Saturday, August 15, 2009

Meanwhile, in Yemen....

There's a major civil war going on in the Middle East, and it has nothing to do with Israel.

Don't be surprised if you haven't heard about it. After all, it is Arabs killing Arabs, and that doesn't make news.

From the pro-government Yemen Observer:
Five Yemeni soldiers and 16 from al-Houthi rebels were killed in the clashes between the Yemeni military and Shiite rebels of al-Houthi in the governorate of Sa'adah in the early hours of Friday morning.

Clashes between the warring parties entered into its fourth day in which the government forces have tightened its siege around Sa'adah. According to official sources the al-Houthi rebels have opt for violence and rejected all calls for peace.

Governor of Sa'adah Hassan Mana'a accused al-Houthi rebels of kidnapping 15 local aid workers working for the Red Crescent when they attacked the refugee camp in the al-Anad district.

The al-Houthi followers attacked on Friday the agriculture office in the al-Anad district damaging equipments, furniture and irrigation network that supposed to be distributed to hundreds of farmers, said Mana'a.

As a result of the war in the area around 17,000 families were forced to leave their villages in 10 districts of the province's 15 districts over the past four days.

Military sources said the rebels of al-Houthi killed four tribal chiefs and 15 civilians, among them were women and children.

So is the Yemeni government going after the Houthis in ways that would make human rights organizations happy? Apparently not:

The latest attacks came a day after air force planes hit an outdoor market in the provincial town of Haydan as people were doing their early morning shopping, killing several civilians, according to rebels and local officials.

They also claimed that in a renewed bombardment, with sorties overnight and into early Thursday, military planes bombed several other Saada towns and rebel positions. "Dozens" of people were killed and wounded, including in the towns of Sihar, Miran and Al-Maqash.

A statement from the rebel leader Abdel Malik al-Hawthi, posted on the group's Web site, described the attack as "a mass carnage" and appealed to Yemen's political parties to condemn the government strikes. It said an unspecified number of civilians died and posted gruesome photos of victims allegedly killed in the bombardment.

The Houthis are also claiming that the government has dropped white phosphorus munitions on them, which the government denies.

Over the years, thousands have died in this Yemen civil war.

Of course, everyone knows that. It is on the front pages of all the newspapers, right?