Yemeni peace talks sabotaged in Geneva

After nearly a week of discussions in Geneva, Switzerland, United Nations talks to end the fighting in Yemen have adjourned with no resolution to the months-long war.

These talks broke down after the Yemeni politician backed by the Saudi Arabian and Gulf Cooperation Council, the ousted fugitive President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, demanded he be re-installed as Yemen’s head of state before the Saudi bombing of the country is halted. The bombing has taken place daily since March 26.

Between 2,500 and 4,000 people have been killed in the bombing and in fighting on the ground. Humanitarian organizations report that some 500,000 have been forced to leave their homes.

Efforts by the Islamic Republic of Iran and popular organizations from other countries to provide relief assistance have been thwarted by the Saudi-GCC alliance, backed by Washington. The Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency are assisting the Riyadh alliance through refueling and information sharing.

Although the administration of President Barack Obama has engaged in talks in Oman with the Ansurallah (Houthis) Movement, which is now in control of large areas of Yemen, the U.S. has come down solidly in favor of the Saudi aggressors. Since the withdrawal of its Special Forces and diplomatic personnel from Yemen in late March, Washington has sought to maintain its influence through the Saudi-GCC forces.

Bombing must stop

The Ansurallah insist that peace cannot be achieved until the U.S.-backed Saudi-GCC coalition halts the bombing of the country, which has gone on for three months.

Iranian television reported on June 21, “According to media outlets, in their latest acts of aggression against Yemen on Sunday, Saudi fighter jets bombarded a Yemeni military base in the district of Harad in the northwestern Yemeni province of Hajjah. The Saudi warplanes had also attacked the district of Abs in the province earlier in the day. …

“Saudi Arabia also pounded residential areas in Yemen’s northwestern province of Saada. There have been no reports on the number of casualties or material damage caused in the latest attacks. Reports also said that a number of Yemeni people were injured in Riyadh’s air blitz on the town of Saqayn in the northern Yemeni province of Saada.” (Press TV)

U.S.-supported air strikes killed at least 15 people and injured many more throughout Yemen on June 21, according to a report from the Ansurallah-allied Saba news agency. The dead included five women and two children in bombing attacks on Saada and Marib provinces.

Forces opposed to the Ansurallah reported that they beat back an assault by the Houthis and their allies in the southern city of Dhalea on June 21 in fierce battles that left 17 Ansurallah fighters and two locals dead. (Times of Malta, June 22)

In the southern port city of Aden, four local people died in clashes. Residents living in Aden said the Saudi-GCC coalition delivered artillery, including mortar batteries, to anti-Ansurallah militias.

Along with these attacks are ongoing al-Qaeda provocations against areas controlled by Ansurallah forces and their allies in the military who are still loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

A series of car bombings targeting Ansurallah forces has escalated over the recent period. The Associated Press reported an “Islamic State-claimed car bomb exploded outside a mosque in Yemen’s capital [June 20], killing at least two people and wounding six amid the country’s raging civil war, authorities said. The bomb targeted the Qabat al-Mahdi mosque in Sanaa’s old city, where Shiite rebels known as Houthis and others pray, security officials said. The Islamic State group claimed the attack on a Twitter account associated with the extremists, saying it targeted Shiite Houthis, who the Sunni extremists view as heretics.” (June 21)

Attacks on Shiite mosques have occurred in the capital of Sanaa in Yemen as well as in eastern Saudi Arabia. In response, the Ansurallah have taken the war into Saudi Arabia, attacking military bases and border checkpoints.

Press TV also reported that the war is being taken to the imperialist-aligned forces: “In response to Saudi aggression against Yemen, Yemeni forces, backed by popular committees, targeted Riyadh’s military bases in the southwestern Saudi province of Jizan, inflicting losses on the Saudi military equipment in Jizan and capturing three military bases there.”

Washington still labels Iran as a threat

These developments took place during the same week the State Department issued a report still charging Iran with supporting “terrorism,” despite a recent agreement involving Tehran’s nuclear program. Such an analysis indicates that hostilities toward Tehran will continue and even escalate over the next year.

The Obama administration says publicly that it is willing to hold talks with current leaders in Iran, but hostility persists on the ground in the region.

Although it appears that the U.S. and Iran have a common adversary — the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — the State Department claims that Iran’s role in Iraq risks escalating divisions based upon sectarian interests. In addition, Washington is bombing Syria under the guise of combating ISIS, yet it is committed to overthrowing the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.

The Obama administration report covers 2014 but shows that its hostility toward Iran continues to the present. Developments in Yemen illustrate that U.S. imperialism regards Tehran as an obstacle to its strategic objectives in the Middle East.

Until imperialism is defeated in the Middle East, the ruling classes in the U.S. and Europe will continue to divide and conquer the people of the region.

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