09/06/2018

Yemen: A military assault on Hodeidah will almost certainly have catastrophic humanitarian impact

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A bloody battle just ahead
Yemeni government forces, supported by the Arab Coalition, are preparing to launch an assault on Hodeida, a strategically important port on the Red Sea. This is not the port through which international aid and, according to the Yemeni government and the Coalition, Iranian arms are delivered to the Shiite Houthi rebels.
The problem is that the region is densely populated – about 600,000 inhabitants and displaced. However, the government forces do not seem to be in a position to win quickly over their adversaries, which means that the battle is likely to drag on, making the port inoperable. This means that the blockade of the areas controlled by the Shiite rebels will worsen, which suggests an explosion of the humanitarian catastrophe, already one of the worst the world has known.
For its part, the Arab Coalition draws attention to the risks posed by the Houthis to shipping in the Red Sea, an international communication route of vital importance, at least for Europe. Already, Houthi rebels have repeatedly attacked Saudi oil tankers off Hodeida. It is therefore unlikely that both sides will pay any attention to the UN’s calls for restraint.
A bloody battle in preparation
Yemeni government forces, supported by the Arab Coalition, are preparing to launch an assault on Hodeida, a strategically important port on the Red Sea. This is not the port through which international aid and, according to the Yemeni government and the Coalition, Iranian arms are delivered to the Shiite Houthi rebels.
The problem is that the region is densely populated – about 600,000 inhabitants and displaced. However, the government forces do not seem to be in a position to win quickly over their adversaries, which means that the battle is likely to drag on, making the port inoperable. This means that the blockade of the areas controlled by the Shiite rebels will worsen, which suggests an explosion of the humanitarian catastrophe, already one of the worst the world has known.
For its part, the Arab Coalition draws attention to the risks posed by the Houthis to shipping in the Red Sea, an international communication route of vital importance, at least for Europe. Already, Houthi rebels have repeatedly attacked Saudi oil tankers off Hodeida. It is therefore unlikely that both sides will pay any attention to the UN’s calls for restraint.
UN sounds alarm on Hodeida
Humanitarian agencies in Yemen are deeply worried by the likely impact of a possible military assault on the port city of Hodeidah. The UN and its partners estimate that as many as 600,000 civilians are currently living in and around Hodeidah.
“A military attack or siege on Hodeidah will impact hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians,” said Ms. Lise Grande, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen. “Humanitarian organisations have rushed to develop a contingency plan. In a prolonged worst case, we fear that as many as 250,000 people may lose everything— even their lives.”
In addition to being one of Yemen’s most densely populated areas, Hodeidah is the single most important point of entry for the food and basic supplies needed to prevent famine and a recurrence of a cholera epidemic. Close to 70 percent of Yemen’s imports, including commercial and humanitarian goods, enter through the ports of Hodeidah and Saleef, just to the north of Hodeidah.
Our top priority is helping to ensure the 22 million Yemenis who need some form of humanitarian aid and protection receive the assistance they need,” said Ms. Grande. “Cutting off imports through Hodeidah for any length of time will put Yemen’s population at extreme, unjustifiable risk.”
Across the country, people are desperate for food, medical help and protection. This is why humanitarian organisations have dramatically ramped up the amount of assistance we are providing. Yemen is already the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. With so many lives at stake, absolutely everything has to be done by the parties to the conflict to protect civilians and ensure they have the assistance they need to survive,” said Ms. Grande.
The UN and partners are requesting USD 3 billion through the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan to support 22.2 million people in need. To date, USD 1.5 billion, half of resources necessary for the year, has been received.

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Jean René Belliard
Groupe Ptolémée : +33757910350 

 

 

08/06/2018

Yémen: un assaut contre Hodeida aura un impact « catastrophique » sur les civils, prévient l’ONU

Cet article a été aussi publié en : enEnglish (Anglais) arالعربية (Arabe)

Une bataille sanglante en préparation
Les forces gouvernementales yéménites, appuyées par la Coalition arabe, se préparent à lancer l’assaut contre Hodeida, un port d’une importance stratégique considérable situé sur la Mer rouge. C’est par ce port qu’est acheminé l’aide internationale et, selon le gouvernement yéménite et la Coalition, les armes iraniennes à destination des rebelles chiites Houthis.
Le problème est que la région est très peuplée – environ 600.000 habitants et déplacés. Or, les forces gouvernementales ne semblent pas être en mesure de l’emporter rapidement sur leurs adversaires, ce qui signifie que la bataille risque de s’éterniser, rendant le port inopérable. En conséquences le blocus des zones contrôlées par les rebelles chiites va s’aggraver, ce qui laisse envisager une explosion de la catastrophe humanitaire, déjà l’une des pires que le monde ait connues.
De son côté, la Coalition arabe attire l’attention sur les risques que font peser les Houthis sur la navigation dans la Mer rouge, une voie de communication internationale d’une importance capitale, au moins pour l’Europe. Déjà, les rebelles houthis ont attaqué à plusieurs reprises des pétroliers saoudiens au large de Hodeida. Il est donc peu probable que les deux parties prêtent la moindre attention aux appels à la retenue lancés par l’ONU. 
L’ONU tire la sonnette d’alarme sur Hodeida

La coordinatrice humanitaire de l’ONU au Yémen a averti vendredi 8 juin 2018 que l’attaque des forces progouvernementales contre la ville portuaire de Hodeida (ouest), contrôlée par les rebelles houthis, aurait un « impact catastrophique » sur les civils.
600.000 civils coincés à Hodeida
« Une attaque militaire ou un siège touchera des centaines de milliers de civils innocents« , a dit Lise Grande dans un communiqué, dans lequel l’ONU estime à jusqu’à 600.000 le nombre de civils dans Hodeida et autour. « Dans les pires des cas, nous craignons que plus de 250.000 (d’entre eux) puissent tout perdre, même la vie », a mis en garde Mme Grande.
Hodeida, seul port d’entrée de l’aide humanitaire
Hodeida, sur la mer Rouge, est le principal point d’entrée des importations de marchandises et de l’aide humanitaire au Yémen, pays au bord de la famine et frappé par le choléra, qui vit « la pire crise humanitaire du monde » selon l’ONU.
Les troupes progouvernementales, appuyées par la coalition militaire commandée par l’Arabie saoudite, se rapprochent de cette ville portuaire d’où elles cherchent à chasser les rebelles chiites houthis, soutenus par l’Iran.
La coalition affirme que Hodeida est un point de départ pour des attaques rebelles en mer et le lieu par lequel l’Iran livrerait des armes aux houthis, ce que Téhéran dément.
« Notre priorité est de répondre aux besoins de 22 millions de Yéménites en aide humanitaire et en protection« , a affirmé la coordinatrice de l’ONU. Or une « coupure des importations via Hodeida pour une longue période fera courir à la population yéménite un risque injustifié« , a-t-elle dit.
Selon l’ONU, « près de 70% des importations yéménites, y compris les aides humanitaires et les médicaments, transitent par ce port et celui de Salif, juste au nord« .
Le médiateur de l’ONU au Yémen Martin Griffiths avait exprimé les mêmes préoccupations mardi à l’issue d’une visite à Sanaa, la capitale yéménite contrôlée par les rebelles.
« Outre les conséquences humanitaires d’une bataille, je suis aussi très inquiet concernant l’impact d’une telle attaque sur le processus politique » que l’ONU est « déterminée à faire avancer« , a dit M. Griffiths.
Le médiateur onusien a par ailleurs appelé « toutes les parties » au conflit à créer « un environnement favorable à la reprise » de négociations politiques.
Outre Hodeida et Sanaa, les houthis, issus de la minorité zaïdite (branche du chiisme), contrôlent depuis fin 2014 de vastes régions du nord et de l’ouest.
Depuis 2015, le conflit au Yémen a fait près de 10.000 morts et plus de 55.000 blessés.

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Jean René Belliard
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07/06/2018

June 5, 1967 – the six-day war was won by Mossad and Aman (military intelligence)

Cet article a été aussi publié en : frFrançais (French) esEspañol (Spanish) itItaliano (Italian)

(Excerpt from “Enfer des Espions” – New world 2010 edition – Jean René Belliard)
A historical reminder to think about
…Yuri Andropov, the new boss of the KGB is a strong and ambitious man. He took over the management of the agency in 1967. Andropov was an ambassador for the USSR. in Hungary at the time of the Budapest uprising against the communist regime. It is haunted by the idea that any communist regime could collapse like a house of cards. The secret police must therefore be constantly on the lookout for the grain. Andropov will lead the KGB. with an iron hand.
The Soviets have a vested interest in putting fuel on the fire in the Middle East. They believe that a conflict between Israel and the Arab states can only inflame the hatred of Jews among Arabs and consequently the hatred of those who support the Hebrew state: the United States and Western countries. They are increasing arms deliveries to Arab countries. They also put their intelligence networks at the service of their allies. Thus the Soviet government informed the Egyptian and Syrian governments that an Israeli attack could take place on 17 May 1967.
It is believed that this information was far-reaching and led both parties to war.
On May 15, the Israeli national holiday, the Tel Aviv government decides to organize a military parade in the Jewish area of Jerusalem. This military parade is for the Arabs only the camouflage of an offensive device. On 17 May, Egyptian and Syrian troops went on full alert. On the 18th, the Egyptian government demands the withdrawal of the United Nations Emergency Force (U.N.E.F.) from Gaza and Sinai. Mr. Thant, Secretary-General of the United Nations, was forced to follow Egypt’s request on 19 May.
On May 22, President Nasser announced the mining of the Strait of Tiran, the closure of the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli ships, as well as to foreign ships carrying strategic equipment to Israel. At the same time, 6 Egyptian divisions were heading towards the Israeli border.
On 31 May, King Hussein signed a mutual defence agreement with President Nasser between their two countries.
For the Israeli government, each of these events constitutes a casus belli. The Tel Aviv government is asking the United States to honour the commitments made by Eisenhower in 1957, which guarantee free access for ships bound for Eilat. But the Johnson administration is bogged down in the Vietnam conflict and can send nothing but an international fleet to clear the Tiran Strait.
Israeli spies contributed to the victory
On 5 June 1967, at dawn, the Israeli army attacked. Tsahal, the Israeli army, wins the victory in less than three hours. His air force destroyed most of Egypt’s air forces on the ground. The action was facilitated by the fact that “there was at least one Katsa or Mossad informant in all Egyptian air bases and headquarters. There were no less than three at the High Command Headquarters in Cairo – three staff officers returned.” (Secret History of Mossad” – Gordon Thomas – Editions Nouveau Monde. Page 64)
Israeli secret agents had discovered that between “7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m., the radar surveillance units reached their maximum vulnerability level.” (idem – page 65) As for the pilots, most did not show up at the hangars until around 8 a.m.”. At that time, the ground teams had already started to take the aircraft out of the hangars to refuel and arm them. For about 15 minutes, the tarmac was crowded with tankers and ammunition vehicles.” (idem – page 66)
Israeli aircraft strike at 0801 hours. In a few minutes the Israeli jets ensured total control of the air. Arab armies without air cover will suffer the biggest defeat in their history.
A defeat with far-reaching consequences for the Arabs
In six days, Egyptians, Syrians and Jordanians lost more than 30,000 men, 430 aircraft, 500 pieces of artillery, 800 tanks, 10,000 trucks and other transport vehicles, a submarine, several other naval units, as well as a Sol-Air SA2 missile base, found abandoned in the Sinai desert. Material losses will amount to approximately EUR 1.5 billion. On the Israeli side, 676 people were reported dead, 40 planes and 100 tanks destroyed.
The disaster is tragic for the Arab populations. Not only are hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees seeing the hope of seeing the houses from which they were driven in 1948 disappearing, but their ranks are still being swelled by 208,000 “displaced”. 115,000 people, already refugees, have returned to the exodus. The number of Palestinian refugees, scattered throughout the various Arab countries, now reaches 1,300,000 people. 1,061,400 Arabs have just come under Israeli control: 600,000 in the West Bank, 66,000 in the old city of Jerusalem, 356,000 in Gaza, 33,000 in the Sinai desert and 6400, mostly Druze, in the Golan.
A democratic problem for Israel
The Israelis have won such a crushing victory that it becomes impossible for them to understand the urgency of making peace with the Arabs. They prefer to cling to their territorial conquests. And not just any of them: they conquered most of the land of Israel which was the objective of the Zionist movement: they now control the old city of Jerusalem, Jericho, Hebron, Nablus and all those cities of the West Bank which are at the heart of the biblical land.
It is clear that the Israelis will not give up their conquests any time soon. As proof, the answer of Moshe Dayan, the Minister of Defence of the Israeli government to a question on a possible peace negotiation with King Hussein of Jordan: If he wants to speak, “he knows my telephone number”, implied, it is certainly not we who will actively seek to make peace!
But by clinging to all its conquests, Israel will find itself faced with a dilemma: How to remain a democratic state? As a result of his military victory, one million Palestinians, with a fertility rate higher than the Jews, came to swell the population of the Hebrew state. If Israel wants to remain a Jewish state, it can only do so by oppressing the legitimate aspirations of these Palestinians. There are three possible alternatives for Israel:
to be a Jewish state living in the whole land of Israel, but not democratic,
or
a democratic state throughout the land of Israel, but not Jewish,
or even
a Jewish and democratic state but not in the whole land of Israel.
There is something else: the Palestinian identity. Until 6 June 1967, there was no Palestinian people as such. There was the Palestinian refugee problem in a number of Arab countries. There were West Jordanian subjects of King Hussein of Jordan and there were inhabitants of Gaza Egyptian subjects. The inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza did not feel Palestinian but Jordanian or Egyptian. The conquest of the territories of the West Bank and Gaza will at the same time create a Palestinian problem within the very limits of the great Israel that the Israelis dream of creating.

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Jean René Belliard
Groupe Ptolémée : +33757910350