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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 2, 2015 10:00am-12:01pm EDT

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to the u.s. capital and taking a look at the chaos and yemen. -- the chaos in yemen. [indiscernible] -- in one area north of the capital, where much of the countries wealthiest live coming down to the south. what used to be the border between the north and the south -- would be the second-largest city in the north. [indiscernible] this used to be known as the western protectorate. and it is into this area that they have advanced in the last two weeks. and they are posing a talent and a threat. then there is aiden itself.
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[indiscernible] and these were the -- of queen victoria's. up until the end of the 1950's, believe it or not, was the world's fifth-largest port in terms of ships. there was more ships than you had -- [indiscernible] up until and into the 1960's. [indiscernible] so too has the modern gives of the suez canal. it remain closed until 1975. [indiscernible] when aiden lurched, if you will,
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to the left. only americans allowed to live and work then, but there has been no other -- government in the middle east, in the islamic world, like there was -- [indiscernible] then to the east of aiden the area of -- these are tribal, small villages. with the typical yemeni architecture. they are all quite different in terms of what drives -- [indiscernible] and immediately to the east of them is the -- . [indiscernible]
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has produced around 10 million yemenis within the last 20 years. [indiscernible] from this part of yemen. quite a large number of yemenis merchant, who live in these areas of the region. and the just east is the -- state. it is quite different. it is from the state here that we are talking about -- which the soviet navy had his eyes on at one time. this is why obama, until now, was not in the coalition because we are talking about a neighbor state here. and a lot of policy will be driven by its neighbor. the numbers fluctuate up and
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down. in saudi arabia, at times, has been into the millions. you can take the are one million if you include -- [indiscernible] elsewhere, yemenis all over the world. i probably on the moon, as some say. they were the first arabs to -- [indiscernible] in that particular unit, the largest of the uaw. this page just a brush stroke of the context here. not we will go to -- who is with the congressional service. he is the person who does the research, writing, and analytical written work for members of the united states congress.
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i ask that you write the question on the three by five cards and pass them to the national council staff, who will bring them forward and use them in the queue and a -- q&a. he called yesterday to say i will be there. so we are looking for an operational logistical feat because he has been in the kingdom in the last 72 hours. he went, and now he is coming back. and this particular event is his highest -- the highest of his agenda. germany shot. -- jeremy shaw. [applause] mr shaw: thank you. i wish i could do that. first of all, thank you to the national council and the u.s.
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arab nations for hosting this event today. and it will come not just to the media and are of type gas, but a special thanks to our clients for coming here today. like a good crs analysts, i'm legally obliged to note that the remarks here this morning are my own. i would also like to thank john for moderating this morning. i can tell you firsthand that john can hike the ma highlands better than most men half its age. and i know that because i've sort of padded from behind watching travers the yemeni highlands -- travers -- traverse the yemeni highlands. thank you for moderating today. pleasantries aside, this is a particularly unpleasant time for most yemenis. i am always humbled by the fact that i cover yemen from a seat here on capitol hill. and i am mindful of the fact that perhaps some of our panelists, perhaps some of you in the audience, have front or
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extended family members who are doing -- dealing with quite a bit of suffering right now. so i'm constantly mindful of that fact. now because i am situated here in washington, i wanted to give my remarks towards u.s. policy. and one of the implications for operations. u.s. policy toward yemen, and the region at large. so i will make a few policy remarks and then analyzed where this is going. in the weeks and months ahead. so number one, the obvious point to start with is that there is a serious political imperative in washington to demonstrate report for saudi arabia at this time. both in the administration and congress. whatever you may think of yemen's historic involvement the reality is that u.s. policy in yemen, which is foremost as i
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do counterterrorism, is highly dependent on saudi arabia. not just for counterterrorism, but for politically and financially supporting a yemenis government. this is especially true since the post transition that began in late 2011, culminating in early 2012. because the alliance has expanded so far into yemeni territory, far beyond most -- what most of us thought. there has been a lot of signal fending by the administration that we understand a redline has been crossed in saudi arabia's mind. is particularly pertinent i miss the wider -- amidst the wider environment of an iran nuclear agreement. now, just a few remarks on iran for a second. for iran, whose definition
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putting them, what a great investment yemen is for iran. it is a high return, low risk investment. iran is certainly supporting them, but the level of support doesn't we are what is being done in syria. it doesn't matter what is being done historically in lebanon. and the media can become it mentions -- is basically doing iran is work for them -- iran's work for them. support could definitely increase in the is ahead, but we have to keep that in mind that we sort of have to measure what exactly is going on there. now, u.s. support for saudi arabia. back to that. one u.s. official told the "washington post" last week -- we have their back. providing the most unique and indispensable capabilities for their actions. the u.s. support for saudi
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arabia at this time is not just political. there is certainly a material element to it. at the back of the room as my colleague, chris blanchard. chris's report on saudi arabia has catalogued and documented pentagon and defense department notifications to congress that since 2010, there has been a planned arms bill for saudi arabia something like over $90 billion. so when you think about that number for a second, when saudi arabia goes to war in yemen there is a definite u.s. element that is working behind the scenes. you sell an f-15 to saudi arabia but there is u.s. work done on the maintenance of it. there is u.s. training of the pilots. when saudi pilots went down just a few days ago, there was a u.s. search and rescue operation to assist. so there is a lot we hundred behind-the-scenes. and the administration is not hiding the fact. the white house issued a
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statement on the day that operation isis storm against blaming them for causing the crisis in yemen. recognizing the president as a legitimate leader of yemen. and president obama authorized the coalition of support to gcc led military operations. the administration claimed that well u.s. forces are not taking direct military action in yemen we are establishing a joint planning commission with saudi arabia to quit innate military and intelligence report. so, that is one aspect of the policy. and sadly one that is being played out in public. now, privately, we can sort of speculate that yes, we're definitely in support of what is going on, but there's a lot of concern perhaps that the longer that this persists, the greater the chance for terrorist on the ground to become empowered. i am really glad that i woke up at 5:00 a.m. to prepare for this today because had i not, i would
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have not checked the new cycle and seen that there was actually a major operation. last night where terrorists, and what seems like a major operation, protect certain facilities. while workgroup attacked facilities, another one attack to jail and broke it open and several hundred militants escaped, including a high-level regional commander. so we know from history that when the central security forces dissipate, take sides, abandon their posts, that that leaves a vacuum for aqap, whomever to take route. there is a lot of concern that this is happening. and it may happen continually if the conflicts -- now, there is also sort of the immediate concern of how does the u.s. conduct operations --
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counterterrorism operations in yemen. and the administration has really several statements trying to reassure the american public that will take action if there is an immediate risk to u.s. homeland security. that we have assets in the region, offshore assets, asset in djibouti, in saudi arabia, that we will deploy there is a terrorist threat. at the same time, logic would dictate that if our embassy operations are suspended the free pulled out a certain level of military personnel, that that is going to certainly impact our on the ground knowledge of what is going on. now, that is an obvious point but there is also something else that is out there. and that is since 2006, as part of our strategy in yemen, we have had a train and equip program.
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i think were concerned that hasn't been expressed is that if this conflict persists, we have made a lot of investments in the yemeni military. and if there is damage done to those investment, both material and human, that is going to be a lot harder to reconstitute our program in the years ahead. so there is a lot of concern that that doesn't take place either. and finally, the fourth part about u.s. policy in this conflict is that the u.s. has really tried to get it own personnel out of harm's way. as i mentioned, we have suspended embassy operations, moved to diplomats to the consulate, and like i mentioned before, we moved all of our special forces trainers and military personnel out of an air base, which was in a nearby town that was attacked by aqap militants just a day before we decorated our personnel. now, where is this all going?
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it is obviously going to be dictated by where this conflict goes in the days and weeks and months ahead. in oversimplified way of looking at things is to sort of take two tracks. one is that this is a military conflict that the saudi led coalition, either by ground, air, there is a bbc report just a few hours ago that there had been maybe led forces in aiden. i have no idea. some of you may know better than others if you are on your phone tweeting or whatever. there is a military dimension to this with a coalition just pushes everyone back. push them back. perhaps to the capital. perhaps beyond. but i also think force is being used in another way. i think that is something we need to look at. and that is, perhaps forces being used to break apart the
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who the -- houthis connection. if you look at what has been put out in the arab media lately there has been a lot of reports of leaks between the former president and the international community, claiming that he was to negotiate a deal with himself and preserve his immunity in yemen in exchange for returning on the houthis. there is a quote. i don't know if it is with him directly, but he said, let's go to dialogue and elections and i promise you that neither i nor any of my colleagues will run for the presidency. and a houthis spokesman retorted, he is only doing this to keep the arab states friendly. i don't know exactly what the play here is, but trying to break up this marriage seems like a pretty rational strategy.
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whether it is by force, i psychological operations, whatever. using the media. because, look, at its course, he is a rational actor who is concerned with its own preservation and the preservation of his family. his sons, his place in yemen, he is a competent negotiator. i don't know if any of you saw this, but the urine sanctions committee a few weeks ago without a report -- u.n. sanctions committee a few weeks ago put out a report that somewhere between $60 billion and $80 billion out of yemen during his time. that is like a "forbes" list. i think that is something to look at. to carefully analyze. what is a deal if there is any? and what does it mean for president hottie -- especially
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as we have said, he is a legitimate ruler. if there is one day of negotiations, what is it going to look like in terms of his status? i will leave it to the rest of you. thank you very much and good luck. [laughter] mr. anthony: thank you, jeremy. >> thank you very much, dr. anthony. i feel like the forgotten member of that early 1970's supergroup -- [indiscernible] >> ok. my remarks also do not reflect the view of the national defense university or the united states government. it is always awkward when you are in violent this agreement with members of the podium, but i would like to address a few
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aspects, focusing on security aspects of yemen and its neighbors. i won't get to wonky, but you can let me know about questions if you want to know about tanks or miss -- missile guided weapons. it is clear that it was a mistake to leave him in yemen. the calculus at the time was that it would prevent conflict and bloodshed. a move that hindsight now shows i admit this, considerable hindsight, that was misguided. it is not clear that he retained the loyalty of many parts of the armed forces. the extent to which they are loyal to him were brought into question with the summer upon's rapid advance into the capital. it ended with his house arrest and interrogation of many a political system. the lack of the opposition to the houthis expansion southward
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can only partly be explained by an inefficiency in the normal fighting problems of a patronage-based army. there were some treachery involved. there was some turning of units. the houthis i miss understood. this is important. it is not well known here, the houthis are seen as the vanguard. that is, they are not a unified fighting force. and their support may be transactional and shallow in parts of the country that we and the saudi's can -- consider as conquered. armies generally do not do well in areas occupied by hostile tribes. my bias, my career has been in the ground forces, but it is important to look at this. the saudi's, for their part have seen to concluded that both the year many air force are
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under de facto control and have made a point of targeting those early in the bombing campaign. they hit the surface to surface missile demos twice. it is interesting to note that with they make 21, they chose to crater the runways and attack hangars, but that the aircraft itself. so long as the runway is created, they can't fly. the spectacular series of explosions on tuesday night were proof of the determination of the coalition to prevent retaliation. indeed, there have been reports that saudi's also moved batteries -- and have upgraded to pack three -- to the southern border to prevent an attack. and if you have stated that the fear of the gemini huds -- yemini huds have provided that.
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most specifically, in 2009, a general criticism you will hear from everybody is that the saudi air force provide -- relied too heavily on the precision cut it missiles. the result was a poorly quit amid atomic or pain -- poorly -- reportedly the -- the contrast with now is extremely suppressive. -- for building and indigestion coalition, which sent a decisive message to both the htouthis and iranians.
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the saudi's secure the active cooperation of the united states. the u.s. agreed to provide intelligence and logistics support. this meet at the least helping identifying and picking targets. which is exactly what was lacking in 2009. this could also mean rapid resupply of f: 15 parts. -- f 15 parts. so this will not even be used more accurately, but they will also be replaced more rapidly. and the american cooperation extended sunday to the rescue of two saudi pilots. and that is extremely important. as the air campaign grinds on, however, its effectiveness will decrease not arithmetically, but exponentially. high payoff targets are already destroyed. other targets will be dispersed among civilians or in areas such as mountain valleys where they can be defended by anti-aircraft artillery traps.
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as we sow with the ghost of a campaign or with korea or with vietnam or with world war ii in europe, if you try to achieve military victory just from the air, you eventually redefine not only your target set, which expands, but also your victory. and forces cannot seize and hold terrain. i'm going to say that again. air force is cannot seize and hold -- forces cannot seize and hold terrain. the same will happen to this coalition if the military effort is not accompanied by ineffective political coalition that offers the houthis something other than surrender. it is important to discuss what victory means here. the houthis may not be who we think they are. they have always been unhappy with development in this era. as her strikes -- airstrikes pardon opinion, this will be a part of it more broadly-based
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group. -- you many opposition to the coalition will harden. saudi arabia and her partners may find that what they thought was a proxy war with iran will transform into an actual or with yemen. a word about the ground operations. ground operations by now you many -- non-yemeni forces -- i think the houthis forces are actually a saudi brigade that switch sides, they are ill-advised. they lost a 5000 soldiers in north yemen in 1960's. the terrain is mountainous and the infrastructure is rudimentary. an assault on the red sea would involve enforcing a potentially endless series of thermopylae's. the many army -- you many -- yemeni -- the question is, who
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does the army answer to? loyalties are transient things in yemen. hopefully, saudi influence and money could shores -- force a shift back. if the campaign continues and the inevitable civilian campaigns -- casualties amount, however, this becomes less likely. now a word on aqap. aqap remained an important community -- security concern for america. only aqap has shown the intent and the capability to amount attacks on the american homeland. aqap is a shared concern. yemen has been a vital, but fascinating power in the campaign against aqap. we saw that in this morning's jailbreak. -- and american power and partner on the global war in terror. he would be put in the same box as other international prizes
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. the challenge for policymakers in the united states has always been to discern where the line is between treachery, tribal politics and local government, and the central government lack of capacity. the houthis and aqap have fought, but it would be foolhardy to suppose these two forces will cancel each other out. the fighting with thehouthis has detracted from the fight against aqap who is a global concern. finally, a word on iran. iran did not give earth to the houthis. and the support of the houthis is not by their success. to have survived on their own. have exploited the opportunity to stick the thumb in the eye of the saudi's. i have skimmed over a number of things. out be happy to take your question, but let me close by saying there is no military solution to the current problems in yemen. thank you.
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[applause] dr. anthony: thank you, david. we now have mr. abas. a journalist. he is an editor of a widely well-received, respected journal. translating simultaneously for him will be -- >> good morning, everyone. i will speak -- [speaking in a foreign language]
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[speaking a foreign language was back] >> good morning, everybody. greetings to everyone. i will be translating. he cited a verse from a yemeni poet. basically the idea that there is
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a tragedy going on in yemen since the air of spring. -- arab spring. any, many factors coalesce. and now al qaeda seems to be getting stronger. mr almosawa: [speaking in a foreign language]
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[speaking in a foreign language was back [speaking in a foreign language] >> that there are many arab groups in yemen. and now there is the remnants of what is ever left of the yemeni state being destroyed i coalition of american and european forces. i am not a houthis lover. they have actually attacked my family. and a. on against the center of the state. mr. almosawa: [speaking in a foreign language]
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>> the houthis have actually used the libyan example. they have used arms against everybody else, that they have expelled the president from the legitimate presidency. they have basically attacked the state. but the problem is that the current conflagration of going to war is actually -- the houthis. mr. almosawa: [speaking in a foreign language] >> both saudi arabia and iran have their own agendas. basically using lemon, libya, iraq syria to basically he cannot -- eek it out. mr. almosawa: [speaking in a
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foreign-language]] [speaking in a foreign language] >> iran supports its own groups. at the same time, saudi arabia
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supports its own groups. at the u.s. has committed many egregious mistakes in afghanistan and iraq and libya. the problem is you get rid of somebody else, but you don't build something instead. mr. almosawa: [speaking in a foreign language] >> yemen basically has 2000
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kilometer border with saudi arabia. 1800 borders on the sea. it has been -- become really grounds for a lot of groups that are doing harm. mr. almosawa: [speaking in air foreign language -- [speaking in a foreign language]
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[indistinct chatter] >> the state is weak. the president, the republican party, has helped to the houthis do what they want to do. the republican guard has actually helped the houthis gain whatever ground they have been able to gain. the houthis are not necessarily state builders. i, myself, hate a war. war is only for destruction.
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mr. almosawa: [speaking in a foreign language]
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>> it is said that this war is a war of necessity. i don't think so. there have been many opportunities for a political solution, but it is said that saudi arabia does not have a choice. it does have a choice. all parties have a choice for a peaceful resolution of the problem. basically, the idea is that this war is really helping the houthis do whatever they want to do instead of weakening them. my apologies, i missed out on what think you mentioned that there are at least 50 million pieces, weapons among the people in yemen. dr. anthony: thank you, mr. almosawa: and thank you. [applause] our last resource specialist is -- any of you who have been
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students of ethnic groups, travel groups, historical dynamics in arabia know that -- have strong roots. she is an analyst for al jazeera english, bbc, npr, and cnn analyst on yemen. >> i am very happy to be here and to see so many people in the audience who care about yemen. to the you -- yemenese here -- thank you for coming. i am mexico to do something different that i don't usually do at my other talks. rather than focusing on the politics and the analysis behind everything, i would like to sit at first came here, i came to study at the university.
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i never thought i would stay in this country. my hope was to go back. of course, this is becoming less and less of a reality. the situation in yemen has gotten worse and worse every year. recently, a friend sent me a photo of a drawing by a six year old child of plate covering bob -- bombs on them. i was in yemen in 1997 during the civil war. but i never thought that i would draw a plane things going on my head. having said that, i would like to represent the voice of the people considering i speak to so many people on the ground in the north and south of yemen. i want to begin with iden that is -- aiden that is really suffering today. people are talking about bodies piling up on the ground. the fighting there as a result of houthis fighting with elements of aqap, the shootings
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are random and have targeted everyone. in -- alone, there are 63,000 internally displaced people. people have fled into villages. and at the moment, a lot of people can't go anywhere because of the shifting of movement. the airstrikes one-stop. -- won't stop. rather than talking about the blame game when we talk about iran and saudi arabia fighting each other, there are millions of people stuck between these names that we talk about. everything we see today is as a result of having a week government having a weak leader. the government had an opportunity from 2011 to 2014 to deliver services to the people. yemen at the moment is surrounded. our territory will water and our
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airspace is considered a no-fly zone. nothing can go in or out. a lot of the population is dependent on humanitarian aid. having said that, besides the humanitarian aid, we actually import a lot of our oil. about 80% is imported from the outside. and our revenues can only last for up to three weeks. we were expecting another shipment that we did not receive. that means that there is inflation. the dollar is really, really up. it is impossible to find it in the market. under our laws now restricting people on how to find gasoline. we depended -- depend on it for more than just cars. we depend on it for electricity. at the moment, a lot of the countries participating in this coalition claimed they are there to save yemen. however, 4900 people -- more than that, actually -- are stuck at airports worldwide because no one would grant them he says. yemenis don't have the
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opportunity to get these us to enter anywhere. at the moment, the only country accepting them as refugees somalia. we have 2400 refugees on the ground. we have series -- syrian refugees. no other country's opening their doors for our refugees or immigrants. and that is very tragic. since we are technically in a siege, you don't have medical supplies for those who are wounded. we don't have enough doctors, we don't have enough medications. and the situation is getting really, really bad. this could expand. talking about this airstrike, i constantly think how can you care of an ideology by launching airstrikes against the people? we have learned before through the drone strikes are -- or
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other experiences that you cannot find an ideology by dropping a bomb. you need a proper government infrastructure. you need education. you need to employ people in order to shift them up fighting with the luscious to participating in good governance -- with malicious to participating -- malitias to participating in good governance. -- he will not have a military to lead. they will have to start everything from zero. they have to build that infrastructure from nothing. and everybody here on this panel has talked about the role of al qaeda, just yesterday they freed 300 prisoners from a prison and are taking advantage of this prison to expand on the ground. the only group that was capable of defeating and fighting al qaeda was in fact the houthis.
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the houthis turkeys airstrikes to go to the south and commit atrocities. and they're claiming that the president dragged the war there. of course, our brothers and sisters are suffering from the consequences of these politicians. at the same time aqap has looted the central bank. and we are still not sure how much money they took. what is worse than that is that we have on the ground, if we talk about the scenario of having on the ground troops, it is going to be really hard to distinguish who is who in yemen. considering the military going and will not know the geography very well. i call on the ethics and rules of -- i request that the saudi government revealed the targets that they have attacked. and i actually asked them to be transparent -- ask them to be transparent about who they are
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targeting. just a few days ago, they attacked a weapons depot that was in the heart of sanaa. this weapons depot blew up all the weapons, and missiles came out of that mountain in every direction. that was in a heavily populated area. all of the areas where these airstrikes are being -- are taken place they are the most heavily populated areas. so far, we don't have any international ngo workers in yemen. however, within the last 24 hours, we had several ngos come up with rough drafts of the number of deaths happening there. considering there are no drones on the ground, i -- i personally depend on the saudi government to provide us with the targets to know what is going on. besides the facts on human beings, whether psychological or
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physical, i want to pay attention to what is happening to the biodiversity of weapons -- yemen. these weapons are probably going to affect people's health long-term if we don't know what weapons they are using and who the at targeting. the repercussions of this could be very great. we already have smuggling in yemen. for me as a woman, i wonder what that means to my sisters back home in yemen. are they going to be a part of a smuggling operation? other going to be trafficked as wives? i just don't know what is going to happen. and the idea itself terrifies me. looking at what is happening in aiden at the moment, i very worried -- i am very worried about other attacks. i guess this is me stepping out of my professional round. and i do request that the humanitarian law is implemented in yemen.
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unfortunately, yemenese now are stuck between fire coming in and fire from within. many people have not had the chance to make plans to evacuate. there are no flight into or out of yemen. roughly, there are 40,000 yemeni -americans trapped in this fire. so every other country has citizens there that they cannot evacuate. i think that is very -- it is very necessary for the government of saudi arabia, that is leading the coalition, to reveal what political agenda to have and the future for yemen. and i also urge them to have another backup plan because everything that is happening in yemen now is a result of having only one plan in yemen. which, i have to say, failed miserably. having said all of these things,
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i think that we need to pay attention to the race. that will have a lot of turmoil in the future. and talking about the military, moving forward, i really urge the u.s. saudi, and other countries participating to pay attention and learn lessons of the nato and libya, of the gcc in syria, of the u.s. in iraq. it is very important moving forward of paying attention to how to restructure the military. everything that we are talking about today analysts like myself have warned of a long time ago. we warned about the failure of yemen's national dialogue. we warned about the expansion of the houthis. unfortunately, i feel that our voices are not heard. here i am today, one in about the repercussions about this were continuing. yemen will be a disaster. al qaeda in the arabian
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peninsula is expanding. they declared a state enters -- and have carried out operations in sanaa. so this is an opportunity for me to one that if this war is considering without a -- continuing without a clear plan, edition us going to recruit more people into the al qaeda side or the houthis side. it will definitely move all yemenese against the side of saudi and the u.s.. therefore i urge all the analysts to request a humanitarian cease-fire, for the people to make plans for evacuation. a lot of people are trapped in their own houses. our resources are about to go down. i also go -- ask for the allowance of shipment of aid -- aide and so forth to be shipped in. otherwise, a lot of those who are wounded will die out of not
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getting the proper health care. at this point, i would like to end my conversation, but i would like to point out that i'm also very well first in the politics and the war. thank you. [applause] dr. anthony: thank you, ms. al-hamdani:. i think all the speakers for sticking to the assigned 10 minute. period. now we have the question and answer time. we ask participants to read the questions on the three by five card and bring them forward. several have been asked to me. while standing, i will answer them as quickly as i can. what is, hasn't too much been made of the sunni-shia divide
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here? yes, in the case of yemen because the divisions there are rather soft. historically, they have cooperated. there is intermarriage. nothing is pronounced as you find to the northern part of the arabian peninsula, although it does exist. it is true that egypt came and had up to 70,000 to 80,000 troops in support from 1962 to 1967. and it is true that saudi arabia plus iran backed those in northern yemen who were the monarchists. secondly, in terms of people saying that saudi arabia is adamantly anti-shia, come to the following. throughout the 1960's and the 1970's, saudi arabia cooperated most closely with iran, whose
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head of state were shia. in terms of the yemen government, over the years, who has saudi arabia supported most? a shia head of state. indeed, saudi arabia's aid to northern yemen and southern yemen has been greater than that of the world bank, the imf, the united states, great britain the netherlands combined. aspects of it have pertained also to lebanon and the accord in 1989. it was saudi arabia that pushed for a reconfiguration of power in lebanon, which enabled the shia element in lebanon to have a greater percentage of power and authority and influence than they had before. these are for cases -- four
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cases, and one can add with regard to syria, saudi arabia's long-standing relationship with syria before the recent troubles has been with a government headed by an offshoot of the shia face. so these are four examples of reaching beyond ethnicity, beyond religion to cooperate on interests and strategic commonalities. with regard to -- what is he into? i have subscribed to what dave and others said. but here you have a situation of an individual who feels that he was stitched or not supported -- ditched or not supported when the arab spring came about. and did not want to see yemen the fall into what happened -- devolve into what happened in iraq. and the same thing and libya. that situation is in trembles --
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shambles. and one has to ask in regard to libya is most of the 17 christian sects happened to be beholden to the family. this doesn't come out to the media. but it is on one of the questions here. what are the implications for that? in terms of getting rid of a strongman in yemen. so, here we have him more than 30 years in power. no head of state knows the triumph, the families, the ethnic groups, the geographic groups, do -- the municipalities more than that individual. yemen your and for stability. to completely rule him out the grounds of dislike, our corruption, on this rule -- miss
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rule all understandable, but what about the implications we have seen as a result of that? and this aspect with regards to the united states goes back to the 1990's when yemen how the chair of united nation's security council and did not go along with the consensus views force to restore kuwait's national sovereignty and territorial integrity. yemen paid a big price for that. he was the one who drove those policies. so the country did, indeed suffer from that aspect of mis-leadership. but when people talked about dictatorial, ok. strong person rule, ok. backwardness, yes and no. economic wise, but not necessarily in terms of a civil society. having been the preserver from
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1993, 2000 and 2006, i was just one of 33. but the consensus was that these elections were as fair and free and open and transparent as anyone would find among the 130 developing countries. do not overlook that. the 1998 secretary of state chose yemen of all countries in the world to host in emerging democracies for. -- forum. so these windows on yemen must not be overlooked. and the development in the south, aiden was almost an overdeveloped city in comparison to the other cities of arabia. up until independence in 1967. we are talking about the waste of a lot of talent with regard to the yemeni people, who are extraordinarily hard workers. then lastly with regard to the
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south, it is not an analogous to -- un analogous. south sudan is but one part of sudan. it commanded 50% of the country pot oil revenue. -- country's oil revenue. leaving out the north leaving out the east. and one wonders why you had a reaction of violent from these three other regions. in the case of north yemen, the unity in 1990, south yemen played a hard hand and ended up with 50% of the power. 50% of the cabinet posts. when the percentage of the population was only 1/7. so you can see why the south won a to retain its powers or regain its powers, but you can also see the animus of the north. many of whom thought the south
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took too much, got too much, didn't deserve as much. jeremy sharp on the questions of the united states relationship with yemen. what are the implications of in an increased depth of an americanism, hatred toward the united states the longer that this conflict continues? jeremy: i feel like i should give my room -- my opening remarks all over again. one side of me is -- things that on any given day even when there is not a major international operation in yemen , it is never a good situation like panelists described. this is a country with
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incredibly low socioeconomic indicators in terms of human development. on the u.s. side, we have a history now of u.s. connecticut operations in -- u.s. kinetic operations and yemen. mistakes have been made, civilians have been killed. that obviously in dangers a great deal of discord against the united states. certainly, like my panelists said, if there are more airstrikes that hit dairy factories or weapon depots in civilian areas, that is also going to fill a lot of discourse. in terms of u.s. operations and not necessarily saudi, you get into sort of broader questions about how we conduct counterterrorism operations not just in yemen but in pakistan, at anniston, iraq, syria.
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-- afghanistan, iraq, syria. how do we protect our own homeland security without creating new breeds and generations of terrorists? it is being tested in yemen and will be tested elsewhere. i do not have the answer to that debate, but it is worth revisiting, certainly. dr. anthony: the roche -- colonel, how long will the logistics and operational assets on the ground in yemen likely last, including ammunition? and what are the implications for u.s. yemeni defense corporation that is now on hold and idling at the intersection? how do you assess this situation
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and what is the prognosis? kernel: qr, sir. -- colonel: thank you, sir. the other vehicles rebel lines of litigation and unfortunately rebel line of communication is what you and i would call a road. the target set is already fairly broad. what you will see happen is some form of precision guided munitions will run not relatively quickly because there are not a lot of stocks and they are difficult to replace. we don't know for sure what has been used, but based on what they bought, i assume paisley and brimstone, which are british produced and used by britain and saudi arabia, if those production line is small and incapable of searching and they will run out quickly and you will see typhoon and tornado having to move back up to the north.
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on the other hand, the former douglas produced snap-on's those are very cheap and there are a lot of them an easy to move around. those will probably become the target. the paradox is the saudi stocks will decline at the same time they become harder to find, so you have fewer precision guided ammunitions when your target requires more guidance. and your political frustration increases which leads to this and it is time to put away the stick and show the carrot. we will not be able to happen. the second question, the u.s. support yemen, right now there is a lot of -- i would imagine there is a lot of consternation within u.s. circles because a lot of the things we have given to the mn -- to the yemenis such as night vision goggles, we
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cannot account for. these are something we try to track cosi and that we inventory on a monthly basis. i actually inventoried the amendment -- the yemeni parachute brigade's. it was immaculate. we do not know where those are. unless we can establish where they are, we are not going to send more things of that nature. there will be cooperation of there is an entity we can cooperate with, particularly against a common enemy like those guys who just busted out. it will be very, very low level and low tech until such time as we can be assured that the high-tech things people ask for it like night vision goggles are capable of being accounted for. thank you. dr. anthony: two more for jeremy sharp and then the panelists on my right and you're left, can you talk about the implication
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potential for this arab state coalition to be engaged in the challenges pertaining to syria? and possibly against isis or to try and restore somewhat security and stability in iraq jeremy sharp? jeremy sharp: is there in egypt question? dr. anthony: and if one can analyze egypt's position and role. the united states has lifted the ban on sanctions or hold on ammunitions and armaments to egypt and that egypt is to be the location of a 35,000 arab ground force for this united arab joint defense command for
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which there is an air component which is much smaller. just a few thousand. and a naval component that is perhaps double that. with those it to combine and multiplied by seven would be the ground forces. who is paying for this? largely saudi arabia and other gcc countries, but not all. and to us is involved in this? morocco is, jordan's, and you may recall in the last four years, a geostrategic announcement that the gcc countries would be more aligned and associated with jordan and morocco monarchies. this is not completely new with regard to reaching out to those two countries. but reaching out to sit and is -- to sudan is. partly because it is the
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neighbor of egypt and has there own armed forces and it diversifies the coalition. mr. sharp? jeremy sharp: it certainly is not, as john points out. but we are at a moment and one of the interesting strategic things to think about in terms of this conflict in yemen and really what has been going on in the so-called arab spring began in 2011 isn't this concept of regional integration. albeit military or economic, something that has been talked about for decades, right? if you look at just from the economic side, saudi arabia kuwait, the uae are financially supporting countries that fiscally cannot do it themselves anymore, whether it is egypt jordan, certainly yemen needs the assistance. all of these countries now. thegcc -- the gcc says they have
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the finances now but the cost of the region are going up exponentially, whether it is military integration or and -- or economic integration. who knows how operationally this joint force will work or where it will be deployed in the future. this may be the beginning of the -- we're at a point where we cannot laugh is often more. oh yeah, they talk about integration and they make deals that never happened. this actually may be the start of something both financially and militarily that has some legs because the region itself is getting to the point where it is so bad that they need that kind of assistance. dr. anthony: these questions shifting gears here, too are
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other panelists. could the two of you comment on the way the discussion is going with regard to questions asked and the answers provided. is this another case of american lack of empathy and inability or limitation of americans to project themselves into the shoes situations -- the shoes and situations of the peoples? your comments on the americanism aspect, anti-americanism, the american role back and saudi arabia saying it will support this 10 estate coalition providing intelligence operational, logistical, ammunition support. are you in accord with his anti-american perceptions and
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iraq, hundreds of americans were sure that they knew iraq and could plan and predict and anticipate effectively -- cost effectively and efficiently with the united states did and most would agree it is a disaster that iraq was smashed to smithereens and lost its national sovereignty, political independence, lost its territorial integrity, lost before things that are in america's constitution as to why america exists, namely to provide domestic safety to assure for the external defense to enhance material well-being and to ensure the administration of and it -- prevent effective system for justice. all of those things were smashed. the united states cannot blame others for those results. what are your answers to these
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controversial implicitly challenging constant questions? panelist: [indiscernible]
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[speaking arabic]
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[speaking arabic]
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[laughter] dr. anthony: i tried to get as much of that as possible. that is definitely a great lack of information on yemen. in yemen is a private society, but it is a very loving society and they love each other, their neighbors, and the idea of secretary is an and as far as he is concerned the houthis are part of human -- of part of yemeni society and they have been and will remain there. [indiscernible]
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the issue is that the u.s. relation with him and is based on security issues. what do we do with al qaeda, what kind of role does yemen play? the question is definitely broader than what the united states wants to look at yemen around. i don't like to talk of sectarianism and yemen is for everybody. abbas almosawa: [speaking arabic]
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[laughter] abbas almosawa:[speaking arabic] translator: he is relating to a specific piece of information
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that before the operation to -- before the current operation, he asked the united states to it. basically, everyone wanted to limit the houthi influence in yemen, obviously. there were many times that try to secure large areas on the saudi arabian border. there is a story that abbas almosawa has, the son of the president they wanted to lift the sanctions on his family and basically, he promised that he would lead the campaign to be the end of the houthi threat. abbas almosawa: thank you.
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[speaking arabic] thank you. [applause] translator: that was fast. basically, the idea is that he is against the war since he does not think it is going to resolve anything. dr. anthony: -- panelist: i will try to be brief. given everything that has happened i understand the united states being cautious and endorsing this attack and they are in top corner considering the drone strikes that are happening in yemen that are unpopular on the ground. i think the problem or there is an opportunity here for the u.s.
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to play the role of mediator and peacemaker for once in the region. they can help bring the parties together and reach a negotiation because at the end of all this and sending ground troops or air tubes, they will have to sit down and come with a solution. i talked earlier about this being a war to eliminate an ideology and there was no such thing as illuminating the houthis or any of the rhetoric does not make sense. what yemenis can do is learn to coexist together and create a process that allows for pluralism. my opinion is although americans try very hard to understand yemen, yemen is a very remote location. it is a very different culture and i think that sometimes because we are so different that results in the creation of i vs. you or me vs. them dialogue.
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there are yemenis that can speaking english and communicate these ideas. unfortunately, there are nuances the west cannot get unless there is a yemeni person translating for the. there is a sense that yemeni life is worthless. this sense comes from yemenis themselves to kill each other and spill blood everywhere. this has been happening since 2011 at this point. yemenis generally feel their allies don't matter and this is an opportunity for the world to say your lives do matter and learn you are worth something. the situation we are in in yemen now can be narrowed down to the politics of five individuals. the president, former president the first four that i mentioned have been on the political yemeni seen for years. -- scene for years.
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the reason he succeeded was he was able to take the youth and employ them in the houthi movement. all other factions failed to include the youth. the houthis were able to construct a show to present that women are participating. it shows me they are more poetic -- more politically savvy than other political ribs on the ground. -- groups on the ground. i think everything and yemen is a result of lack of leadership. for good governance. ever since 2011 until now, we had an opportunity to take yemen out of the situation it was an animated towards democracy. we have all talked about the gcc deal that granted the president and as long as he was on the ground he could carry out operations and now we have a president who is residing there. his strength in yemen is getting weaker and weaker by the day and it is hard to imagine how he
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would go back and will again by issuing orders. that is the only thing he can do and that is how he rolled prior to do thousand 14. he would issue orders for things to be carried out but they would not be implement it. in order to move forward whether american, saudi, or any other part of the world, they need to sit down and taken yemen's history. i really do recommend to look at yemen's history not just in the past four years not the past 20 years, i would say to look really, really back. we are tribes by nature and we do take pride in our genealogy and whatever vendettas we had from 50 years ago could still apply to this day. having said that, if there is a process that is endorsed by the west, it has been proven in the past that every political party is willing to come and negotiate . a lot of people have suggested oman as a neutral location because they are the only
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location that has not participated in the airstrikes were all factions can talk to each other. that is about it. dr. anthony: thank you. his excellency will be here in less than one minute we are told. the question or two dove additional. we westerners, i am one of them have a problem thinking about tribes. those who are americans here and over 50 years old, perhaps have seen no fewer than 30 movies, cowboys and indians, and the indians were all tribal. they were the bad people. and the non-indians were the progressive and good people. and the indians were seen as file and and backward, nonprogressive, liberal.
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in terms of what has happened to them their lands, resources, mountains, valleys, rivers streams were all taken over by a white people, christian people largely who came from western europe. so americans have a difficulty question of tribes. they come from the state of virginia where many of the tribes still are in existence but living on reservations and others of you come from elsewhere where the tribes are larger and so are the reservations. but think of it in this context because the british do not have this. hang gone. indeed, the british role and roll and power and prestige largely was through the tribes in the region. so, with regard to tribes in a
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british sense, that power that for nearly two centuries held the ring of security and stability, they could not have done it without tribes and through tribes. the american experience is emphatically different and this means we have proceeded with maybe two hands behind our back because we say we don't do tribes and largely we don't. but here is a self-inflicted wound because what are tribes? they are groups of people, social logical and anthropological realities forces doctors and phenomena on the ground and they place where the central government is weak resources a few, and there are no strong central government. it is left to plan tbb, the pre-existing tribes who have
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leaders and tribes are not nondemocratic in many instances. they, too, live by consultation and they too, live by consensus. this buildings ethos in terms of democracy boil down to a phrase is the consent of the government. had to get the console except a consultation? so the tribes are steeped in consultation and largely peaceful interior room in terms of where people would go for security and stability. and up until the last 40 years but still in some places, you went to your tribal leader for scholarship to get help to have medicine and health care. even to have a job or get a position in the armed forces, so if you look at tribes from this perspective, they are the glue
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they are the adhesive, they are the lubricant that has kept this particular society together longer than more peacefully and more effectively than otherwise would have been the case. it sounds as though i am a member of the tribe, it is called the human tribe. we have his excellency who has arranged his scheduled to be with us. mr. ambassador you were not here when many of the questions were asked but i will try to summarize some of them. if you would be good enough to respond. are you comfortable with that? all right. we well, we had questions divided, what the countries are doing, iran on one hand and then the united states and newly formal declared arab joint command to be based in
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egypt and along with their 10 countries. these are in the external realm. one that wasn't tasked was will the oral surplus or the decline in oil prices, how that will affect yemen which depends on oil and gas for its limited revenue, as does your country and most of your g.c.c. neighbors. so those would be on the external side with one addition and that is several questions, maybe half a dozen were asked about sunni, shi'ia, and iran, saudi arabia tension conflict, etc. on the internal side, questions about will saudi arabia give serious and favorable consideration to a ground offensive if it comes to that? what has been the price saudi arabia has paid economically, human resources geopolitically, hue man terrill
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-- hue man sterile -- humanitarianly and people killed in the air strikes and other questions having to do with the internal dynamics of yemen and aliabdullah salis role and your government supported him and had relationship with him for decades. and also, your government had close and extensive relations with most if not all of yemen's major tribes. and people used to criticize riyad for doing this, but in my own meetings with ali abdullah sala he said i don't have the resources to deal with large segments of my people. if someone from the outside is willing to help meet the basic health care needs, education needs, security and stability needs, who would not have an outstretched hand of appreciation and gratitude for
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whatever country did that, the united states, even the soviet union where it could be the case in years past. so this is a little bit of the nature of the external questions and the domestic ones. the domestic ones are charged with the understandable needs, concerns, and emotions of individuals who have relatives in yemen. who are suffering and who are uncertain about the near term present let alone the longer term future. i tried to summarize. would you respond to these kinds of questions? panelist: thank you for the opportunity to speak and thank you, everybody, for being here today. let me start off by talking a also bit about where we are in the operations. first of all, this is not something that we wanted to do. this was an issue of last resort for us. nobody wants to use force in anger.
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but we were left with no choice and spent years trying to establish a legitimate government in yemen, years trying to help yemen move from the chaotic situation it was in 2007 to a stable future. as times went by we had the huties -- hutey reneging on the agreements they signed and backed away from them. their aggression kept moving and they went from iran and moved around and threatened to capture the president's palace and imprisoned the president and cabinet in their homes in sana and thank god most of them were able to escape and make their way to another city. we had no choice but to respond to the call of the president of yemen of the u.s. chart tore come in and support him and protect him and protect yemen.
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so our objectives in yemen are simple, protect the government of yemen and protect the people of yemen from a takeover by a radical group allied with iran and hezbollah. and we had a situation where a militia that is in control of ballistic missiles and was now in control of an air force. i don't believe there was a situation in history a armed militia had an air force and this is something that cannot be tolerated. we tried to reason with them and tried to reach agreements with them or broker agreements with them that as i mentioned earlier, it all came to not and we ended up having to resort to force in response to the request by the legitimate government of yemen. the operations are ongoing. we have targeted the air force. we have targeted air bases. we have targeted ballistic missiles and targeted heavy weapons depots and have tried our best to minimize collateral
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damage. there have been malicious charges made the saudi air force responded to a refugee camp and turned out not to be the case. the site was not on our target list nor were operations conducted above it and could not have been us. there were charters that saudi arabia bombed a milk factory a few days but turned out the factory was bombed by the tu -- hutis themselves to generate sympathy towards themselves and hostilization to the coalition forces. we believe the activities are achieving their objectives. it will take a little more time but are determined to prevail in yemen and determined to strength and restore the legitimate government of yemen and protect the people of yemen from this radical group. with regard to the internal situation in the kingdom, of course everybody is
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apprehensive about the use of force and nobody wants to do it but people understand it was necessary and have total support not only from the people of the kingdom of saudi arabia but for people throughout the region for these military operations. the issue of yemen's oil, unfortunately, for yemen, yemen does not produce enough oil to export so not most if not all the oil yemen produces is for domestic consumption and therefore the drop on the price of oil in world markets has no impact on yemen and if anything reduces its import coast of oil they have to purchase from outside. president sala, we've had our
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ups and downs with him since he came to power. when saddam hussein innovated kuwait, the president sided against saudi arabia and we cut off relations with him. so the relationship was not always an amicable one over the past 35 years. but now he's playing a very negative and destructive role in yemen by aligning himself with the huti's and using what influence he has in the military in order to per situate them to side with them. hutis could not have made their advance without the explicit support of president salah and the military units he controlled. the world knows this and
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believe history will judge him harshly when it comes to yemen and what he did to yemen and his role in the current crisis. we have been targeting units that are loyal to him or that are under his command or virtually under his command in order to degrade their capabilities and in order to make sure the role he has in yemen and the roles the hutis play in the militia are limited or nonexistent. we recognize the hutis are yemen he's and have a right to be a part of the political process in yemen and not denying this and in fact was the g.e.c. initiative that opened the door for them to participate in the yemeni political process but cannot be a militia or have heavy weapons outside the scope of the state and that's a situation that is not tolerable. we see the consequences of hezbollah where militia dominates the state and threaten state institutions and
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will not allow this to happen on our doorstep in yemen. dr. anthony: i'll read them out and you're good on remembering them and answer them as you will. does it matter one way or another if the united states lists the groups in women under the designation of it being a terrorist organization? and as much as saudi arabia has designated of late various groups as terrorist organizations is this under the options they have you said exclusions and what will be the implications if they did or did not, that's one. the second one your view of aden. dd
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there's oman near the east-west shipping routes and there is jizan and other places you're developing along the red sea. in eastern oman. that's one question. i'll let you think about it, about how this strategic geoeconomic logistical of exports from the peninsula and exports into it, where does that come on the radar there? >> i'm getting old so my memory is limited. let me talk about the two. the first one was designating the hughesies as a -- the
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hughesies a terrorist and they've terrorized the population and taken out of property and government equipment illegal have the huteys -- houthis. if that is not terrorism, i don't know what it is. i don't know it will have an impact, i guess from a psychological perspective in the sense of defining them and their actions as illegal and criminal. but in terms of facts on the ground, i don't know what impact it will have in the short term. the second question with regards to economic support for yemen, saudi arabia has been by far the largest contributor of economic assistance to yemen ever since the civil war in yemen ended in the late 1960's and early 1970's. we have built roads schools hospitals. we have sent medical teams and
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have brought yemeni students to saudi arabia on scholarship. we've tried to help yemen with its development plans and we are committed to doing so in the future. we have with our partners in the g.c.c., we believe that yemen has the potential to thrive. it has a large population base. the yemeni people are industrious and hard-working and very honest. we have in saudi arabia almost four million yemeni people working in the kingdom and we believe that yemen, were it to have the legal infrastructure and the bureaucratic infrastructure that is proper could be a magnet for investments by gulf businesses where they can set up shops or factories in yemen, fund agricultural products in yemen, take advantage of the abundance of labor in yemen in order to produce items or food that can then be exported either to the gulf countries or even sold in yemen. so we have no hesitation about
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continuing our vast support for yemen in order to help the yemeni people and irrespective of what happened to the port of aden and what happened to the logistics in terms of shipping. we deal with the situation as it is and the situation as it is now is we have a country that is one of the poorest in the world with one of the highest unemployment rates in the world with one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world that has no water to speak of a country that is ripe with disease and that needs the attention and the support of the whole world in order to get back up on its feet. we are determined to help the people of yemen and the yemen country to overcome the challenges it faces but first we need a stable and legitimate government and we need to find a way where we can end the divisions that exist in yemen and prevent a radical group from taking over the country,
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and as part of a foreign driven agenda that seeks to divide yemen and seeks to destroy yemen and seeks to create instability in the arabian peninsula. dr. anthony: these are three questions, then, keying off that last one about those seeking to divide yemen, outsiders for sure have investment in that kind of a strategic outcome but so do those inside. and there is a movement in the south that would love to see another independent republican of south yemen. so would a two state solution ever be possible in yemen and what would saudi arabia's view be about that? you dealt with that reality for a long time from 1967 to 1990 there. could there be a reversion to that? second question is the hutey -- the houthis, like iran 1979
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revolution are rejecting any form of western influence. what does this mean for your major partner, the united states, that is ready and available and amenable to meeting but it takes two to tango if the houthis want to have nothing to do with washington understandable, but what are the implications of that? you want to answer those two and then there are some more? adel: with we guard to the different movements in yemen, i think they are driven by the sense of mismanagement, a sense of corruption, a accepts of feeling that people's rights are being denied and i think if we can create a situation where we create a stable, legitimate government that's balanced, it represents all yemenis that work for the interest of all yemenis, we wouldn't see these different movements in yemen. i can't comment about the two-state solution or the one-state solution in yemen because this is ultimately up
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to the people of yemen. we have always maintained that it is important to maintain the unity and territorial integrity of yemen the objective of our operations right now are to protect the legitimate government of yemen and to protect the people of yemen and to prevent the rides of a radical, militant armed group on our southern border. so that's on the first question. with regards to the second question, the houthis ideology is very clear and they've been very clear about what they stand for, their education system and text books have been very clear about who they perceive as their enemies and i don't believe that the houthis would -- what they are advocating would be in the interest of yemen because it's not. they want to close yemen off from the world and want yemen to be a radical state that is allied with iran and hezbollah and that's not going to serve either the yemeni people or the people of the region. dr. anthony: that last comment
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assumes one here about the alliance rhetorical or political or ideological with hezbollah and baby none so won't go to that one as such. at which point, if any of the houthi power increasing would saudi arabia withdraw its estimated $1 billion in the yemen central bank, assuming it has not been looted? and sec question, and lots of these are great questions that come from the media nbc cnn c-span "wall street journal," reuters and the like, they're well-versed here and want to know how much hard evidence is there of iranian armed shipments and other support to the houthis none, a little, a lot? adel: a lot.
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with regards to the -- what we would do to withdraw our deposit from the yemeni central bank. we're not going to withdraw it. it cannot be looted because these deposits tend to be numbers on computers. so it's not some physical cash that we gave the yemeni several central bank. the houthis, we are much less worried about the hughesies -- houthis taking over yemen before the operation started. we are degrading their capabilities and will zray their capabilities and will protect the yemeni government and yemeni people, period. no question about it. and the operations are, as i mentioned earlier, ongoing. the objectives are being achieved and we're working through these objectives in order to reach the conclusion that we all want. that's with regards to the issue of the central bank and the houthis. with regards to iranian support for the houthis, it's very, very clear, there are -- the first thing the houthis did when they captured sanaa, was
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to release the operatives of iranian revolution guards and hezbollah from the intelligence jails in sanaa. the iranians have been shipping weapons to the houthis long before this conflict began and those weapons include shoulder launch surface-to-aramisilies. there was a shipment that was interdicted of iranian weapons going to the houthis. they're helping them with -- to build certain facilities. and so the evidence we have -- and they're providing them with financial support. the evidence is very clear to us and we have no doubt about it. we also see it reflected in the public position that iran and hezbollah have taken with regards to the conflict in yemen and with regards to the houthis. dr. anthony: the next one has to do with various aspects of iran and perhaps three aspects.
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several questions about if you were to address the question of to what extent, if at all, is it really sunni versus shi'ia issues ideological political geopolitical, versus revolutionary view points versus the legitimacy of the incumbent governments in the region. haven't seen that question but that's an intriguing one. adel: i think the way we never wanted to have a sectarian conflict. we have in saudi arabia, saudi citizens who are of the shiite islam and viewed as equal citizens to every other saudi. every right a saudi citizen has irrespective of what their ethnicity is or what their sect is. so this is not something that we want to -- the path we
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wanted to go down the road to. the iranians and hezbollah have tried to stroke the sectarian fires in order to generate conflict in the middle east. you see it in the speeches. you see it in the actions they take. we on the other hand and our allies in the gulf have tried to avoid this so we don't look at it from a perspective of sunni versus shi'ia but look at it from the perspective of good versus evil. there are those who want to build and those who want to bring countries together. there are those who want to create a better future for their people and there are those who want to do the opposite and so for us, any person or any leader or government that wants to improve the love of its people and take its -- the lot of its people and take its country forward is a government we're happy to work with irrespective of what their sector or ethnicity is. the kingdom of saudi arabia last year provided $500 million to the united nations organizations working in iraq in order to provide humanitarian assistance to the
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iraqi people and we insisted it be irrespective of religion, sect or ethnicity and it should go to all the iraqi people and be distributed through u.n. organizations and that's exactly what happened. so we don't favor one sect over another. we look at every country as being a country. and all of its citizens being citizens of that country and we don't go beyond that. dr. anthony: ok. another related to iran two, really. at various d.c.c. heads of states summits for several years after the u.s. led invasion of iraq in 2003, sort of a sick joke that used to pass was that the united states attacked or innovated -- invaded iraq and iran won without firing a single shot or shedding a single drop of blood and something similar as a gift to afghanistan earlier when the united states took down the table -- the taliban, people
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would say that this is rare in the history of geostrategic dynamics that a country that has a lot of people who want to hate iranians, more perhaps than others for the hostage taking, and then on the iran side hating some americans, or the american government for taking down iran's first democratically peacefully established government in 1953. so there are those who ask how has this complicated everything that the united states is conducting these controversial, sensitive negotiations with iran and switzerland at a time when iran has leaders that say we now control for our capitals, yemen, syria, iraq and lebanon. soming it was intentional. can you address this aspect because it's known that you and
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the other g.c.c. countries would like to have at least been auditors or listed as participants in the sensitive strategic negotiations between the p-5 and iran. but you were excluded and excluded largely because i believe the united states asked iran, what do you think? is this all right? and iran opposed and so we accommodated iran's position. how has this royaled the waters or made things more complex and convoluted than may otherwise be the case and what are the implications? adel: there are a lot of conspiracy theories but i don't subscribe to them. but the issue is there's no doubt iran benefited from the invasion of iraq and the toppling of the taliban government in afghanistan. no doubt about it. the taliban were iran's ideological enemies and saddam hussein was viewed as the
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bulwark against iran stepping into the region. this happened. i don't believe this was the objective of the united states at the time. but this is the situation that we're dealing with now. the question becomes, how do you stop iran's mischief in the region, their involvement in lebanon and syria and iraq. they're trying to cause problems in because rain and their involvement in yemen. all of these are areas of great concern to the people of the region. now -- and this is irrespective of the nuclear generations. the issue of the nuclear negotiations, i don't know i would characterize it as the iranians excluding the gulf countries from the talks. i think that it was set up to be the permanent five members of the security council plus germany is the largest economy in europe negotiating with the iranians. we see the talks, we hope that the talks will succeed because everybody wants a serious
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agreement that stops iran's weapons-making ability. so we've been assured and we've continuously briefed by the united states about the status of the talks and what -- where they are at any given moment, and we have been assured by the secretary of state that the negotiations the objective of them is to deny iran the ability to make an atomic bomb, to cut off all paths that could lead iran to an atomic bomb, to limit the research, iran's ability to conduct research and to have intrusive and severe and continuous inspections on iran's nuclear program. that's what the objectives are. and i think everybody will share those objectives. the thing i cannot comment on is the details because i don't believe the details have yet been worked out in terms of how the inspections would work, how the limitation on research
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would work. and so until we see those details, we really can't comment about whether this is a good deal or this is not a good deal. but like i said at the beginning, everybody wants a good deal that prevents iran from developing an atomic bomb. dr. anthony: we have two more minutes in terms of our permission to be in here. your views about the newly formed arab league military coalition response force and with regard to how can one really back president hadi when he did not engage in deliverables in terms of what the yemeni people expected and needed and would that not rule out some role possibly for ali saleh if only indirectly given his role in keeping a relative sense of security and stability in yemen for not just years but
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decades? is he completely out of the picture? in geneva with regard to syria seems as though people lock themselves into a corner by saying bashar assad must go and now you see references to well maybe he can be a part of the solution there. and two last short ones, i guess yes and no, are there saudi arabian troops in aden as reported? and you correctly noted four million yemenis in saudi arabia. the panelist before you came and the other panelist mentioned how many yemenis are trying to get out and be evacuated and can't get visas except to somalia and they're stranded at airports not just in yemen but throughout the world. these are the last two questions. adel: there were a series of two questions? dr. anthony: yes. the one about add he saudi
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arabia troops in aden and the visa one. and then how can you support hadi when he's not a proven leader. adel: we don't have troops, formal saudi troops in aden. we actually view using ground troops as always something on the table but the decisions will be made depending on the circumstances and the need. with regard to president hadi, the reason he wasn't able to deliver deliverables, which i disagree with that premise because i think he has. the reason he's viewed as not having delivered deliverables is because he was being undercut by the houthis and former president saleh. so he -- we had the number of friend of yemen conferences. we had projects that we were working with yemen on with him as president. i believe given the opportunity
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hadi would do the right thing but it's hard to be effective when you've taken away your ability to control. and when people attack you and take over your capital, and when people imprison you in your own home in sanaa. that's -- he is the legitimate president of yemen. the outcomes of the national dialogue in yemen call for a transitional period during which a constitution would be drafted. this was done and then they houthis came in and redrafted it and we do not consider this legal. then you go through elections and then you have a new president and a new parliament and life goes on, hopefully towards a better future. that is what we were working on with president had the -- president


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