1. 12/23/09: "informed sources" say the border is calm, situation returning to normal in Saudi Arabia
This is the first time the Kingdom has given a death toll for the fighting between Saudi forces and Yemeni intruders, which began more than a month and a half ago. On Nov. 3, rebels killed a Saudi border guard and occupied two villages inside Saudi territory.
The following day, Saudi military jets began bombing enemy positions. Prince Khaled said that the main operation is now over. “The southern border is now under the complete control of Saudi forces.”
Informed sources told Arab News that the southern border area was calm on Tuesday.
Prince Khaled said Saudi forces would remain in the area until the last of the intruders are expelled.
“What we are doing now is bringing things to normal. We have also made arrangements to prevent infiltration and other crimes,” the minister told reporters.
He indicated that the infiltrators were backed by foreign parties. “It seems that their allegiance is not to their country.”
He praised Saudi forces for their bravery and their efforts in driving away the intruders.
2. 12/27/09: Riyadh continues air raids on North Yemen, Houthi rebels allege Saudis using white phosphorous on Yemeni civilians
Saudi fighter jets have launched another round of air strikes on Houthi positions in the northern part of Yemen along the border with the oil-rich Kingdom.
According to a statement released by the fighters on Thursday, Saudi forces carried out blitzes on the northern region of Jabal al-Ramih and the border area of al-Jabiri.
The statement added that Saudi forces had fired 879 rockets and carried out air strikes against rugged regions in the north. This came despite Tuesday claims by Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khaled bin Sultan that the bulk of operations against northern Yemeni fighters were now over.
The conflict in northern Yemen began in 2004 between Sana'a and Houthi fighters. The conflict intensified in August 2009 when the Yemeni army launched Operation Scorched Earth in an attempt to crush the fighters in the northern province of Sa'ada.
The Houthis accuse the Yemeni government of the violation of their civil rights, political, economic and religious marginalization as well as large-scale corruption.
Fighting between Saudi forces and Yemeni Shia resistance fighters, known as Houthis, began on November 3 when Houthis killed a Saudi border guard and occupied two villages inside Saudi territory. Saudi jets began bombing Houthi positions the following day.
Houthi fighters say that Riyadh pounds their positions and that Saudi forces strike Yemeni villages and indiscriminately target civilians. According to the fighters, Saudis use unconventional weapons such as white phosphorous bombs against civilians in northern Yemen.
The US military also continues its air raids on Yemen's northern regions of Amran, Hajjah and Sa'ada which have already been the target of joint Saudi-Yemen offensive against the Houthi fighters.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that since 2004, up to 175,000 people have been forced to leave their homes in Sa'ada and take refuge in overcrowded camps set up by the United Nations.
source: press tv
3. Yemeni lawmaker alleges Saudis engaging in vicious attacks on civilians, of course the US govt gives full support -- to Saudi Arabia and the Yemeni government
Yemeni lawmaker Yahya al-Houthi says Saudi Arabian warplanes are engaged in the relentless bombardment of civilian positions in Yemen's war-torn north.
In an interview with Press TV on Friday, the Yemeni lawmaker accused the Saudi army of using internationally banned weapons in its attacks on villages in the northern province of Sa'ada, regretting the high civilian toll from the raids.
emen's beleaguered north, bordering the Saudi kingdom, has been the scene of a massive military operation by the Saudi-Yemeni forces, since the Sana'a government stepped up its offensive against the Shia fighters in August.
The central government in Yemen says the Houthis are trying to force the return of clerical rule in the country.
Houthi fighters, however, reject the allegations, accusing the Sunni-dominated Riyadh and Sana'a governments of joining forces to uproot the Shia faith in the territory, and of hiring terrorist elements to reach this goal.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia says it will stop its bombing campaign if the Houthis leave the border area, which the Houthis maintain they will do only after Riyadh has stopped aiding the Yemeni army.
This is while the US has been launching airstrikes on the southeastern parts of the impoverished Arab nation in the past two weeks as part of a military pact it signed with Yemen.
Washington is reportedly providing Sana'a with firepower and intelligence in addition to some 70 million dollars worth of military aid Pentagon has poured into Yemen this year.
The White House on Friday once again reiterated President Barack Obama's support for the ongoing military operations across Yemen.
source: press tv
4. massive bomb attacks on villages at night
Houthi fighters in Yemen say Saudi warplanes have carried out several attacks on residential areas in the country's beleaguered north. In a statement released on Sunday, the fighters said that Saudi jets launched over 30 airstrikes on villages in the northern parts of the country.
Saudi forces have also fired some 660 rockets and artillery rounds at civilian areas along the border, websites close to the fighters reported. The warplanes reportedly fired more than 700 missiles overnight on the northern villages along the border with the kingdom on Saturday.
The raids continued with artillery bombardment, tank raids and mortar attacks on the areas, the Houthis reported.
Riyadh joined Yemen's offensive against the Houthi fighters in November and vowed to continue its raids until they move back from the frontier between Yemen and the kingdom.
The fighters accuse Riyadh of targeting civilian areas far from the Saudi-Yemeni border.
They also say the attacks have so far left scores of civilians killed and thousands of others displaced.
5. top Houthi rebel leader may be dead
DUBAI // The leader of Yemen’s Shi’ite rebels may have died after being severely wounded by government forces in the north of the country, a Yemeni government website reported on Sunday.
The rebels could not immediately be reached and their website did not comment on the reports.
...Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said the rebel leader was dead, citing unnamed Yemeni sources he was killed in an air strike. Yemeni news websites carried the same report.
There have been rumours about Abdul-Malik’s death in the past but the latest reports appear to be stronger.
...The United States and Saudi Arabia fear al Qa’eda will exploit instability in Yemen, which also faces a separatist movement in the south, to stage attacks on neighbouring states and beyond.
6. the rebels are fighting a guerrilla war, thus justifying indiscriminate killing of civilians by Saudi Arabia, which has "no choice," we're sure you understand. the dead civilians are "regrettable" but it's the rebels' fault. just like Hamas in Gaza forced the IOF to kill all those Palestinians last Christmas. it was self-defense.
...While Saudi Arabia is justified in taking action against the Houthis for their bold incursion and subsequent possession of some key territorial posts, the rapid escalation of the conflict is alarming. The Yemeni governmen claims that the Houthis are receiving arms and funds from Iran. With Yemen emerging as another proxy theatre for regional states on the lines of Lebanon and Iraq, the situation can be likened to a powder keg ready to explode.
...The problem facing Saudi forces is their reliance on conventional methods of warfare against the Houthis who are fighting a guerrilla war. While Saudi airstrikes against rebels have achieved some success they also pose a threat to civilians. It is something the rebels have taken advantage of having entrenched themselves among the civilians in villages.
...Yemen is already battling secessionists in its south and faces a serious challenge at the hands of a resurgent Al-Qaeda.
...Not only is the extremist group recruiting fighters for Iraq and Afghanistan, it is also planning terror attacks in neighbouring Saudi Arabia. It is only natural that it will take advantage of the ongoing instability at the Saudi-Yemen border and plan cross-border terror attacks inside the Kingdom.Other Gulf states also recognise the importance of stabilising Yemen and have expressed full support to Sanaa. Besides, there has been a demonstrable increase in border security to prevent terrorists and others from infiltration, across the states. In the wider interest of the region, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and others on the Arabian peninsula must come together to take on the challenge.
read more @ khaleej times
7. there's even a fence!
"The infiltration has reached massive proportions," a Saudi source said. "Thousands are crossing into the kingdom."
The Royal Saudi Army has been assigned responsibility for the border fence, the sources said. They said the initial stage stipulated a barbed wire barrier in areas used by Shi'ite rebels to enter Saudi Arabia, particularly along Mount Doud and Mount Dukhan.
In 2009, the Interior Ministry oversaw a project to begin installing an advanced security network along the border with Yemen, Middle East Newsline reported. But the sources said infiltrators have largely avoided areas of the border that contain the electronic fence, developed by prime contractor EADS.
The sources said EADS and other Western contractors were helping the latest Saudi border effort. They said EADS was installing infrared sensors and cameras along numerous points of the Saudi-Yemeni border.
Great Business Opportunities for defense contractors: Fencing the Kingdom: EADS lands huge Saudi Border deal. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
8. it gets even more fantastic. radical cleric who advised on 911 and FORT HOOD said to have survived airstrike in Yemen (links removed) as he was meeting with al Qaeda
The radical US cleric who is thought to have advised three of the Sept. 11 hijackers as well as the Muslim-American US Army major who went on a shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas, survived Thursday’s airstrike in Yemen’s Shabwa province.
Friends and relatives of Ansar al Awlaki claimed he was not killed in the attack, but they refused to disclose if he was in attendance at a meeting of al Qaeda leaders when it was hit by what the Yemeni government claimed were Yemeni Air Force fighter-bombers.
Awlaki was thought to have been attending a high-level meeting of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula on Dec. 24. He was at the meeting to provide the needed religious justification for a planned al Qaeda campaign to conduct attacks against Yemeni and US targets in response to the controversial Dec. 17 airstrikes against al Qaeda in Abyan and Sana’a, US intelligence officials told The Long War Journal.
Among those believed to be at the meeting were Nasir al Wuhayshi, the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula; his deputy Said al Shihri; and Fahd Mohammed Ahmed al Quso, an al Qaeda operative wanted by the FBI for his role in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000. Wuhayshi and Quso are also thought to have escaped the strike, while the status of Shihri is still unknown.
read more @ the long war journal
9. they just keep fitting the facts around the policy, been doing it for years and years
10. al Qaeda presence exaggerated, says Yemen
RIYADH – The Yemeni head of National Security, Ali Mohammed Al-Anisi, has described the “highest level” of information exchange with Saudi authorities as having a fundamental role in the “inseparable” security of the two countries.
...Al-Anisi said that the media exaggerated Al-Qaeda’s presence in Yemen.
...The security chief said that funding for Al-Qaeda in Yemen came from the sources the organization receives in the rest of the world.
“Those who fund Al-Qaeda around the world are known to us. There are sympathizers and organizations attacking Islam, as well as sources that believe they are confronting the United States,” he said. Infiltrator connection
The Al-Qaeda connection with infiltrators who have come into conflict with Saudi forces in Jizan is “obvious”, Al-Anisi said. “You might remember the astounding confessions of the Saudi Mohammed Al-Oufi Al-Harbi, along with some channels that have confirmed the link, and then there’s Al-Houthi who released a group of persons he captured, and the connection has become known.”
Mohammed Al-Oufi Al-Harbi, a senior Al-Qaeda figure in Yemen, handed himself into Saudi authorities in February this year and was later reported as saying that Iran and the Yemeni rebels had a connection with Al-Qaeda in Yemen, and had offered to supply the organization with finance and arms.
On infiltrator claims that Saudi forces had penetrated Yemen territory, Al-Anisi said they were “false and have no foundation in truth”.
“They want to spread the war by attacking the Saudi border as they think it will become a forgotten war if it remains within Yemeni borders. They want to make it a regional war, but by entering into hostilities at the Kingdom’ border they were met with a swift failure,” the security chief said.Iranian connection“If Iran had no connection to what is happening in Yemen it would condemn it and make its position clear,” Al-Anisi said. “Every country has condemned what’s happening except Iran.”
“The continuation of the war all this time shows that there is strong Iranian support for the rebel groups and terrorism in Sa’ada,” Al-Anisi said.
Asked why it was taking so long to announce details of the Iranian ship seized in Yemen waters last October which officials said was transporting arms destined for Yemeni rebels, Al-Anisi said it was still being held and that “the investigation is continuing”.
When asked on the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden, Al-Anisi replied: “If the United States don’t know where he is, how would we? I think the question should be put to the United States.” – Okaz/SG
read more @ saudi gazette