Saturday, June 13, 2015

Saudis Terror Bomb Yemeni World Heritage Site

Saudis Terror-Bomb Yemeni World Heritage Site

by Stephen Lendman

Sanaa's Old City is a World Heritage site - recognized by UNESCO in 1986. It's been inhabited for over 2,500 years - a major Islamic center since the 7th century. 

It has 103 mosques, 14 hammans (bathhouses) and over 6,000 houses built before the 11th century. According to UNESCO:

Sanaa's Old City "is defined by an extraordinary density of rammed earth and burnt brick towers rising several stories above stone-built ground floors, strikingly decorated with geometric patterns of fired bricks and white gypsum."

"Described by historians, geographers and scholars of the early Islamic and medieval eras, Sanaa is associated with the civilizations of the Bible and the Koran."

Yemen is Obama's war using Saudis and other regional partners as convenient proxies. Israel is covertly involved. 

Targets are largely based on US-intelligence designated sites. They include residential neighborhoods, schools, hospitals, refugee camps, food storage areas, historic landmarks and other non-military related areas.

Terror-bombing Yemen is a high crime against peace - affecting civilian men, women and children most of all. UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova expressed shock over Riyadh's Sanaa Old City attack, saying:

"I am profoundly distressed by the loss of human lives as well as by the damage inflicted on one of the world’s oldest jewels of Islamic urban landscape." 

"I am shocked by the images of these magnificent many-storied tower-houses and serene gardens reduced to rubble." 

"This destruction will only exacerbate the humanitarian situation, and I reiterate my call to all parties to respect and protect the cultural heritage in Yemen." 

"This heritage bears the soul of the Yemeni people. It is a symbol of a millennial history of knowledge and it belongs to all humankind."

UNESCO is charged with preserving world cultural and natural heritage sites, among other responsibilities.

Terror-bombing Sanaa's Old City began pre-dawn Friday. Reuters reported a local resident named Abdullah saying "(w)e heard screaming in the alley…after Saudi strikes hit the area."

"We started digging to get the victims out and six hours later managed to put out only five (bodies) all from the same family."

Houthi Ansarullah sources reported six casualties and five historic buildings destroyed. Riyadh lied blaming its attack on a rebel ammunition cache explosion. No evidence suggests it.

AP News said Saudi Old City bombing caused cracks in surrounding buildings. They're cemented to each other "leaving large sections of the Old City's district at risk of collapse."

At at destroyed four-story building, AP's reporter saw brick piles, dust and wood "mingled with clothes, kitchenware and water tanks, which are traditionally kept on roofs."

An adjacent three-story building was split in half. Window frames were dangling from upper floors. Old City resident Zahwa Hammoud explained a "deafening sound that made me feel like my ears were exploding" when missiles struck nearby.

Recent Saudi attacks damaged an east Yemen 8th century Great Dam of Marib, as well as an ancient al-Qahira castle and Dhamar Museum in Taiz.

Former Yemeni culture minister Arwa Osman called damage to Sanaa's Old City "extremely painful." On Friday, Saudis said terror-bombing will continue until Houthis withdraw from territory they control.

On June 14, UN-sponsored peace talks will be held in Geneva. Instead of condemning US-orchestrated, Saudi-led aggression, a statement said:

"The Secretary-General welcomes the readiness of President Abd Rabou Mansour Hadi, as communicated to his Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, in Riyadh, to send a delegation to participate in United Nations-facilitated Yemeni-Yemeni consultations in Geneva starting on 14 June."

"The Secretary-General reiterates his urgent call on all Yemeni parties to engage in these consultations in good faith and without pre-conditions in the interest of all Yemeni people." 

"He hopes that the meeting in Geneva will restart a peaceful, orderly, inclusive and Yemeni-led transition process."

Premeditated Saudi aggression began on March 26 with no indication of letup. Thousands of civilians have been willfully targeted and killed.

A humanitarian crisis affects millions of Yemenis nationwide. A Saudi-led blockade prevents enough life-sustaining supplies from arriving. Limited amounts getting in are woefully short of what's needed.

On Friday, reports indicate Saudi Lt. General Muhammad bin Ahmed Al-Shaalan was killed by Houthi Ansarullah fighters days earlier. It was concealed until June 10.

He died when Houthi missiles struck Saudi's King Khalid Air Base - the Kingdom's largest. He commanded the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF). Riyadh reports claimed he died from a heart attack.

An informed Yemeni source confirmed he "was killed in the Yemeni army's missile attacks against Saudi Arabia's Khamees al-Mushait region five days" before his death was reported.

Multiple Houthi missile attacks struck two additional Saudi military bases - Ain al-Harrah and Malhamah.

On Saturday, Fars News reported Yemeni forces "fired scores of rockets at several camps and military bases in Saudi Arabia in retaliation for" Riyadh's aggression on their country. Damage inflicted and numbers of casualties aren't known.

A recent Freedom House report indicated nearly 4,600 Yemeni deaths - mostly civilians, victims of Obama-ordered aggression using Saudis and other regional proxies to do his dirty work.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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