrikes would be more limited and come only in response to Houthi attacks, such as the assault against Yemeni troops in Taiz.

 

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“The decision to calm matters now rests with them,” Mr. Jubeir told reporters at the Saudi Embassy here. He asserted that Saudi Arabia was curtailing its nearly monthlong strategic air campaign because it had ostensibly destroyed Houthi missiles, heavy weapons and aircraft that posed a threat to Saudi Arabia and the region.

 

The ambassador did not mention the intensifying international pressure, including from the Obama administration, to stop airstrikes that medical and relief organizations said were killing hundreds of civilians, and to lift an embargo on food, fuel, water and medicines that was contributing to a growing humanitarian catastrophe. But American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats privately acknowledged that this was clearly a factor in the Saudi calculation.

 

For an array of senior American officials engaged with senior Saudi officials in recent days — including Secretary of State John Kerry and John O. Brennan, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency — the challenge has been advising a crucial Middle East ally on how to carry out a complex military campaign whose results were starting to undercut larger political goals.

For now, the answer the Saudis have come up with is to recast the air campaign by putting the blame on the Houthis for provoking any further airstrikes and delaying a deal to end the fighting.

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“They’re worried about their own security. And of course we’ve supported them with their actions,” Jen Psaki, the White House communications director, said Wednesday on CNN, referring to the Saudis. “But, again, we’re trying to redirect this to a political discussion here.”

The administration has increasingly sought to work with and through allies in counterterrorism operations from West Africa to the Middle East rather than put a large number of American troops on the ground to quell crises. But the Saudi insistence on continuing to wield airstrikes as a cudgel, if necessary, to batter rebel Houthi leaders to the bargaining table, illustrates the limitations of that strategy.

“Once your clients have a quasi-independent military capacity, you lose some control over them,” said F. Gregory Gause III, a Middle East specialist at Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service.

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The Houthis issued a statement declaring that they were ready “to resume political dialogue” under United Nations auspices, but only after “a complete end to the aggression against Yemen and the lifting of the blockade.”

 

It was unclear whether the Saudi strikes were a resumption of the original operation under a different name — the Saudis are now calling it “Renewal of Hope” — but it seemed clear on Wednesday that the fighting was not near an end.

And despite the shift in the Saudi air campaign, one of the country’s principal goals remained unfulfilled: the return to power of the Yemeni president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was ousted by the Houthis and driven into exile in Saudi Arabia.

In several areas of Taiz, fierce clashes erupted between the Houthis and their allies, mostly militias allied with the former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and militiamen loyal to Mr. Hadi, according to Mohamed al-Haj, a member of the local council. The Houthi forces tried to advance on a base of a military brigade loyal to Mr. Hadi.

The warplanes struck the Houthis in the morning. “There are many deaths on both sides,” Mr. Haj said. Houthi fighters captured the base later Wednesday afternoon, residents said.

Mr. Jubeir said that the Saudi airstrikes had been carried out in Taiz on Wednesday after Houthi forces attacked Yemeni troops in the areas. He warned that Houthi forces were moving toward Aden from three directions, adding, “These are not the actions of a party that wants peace.”

In Aden, where weeks of urban warfare have destroyed neighborhoods and killed hundreds of people, there were exchanges of tank fire between the Houthis and their adversaries, mainly local fighters who favor an independent southern state, residents said.

“The Houthis are still bombing and still sniping people,” one local fighter said. “They have not started moving away from Aden.”

 

Hundreds of Saudi airstrikes have destroyed military installations around the country — including those belonging to counterterrorism troops trained by the United States — and, frequently, have killed or wounded Yemeni civilians.

Nearly 1,000 people have been killed in more than three weeks of fighting since the bombing campaign began, while more than 150,000 have been displaced, according to the United Nations. Many who have fled the violence have ended up in the East African country of Djibouti, a short boat trip across a narrow waterway separating it from Yemen.

International humanitarian organizations operating in Yemen have increasingly been caught up in the strikes. This week, Oxfam, the relief organization, said the Saudi-led coalition had bombed one of its storage facilities in northern Yemen, a warehouse that “served no military purpose,” the group said.

On Tuesday, the International Medical Corps said that a coalition airstrike this week in Sana, the Yemeni capital, had wounded six of its workers. Its staff members, the group said, “now find themselves on the front lines of this fight.”

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Mr. Jubeir said he did not see a role for Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional rival, in potential political talks on Yemen. Iran, he said, is “part of the problem, not part of the solution.”

Mr. Jubeir also repeated allegations that Iran has been providing money and arms to the Houthis. That is a claim that the Iranians, Houthis and some analysts say the Saudis have exaggerated. But it is a charge that the United States takes seriously.

 

 
Indeed, American officials said Wednesday that they were monitoring a convoy of Iranian ships that intelligence analysts believed was carrying weapons, including rockets, missiles and coastal mines, bound for Houthi fighters. Several other allied ships are patrolling those waters and have vowed to prevent the Iranian ships from delivering their cargo.

In an interview Tuesday, Mr. Obama alluded to the threat of sea mines disrupting international waterways, which had not been previously reported.

“There’s a reason why we keep some of our ships in the Persian Gulf region, and that is to make sure we maintain freedom of navigation,” Mr. Obama told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. “And what we’ve said to them is if there are weapons delivered to factions within Yemen that could threaten navigation, that’s a problem.”

 


 
 
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