“It is clear to us that Iran bears responsibility for this attack. There is no other plausible explanation. We support ongoing investigations to establish further details.”
- Pepe Escobar
The statement above was not written by Franz Kafka. In fact, it was written by a Kafka derivative: Brussels-based European bureaucracy. The Merkel-Macron-Johnson trio, representing Germany, France and the UK, seems to know what no “ongoing investigation” has unearthed: that Tehran was definitively responsible for the twin aerial strikes on Saudi oil installations.
“There is no other plausible explanation” translates as the occultation of Yemen. Yemen only features as the pounding ground of a vicious Saudi war, de facto supported by Washington and London and conducted with US and UK weapons, which has generated a horrendous humanitarian crisis.
So Iran is the culprit, no evidence provided, end of story, even if the “investigation continues.”
Hassan Ali Al-Emad, Yemeni scholar and the son of a prominent tribal leader with ascendance over ten clans, begs to differ. “From a military perspective, nobody ever took our forces in Yemen seriously. Perhaps they started understanding it when our missiles hit Aramco.”
Al-Emad said: “Yemeni people have been encircled by an embargo. Why are Yemeni airports still closed? Children are dying without treatment. In this current war, the first door [to be closed against enemies] was Damascus. The second door is Yemen.” Al-Emad considers that Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Sayed Nasrallah and the Houthis are involved in the same struggle.
Al-Emad was born in Sana’a in a Zaydi family influenced by Wahhabi practices. Yet when he was 20, in 1997, he converted to Ahlulbayat after comparative studies between Sunni, Zaydi and the Imamiyyah – the branch of Shi’ite Islam that believes in 12 imams. He abandoned Zaydi in what could be considered a Voltairean act: because the sect cannot withstand critical analysis.
I talked and broke bread – and hummus – with Al-Emad, in Beirut, during the New Horizon conference among scholars from Lebanon, Iran, Italy, Canada, Russia and Germany. Although he says he cannot get into detail about military secrets, he confirmed: “Past Yemeni governments had missiles, but after 9/11 Yemen was banned from buying weapons from Russia. But we still had 400 missiles in warehouses in South Yemen. We used 200 Scuds – the rest is still there [laughs].”
Al-Emad breaks down Houthi weaponry into three categories: the old missile stock; cannibalized missiles using different spare parts (“transformation made in Yemen”); and those with new technology that use reverse engineering. He stressed: “We accept help from everybody,” which suggests that not only Tehran and Hezbollah are pitching in.
Al-Emad’s key demand is actually humanitarian: “We request that Sana’a airport be reopened for help to the Yemeni people.” And he has a message for global public opinion that the EU-3 are obviously not aware of: “Saudi is collapsing and America is embracing it in its fall.” …
Report from March 2017:
Houthi Forces Use UAVs against Saudi Patriot Anti-Aircraft Weapon Systems
According to the last report of Conflict Armament Research, the Houthi forces actively use Iranian kamikaze-drones to hit the Patriot anti-aircraft weapon systems of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.
In late February, four unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were presented in Yemen. The Qasef-1 kamikaze-drone, capable to carry a warhead of 30 kg, was among them. At that time, experts said that the Qasef-1 is the Iranian Ababil-2 UAV.
A new research of the Conflict Armament Research group is focused on supplies of these UAVs to Yemen. Apparently, they are shipped to Yemen in disassembled state through already known canals by sea and via Oman, bypassing the coalition’s blockade. In October of the last year, six of the drones were captured on a known Iranian smuggling route that runs through Oman.
But the most interesting fact is that these UAVs are already used to strike the MIM-104 Patriot anti-aircraft weapon systems of the Saudi coalition, deployed against Yemeni missiles. This information was provided to authors of the research by some unnamed military sources in the UAE.
“UAE forces report that Houthi and Saleh-aligned forces employ the Qasef-1 to target Coalition MIM-104 ‘Patriot’ surface-to-air missile systems,” the report reads. “While the Coalition deploys Patriot systems to counter missile threats, the destruction of the Patriots’ radar systems enables Houthi and Saleh-aligned forces to target Coalition assets with volleys of missile-fire unhindered.” …