petej + civilwar   260

Yemen on the brink: how the UAE is profiting from the chaos of civil war | Ghaith Abdul-Ahad | News | The Guardian
In fact, it is no longer even a single war. It began as a conflict with two clear antagonists – the Saudi-led coalition allied with the government versus the Houthi militia supported by Iran. But the force and funding of outside intervention – especially from the UAE – has helped to fragment the war into multiple conflicts and local skirmishes that will not necessarily be ended by any peace agreement. Yemen is now a patchwork of heavily armed fiefdoms and chaotic areas, where commanders, war profiteers and a thousand bandit kings, like Ayman Askar, thrive.

There is a regional war between the north and the south – which were separate and often warring states before 1990. There is a sectarian conflict between Zaidi Shias, such as the Houthis, and Sunni Salafis. Beyond these major fault lines are many smaller conflicts, inflamed and aggravated by the money and weapons supplied by outside forces to anyone seen to advance their agenda.

The government of Yemen – with scores of ministers and deputy ministers – is dysfunctional and corrupt, and since 2015 has been in exile in a Saudi hotel compound. It has an army of more than 200,000 troops, although many of them haven’t been paid, or exist as ghost soldiers – names on a list, whose salaries are siphoned off by their commanding officers.

The Saudi-led coalition itself is riddled with conflicts and rivalries, with each of its principal members following a separate agenda and plotting against the others. In Taiz, a city in central Yemen that has been besieged and shelled by the Houthis for more than three years, the fighters on the coalition side are split into more than two dozen separate military factions – including local militias backed and sponsored by the UAE, as well as al-Qaida and other jihadis. Some fighters switch sides according to who is offering funds.
UAE  Yemen  civilWar  al-Qaeda  SaudiArabia  Houthis  separatism  sectarianism  MiddleEast 
december 2018 by petej
Patrick Cockburn · Underground in Raqqa · LRB 19 October 2017
KRG leaders wrongly believed that Turkey and Iran wouldn’t want to jeopardise their sizeable economic interests in Iraqi Kurdistan by objecting to the vote. But neither Turkey nor Iran can countenance the prospect of independence for Iraqi Kurds since it would inflame their own Kurdish minorities. Turkey’s reaction was especially hostile: the Kurds, Erdoğan said, ‘are not forming an independent state, they are opening a wound in the region to twist a knife in’. Barzani had cultivated good relations with Erdoğan, who now says that the relationship is finished: the KRG, ‘to which we provided all support, took steps against us, it will pay the price’. In future, he says, Turkey will deal only with the Iraqi government. Iraqi Kurds are hoping the US will once again come to their rescue by mediating between them and their opponents: they say the roads into Kurdistan are still open and that nothing has yet changed on the ground. The KRG may survive its present isolation but the risk is growing that the Kurdish quasi-states will go the same way as the caliphate.
ISIS  IslamicState  Syria  Iraq  Raqqa  tunnels  civilWar  Kurds  Erbil  Kobani  Turkey  Peshmerga  YPG  KRG  Rojava  territory  referendum  BarzaniMasoud  Erdogan  independence  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=CockburnPatrick 
october 2017 by petej
Patrick Cockburn · Who supplies the news?: Misreporting in Syria and Iraq · LRB 2 February 2017
There are many similarities between the sieges of Mosul and East Aleppo, but they were reported very differently. When civilians are killed or their houses destroyed during the US-led bombardment of Mosul, it is Islamic State that is said to be responsible for their deaths: they were being deployed as human shields. When Russia or Syria targets buildings in East Aleppo, Russia or Syria is blamed: the rebels have nothing to do with it. Heartrending images from East Aleppo showing dead, wounded and shellshocked children were broadcast around the world. But when, on 12 January, a video was posted online showing people searching for bodies in the ruins of a building in Mosul that appeared to have been destroyed by a US-led coalition airstrike, no Western television station carried the pictures. ‘We have got out 14 bodies so far,’ a haggard-looking man facing the camera says, ‘and there are still nine under the rubble.’
Syria  Aleppo  news  media  civilWar  atrocities  misinformation  JabhatAl-Nusra  al-Qaeda  Iraq  Mosul  IslamicState  ISIS  dctagged  dc:creator=CockburnPatrick  al-NusraFront 
april 2017 by petej
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