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Oil at 4-month high on fighting in Yemen
However, figures from the U.S. Energy Information Agency last week showed the oil glut in North America persists, with storage tanks at record highs. Most U.S. oil gets stored at Cushing, Oklahoma, in tanks that are now about 80 per cent full. Analysts …
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Saudi-US Slaughter in Yemen Shows Truth of Terror War Sham and Shame
Last week, the United States sent an armada to Yemen, to help enforce a blockade of the poverty-ridden country as it groans under the mass slaughter of Saudi Arabia’s American-backed war of aggression. Now the Saudis, employing the bombs they …
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Egypt Recommits to Saudi Airstrikes in Yemen
Egypt on Sunday extended by three months its military deployment outside of the Nile state’s borders in the Gulf, Red Sea and strategic Strait of Mandab, reports Reuters. That extension primarily comes to allow Egypt to continue its cooperation in a …
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Iranian warships begin escorting Yemen-bound cargo vessel - 18 May 2015

Two Iranian warships have begun escorting the Yemen-bound Iran Shahed cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden, the vessel’s captain said in remarks published by Iran’s Tasnim news agency on Monday.
“The 34th fleet has made contact with us and told us that they will keep an active presence alongside the aid ship,” Massoud Ghazi Mirsaid was quoted as saying by Tasnim, referring to a destroyer and a support vessel in the Gulf of Aden.
The warships will escort the cargo ship all the way to the port of Hodaida in western Yemen, which it is expected to reach on May 21, Mirsaid added.

The New ISIS Presence in Saudi Arabia and Yemen

May 23, 2015

The ISIS Regional Strategy for Saudi Arabia and Yemen

Institute for the Study of War

May 22, 2015

The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham conducted two major bombings on Shia mosques in the Arabian Peninsula today through its affiliates in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. ISIS claimed responsibility for an IED explosion that injured at least 13 Shia worshippers during Friday prayers in the al Sayyah Mosque in Sana'a, Yemen. ISIS also claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing on the Shia Imam Ali mosque in al-Qadeeh in the Shi'a Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. This latter attack  killed at least 20 individuals and wounding dozens more. In statements circulated by ISIS’s supporters on Twitter after the attacks, ISIS reportedly asserted that it would “expel all the unbelievers from the Arabian Peninsula.”

ISIS’s threat to Saudi Arabia is not new. ISIS declared its intent to attack both Saudi Arabia and Yemen in late 2014. Over the course of this year, ISIS has escalated its activities in both countries in order to increase regional disorder and undermine the Saudi-led Arab coalition. Today’s two attacks were possibly coordinated, reflecting an acceleration in an ongoing campaign by ISIS to destabilize Saudi Arabia and gain power in Yemen.

ISIS is executing a sophisticated global strategy. It is conducting simultaneous campaigns to defend its existing territory within Iraq and Syria, to foster affiliates in the Middle East and North Africa region, and to launch polarizing attacks in the rest of the world. Saudi Arabia and Yemen have been a part of ISIS’s global expansion since ISIS’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared wilayats, or governorates in both countries in November 2014. ISIS’s predecessor, al-Qaeda in Iraq, had cells recruiting foreign fighters in Saudi Arabia which ISIS may have used to establish attack cells. Since November 2014 ISIS’s supporters in Saudi Arabia have attempted numerous attacks, including a failed plot to bomb the American embassy in Riyadh in March 2015. ISIS’s operatives also have been linked to several drive-by shootings targeting police officers in Riyadh, most recently on May 8. Today’s suicide bombing in al-Qadeeh matches ISIS’s signature methodology, fueling sectarian tensions by explosively attacking a Shia place of worship. ISIS’s claim to the attack is supported by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s recent claim that it does not attack mosques. Yemen expert Alexis Knutsen confirms that attacking mosques “would be a sharp deviation from historical AQAP practice.”  Read more about ISIS’s plans in “ISIS’s Future Global Footprint: A Historical Perspective from the Sinjar Records.”

ISIS’s affiliates also intensified their activity in Yemen, where the internal war between the al Houthis and anti-al Houthi forces has enabled both AQAP and ISIS to increase their operations. ISIS is attempting to add a sectarian dimension to the Yemeni conflict. ISIS’s affiliates first targeted Yemeni Shia mosques in Sana'a on March 20, in one of the largest attacks in Yemen’s history. Since then ISIS’s affiliates have claimed numerous small attacks against al Houthi forces across the country, most recently in Al Bayda province on May                              17. ISIS consistently compares the al-Houthis to Shia militia forces in Iraq, indicating the organization’s conceptual linkage between its campaign in Iraq and its efforts in the wider region.

ISIS chose targets in Yemen and Saudi Arabia because it seeks to undermine both the Arab coalition and Iran and its proxies. Over the past week ISIS has released two major publications criticizing Saudi Arabia and its participation in the Yemeni conflict. ISIS’s leader al-Baghdadi released a speech on May 14, his first since late 2014, claiming that Saudi rulers, “the slaves of the Crusaders and the allies of the Jews,” had lost their legitimacy to lead the Sunni people because of their cooperation with the Shia in Iraq and because of their inaction in Syria and Palestine. ISIS also criticized Saudi Arabia in the latest issue of its English-language magazine Dabiq, released on May 21, further blaming Saudi leaders for supporting rebels allied with al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria.

ISIS’s strategy to compromise Saudi Arabia has already entailed a complex combination of attacks designed to compromise the Kingdom’s regional balance of power against Iran, its integrity as a state, its religious legitimacy, and its western alliances. ISIS’s attack in Saudi Arabia thus serves several goals. It undermines Saudi Arabia’s claim to internal security and encourages the exacerbation of sectarian tensions within the country. It also complicates Saudi Arabia’s leadership of an Arab-led coalition working to counter Iranian influence, by forcing Saudi Arabia to protect Shia populations within the kingdom as an internal security effort. It also requires Saudi Arabia to focus its anti-ISIS efforts at home rather than abroad, part of ISIS’s strategy to defend its caliphate lands inside Iraq and Syria. Paired with ISIS’s attack in Yemen, today’s events also highlight the growing possibility that ISIS may launch coordinated attacks using multiple regional affiliates. As we approach the one-year anniversary of ISIS’s capture of Mosul and declaration of a caliphate, it appears that the organization is more robust than ever. ISIS is expanding its operations, and exploiting state tensions across the Middle East in order to accelerate disorder and gain power.  

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Today's Top 3 International Stories: Nigeria, North Korea & Iran

1) Nigeria is attempting to crack down on Boko Haram, the military destroyed 10 of the terrorists’ camps in the past week. Women who have escaped the militants have described rape and abuse for those captured. 2) North Korea claims to have developed the ability to miniaturize nuclear weapons (to fit on a missile). This might not be true since it looks like the photos of their recent submarine…

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Yemen conflict: A passport out of war
Waves of Yemenis are taking to the sea in packed yachts or wooden dhows meant to ferry fishermen or livestock, not a people fleeing for their lives. The boats dock in Djibouti’s main harbour or the miniature port of Obock further north, a jumble of …
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UNESCO Warns About Damage to Sites in Yemen Fighting
UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has released a warning about the fighting in Yemen. It says that local World Heritage sites are in danger of being damaged or destroyed by the fighting between Houthi …
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Iranian Official Warns S. Arabia Not to Stop Ship to Yemen
The Iranian deputy chief of staff threatened the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen against stopping an Iranian ship yesterday (Tuesday). Gen. Masoud Jazayeri said that, should the ship be attacked, it would “spark a fire.” The vessel left Iran for Yemen on …
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South Yemen clashes kill dozens as ceasefire nears end

Sanaa (AFP) - Fierce clashes between rebels and pro-government forces killed dozens across south Yemen on Saturday, threatening to derail a humanitarian ceasefire drawn up to bring vital aid to the war-wracked country.

The five-day truce initiated by a Saudi-led coalition that has bombarded the Iran-backed rebels for more than six weeks expires late Sunday, and Riyadh has already warned it was “ready to act” against any ceasefire violations.

In the latest violence, at least 12 civilians were killed and 51 wounded when the Shiite Huthi rebels shelled several neighbourhoods in Yemen’s third city Taez, military and local sources said.

The clashes came after overnight fighting killed 26 rebels and militiamen loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh as well as 14 pro-government forces, military sources said.

The United Nations has expressed deep concern about the civilian death toll from the Saudi-led bombing as well as the humanitarian impact of an air and sea blockade imposed by the coalition.

It says more than 1,500 people have died in the conflict since late March.

Some aid has trickled into Yemen since the pause in fighting, but residents of areas where clashes persist complain they remain without the most basic supplies.

The fighting in Taez overnight forced many to flee to the countryside.

“Humanitarian aid hasn’t reached Taez, where we haven’t received fuel, food or medical equipment,” said a government official in the city.

However, UN refugee agency the UNHCR sent two planes loaded with aid to Sanaa on Saturday, airport sources said, while Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) medical crews also flew in to the capital.

The United Nations has called for the Saudi-led coalition to simplify import inspections after warning that supplies were still blocked. 

UN coordinator Johannes van der Klaauw warned that the inspections, introduced under an arms embargo slapped on the Huthi rebels last month, were hampering aid deliveries.

- Clashes despite truce -

“The arms embargo and its inspection regime results in commercial goods, be it by air or by ship, no longer reaching the country,” he said.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has accused the Huthis of repeatedly violating ceasefire terms, but the rebels have pledged to honour the truce.

“We are hoping that the Huthis will abide by the terms of the ceasefire and stop their aggressive behaviour if they want the ceasefire to hold,” he said.

But clashes rocked Aden on Saturday, an AFP correspondent said.

Heavy artillery, including tank shells, hit the city’s northern sector where rebels and troops loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi continue to fight over territory, including a main road into central Aden, military sources said.

West Aden was also hit by shelling, they added.

And in southern Daleh province, five Huthis were killed overnight when their convoy was ambushed, an official said.

The chaos in Yemen has been exploited by armed groups, including the country’s branch of Al-Qaeda, which is viewed by the United States as the world’s most dangerous.

A local official said 36 Yemen soldiers were kidnapped by suspected Al-Qaeda members overnight in the southern port of Mukalla.

The extremist group has controlled Mukalla, the capital of Yemen’s vast desert Hadramawt province, since April and has for months claimed deadly attacks against Yemen’s government-controlled armed forces.

The official said Al-Qaeda seized the soldiers late Friday after accusing them of supporting the Huthis.

In nearby Shabwa province, armed tribesmen took control of an oil-producing region after two days of clashes with rebel fighters, tribal and military sources said.

A conference on Sunday in Riyadh is set to bring rival Yemeni factions around the table in a bid to end the crisis, but the Huthis, who want talks to be held in Yemen, are boycotting the meeting.

Saudi Arabia has vowed to continue military action in Yemen until Hadi’s government is restored.

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On Native GroundIS the 2012 Election the Last Gasp of White Male Privilege?

As a onetime foreign correspondent who wrote from places like Northern Ireland, Iran, Pakistan, India, Vietnam and the Philippines, I see the riots in Cairo, the assassination in Benghazi and the friction in U.S-Israeli relations as part of one picture: a portrait of the Middle Eastern world preparing for war between Iran and Israel. There is no glue between the events in Libya and Egypt, and today’s demonstrations in Yemen, Morocco, Sudan, Iraq, Iran and Tunisia, except a deluded Israeli-American’s amateurish, offensive film about the Prophet Mohammad - in one scene the director has the Prophet put his head between a woman’s legs to see for himself there is no “devil” there.



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Russian navy helping Iran arm insurgents in Yemen
According to reports, Russia’s navy last Sunday docked in Yemen and helped to evacuated more than 650 people of different nationalities both by air and by sea. One Russian navy ship reportedly took in more than 308 evacuees last Sunday while about 350 …
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Islamic State claims Yemen mosque attack – IS Twitter statement
CAIRO (Reuters) – A bomb exploded at a Shi'ite Houthi mosque in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Friday, wounding 13 people, a security source said, and the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on Twitter. The bombing came …
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Have ISIS now established a stranglehold in Yemen?
The group in the video, which calls itself Soldiers of the Caliphate in Yemen, began to emerge late last year and it is believed that their aim is to take over Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has strongholds in the south and south-east …
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Iranian Warships Headed To Yemen Threatened To Fire C-802 Anti-Ship Misseles

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Yesterday Shoebat.com reported the seriousness of an Iranian destroyer headed to Yemen. Today, this same Iranian destroyer, Alborz, locked its missile systems on an invading vessel in the Gulf of Aden after a high-speed boat left Yemen’s coasts and rushed to attack it. This is indeed and as we stated a trigger happy mission aimed at stopping the blockade set by Saudi Arabia on Yemen and wants to send a message that neither Obama or Saudi Arabia can stop Iranian hegemony over the seas.

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Yemen’s War Shakes Up the Saudi Palace
In promoting his nephew and son, King Salman is passing the torch to the next generations of royals. Since 1902 the Kingdom has been ruled by the founder of the modern Kingdom Ibn Saud Abd Al Aziz or his sons. Now, Salman will be the last son to reign.
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Saudi warplanes target UNICEF aid ships: Yemeni media
Saudi fighter jets launched three “aerial attacks” on the ships which were bound for the northwestern Yemeni province of Sa'ada, Iranian news agency IRIB quoted Yemeni TV channel al-Masirah as saying. In its latest report released on Sunday, UNICEF …
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Isis: Who is behind the Islamic State’s latest franchise in war torn Yemen?
If the online video by a group calling itself Wilayat Sana'a is the real deal – and critics have pointed out that the nondescript desert setting could be anywhere in the Middle East – then Yemen will now officially join Libya, Somalia and Nigeria in …
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UK pension funds and the shameful use of cluster bombs in Yemen
While our attention was turned to the election, Saudi Arabia was dropping cluster bombs on impoverished men, women and children in Yemen, according to Human Rights Watch (Report, theguardian.com, 4 May). What is this to do with us? After all, the UK …
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Ambassador to UN: Send ground forces ‘to save Yemen
“We urge the international community to quickly intervene by land forces to save Yemen,” Yemeni Ambassador Khaled Alyemany said in a letter to the United Nations Security Council. The request came on the same day shells struck boats trying to flee the …
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Middle East Updates / Iran extends new credit line to Syria
Iraqi forces, local tribesmen stop ISIS attack on Anbar town; Saudi-led air strikes target Yemen capital of Sanaa; one killed, seven wounded in eastern Libya suicide attack; UN says Yemen crisis could open jihadist path via Somalia. By Haaretz | May 19 …
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Yemen truce broadly holds, but reports of violations

CAIRO (Reuters) - A five-day humanitarian truce in Yemen appeared to be broadly holding on Wednesday, despite reports of some air strikes overnight by Saudi-led forces and continued actions by the country’s dominant Houthi group in the east.