Thursday, August 18, 2011

11 al-Qaida militants killed in ambush by tribal fighters in south Yemen

[ 18 Aug 2011 00:02 ]

At least 11 al-Qaida militants were killed and dozens of others injured on Thursday in an ambush set up by tribal fighters in Yemen’s southern province of Abyan, a local tribal chief said, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Tribal fighters ambushed a convoy of the al-Qaida militants coming from the coastal city of Shakra which they seized Wednesday afternoon, killing at least 11 militants and injuring dozens of others, the tribal chief told Xinhua, who asked to remain anonymous.

Al-Qaida militants managed on Wednesday to gain control of Shakra, some 35 km east of Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province, expelling the armed tribesmen who seized the city a month ago from the government troops.

The al-Qaida militants struck the fortifications of the tribal fighters from different parts of Shakra city on Wednesday using armored vehicles and heavy machine guns, according to local residents.

A number of Abyan’s powerful tribes were engaged in the fighting against the al-Qaida militants.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula seized control of a number of southern cities including Zinjibar and Jaar late in May, and the Yemeni government forces have intensified the crackdown to push them out.

VP calls US Assistant President for Counterterrorism

SANA'A, Aug. 18 (Saba) – Vice President Abdu Rabo Mansour Hadi made on Thursday a phone call with John Brennan, the U.S. Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.

During the call, they talked on the political, economic and security situation in Yemen in the current difficult circumstances experienced by the country, as well as issues and topics related to cooperation and the fight against terrorism.

Hadi affirmed the importance of the U.S. cooperation with Yemen to help get out of this crisis, which has badly affected the overall daily life of the people.

For his part, the U.S. official expressed full understanding of the situation, confirming his country's readiness to provide the possible assistance and necessary support as his country is keen on the security, stability and unity of Yemen.

Opposition council ignored by officials and denied by some of its members

By Nasser Arrabyee,


The Yemeni opposition groups declared an umbrella council on Wednesday to escalate their pressure on the defiant President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.

The opposition step came only one day after President Saleh vowed he would return very soon.

The opposition say their umbrella , the national council, will unite their forces and lead the revolution until all goals are achieved.

The deputy minister of information Abdu Al Janadi said the majority is still with president Saleh and his party.

"We do not care at all about this council, we still have the majority and President still has the majority," Al Janadi commented.

20 members and chairman will be elected for the council from among 142 members who were chosen on Wednesday July 17the, 2011.

The 142 includes all leaders of the main opposition parties which includes the Islamists, Socialists and Nasserites.

Youth and other opposition groups like Houthi, south separatist movement, and opposition abroad are represented in the list of 143.

However, some groups and individuals have already denied their approval and participation in the conference of Wednesday which was held in the university of Sanaa which is under the control of the defected army of general Ali Muhsen.

The opposition party of Ray, denied their approval and participation in the council.

The top three officials of the Ray party were put in the list 142 of the council.

The tribal leader Naji Al Shayef, historic head of Bakil tribe, the second most influential tribe after Hashed, denied his approval and his knowledge of the council . His name was one of the 143.

More than 50 per cent of the 143 chosen members were absent from the founding conference of Wednesday.

The ruling party played down the importance of the opposition council.

In a statement,the party said some of those chosen for the council are high way robbers and criminals.

Yemen's opposition forms national council

Mohammed al Qadhi
Aug 17, 2011
SANAA // Yemen's main opposition coalition yesterday formed a national council aimed at taking power from the embattled president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is recuperating in Saudi Arabia from injuries he received in an attack on his compound in June.
In a meeting attended by about 1,000 people representing political, military, youth and tribal groups, a National Council for the Forces of the Peaceful Revolution was formed. The 143-member council will choose 20 members to make up an executive committee.
"Our concern about the country has pushed us to establish the council. It is meant to secure the country in case the regime starts a war or tries to generate chaos and (creates a) vacuum," said Mohammed Saleh Basindwah, chairman of the Join Meeting Party (JMP) Preparatory Committee of the National Dialogue. The JMP is an umbrella group of opposition parties.
Mr Basindwah, a former foreign minister, said in a speech at Sanaa University, where the groups met amid tight security, that there is no option but to escalate protest activities against "the rest of the family regime, and overthrow them" and "coordinate all efforts among all revolution forces".
Protests that began early this year in Sanaa and other cities calling for Mr Saleh to step down have frequently turned violent. Three times Mr Saleh has backed out of Gulf Cooperation Council-brokered deal in which he would cede power within 30 days in exchange for immunity from prosecution.
Ahmed Al Sufi, an aide to Mr Saleh, said the establishment of the national council represents "a declaration of war on all state institutions and these institutions will be forced to fight this war".
"We do not accept that there are two sources for legitimacy and we are not ready to talks with this body which is unconstitutional and is a coup against the state," Mr Al Sufi told The National yesterday.
On Tuesday, Mr Saleh vowed to return home "soon" from Saudi Arabia and lashed out at his opponents. He accused the JMP of having "narrow interests" and "stealing" the slogans of young protesters.
"The crisis was provoked by political forces whose aim is to take power," said Mr Saleh, who has ruled Yemen for 33 years.
Sheikh Sadeq Al Ahmar, a leader of Yemen's most influential tribal confederation, supports the new council, but told the gathering at the university that "we need an action and not talk."
Ahmed Al Zurkah, an independent analyst in Sanaa, said forming the council is an attempt to embarrass the international community that has been unable to convince Mr Saleh to step down.
"The opposition wants to show they have other cards to play if Saleh continues to refuse to leave power ... The idea of establishing the council is revolutionary but if the opposition continues to use it as a political pressure instrument, the result will be fruitless and might generate more frustration among angry protesters at the protests camps" said Mr Al Zurkah.
Source: The National

Islamists seize third Yemeni town-residents

ADEN | Wed Aug 17, 2011

Aug 17 (Reuters) - Islamist militants have taken control of the southern Yemeni coastal town of Shaqra, the third town to fall into their hands, tribal sources and residents said on Wednesday.

The tribal sources said government forces had allowed the militants to seize the town with little resistance. The militants, which the government says have ties to al Qaeda, entered the town in cars from another city already under their control.

US obstacle to regime change in Yemen'

August 17, 2011

The opposition in Yemen has announced the formation of the National Council for Peaceful Revolution forces.

The council aims to unify different forces across the country to ouster the regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh.

It consists of 143 members elected by 800 representatives of different opposition groups.

Those elected will now choose 20 members to make up an executive committee.

The announcement for the national counsel comes only a day after Saleh vowed to return to Yemen soon.

He has been receiving treatment in Riyadh since June after an attack on his palace.

Yemen's embattled ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh has once again defied calls to leave power as he's promised to return home soon.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Mohamed Qubaty, a Yemeni opposition activist, to further talk over the issue

The following is the text of the interview, which is also supported by two other guests:

Press TV: What do you make of Saleh's statements that he has made on Tuesday vowing to return to the country?

Qubaty: I think we should keep in mind that we are dealing with a man who is dishonest, unpredictable and untrustworthy then perhaps it's not quite baffling to hear him again speaking about his return, speaking to his colonies in spite of what we have heard that he has been advised by the Western countries and the Americans and perhaps even the GCC countries advised him not to return to Yemen because that is the recipe for disaster, especially after we heard that Sheikh Sadegh Al-Ahmar has vowed and he said that he'll never be ruled by this man again.

So I mean the man is…, obviously he doesn't mind playing with fire and he doesn't mind getting his fingers burnt, but does he realize that he actually, or perhaps he doesn't even care that he's pushing the whole country and the whole area into disaster and to burn the whole of the area, this is quite intriguing if this man speaks from Saudi Arabia with such, you know, I mean, after all the insults he has actually caused for them and he has directed to them and the embarrassment he has caused them because this man, you have heard that he said that he'll agree or he has agreed recently to sign the GCC initiative and speaking about his return he's turning the table against everybody and speaking from Riyadh I think this is quite an embarrassment for the West and for the Americans and for all people who say that the man has gone back and he is willing now to reach a compromise and to take advantage of the promises given for him to secure from further trials and be given some sort of amnesty, time I don't know…

Press TV: At this point in time how do you see Washington's role in all of this? Do they want a change in Yemen? Do you think that they are supporting revolutionaries? Or have they still put all their hopes on the Saleh regime?

Qubaty: Unfortunately we've heard what we could call as service toward encouraging the change in Yemen but we've not seen actual actions on the ground you know, we've heard the United States and the West saying that they're trying to convince Saleh to give up power and to transfer power and to allow change go forward in Yemen but unfortunately this man is now suddenly appearing on TV and he is promising his colonies he is going to return so he is pushing the country towards chaos, anarchy and disaster. This chaos and anarchy, actually does that help the interests of the United States? In the country chaos and anarchy will actually encourage more terrorism if the United States is worried about Al-Qaida, then Al-Qaida shouldn't be coming in such an environment. So I think the Americans have got to think once and twice, this man needs to be treated in a different way. I think till now we have not heard actual actions from the West, we have never seen till now any freezing of the funds of this man and his colonies, we have not seen any embargo on weapons to the country, we have not seen any sanctions against the country.

Press TV: Why is that the case? Why haven't we seen any of the things that you've just mentioned Mr. Qubaty?

Qubaty: I think at one time before the Americans had left the issue of sorting all the problems in Yemen in the hands of our friends in the region, you know there was some sort of cooperation between regional forces and global forces, so the regional forces were allowed to try and strike a sort of a solution and unfortunately Ali Abdullah Saleh has been- for the past four months - playing a game, his goals are very very clear, at one time he agrees that he will be signing this initiative and more than three times he has negated, so obviously this man is playing his game, he doesn't worry at all that to push the whole country into anarchy and he feels that he holds the world at ransom and nobody can actually confront him.

Press TV: What does it take at this point of time in your perspective for the Yemeni people to be victorious?

Qubaty: Well, I think Yemenis have got to go on a parallel pathway, one of the pathways should be the revolutionary pathway and the formation of an inclusive national assembly, this is more than urgent, it has been awaited for the past two or three months now and hopefully it should appear tomorrow and we should hear the names of the inclusive generals of our national assembly and from it an interim national council should be formed. The other way is for the politicians as well to get engaged with the rest of the world, we haven't seen the opposition actually engaged now with the United Nations, with the West, with the GCC countries, with all the forces in the region and globally, so that they can show the dangers this man is pushing the country into.

Source: Press TV