Chaos In Yemen: Chinese Troops Arrive As US-Armed Rebels Set Sights On Central Bank

Tyler Durden's picture

Iranian-backed Houthi rebels are now in control of the central Crater district in the key Yemeni port city of Aden despite a seventh consecutive day of bombing raids by the Saudi-led coalition which is keen on preventing the city from falling. Aden is the second largest city in the country with a population of some 800,000 and as noted by The Guardian, is “the last major holdout of fighters loyal to the Saudi-backed President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi.” Residents have reported the presence of tanks, sniper fire, and patrolling Houthi fighters as the militia moves closer to exerting complete control over the city. 

Via The Guardian:

Residents of Aden’s central Crater district said Houthi fighters and their allies were in control of the neighbourhood by midday on Thursday, deploying tanks and foot patrols through its otherwise empty streets after heavy fighting in the morning.

 

It was the first time fighting on the ground had reached so deeply into central Aden. Crater is home to the local branch of Yemen’s central bank and many commercial businesses.

 

“People are afraid and terrified by the bombardment,” one resident, Farouq Abdu, told Reuters by telephone from Crater. “No one is on the streets - it’s like a curfew“.

 

Another resident said Houthi snipers had deployed on the mountain overlooking Crater and were firing on the streets below. Several houses were on fire after being struck by rockets, and messages relayed on loudspeakers urged residents to move out to safer parts of the city, he said.

As you can see from the map above, the local branch of Yemen's central bank is located in the area, which suggests the Houthis (and, as you'll see below, Al Qaeda) may be playing for a repeat of what occurred just 9 months ago when jihadis seized $400 million from the Mosul central bank in Iraq making ISIS the best funded islamic fundamentalist force in the world. Of course the tragically ridiculous part of the whole story is that the Houthi advance is very likely being aided by some of the $500 million worth of weapons the US "misplaced" in the country so in short, US-armed, Iranian-backed rebels have now overthrown a US puppet government, fought their way into the last important city still loosely under coalition control, and are now operating a few blocks from a branch of the Yemeni central bank.

The Crater district is also home to more than 75,000 Yemenis meaning the risk of civilian casualties from aerial bombardment is cause for concern and could make it more difficult for the Saudi raids to be effective especially given some ambiguity about who was ultimately responsible for the death of some 40 civilians at a refugee camp earlier this week. Here’s the Washington Post with more:

The rebels, who control Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, hope to find new defensive positions and open fresh supply channels by taking full control of Aden. The Saudi-led alliance, meanwhile, is trying to hang on to the city but is wary about carrying out airstrikes in populated areas for fear of civilian casualties…

 

It follows accounts by aid groups of increasing civilian deaths in the air campaign against the Houthis. Saudi Arabia and its partners want to reinstate President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who fled Yemen last week in the face of a rebel advance on his compound in Aden.

 

The city appeared closer to falling into rebel hands after Wednesday’s gains. Houthi fighters — joined by soldiers loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh — faced barrages from a warship while on a coastal road but managed to reach areas near the center of Aden with tanks and vehicles mounted with heavy machine guns. At least some of the rebel forces entered the vacated Russian Consulate, said Anis Mansour, editor of the Huna Aden news Web site…

 

In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Asseri said forces are “doing everything they can” to avoid civilian casualties. But he said the rebels have increasingly shifted into residential areas to hide from airstrikes.

 

“They are inside the villages and towns as part of their strategy,” the spokesman said.

The fighting in Aden is creating unbearable psychological and physical conditions for the local population...

...and the Houthis have taken control of the Presidential palace:

  • SHIITE REBELS SEIZE PRESIDENTIAL PALACE IN ADEN, YEMEN: AP

Meanwhile, there were reports on Thursday morning that foreign troops had arrived in the city creating speculation that a Saudi ground incursion had begun. Interestingly the unidentified foreign troops turned out to be Chinese soldiers. Here's more from RT:

Dozens of unidentified foreign troops reported disembarking in the port of Aden turned out to be Chinese soldiers maintaining security as an unknown party opened fire on a vessel evacuating foreign citizens, a Yemeni official told Sputnik.

 

He added that Chinese soldiers have already left the port, though reportedly they did not manage to take with them all the people intended to evacuate, not all of the Chinese nationals.

The deeper the Houthis entrench themselves in densely populated areas, the greater the likelihood that ground troops will be necessary to expel them. The fighting in Aden comes as the conflict claimed its first Saudi soldier when border troops came under attack overnight:

Via AP

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia said one of its guards along the border with Yemen was killed Wednesday night. It was the first known Saudi casualty since the airstrikes started.

 

A border post in the Asir region came under heavy fire from a mountainous area inside Yemen, followed by cross-border skirmishes, according to the official Saudi Press Agency. Along with the Saudi guard who was killed, 10 other border guards were wounded, SPA said.

Finally, Al Qaeda militants led an assault on Mukalla where, after a firefight, the group freed some 300 militants being held in a local prison. Here’s more from WSJ:

Al Qaeda militants in Yemen stormed the coastal city of al Mukalla early Thursday, seized government buildings and freed at least 270 inmates from a prison, including many of its own operatives, Yemeni officials said.

 

The 2 a.m. attack on the eastern city, an important seaport, was a new setback for Saudi-backed government forces already fighting an uprising by Iranian-linked Houthi rebels. Al Qaeda’s incursion into al Mukalla was the latest sign that the extremist group is exploiting Yemen’s sectarian strife.

 

Until Thursday, al Makalla had been one of the few large Yemeni cities still controlled by government and tribal forces supportive of exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

 

Abdullah al Sharafi, a Yemeni defense ministry official, said about one-third of those freed in Thursday’s prison break were AQAP militants. Among them, he said, was Khaled Batarfi, who was AQAP’s leader in the southern province of Abyan until his arrest in 2011 and served in the organization’s Shariah council, which provides religious direction.

 

Extremist groups such as AQAP and Afghanistan’s Taliban have typically used prison breaks to free their own foot soldiers and force more secular inmates, detained for petty crimes, to join their ranks.

 

“Al Qaeda needs to recruit and [there’s] no better way to recruit from prison,” Mr. Sharafi said. “A few of the escapees were senior al Qaeda leaders, but among those who escaped were dozens of al Qaeda fighters and loyalists.”

 

In addition to the prison, AQAP overran key government offices, including the central bank, likely plundering its cash reserves, officials said.

Between the first Saudi casualty, the unfolding humanitarian crisis, the logistical difficulties inherent in carrying out bombing raids on heavily populated areas, the rebel advance on military installations near the Bab el-Mandeb, and finally, with militants set to raid the country's cash, it may become increasingly difficult for the Saudi-led coalition to support an assertion that air raids alone will be enough to debilitate the Houthis and bring the situation under control. 

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Byte Me's picture

Hope, and Change.

HedgeAccordingly's picture

the area is a disaster.. wall it off and let them duke it out.. 

United Nations: Over 25,000 Foreigners Joined Terrorist Groups Like ISIS, Al Qaeda

http://hedgeaccordingly.com/2015/04/united-nations-over-25000-foreigners...

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Or we just continue to provide weapons and financing to both sides, employing the Goldilocks theorem (Don't want the war TOO HOT, or TOO COLD).

KnuckleDragger-X's picture

Only if we provide really big, nasty weapons and then walk away. Let Darwin take its course and improve the gene pool.....

remain calm's picture

US troops headed to CB to pick up useless barberic relic so they can sell it to the Chinese. Totally fucking perverted world, you can't dream up this level of psychopathology.

Chief KnocAHoma's picture

Who told those fucking Chinks they could have the day off at the factory where they make walmart shit?

Save_America1st's picture

I wonder how many tonnes of gold Yemen is going to be "liberated" of before this is over with.

jbvtme's picture

how are the beaches in yemen?

Socratic Dog's picture

Fucking awesome, if you like your terrain rugged and dry.  Fringing coral reefs.  Great diving/snorkelling, warm water, oases, huge unpopulated stretches of pristine white-sand beach.  No surf, unfortunately.

Yemen itself is a spectacular country, desert mountains, stark beauty.  Pre-christian era skyscrapers, built from unmortared stone.   People are hard as fucking nails, and honorable.  Not too many Walmarts over there.  Saudis are making a bad mistake, fighting them.  To me it's the Afghanistan of the peninsula.  Graveyard of empires.

To those who think we should wall it off and let natural selection take its course, or some shit like that, I refer you to Orlov's article that appeared on the Hedge a few days ago.  It's worth reflecting on.  This will likely end with the USSA walled off and natural selection taking its course within. It won't be pretty, you might wish you were in Yemen.  The empire has turned on its own.

http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2015/03/license-to-kill.html

SofaPapa's picture

At this point, the "US" is now the worst label any government can possibly have attached to it.  People around the world are awake now to the fact that the US is involved in just about every major conflict active on the planet.  Surprise, surprise... people (other than the oligarchs) are getting a little pissed off.  The Saudis are known to be attached to the US at the hip.  Hadi is also associated with the US.  The Saudis can send in all the weapons they want.  The battle for hearts and minds is becoming more and more solidified by the day, and the US is losing.  Given the distance from US shores, it's about time!  There's not enough lipstick for Hollywood to put on this pig.

knukles's picture

Which US armed rebels?
They're all US armed rebels.

DutchR's picture

They are Us

Are we Them

Being human was never this complicated when i grew up

macholatte's picture

 

 

Does the Soros Open Society have its finger prints on Yemen as well?

whotookmyalias's picture

This new world order the progressives push so hard is really working out well.  

BellyBrain's picture

*Allegedly Iranian-backed (but actually US/CIA/Mossad backed) Houthi rebels are now in control of the central Crater district

(Fixed that for you)

Lore's picture

Wonder if the Chinese went in there to take delivery of the gold themselves, rather than wait for it to be melted, re-poured, re-numbered and re-sold to them...?  There is historical precedent, yes?  Considering the urgency demonstrated by all involved, one wonders if the Saudis feel somewhat vulnerable.  You don't see an American president holding hands and kissing Saudi royals anymore...

balolalo's picture

World War 3 Update
------
Active participants:


- Iraq
- Afghanistan
- Ukraine
- Syria
- Lybia
- Egypt
- Tunisia
- Turkey
- Sudan
- Nigeria
- Saudi Arabia
- Yemen
- Oman
- Iran
- Qatar
- U.A.E.
- Russia
- United States
- Pakistan
- Palestine / Israel
- NATO

- And now CHINA !

Umm... when do we call it a world war?   

Thirst Mutilator's picture

- Palestine / Israel

 

I see what you did there...

 

But the answer to your question = As soon as the GERMANS bomb Pearl Harbor!

whotookmyalias's picture

Everyone knows it's not a true world war until the French surrender to the Germans.  You must be a troll.  

Bahrainiac's picture

That was officially the best reply of all time!  You made my morning.

ersatz007's picture

This isn't a war...these are focused military engagements. /s

ThirteenthFloor's picture

No these r US mafia-cia gold raids. Tax payer funded to boot. Proud to be 'Mercian ?

Time to clean house at home.

Kobe Beef's picture

When do we call it a World War?

When you see reports in the NY Times of 6 million at risk. Not before then.

Citium's picture

We got ourselves a full on shit show!

Antifaschistische's picture

$400 million?

It's just fiat....set it on fire, and reprint it later.

Citium's picture

That is akin to Krugmans broken window theory. It's broken money, we just gotta reprint it!

richiebaby's picture

i wish it read

 

Armed Rebels Set Sights On US Central Bank
Jack Burton's picture

Excellent article by Orlov. I doubt his level of analysis woill penetrate too deeply into the American skull. Thought is not this nation's long suit.

mkkby's picture

Is there a more evil empire than saudi arabia?  I'm hoping ISIS, al quaeda and houthis invade saudi arabia and behead the king and all those shitty little princes.  Then burn down each and every wahabi "school".  The world will be a much better place afterwards.

HowdyDoody's picture

Saudi is not an empire. Whatever it is, it is enabled by the US. As for evil - beheading versus shredding by 30 mm anti-tank canon shell? Beheading is a lot less messy.

WOAR's picture

Beheading is also much less effective.

Now, if you wanted to start killing loads and loads of people indiscrimanately, I hear you might still get some Zyklon B from Johnson and Johnson. 

Genocide efficiently, today!

DaveyJones's picture

Orlov is one of my favorites

Citizens of the US so desperately need to listen

to outsiders looking in

Augustus's picture

World has many wonderful places and people.

Then the fanatical death wish Muzzies show up to destroy the evidence of the past and the people of the present.

usednabused's picture

I think that rather than muzzies showing up to destroy everything it was the zionists, and then they blame it on the muzzies. You are a zionist aren't you? Or just a regular POS?

Augustus's picture

Neither Zionists or other Jewish people have encouraged the death wish muzzies.  They have been destroying civilization 1500 years.  At least for the last 1000 years they have been fighting among themselves.  Has nothing to do with any Zionism problem.

I guess you turned muzzie when you found that they would bless your membership in NAMBLA.  And you can also enjoy the nine year old girls with the goats as a bonus.

usednabused's picture

You didn't answer my question, are you a zionist or aren't you?

Augustus's picture

I've never given Zionism much thought.

I'm just pro-prosperity and pro-life and a supporter of freedom of religion.

 

ILLILLILLI's picture

The Zios have been destroying the world far long than that...they're a fucking persistent infection.

thecrud's picture
thecrud (not verified) Socratic Dog Apr 2, 2015 5:18 PM

No surf, JFAC Smoke it.

fencejumper's picture

"Pre-christian era skyscrapers, built from unmortared stone."

 

Those buildings are actually made from mud! Do a search: adobe buildings in yemen. Fantastic!

Socratic Dog's picture

Nope, the ones I was in were stone.  Not to say there ain't no adobe, but I know stone when I bash my head against it.  Lots of very low doorways.  For defence, I guess, much easier to take a head off when it's ducked down to get through a 4-foot high doorway.

fencejumper's picture

Are you sure those weren't simply stone lintels over the doorways? Yemen is famous for their multi-story adobe structures, mostly homes. Please check it out online when you have time, SD. Cheers.

Gazooks's picture

create chaos, '..a disaster.. wall it off and let them duke it out.' 

 

USSA foreign proxy policy over an iradiated, smouldering world

 


WOAR's picture

That's the plan.

Well...

What are you gonna do about it, Whitey? You just gonna stand there?

Of course, any group that makes a strong political statement of any kind, without any "Erm...uh...folks...ah..." thrown in, will immediately be treated like those guys were...

philosophers bone's picture

Get the Canadiens involved. 

I'm talking about the Habs.

Money Boo Boo's picture

saw George Laraque the other day, he looks to be weighing in at a cool 340 lbs, he'd get winded fighting my little sister at this point. 

Global Hunter's picture

On the other end of the spectrum little Mats Naslund must be up around 165lbs now that he's an old man.  

(OT I have a personalized autographed pic of Mats framed on my wall from when I was a kid, I idolized him because I was on the small side too).