U.S. counterterrorism strategy in Yemen collapses as country descends into chaos

BY JULIE PACE, ASSOCIATED PRESS AND KEN DILANIAN, ASSOCIATED PRESS  March 24, 2015 at 11:10 AM EDT  | Updated: Mar 24, 2015 at 1:17 PM

People look inside a damaged mosque after Friday's suicide bomb attack in Sanaa March 22, 2015. Suicide bombers killed at least 137 worshippers and wounded hundreds more during Friday prayers at two mosques in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, in coordinated attacks claimed by Islamic State. Photo by Mohamed al-Sayaghi/Reuters

WASHINGTON — Once hailed by President Barack Obama as a model for fighting extremism, the U.S. counterterrorism strategy in Yemen has all but collapsed as the country descends into chaos, according to U.S. and Yemeni officials.Operations against militants have been scaled back dramatically amid the fall of the American-backed government and the evacuation of U.S. personnel. What had been consistent pressure on Yemen’s dangerous al-Qaida affiliate has been eased, the officials say, and a safe haven exists for the development of an offshoot of the Islamic State group.

It’s a swift and striking transformation for an anti-terror campaign Obama heralded just six months ago as the template for efforts to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The shift has left Obama open to criticism that he failed to anticipate the risks of a light footprint strategy that aims to put fragile governments and beleaguered local security forces, not the U.S. military, at the forefront.

In response, administration officials argue that the U.S. has no choice but to rely on proxies in the terror fight if it wants to avoid American ground troops becoming bogged down as they did in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yet Barbara Bodine, a former U.S. ambassador to Yemen, said even the most optimistic regional experts did not share Obama’s view in the fall that the Yemen campaign was a model of success.

“It was being defined in terms of what we were doing to develop local forces and use drones and counter the immediate and real security threat,” said Bodine, now director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. “But what we hadn’t done, certainly had not done visibly enough, was get at the economic and governance issues that were driving the problem.”

Since September, Houthi rebels linked to Iran have ousted President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi and dissolved the parliament. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has been affiliated with some of the most serious attempted attacks on the U.S. since 9/11, has sought to exploit the chaos. Last month, the U.S. shuttered its embassy in the capital of Sanaa, and over the weekend the remainder of American military personnel withdrew from the south of the country.

“Certainly, repositioning our forces out of Yemen will make our fight against AQAP more difficult. There is no question about that,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said Tuesday.

Former CIA director Michael Hayden told Congress that U.S. intelligence relationships in Yemen “will erode over time because of our lack of physical presence in the county.”

Since Obama took office, the U.S. has poured millions of dollars into efforts to stabilize Yemen’s government and boost its security forces. Under Hadi, U.S.-trained Yemeni troops were mounting regular raids to kill and capture al Qaida militants, punctuated by occasional CIA drone strikes aimed at senior figures.

The strategy has been guided by the central tenets of Obama’s philosophy for fighting extremists overseas: targeting extremists from the air, bolstering the capacity of foreign governments and avoiding putting large numbers of U.S. military personnel on the ground in dangerous countries.

“It is the model that we’re going to have to work with, because the alternative would be massive U.S. deployments in perpetuity, which would create its own blowback and cause probably more problems than it would potentially solve,” Obama said in January as the situation in Yemen deteriorated.

Now, virtually all of the Yemeni troops that had worked with the U.S. are engaged on one side or another of a three-pronged political struggle between the remnants of the Hadi government, supporters of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the Houthi faction, U.S. officials say. The officials insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak by name about sensitive intelligence assessments.

CIA drone strikes will continue, the officials said, but there will be fewer of them. The agency’s ability to collect intelligence on the ground in Yemen, while not completely gone, is much diminished. There have been just four U.S. drone strikes reported in Yemen this year, according to Long War Journal, a web site that tracks the attacks. That is about half the pace that last year resulted in 23 strikes over 12 months.

What’s less clear is whether AQAP will be able to take advantage of the situation to renew its active plotting against Western aviation. The group has successfully put three bombs on American-bound jets, none of which exploded. In 2012, the CIA, along with British and Saudi intelligence services, used a double agent to obtain a new design by AQAP’s master bomb maker of a device made to slip past airport security.

On Capitol Hill, there was bipartisan concern about the intelligence gap that could be created by the tumult in Yemen and the withdrawal of American personnel.

“Good intelligence stops plots against the homeland,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, the Texas Republican who chairs the Homeland Security Committee. “Without that intelligence, we cannot effectively stop it.”

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said the drawdown of the American presence “does diminish our visibility into what’s going on there and given the concerns about what we have about AQAP and their bomb-making prowess, that’s a concern.”

Nevsun Provides Further Update on Operations VANCOUVER, March 22, 2015 /CNW/

VANCOUVER, March 22, 2015 /CNW/ – Nevsun Resources Ltd. (TSX:NSUNews) (NYSE MKT:NSU) (Nevsun or the Company) reports that the repairs to the mechanical issue with the ball mill, previously reported on March 13, 2015, are ongoing and the Bisha plant remains on-track for re-start later this week.  While there was an act of vandalism at the Bisha plant late last week, there was no significant impact to operations and no personnel were harmed.

The equipment supplier Thyssen-Krupp AG, who had mobilized to site, have nearly completed replacement of the ball mill gear box bearings and re-installation of the gearbox is imminent.  During the outage, some additional preventative plant maintenance that was scheduled for Q2 2015 was accelerated and ore mining was switched to waste mining to facilitate ongoing strip requirements.

The Bisha Mine experienced an act of vandalism on March 20during the nightshift in which minor damages were sustained to the base of the tailings thickener, resulting in the release of water into the plant area. The required repairs and cleanup from the incident were minor and are incorporated into the plant re-start later this week. Additional safeguards have been adopted to ensure site and personnel safety and security while the Eritrean and mine security forces undertake an investigation.

About Nevsun Resources Ltd.

Nevsun Resources Ltd. is a Vancouver-based mining company with an operating mine in Eritrea.  Nevsun’s 60%-owned Bisha Mine ranks as one of the highest grade open pit copper mines in the world.  Nevsun has a strong balance sheet and future cash flows to grow shareholder value through exploration at Bisha and acquisition of additional mining assets.

Forward Looking Statements

The above contains forward-looking statements or forward-looking information within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking statements are frequently, but not always, identified by words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “intends,” “estimated,” “potential,” “possible” and similar expressions, or statements that events, conditions or results “will,” “may,” “could” or “should” occur or be achieved.  Forward-looking statements are statements concerning the Company’s current beliefs, plans and expectations about the future including but not limited to commercial production, future production of copper and related cash flows and are inherently uncertain. The actual achievements of the Company or other future events or conditions may differ materially from those reflected in the forward-looking statements due to a variety of risks, uncertainties and other factors, including, without limitation, the risks that: (i) activities or the mine operations are disrupted or suspended due to acts of god, internal conflicts in the country of Eritrea, unforeseen government actions or other events; (ii) the Company experiences the loss of key personnel; (iii) the Company’s operations or exploration activities are adversely affected by other political or military, or terrorist activities; (iv) the Company becomes involved in any material disputes with any of its key business partners, suppliers or customers; (v) the Company is subjected to any hostile takeover or other unsolicited attempts to acquire control of the Company; (vi) the Company incurs unanticipated power interruptions or failures due to electrical circuit failures or other repairs to the plant or inadequate fuel quality required to effectively operate power generators for the plant or otherwise, (vii) the Company experiences shipping delays for equipment or replacement parts that are required to complete repairs at the copper plant that could impact mining operations; or (viii) are associated with the speculative nature of exploration activities, periodic interruptions to exploration, failure of drilling, processing and mining equipment, the interpretation of drill results and the estimation of mineral resources and reserves, changes to exploration and project plans and parameters and other risks are more fully described in the Company’s Annual Information Form for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, which is incorporated herein by reference.  The Company’s forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, expectations and opinions of management on the date the statements are made and the Company assumes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements in the future, except as required by law.  For the reasons set forth above, investors should not place undue reliance on the Company’s forward-looking statements.

Further information concerning risks and uncertainties associated with these forward-looking statements and our business can be found in our Annual Information Form for the year endedDecember 31, 2014, which is available on the Company’s website (www.nevsun.com), filed under our profile on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and on EDGAR (www.sec.gov) under cover of Form 40-F


“Cliff T. Davis”

Cliff T. Davis
President & Chief Executive Officer

SOURCE Nevsun Resources Ltd.


Ethiopian fighter jets hit Eritrean Bisha mine and Mai Edaga military Depot Tigrai Online, March 21, 2015

Eritrean PFDJ only source of income Bisha gold mineEritrean PFDJ only source of income Bisha gold mine reportedly bombed by Ethiopian fighter Jets.

Edited: The news is now confirmed the bombing operations of Bisha gold mine and the Eritrean military depot at Mai Edaga were taken by the Gallant Ethiopian Air force. It seems the operation is not done yet as long as Shabiya holds the stolen Ethiopian Military Helicopter it will be targeted with more punishing military actions. The Eritrean government has lost more than one helicopter in the March 20, 2015 operation and more is to come.

Sudanese newspaper reports Ethiopian fighter jets attacked the Eritrean Bisha Gold mine. A Sudanese newspaper, Al-Sahafa on it’s 21, 2015 print reported Ethiopian fighter jets bombarded the only profitable mining company in Eritrea.

The Ethiopian bombing operation took place on March 20, 2015.

The Bisha gold mine which is primarily run by Nevsun a Canadian corporation is reportedly produces from 300 to 400 million dollars a year.

The Bisha gold mine which is about 150 km from the city of Asmara is on fire and a huge fire and smoke can be seen from far away the newspaper reported.

In a different news report a government garage or a military depot was attacked by unknown assailants and sustained a great damage in Southern AkaleGuzai particularly at the locality of Mai Edaga Tikul.

There are no official statements from the governmets of Eritrea or Ethiopia so far. Usually the Eritrean government didn’t say anything when the Ethiopian government takes military action against it’s territory or military garrisons. The reason for that is because the people would demand retaliation and the government of Eritrea would not dear take one shot towards Ethiopia in an official capacity or it risks it’s own total demise.


The Ethiopian Government in April – May 2012 the gallant Ethiopian army took two separate military operations deep inside Eritrea killing hundreds and capturing many of them and shaebiya did not say a peep.

The Eritrean government has been getting bolder actions against the Ethiopian Nation lately. If there is no military action it would definitely get worst the time for military action is ripe right now.

Keep tuning we will report the latest information including a photo of the burning of the Bisha Mine as soon as we get hold of it.

Sudanese Newspaper Al-Sahafa showing Isiass Afeworki and Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam  Sudanese Newspaper Al-Sahafa showing Isiass Afeworki and Ethiopian PM Hailemariam.

Surgical Military Style Operation against the Eritrean Regime key Economic and Military Installations. (Aigaforum) 03-21-15

Some Eritrean news outlets have reported about a military style operation in Besha Eritrea’s only profitable mining pit and a key military depot near Asmara. We usually hear and read such news from the USA and Israel after they successfully carry such precises and selective operation against known terrorist camp and terror sponsor state institutions but this news is coming from Eritrea! The US or Israel have no interest in carrying such operation in Eritrea!

The likely culprit for such operation is probably a neighboring state and Ethiopia cannot be excluded. The Eritrean regime is harboring known terrorists and Ethiopian opposition groups who are hell bent to cause destruction in Ethiopia. Besides harboring and training armed Ethiopian opposition groups the regime also holds an Ethiopian air force military hardware in its hands which it has refused to return so far.  Ethiopia has also been lobbying the United Nation to strengthen the sanction against the Eritrean regime but to no avail so far. Therefore in our analysis the precise military operation may be carried out by Ethiopia and may signal a clear policy shift when it comes to dealing with the Eritrean regime.

If Ethiopia carried out the operation the message is clearly to show its capability that it can strike where ever in Eritrea if it chooses so and to warn the regime to stop interfering in Ethiopia’s affairs. The reason we think it may be Ethiopia that carried this operation is because the operation seems to be targeted to military and key regime institutions. The operation is clearly designed not to harm civilians since it was targeted on key regime sustaining economic and military targets.

The status quo between Ethiopia and Eritrea may be collapsing if the regime in Eritrea does not return Ethiopia’s military hardware it holds and deport or hand over wanted criminals it holds and dismantle terrorists training camps in its territory. According to unnamed officials we talked the Ethiopian government is losing hope the Eritrean regime will heed Ethiopia’s warning! The Ethiopian government also is not happy with current UN passed sanction as it has no teeth at all.  Ethiopia is expecting the UN to pass a meaningful sanction before it is too late.

From what we are hearing Ethiopia’s patience may be thin enough where it has reached the breaking point if it is stretched further.

See Also:

(1) ኣብ ማይ Eዳጋ ትኹል ኣብ ዝተባህለ ቦታ ኣብ ረብሓ ሓይልታት ምክልኻል ዝውEል ዝነበረ ዲፖመንነቶም

ብዘይተፈልጡ ኣካላት ከምዝተቓጸለ ኣብቲ ከባቢ ዝርከቡ ምንጭታትና ሓቢሮም ኣለዉ።



(2)               http://sallina.com/data/documents/21-03-2015-news.pdf


BREAKING NEWS: እቲ ትማሊ ንናይ ሱዳን ጋዜጣ መበገሲ ብምግባር ብኣሰናን ካልኦት መርበባት ሓበሬታን ዝተዘርግሐ፣ ደብዳብ ነፈርቲ ኢትዮጵያ ኣብ መደበር ዕደና ቢሻ ጭቡጥ ምዃኑ መርበብ ሓበሬታ ኣሰና ኣብ ኤርትራ ብዝርከቡ እሙናት ምንጭታት ኣሰና ኣረጋጊኣቶ። By assenna on March 22, 2015



እቲ ትማሊ ንናይ ሱዳን ጋዜጣ መበገሲ ብምግባር ብኣሰናን ካልኦት መርበባት ሓበሬታን ዝተዘርግሐ፣  ደብዳብ ነፈርቲ ኢትዮጵያ ኣብ መደበር ዕደና ቢሻ ጭቡጥ ምዃኑ መርበብ ሓበሬታ ኣሰና ኣብ ኤርትራ ብዝርከቡ እሙናት ምንጭታት ኣሰና ኣረጋጊኣቶ።

መርበብ ሓበሬታ ኣሰና ብወገና ነቲ ተፈጺሙ ዝተባህለ ደብዳብ ካብ ውሽጢ ኤርትራ ንምርግጋጽ ብዘካየደቶ ጻዕሪ መሰርት፣ እቲ ናይ ነፍረቲ ደብዳብ፣ ብ 20 መጋቢት 2015 ሰዓት 04፡30 ወጋሕታ ከምዝተፈጸመ ከተረጋግጽ ክኢላ አላ።

በቲ ደብዳብ ሓያለ ንብረት ናይቲ ዕደናዊ ትካል ክቃጸል ከምዝወዓለ ክረጋገጽ ከሎ፣ ስርዓት ህግደፍ ‘ብስም ምጽራይ’ ሰራሕተኛታት ናይቲ ትካል ናብ’ቲ ብደብዳብ ዝተቓጸለ ከባቢ ንኸይቀርቡ ከልኪሉዎም ኣሎ። ብዙሓት ሰራሕተኛታት ኩባንያ ቢሻ ካብ ኣቑርደት ዝመላለሱ ብምዃኖም ፤ ንግሆ ንስራሕ ከይኣትው ተኸልኪሎም ምውዓሎም’ውን እቲ ሓበሬታ የመልክት። ገለ ሰራሕተኛታት ናይቲ ትካል “እቲ መጥቃዕቲ ክቕጽል ይኽእል ኢዩ” ብዝብል ስግኣት ሓደጋ ከይወርዶም ተሻቒሎም ከምዘልዉ ‘ውን እቶም ምንጭታት ይጠቕሱ።

እቲ ደብዳብ፣ ኣስታት 40 ኪሎሜተር ካብ ኣስመራ ኣብ ከባቢ ደቀምሓረ አብ ማይ ዕዳጋ ዝብሃል ናይ ከቢድ ብረት መዓስከርን ዲፖ ነዳድን ‘ውን ብተመሰሳሊ ግዜን ሰዓትን ብዝተኻየደ ደብዳብ ከምዝተቓጸለ ‘ውን እቲ ሓበሬታ የገንዝብ። ነዚ ደብዳብ’ዚ ብዝምልከት ኣሰና ዝያዳ ሓበሬታ ንምርካብ ጻዕርታት ተካይድ ኣላ።

እቲ ወርቂ ቢሻ ዝመልኣሉ ነገር ስለዘይነበሮ ድሮ ዘይሕጉስ ዝነበረ ህዝቢ ነቲ ጉዳይ ብወረወረ ምስ ሰምዖ “እቲ ዝነደደ ሓጻዊን ናይ ካናዳዊት ኩባንያ፡ እቲ ክሰራ ወርቂ ድማ ናይ ኢሳያስ እንድኣሉ” እናበለ ክዛረብ ይስማዕ ከምዘሎ ‘ውን እቲ ምንጭታት ሓቢሮም። ንቢሻ፣ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ፣ ደቁ ብባርነት ዝምዝመዙላ፤ ሃብቲ ዝዝመተላ ቦታ ገይሩ ኢዩ ዝርእያ። ኣዘዝቲ ሰራዊት ከይተረከ ከም ሕዛእቲ ናይ ኢሳያስ ዝጥምትዋ ቦታ ‘ውን ኢያ።

እዘን ነፈርቲ ካብ ዶብ ኢትዮ-ኤርትራ 450 ኪ.ሜ ውሽጢ ኤርትራ ኣትየን ደብዳብ ክገብራ እንከለዋ፤ ዓቕሚ ምክልኻል ስርዓት ኢሳይያስ ባይታ ዘቢጡ ከምዘሎ ዘረጋግጸ ጭብጢ ኢዩ። ከምዝፍለጥ አብ ዝሓለፉ ዓመታት ሓያሎ ፓይሎታትን ክኢልታት ስርዓተ መከላኸሊ ኣየር፣ ራዳርን ሚሳይልን ዝነበሩ ሓይሊ ኣባላት ኣየር ኤርትራ ነቲ ስርዓት እናራሕርሑ ኣብ ወጻኢ ሃገራት ዑቑባ ክሓቱ ከምዝጸንሑ ይፍለጥ።

እቲ ንሓይልታት ምክልኻል ኤርትራ ኣዳኺሙዎን ኣንዒቑዎን ዝርከብ፣ ንርእሱ ‘ውን ምሉእብምሉእ ካብ ህዝቢ ትነጺሉ ዘሎ ምልካዊ ስርዓት ኢሳይያስ፣ ኣብዚ እዋን’ዚ ንዝኾነ ዝመጾ መጥቃዕቲ ግብረ መልሲ ክውስድ ይትረፍስ፣ መግለጺ’ውን ክህብ ኣይክእልን ዘሎ። እዚ ድማ፣ እቲ ኩንታት ናህሪ ወሲኹ ለኪሙዎ ከይከይድ ፍርሒ ስለዘለዎ፣ ብምጽቃጥ ኣረሳሲዑዎ ክሓልፍ ካብ ዘለዎ ናይ ራዕዲ ኩነት ዝብገስ እዩ።

ነፈርቲ ኩናት ኢትዮጵያ ዕደና ወርቒ ብሻ ደብዲበን  3/21/2015 posted by asmarino.com

ሰሒፋት አል-ሰሓፋ ዝተባህለ ጋዜጣ ሱዳን አብ ናይ ሎሚ መዓልቲ ሕታሙ ነፈርቲ ኩናት ኢትዮጵያ ማእከን ዕደና ወርቒ ብሻ ከምዝደብደባ አብ ጽሕፋቱ አስፊሩ፡፡  አብቲ ሎም ዕለት 21 መጋቢት ዝወጸት ጋዜጣ አል ሰሓፋ እቲ ካብ አስመራ አስታት 150 ክሎሜተር ርሒቑ ዝርከብ   ዕደና ወርቒ ብሻ ኤርትራ አብ ዓመት 300-400 ሚልዮን ዶላር ትረኽበሉ እንኮ እትዋት ኤርትራ ምኳኑ ብተወሳኪ ገሊጹ፡፡
እዚ ትማሊ ዝተካየደ ደብዳብ ኢትዮጵያ ምርጫ አብ ምግባር ትቐራረበሉ  ዘላ እዋን ነቲ ናይ ውሽጢ ኢትዮጵያ  አድህቦ ንምጥምዛዝ ከኸውን ከምዝክእል አብ ጽሑፋታ ዘስፈረት ሰዳናዊት ጋዜጣ አል-ሰሓፋ ብርቱዕ ነበልባልን ትኪን ካብ ርሑቕ ከምዝተራእየ’ውን ገሊጻ አላ፡፡
ምስዚ ዝተአሳሰር’ውን መርበብ ሓበሬታ ስሊና ብመንነቶም ዘይተፈልጡ አካላት ዕደና ወርቒ ብሻ ጉድአት ከምዘወረዶ አብዚ ናይ ሎሚ ሕታማ ገሊጻቶ’ላ፡፡
ድምጺ ደሊና ነዚ ንምርግጋጽ ናብ ቤትጽሕፈት ትካል ዕደና ኔቭሰስ ካናዳ ደዊልና ናብ አስመራ ክንድውል ብዝሓበሩና መሰረት ናብ ቤትጽሕፈት ኔቭሰስ አስመራ ደዊልና ዝምልስ ከምዘይተረክበን ክሳብ ሕጂ’ውን ብዛዕባ እዚ ኩነታት ቤት ጽሕፈት ኔቭሰስ አስመራ መብርሂ ክህበና ጻዕርታት ነካይድ ምህላውና ክንሕብር ንፈቱ