south front for apr 16/17

US Policy Changes Faster Than The Weather
South Front, Apr 16 2021

Hopes and expectations for a partial normalization between Moscow, Washington and Kiev stepping off the warpath were brief and flickered only for a moment before being entirely extinguished. On Apr 13, Biden held a phone call with Putin. The White House statement on the matter was positive, optimistic even, saying that the two discussed a number of regional and global issues. They agreed to pursue a strategic stability dialogue on a range of arms control and emerging security issues. They spoke about Ukraine, and how Russia needs to put forward effort to de-escalate the situation. In response, Putin outlined approaches to a political settlement based on the Minsk Package of Measures. They agreed to meet for talks a month after the diplomatic crisis sparked by Biden’s claims that Putin was a “killer.” The situation seemed to be largely defused, proven by the fact that the US decided not to deploy two of its warships to the Black Sea and, in fact, recalled them. Immediately after that, the Biden Administration turned around, with the US President signing an executive order sanctioning Russia, and recalling 10 ambassadors. He declared a national emergency over Russia’s alleged threat, and all aspirations of normalization quickly evaporated. The US Sec State immediately said that he was “pleasantly surprised” by the position of all 30 NATO states against Russia’s presumed aggression against Ukraine. In addition, Russian ambassadors were summoned to the Foreign Ministers of the UK and Poland. It was a united front, two complete shifts in rhetoric within a single day. The same day Biden made a short speech expressing hope of establishing a rapport with Russia. It was a very clichéd text, and he quickly bolted afterwards. He answered two questions, including one regarding Nord Stream 2. He simply ran out of text and left, reinforcing “conspiracy theories” regarding whether he’s actually in control of his own ship. As a result of the instability in US politics, Russia said that it was considering ditching the US dollar. No other Biden Putin meetings are likely to take place, mostly due to the incredible hypocrisy shown within a single day. Meanwhile, the situation in Ukraine appears to be heading towards deterioration. Zelensky said that the “Army is ready” and that the situation was under control, albeit there were “certain issues.” While Moscow’s attention was focused on Washington, Turkey reportedly sent its troops to Ukraine. According to Turkish media, Ankara’s specialists arrived to train Ukrainian soldiers in operating the Bayraktar TB2 drones. Apr 15 may come down in modern history as the day a new war began, be it hot or cold.

Houthis Raid Positions Of Sudanese Forces In Yemen’s Hajjah
South Front, Apr 16 2021

On Apr 16, the Houthis (as Ansar Allah is known) released a video of a recent attack by their fighters on Sudanese forces in the northwestern Yemeni province of Hajjah. The 18-minute video shows Houthi fighters attacking the Sudanese Armed Forces west of Harad. The Houthis storm a network of forward positions, mortar posts as well as a small village that was occupied by Sudanese soldiers. The Houthis bold attack forced Sudanese troops to withdrew from their positions without showing any real resistance. Houthi fighter used assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades only. During the attack, several Sudanese soldiers were killed. The Houthis also captured loads of weapons including heavy machine guns, automatic grenade launchers, mortars, recoilless rifles and rocket-propelled grenades. The Sudanese military is the second biggest contributor to the Saudi-led coalition after the Saudi military itself. Earlier this year, the Houthis revealed that 4,416 Sudanese service members have been killed in Yemen, so far. Despite the heavy losses and the 2011 Sudanese coup d’état, Khartoum is yet to leave the Saudi-led coalition. In 2019, a plan to withdrew 10,000 Sudanese troops from Yemen was announced. However, the withdrawal has never happened.

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