Yemen

Might have posted this before, dunno.

I had four weeks in a Saudi military hospital following a climbing accident. First night, once they'd called the surgeon in to confirm it was life threatening and could therefore admit me, I'm wheeled into theatre and look round. I know all of the staff barring the surgeon who is a Saudi. The anesthetist who is getting ready to give me an epidural is a Swiss who is also an alcoholic sid head of the finest kind. My mate's Mrs is the staff nurse, she leans forward and whispers in her lovely Dublin accent; "Grac...get the feck out of here as soon as you can." And I slid under as the alchy did his stuff.

The whole experience was surreal from start to finish but I can't fault the surgeon who did a good job. Can't say the same for the company Dr who was ex army but that's another story. I had my fill of chicken and rice though.
Riyadh, Jeddah, Tabuk or Tiaf? ETA, there are another 16 or so - basically all share a similar set of characteristics.
 
Riyadh, Jeddah, Tabuk or Tiaf? ETA, there are another 16 or so - basically all share a similar set of characteristics.
Khamis.
 
Ah, Khamis Mushayt. Know it well. When it first fell apart they built a new one and then gave the old one to the women and children. It was a popular posting due to the climate so the nurses were pretty decent. The Saudi surgeon would have been ok, but the El Cidders - the Danish were the professionals - though I knew a couple of Poles who were in a totally different league. We were based at Wadi Al Dawasir and used to drive to Khamis once a month for shopping (that ancient pastime formerly enjoyed by the British). I liked Khamis a lot after you get used to the aroma in town.
 
Ah, Khamis Mushayt. Know it well. When it first fell apart they built a new one and then gave the old one to the women and children. It was a popular posting due to the climate so the nurses were pretty decent. The Saudi surgeon would have been ok, but the El Cidders - the Danish were the professionals - though I knew a couple of Poles who were in a totally different league. We were based at Wadi Al Dawasir and used to drive to Khamis once a month for shopping (that ancient pastime formerly enjoyed by the British). I liked Khamis a lot after you get used to the aroma in town.
The nurses were more than decent though did meet few mentalists....best climate I've lived in bar nowhere. Climbing was fantastic and diving virgin coral reef the dog's dooda's.

There was more than enough real alcohol, a lot came in through Sharorah and most of the rest from Jeddah, courtesy the Irish boys working for Almarai. Never liked sid, didn't drink if I was climbing the next day and not a fan of homebrew beer. Plenty of "Yemeni tobacco" as well if that was your preference.

I ran the rugby club bar for a while and got lots of compliments on my brews - I thought it all tasted shite. It wasn't my first introduction to the powers of self delusion but it certainly taught me that there's no limit to the lies people can tell themselves.
 
The nurses were more than decent though did meet few mentalists....best climate I've lived in bar nowhere. Climbing was fantastic and diving virgin coral reef the dog's dooda's.

There was more than enough real alcohol, a lot came in through Sharorah and most of the rest from Jeddah, courtesy the Irish boys working for Almarai. Never liked sid, didn't drink if I was climbing the next day and not a fan of homebrew beer. Plenty of "Yemeni tobacco" as well if that was your preference.

I ran the rugby club bar for a while and got lots of compliments on my brews - I thought it all tasted shite. It wasn't my first introduction to the powers of self delusion but it certainly taught me that there's no limit to the lies people can tell themselves.
I have two lasting memory of Khamis, neither of which had anything to do with the Hospital. The first was when we were driving in from Wadi Da Wasir and stopped to look at the cute monkeys just outside the town. The little baskets tried to pull everything off the car.
The second was at the permanent road block. The cops loved to practice their English when Mrs Kinch was in the car due to her blond hair - of course, they addressed the questions to me. This guy, who reminded me of one of the Marx brothers, asked me 'how many kids you got' - I said we didn't have any kids. He gave me a 'piff paff' and waved me on. On the way back a couple of days later its the same cop, same spiel 'How many kids you got." I said, 'five' - he burst out laughing and said 'good weekend then'!
 
The Saudis are claiming that a cease fire is in effect in Yemen, but that's by no means certain yet as the people they are supposedly are cease firing with have not agreed to it yet.
Saudi officials say Yemen ceasefire is in effect, but Houthis yet to officially respond

A ceasefire proposed by the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen went into effect Thursday, potentially paving the way for an end to the conflict that has gone on for more than five years.

Saudi officials announced late Wednesday that the ceasefire would last for two weeks and that it comes in response to UN calls to halt hostilities amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Saudis are particularly motivated to look for some way out of the endless Yemen war, as with current oil prices they are short of cash and the war is draining their budget.
With oil prices hovering just above $30 a barrel, the kingdom has said it will cut government spending as it draws from its hefty foreign reserves to prop up the economy amid a shutdown of businesses across the country because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Saudi Arabia is one of the world's top spenders on arms and there's no indication that the government's spending cuts will immediately impact its defence budget, but the cost of war in Yemen weighs heavily as government revenues plummet because of low oil prices. The Wilson Center estimates that the price tag to sustain air, ground and sea operations in the Yemen war can reach up to $200 million a day, though it's unclear how much of that Saudi Arabia has paid.
 

Yokel

LE
It is hard to feel much sympathy with the Saudis regarding Yemen, but I hope the ceasefire lasts for humanitarian reasons. There are also security consideration given the proximity of important shipping routes, and the potential for Yemen to be a terrorist base.

It also potentially gives proxies of Iran to use weapons against Western shipping ot warships.
 
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The first COVID-19 case has been confirmed in Yemen. If the virus spreads in Yemen, the results are expected to be "catastrophic".
War-torn Yemen confirms 1st coronavirus case; braces for outbreak
If the virus spreads in Yemen, the impact would be "catastrophic," as the health status of at least half the population is "very degraded" and the country does not have sufficient supplies, capabilities or facilities, its U.N. humanitarian coordinator, Lise Grande, told Reuters on Thursday.
 

Poppycock

Old-Salt
In fighting between Saudi & UAE factions in Yemen looks to be continuing - if anything was worth buying a bucket of popcorn to enjoy whilst watching from afar it must be this:
presstv said:
UAE-backed separatists in southern Yemen have warned of an "imminent war" with Saudi-sponsored militants as divisions between the two sides continue to deepen.

In a statement, the so-called Southern Transitional Council (STC) said it had informed ambassadors of major countries to Yemen and the UN envoy Martin Griffiths that "the outbreak of war is imminent".

The group accused Riyadh-backed government of former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi of violating a power-sharing settlement signed between the two sides last year.
Link:
 
Even MEMO are reporting on a possible war, albeit the article goes on to say there are moves afoot to prevent open conflict:

MEMO are are course biased:Middle East Monitor - Media Bias/Fact Check

But probably better than Iranian Press tv:Press TV - Media Bias/Fact Check

-who are renowned for spinning Iranian agitprop:Press TV controversies - Wikipedia
 

Poppycock

Old-Salt
Even MEMO are reporting on a possible war, albeit the article goes on to say there are moves afoot to prevent open conflict:

MEMO are are course biased:Middle East Monitor - Media Bias/Fact Check

But probably better than Iranian Press tv:Press TV - Media Bias/Fact Check

-who are renowned for spinning Iranian agitprop:Press TV controversies - Wikipedia
I've not got a definitive source for Yemen news, so yes, any report I try to cross check and take on balance of probability. The tweet below is by someone with 12k followers though and if accurate it might account for the current flare up. The interesting bit is the involvement of Islah - the Saudi aligned (I think!) Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood branch.
 
I've not got a definitive source for Yemen news, so yes, any report I try to cross check and take on balance of probability. The tweet below is by someone with 12k followers though and if accurate it might account for the current flare up. The interesting bit is the involvement of Islah - the Saudi aligned (I think!) Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood branch.
Nearly 13k twitter followers as she’s one of the few who writes in English. She has her views as well:

I personally doubt it will be resolved even if the country does split as it was. It’s another proxy war between gulf states and Iran. My main concern remains AQAP as Yemen has many problems exacerbated by the two principle sides and where there’s turmoil, AQ etc thrive.
 

Poppycock

Old-Salt
My main concern remains AQAP as Yemen has many problems exacerbated by the two principle sides and where there’s turmoil, AQ etc thrive.
Thank God someone in our SF had the moral integrity to speak out about our role in Yemen

US, us, Saudi & UAE are the bad actors in Yemen in my view, fighting side-by-side WITH AQ in some places, e.g. Taiz, as reported by the BBC a few years ago. The whole thing stinks.
 
Thank God someone in our SF had the moral integrity to speak out about our role in Yemen

US, us, Saudi & UAE are the bad actors in Yemen in my view, fighting side-by-side WITH AQ in some places, e.g. Taiz, as reported by the BBC a few years ago. The whole thing stinks.
Quite clearly, as you quote Press TV without any form of critical thinking, you think Iran and their proxies are going to be good for Yemen.

As for ‘helping’ AQ, ‘my enemies enemy’ etc. Still, even the coalition in other conflicts has helped forces they’re ostensibly against by attacking their enemies. Even destroying Russian kit captured by IS.

The world isn’t black and white and I doubt it ever has been.
 

Poppycock

Old-Salt
you think Iran and their proxies...
I've not said a word about Iran. Don't tell me what I think.
As for ‘helping’ AQ, ‘my enemies enemy’ etc.
My enemies enemy my arse - it's al *******Qaeda - the coalition is effectively allied to them and will create a safe haven for them if the Houthis could be defeated. The Houthis / Ansarullah alliance are the only people stopping that happening.

Yemen always has been AQ's refuge, Afghan-Arab mujaheddin returning from defeating the Soviets went to Yemen in the 1980s. The Yemeni vice-president in exile, General Mohsen, used al Qaeda brigades during the 1994 Yemeni civil war. CIA contractor Billy Waugh wrote in his 2004 autobiography about training Western hating AQ members in Yemen at some point in the 1990s. They were even protected by the US ambassador after the Cole bombing in 2000 and completely overlooked after 9/11 despite AQ's global 'switch board' being in Sanaa
The world isn’t black and white and I doubt it ever has been.
All-in-all a very poor response, as you well know. Up your game fella, it is supposed to be a serious thread.
 
I've not said a word about Iran. Don't tell me what I think.
You quote Press TV with no caveat
My enemies enemy my arse - it's al *******Qaeda - the coalition is effectively allied to them and will create a safe haven for them if the Houthis could be defeated. The Houthis / Ansarullah alliance are the only people stopping that happening.
I thought you said it was a serious thread, yet you swear?

AQ isn’t ‘allied’ in any way. That’s why they are still killed.
Yemen always has been AQ's refuge, Afghan-Arab mujaheddin returning from defeating the Soviets went to Yemen in the 1980s. The Yemeni vice-president in exile, General Mohsen, used al Qaeda brigades during the 1994 Yemeni civil war. CIA contractor Billy Waugh wrote in his 2004 autobiography about training Western hating AQ members in Yemen at some point in the 1990s. They were even protected by the US ambassador after the Cole bombing in 2000 and completely overlooked after 9/11 despite AQ's global 'switch board' being in Sanaa
They have been in Yemen for a long time. What’s your point?
All-in-all a very poor response, as you well know.
All in all, No4 Mk1 carries on with his limited world view as before and is shown in his blog.
Up your game fella,....
Notes deployment of ‘fella’
...it is supposed to be a serious thread.
Yet you resort to swearing.

Going to report me again?
 

Poppycock

Old-Salt
Looks like Yemen might be carved in half again, between North & South

Forces loyal to the Southern Transitional Council (STC) on Sunday declared their full control over all sovereign state institutions in Yemen's southern port city of Aden.

The STC's take over of power in Aden coincided with the first floods in the city in memory since 1967 i.e. they've still not mastered drain maintenance (although to be fair they have been busy with fighting)
 
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A (very imo) short piece on the current civil war and the STCs position in it. It's far from exhaustive, but gives an idea. They key take away for me:
But Yemen’s problems are so complex that even a decisive outcome in the conflict-within-a-conflict between the STC and the Saudi-backed government might not help end the wider war.
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

LE
Book Reviewer
Looks like Yemen might be carved in half again, between North & South




The STC's take over of power in Aden coincided with the first floods in the city in memory (i.e. they've still not mastered drain maintenance (although to be fair they have been busy with fighting)
I hate to contradict about the weather but it flooded in 1967. I liked to think it was my returning to the UK which caused this. ;-)

 
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