Yemen: Sad Reflections

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February 19, 2013: Details surfaced of a UAV attack last month where the top cleric for al Qaeda in Yemen was killed. Nasser al Wuhayshi actually escaped the initial missile attack on his convoy and fled to the nearby hills. But a second missile got him as he sought shelter. There have been three times as many UAV attacks in Yemen this year (53) compared to the same period last year (18).

Western media recently went public about U.S. UAVs operating from a Saudi Arabian air base. The Saudi government said nothing and there was not much response from average Saudis. Since the large number of Islamic terrorist attacks in Iraq during 2004-8, Al Qaeda and Islamic terrorism have lost their appeal to most Arabs. American UAVs killing al Qaeda men, especially leaders, is seen as a good thing.

Iran denies any involvement in smuggling weapons into Yemen but there is now enough evidence against Iran that the UN is joining the investigation.

Most Yemenis are dismayed at how their revolution turned out. While the corrupt Salehs are gone, they have been replaced by another bunch of corrupt (if somewhat less so) politicians. Arabs don’t like to think about what would have to change to eliminate the corruption, which many must now admit is the root cause of most of the problems in the region.

February 17, 2013: Soldiers rescued a Dutch man kidnapped on the 13th.

February 13, 2013: A Dutch man was kidnapped by tribesmen in the west. This is the sixth foreigner taken in the last year.  

February 12, 2013: UN investigators accuse Iran of supplying arms dealers in Yemen, who smuggle weapons across the Gulf of Aden to Somaliland and Puntland and then south to Somalia and al Shabaab (and anyone else who can pay). Bribes get the weapons into and through Somaliland and Puntland.  

February 11, 2013: Separatist violence in the south left two dead.

February 8, 2013: A pipeline near the Red Sea was bombed again, halting the flow of oil and much needed income for the government. The 320 kilometer long pipeline extends from oil fields in Marib to the Red Sea terminal for export. Such attacks cost the government a billion dollars in lost revenue last year.

 

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