HEADLINES

Yemen: Words Versus Tweets – Spin Versus Truth

By Alistair Reign, May 31, 2016. Alistair Reign News Blog.

While reading The National’s article titled “After a year in Yemen, our resolve is firm”, I could not concentrate on the weak words, because the images of what the Yemen war and blockade looks like for the men, women, children and babies are far more powerful. The article expresses concern with a few feeble words of hope for peace soon.

After I read the article, I said out loud, “what the fuck, why is this article even given web space?

So I decided to give it worth – with a juxtaposition of words and tweets.

Begin The National’s spin.

Five Yemeni army recruits were killed in an ISIL-claimed bomb attack on Tuesday, as clashes broke out on several fronts on the second day of a UN-brokered truce. Seven other recruits were injured in the Aden attack, which struck the city’s northern Al Sheikh Othman district early in the morning.

Reality

Spin

The recruits were targeted as they waited for buses to take them east to Al Soban military camp, Brigadier Shalal Shaei, the director of Aden’s police, told The National. Army recruits usually wait at the same spot, near the Suzuki roundabout, every day.

The ISIL-affiliated Amaq News Agency said the extremist group was responsible for the bombing.

Reality

Spin

AFP reports, “The cessation of hostilities seems to be largely holding,” said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric on Monday, although he noted that there were “some pockets of violence”.

Also on Monday, the Saudi-led coalition of Arab states, which launched a military campaign against the rebels and their allies last March, described violations as “minor”.

Reality

Spin

Tuesday’s attack in Aden came as Yemen’s security and armed forces are implementing plans to liberate Aden and Lahj provinces from ISIL and Al Qaeda fighters.

The extremists have taken advantage of the ongoing fighting in Yemen to expand their reach in the country’s south.

Reality

Spin

Over the past two months, however, Saudi-led air strikes have begun to target Al Qaeda fighters in various provinces. And last month Yemeni forces, backed by UAE troops, drove Al Qaeda fighters from key areas of Aden, including Al Mansoura district, where the extremists had held the prison, main market and other public institutions for months.

More than 20 people were killed and dozens injured in three suicide car bombings claimed by ISIL in the southern Yemeni city of Aden on Friday night.

Reality

Spin

Casualties were still arriving at Al Naqeeb and Al Wali hospitals, officials said.

Reality

Spin

All of the casualties reported were from an attack on a security checkpoint near an electricity station in Aden’s central Mansoura district, which was targeted by an explosives-laden ambulance.

Reality

Spin

The two other bombs struck near checkpoints leading to a military camp belonging to the Saudi-led coalition that is supporting the Yemeni government against Shiite Houthi rebels and allied soldiers loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. Casualty figures from these attacks were not immediately available.

Reality

Spin

There was no claim of responsibility for the attacks.

Reality

Spin

Militants from ISIL and the Yemen-based branch of Al Qaeda have staged a number of attacks in Aden recently, taking advantage of the ongoing war against the Iran-backed Houthis and their allies who seized the capital Sanaa in 2014.

Reality

Spin

The government of president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi based itself in Aden after the southern port was liberated from rebel forces last July with the help of the Saudi-led coalition, in which the UAE is playing a key role.

Spin Photo

A street vendor plugs in decorations for Ramadan in Amman, Jordan. Photograph: Mohammad Hannon/AP

A street vendor plugs in decorations for Ramadan in Amman, Jordan. Photograph: Mohammad Hannon/AP

Spin

The start one year ago of Operation Decisive Storm comes as a reminder of the importance of the war in Yemen. The UAE joined the Saudi-led coalition campaign driven by its commitment and dedication to maintaining security and establishing peace in the region.

Reality

Spin

The coalition responded to the call by Yemen’s president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi to restore his internationally recognised government to power. Houthi rebels had captured the capital of Sanaa, with the support of Iran and loyalists to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and were advancing towards the southern city of Aden. On the way, they had killed civilians and destroyed neighbourhoods, leading to a vast humanitarian crisis. The Houthis’ disregard for Yemen’s security created fertile ground for extremism to thrive, leading to the latest attacks by ISIL that killed 20 people in Aden on Friday.

Reality

Spin

The precarious situation last year required swift intervention to guard against a wider conflict in the region. Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Cooperation Council allies, including the UAE, realised that the security of Yemen was critical for the Arabian Peninsula at large and that a military operation would be required. Iran, which has a history of meddling in regional affairs, has been backing the Shiite Houthi group to fulfil its own nefarious agenda of expanding its footprint in the Middle East. Quite simply, unless we had taken firm action, our security would have been at risk. This has come at a great cost, including the lives of more than 80 UAE martyrs.

Reality

Spin

The UAE has also contributed greatly to humanitarian efforts in Yemen, especially as Operation Retoring Hope got under way. More than Dh1.6 billion has been spent on infrastructure and aid programmes to provide our brothers and sisters there with electricity, food, health services, water, sanitation, fuel and transport. We will continue to help the civilian population. Of course, the ultimate goal is a political solution that restores the legitimate government.

Reality

Spin

Joining a military campaign is never an easy decision to make, but in this case it was a necessary one. As the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, said on Friday, the UAE is more powerful today with the sacrifice of its martyrs, and history will remember the important role Operation Decisive Storm has played in drawing “a line between acceptance and submission, and determination and will”.

Reality

Back to reality.

War has become anarchy at the hands of Islamic extremists – and al-Saud is the grandfather of them all – Saudi Arabia being the Islamic empire of Wahhabi; now they have occupied neighbouring Muslim populated countries, by violent force declared themselves an Islamic State. Now Saudis have destroyed Yemen; demolished its civilization; buildings razed to rubble; and genocide of its people.

🔝

References The National: After a year in Yemen, our resolve is firm


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