Monday, December 14, 2009

Yemen conflict heating up

With the world's attention fixed on Copenhagen the escalating conflict along the Yemen-Saudi Arabia border in the far southwest of Asia is largely unnoticed. Originally an internal Yemeni affair with a long history, the fighting spilled into Saudi territory with a cross-border attack in early November in which at least one Saudi was killed. The fighting has been on in earnest since then.

With all concerned parties -- Zaidi rebels (aka Huthis), Yemen and Saudi Arabia -- issuing conflicting reports, it's impossible to know for certain what is really going on. The Zaidis claim to have taken and held a Saudi border post over the weekend. The Saudi air force is accused of "pouring phosphorus bombs on civilians."

Yemen accuses the Zaidis (Shias) of seeking to establish a regional caliphate with Iran supplying weaponry in support. Naturally, the Zaidis deny these charges.

Iran's Press TV now claims that not only is the US training Yemeni military personnel, its aircraft "have launched 28 attacks on the northwestern province of Sa'ada." If the US is actively involved, here's why:

American officials told The Daily Telegraph the country is becoming a "reserve" base for the terrorist network, which considers it a safe haven.

The deployment comes as Yemen's neighbours said they had arrested "dozens" of al-Qaeda fighters moving in and out of the country. Oman, a moderate Arab state on Yemen's border, is to increase the number of naval patrols around the Arabian peninsula to try to intercept suspected terrorists on the move between bases in Yemen and South Asia.

There's also this:

The United Nations which according to its charter is set up "to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace" has failed to adopt any concrete measures to help end the bloody war.

Be patient people, the UN has the climate change thing to sort out before moving on to situations where people are actually dying.


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