SAUDI ARABIA | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

SAUDI ARABIA

Oct 24 07:11

Saudi Arabia Is Suffering The Consequences Of Its Failed Oil Price War

Nine months on from Saudi Arabia’s second major oil price war in the last five years, more negative consequences are manifesting themselves. Aside from the irrevocably damaged core relationship with the U.S., the permanent distrust of international investors, and the further alienation of many of its fellow OPEC members, Saudi Arabia is now beginning to discover the true depth and breadth of damage that it has done to its own economy, which will endure for many years to come.

Oct 23 06:15

Saudi dissidents target crown prince where it hurts: Washington

Pushed together by repression, disparate groups from Saudi Arabia’s long-fractured civil society are uniting in opposition to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. And forced to act in exile, the dissidents are set to prove that the road to change in Riyadh runs through Washington.

An advocacy group founded by slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi filed a suit this week against the crown prince in U.S. federal court, even as Saudi activists – united in a new party – began mapping out their goal of a democratically elected government.

These were among the first in a flurry of moves designed to damage Saudi Arabia’s ties with the West and provide a platform for the voices of the kingdom’s increasingly frustrated citizens.

Oct 22 05:55

45 lawmakers urge US to boycott Saudi-hosted G20

Forty-five American lawmakers have urged the US government to boycott next month's G20 summit in Riyadh unless Saudi authorities address key human rights concerns, according to correspondence released Wednesday.

The letter from US Congress members to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo comes after European lawmakers passed a resolution this month calling for the European Union to downgrade its attendance at the summit, also over human rights.

The developments are a source of embarrassment for the kingdom, the current G20 president, as it gears up to host world leaders next month at what is widely seen as a crucial event for Saudi international diplomacy.

Oct 21 05:59

Saudi youths face death despite ban on capital punishment against minors

Saudi detainees accused of committing crimes while children are still at risk of execution, despite reforms announced earlier this year scrapping capital punishment for minors, human rights advocates have warned.

In April, King Salman issued a royal decree ending death sentences for crimes committed as a minor, instead making the maximum sentence 10 years in a juvenile detention facility.

However, there was no indication of when the decree would take effect, and rights groups have this week warned several youths still face the death penalty.

Oct 12 07:02

Saudi Arabia Should Be Punished by, Not Elected to, the UN Human Rights Council

Whatever the theoretical value of the United Nations system, its agencies are a source of frequent farce. Among the worst performers is the Human Rights Council. Nominally devoted to promoting people’s basic rights, the body often protects the world’s worst human rights abusers instead. Indeed, authoritarian governments routinely sit on the 47-member body.

Over the years 117 countries have served on the Council. Among the more vicious oppressors: Bahrain, China, Burundi, Vietnam, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Algeria, Kazakhstan, Eritrea, Cuba, Egypt, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia.

Oct 12 06:16

Saudi activist suffers stroke after being poisoned in prison: Report

A Saudi pro-democracy campaigner has reportedly suffered a life-threatening stroke after being deliberately poisoned by regime authorities at a maximum-security prison south of the capital Riyadh.

The Prisoners of Conscience, an independent non-governmental organization advocating human rights in Saudi Arabia, announced in a post on its official Twitter page that Sheikh Muhammad bin Dalim al-Qahtani, a leader of the Umma Islamic Party, suffered the serious medical condition after he was poisoned on purpose at al-Ha'ir Prison.

The post added that Qahtani has been transferred to al-Iman Hospital in Riyadh, and is apparently in critical condition.

Oct 11 06:37

Al-Huwaitat tribe seeks UN help to stop Saudi forced displacement

Saudi Arabia’s al-Huwaitat tribe has sent an urgent communication to the United Nations calling for an investigation into allegations of forced displacement and abuse by Saudi authorities.

The request, submitted in late September, comes after months of alleged harassment, arrests, and abductions by Saudi forces apparently due to the tribe’s refusal to relocate to facilitate the government’s NEOM mega-city project.

Oct 10 06:45

Signs Saudis are edging towards historic Israel peace

Will they or won't they? It's a question on a lot of people's minds in the Middle East right now.

Are Saudi Arabia's rulers, historically critics of Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians, finally edging closer to normalising relations with the country often dismissively referred to in the past by Arab media as "the Zionist entity"?

Prompting feverish speculation on social media has been the scathing set of interviews given to Al-Arabiya TV by former Saudi intelligence chief and longtime ambassador to Washington, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan al-Saud, who lambasted Palestinian leaders for criticising recent peace moves with Israel by Gulf Arab states.

"This low level of discourse is not what we expect from officials who seek to gain global support for their cause," said Prince Bandar in the three-part interview.

Oct 09 05:15

Houthi court sentences Trump, King Salman and Saudi crown prince to death

A Houthi court in Yemen has sentenced 10 people to death, including US President Donald Trump, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and his son Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Arabi21 reported.

The Houthi-run Specialised Criminal Court in Saada ruled against the accused in absentia on Thursday, according to the Houthi-affiliated Saba agency.

The charges were made in the case of a 2019 airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition on a school bus in the town of Dhahyan which killed 51 civilians, including 40 children.

Oct 08 10:52

UNICEF raises eyebrows with praise for Saudi ‘humanitarian’ role in Yemen

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has in a controversial move praised what it called Saudi Arabia’s “humanitarian” role in Yemen, closing its eyes to years of atrocities committed by Riyadh and its allies against the civilian population there, leaving a large number of children dead, maimed and malnourished.

Executive Director of the world body Henrietta Fore, in a letter sent to the so-called King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), lauded Saudi Arabia over what she described as the kingdom's “generous support” for the projects of the United Nations Humanitarian Response Plan in Yemen 2020.

Fore went on to say that UNICEF will use the financial support to help Yemeni children and their families in different fields, including health, nutrition, water, sanitation and education.

Oct 06 06:58

Saudi Official: ‘The Boycott of Everything Turkish Is the Responsibility of Every Saudi’

Ajlan al-Ajlan, the head of Saudi Arabia’s Chamber of Commerce, declared in a statement this weekend that a full boycott of all Turkish products was “the responsibility of every Saudi.”

Tensions between Turkey and Saudi Arabia have remained high since the killing of columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — under whose command Turkey has become the world’s most prolific jailer of journalists after China — used Khashoggi’s killing at the hands of Saudi agents to declare himself a friend of the free press and demonize Riyadh, suggesting that the homicide was a direct order from “the highest levels of the Saudi government,” as he wrote in the Washington Post.

Oct 05 06:35

Dozens Killed in Weekend Fighting in Central Yemen

Dozens were reported killed over the past three days in central Yemen, according to various reports. The main fighting was in Maarib Province, where the Houthis are contesting the oil-producing areas, and Saudi-backed forces tried to push into the vital aid port of Hodeidah.

Government officials said at least 30 Houthis were killed in Maarib, and did not provide figures on Hodeidah, beyond one civilian being killed in the crossfire. Hodeidah is meant to be in a state of ceasefire, but government forces appear keen to contest that again.

Neither of these battles is likely to be hugely impactful on the Yemen War. Maarib is the most oil-rich part of Yemen, but that’s not saying much for one of the region’s poorest nations. Hodeidah has been a target several times but it would take a lot more fighting than is ongoing to contest control over it.

Oct 04 07:01

Two Years After Khashoggi’s Murder, Why Is America Still an Accomplice to MBS’s Crimes?

Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered on October 2, 2018 by agents of Saudi Arabia’s despotic government, and the CIA concluded they killed him on direct orders from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). Eight Saudi men have been convicted of Khashoggi’s murder by a Saudi court in what the Washington Post characterized as sham trials with no transparency. The higher ups who ordered the murder, including MBS, continue to escape responsibility.

Khashoggi’s assassination and dismemberment was so horrific and cold-blooded that it sparked worldwide public outrage. President Trump, however, stood by MBS, bragging to journalist Bob Woodward that he saved the prince’s “ass” and got “Congress to leave him alone.”

Oct 03 07:55

Turkey Releases Grisly Crime Scene Footage Of Khashoggi Killing On 2nd Anniversary

Turkey's Anadolu Agency has released gruesome never-before-seen footage related to journalist Jamal Khashoggi's brutal murder. It is the second anniversary of his killing at the hands of a hit team believed sent by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018.

No less than 15 men were sent to kill one individual who ran afoul of MbS, which included a bone saw used to dismember his body after he entered the consulate to do paperwork related to his impending marriage, never to be seen again. Now for the first time police footage has been published of Turkish forensics investigators showing up to document what they found following the murder.

Oct 03 07:00

Hundreds of Sudanese troops enter Saudi Arabia en route to Yemen: Report

Hundreds of Sudanese forces have reportedly entered Saudi Arabia en route to Yemen contrary to an earlier announcement by the North African country about a drawdown of its personnel in the bloody Saudi war on the poorest Arabian Peninsula nation.

Citing private Saudi sources, the Middle East Eye news portal (MEE) reported on Friday that 1,018 Sudanese army officers and soldiers arrived in Saudi Arabia by boat on September 22 after passing through passport control in the southwestern city of Jizan.

Two Sudanese planes also carried Sudanese military personnel from Khartoum to Saudi Arabia's Najran airport the day before, according to one of the sources, who was speaking on condition of anonymity.

The first plane held 123 passengers and the second 128, the source said, adding that both planes later departed for Khartoum.

Sep 23 12:06

IRAN SAYS HOUTHIS USE ITS MILITARY KNOW-HOW IN BATTLE AGAINST SAUDI ARABIA

Iran has supplied Ansar Allah (also known as the Houthis) with technical expertise and know-how, a spokesman for the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi said on September 22. However, the general claimed that Yemeni forces “have learned how to produce missiles, drones and weapons in Yemen on their own” and Iran has no military presence in the region. Shekarchi described what Iran is doing across the region as “spiritual and advisory presence”.

“Countries of the resistance front have armies and forces themselves. We provide them with advisory help. In order to share our experience with the people of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen, our skilled forces go there and assist them, but this is the people and armies of these countries who stand against the enemies in practice,” the general stated.

Sep 20 05:47

Yemen: 'Choices have been made to abandon these people', says UN official

The "distressing" situation in Yemen is a result of choices made by "powerful countries and powerful people", according to a UN official.

Sir Mark Lowcock told Sky News "choices have been made to abandon these people".

He added that deciding not to fund the relief operation has been "one of the worst choices" made this year.

The country has been devastated by a conflict between Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi's administration and the Houthi armed movement since 2014 - both claim to form the official government.

Mr Hadi's government is supported by powerful countries, headed by Saudi Arabia, but also backed by the US, Britain and the United Arab Emirates.

The crisis has worsened due to coronavirus, with the UN saying more than 20 million people require urgent humanitarian assistance because of the ongoing conflict - almost half of them children.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am waiting for Saudi Arabia to carpet bomb the place, which I believe they ultimately will do, to end the war on their, and the US's terms. I cannot tell you when; but it is a definite possibility, given the current state of the conflict.

Sep 20 05:18

Britain, France, and Germany Spurn US Plan for Iran Sanctions

Trump Administration officials have been saying this for weeks, but on Friday reiterated their intentions to try to enforce a UN Security Council resolution that includes broad sanctions against Iran. Officials say they expect every nation to comply.

The glaring problem with this is that the resolution doesn’t exist, at least not as an active resolution the US wants. The P5+1 nuclear deal gave the US the authority to reimpose sanctions on Iran, but the US had withdrawn from that pact years ago. Though the Trump Administration argued that didn’t matter, the UN has virtually unanimously rejected their interpretation, and rejected the UN Security Council resolution. The US believes the resolution becomes active Sunday, but the reality is it just doesn’t exist legally.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These actions spell desperation on the cusp of madness, and the world is not following suit; so, what is next here, an invasion of Iran?!?

Considering just how "brilliantly" the other US occupations around the world are going, you might imagine it might just be time for a "re-think" on this; but of course, Israel's Bibi Netanyahu will not allow that to happen; he wants the US waging war against Iran, so Israel will not have to.

Sep 19 06:50

Democrats not serious to stop US weapons sales to the Saudis: Former US diplomat

The Democrats are not serious to put down the US sales of weapons to the Saudis and to Israel and other countries, says J. Michael Springmann, a former US diplomat in Saudi Arabia.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s top aides have been questioned by Congress over President Donald Trump’s dismissal of a top administration official while he was investigating billions of dollars of arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Top aides to Pompeo went before a congressional panel on Wednesday to defend Trump's decision to fire former Department of State Inspector General Steve Linick.

Springmann said, “There are two points to keep in mind when considering the House of Representatives' investigation of the firing of Steve Linick, the former State Department Inspector General, back in May of this year.”

Sep 15 04:38

US Officials Fear Arrest Over Saudi War Crimes in Yemen

State Department has come under fire for facilitating arms sales to the Saudis and suppressing evidence of legal issues raised by Yemen war.

A report from The New York Times revealed that some US officials are concerned that their role in facilitating arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, while ignoring the harm to civilians each country has caused in Yemen, could lead to their arrest overseas for war crimes. A Congressional hearing over these arms sales is set to take place on Wednesday.

The report said that officials from both the Obama administration and the Trump administration have considered hiring lawyers to discuss the possibility of being arrested while vacationing overseas.

The Times report reads: “No episode in recent American history compares to Yemen, legal scholars say, where the United States has provided material support over five years for actions that have caused the continuous killing of civilians.”

Sep 14 06:05

Saudis Launch Airstrikes Against Yemeni Capital of Sanaa

Saudi warplanes carried out at least 11 airstrikes against the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa, according to the Shi’ite Houthi movement. Strikes hit across the city, but the main target appeared to be the Sanaa airport.

There is as of yet no word on how much damage was caused, and no reports from either side mentioned casualties. It would be unusual for there not to be casualties in such a large city, but the airport has been closed by a fuel shortage for weeks anyhow.

The Saudis did not announce any specific goals for the attacks, but media reports attributed them to a recent increase in Houthi strikes on Saudi targets. The Houthis have claimed such strikes, though reports have not backed up many of them, and there seems to have been little hit in Saudi Arabia recently.

Sep 14 06:04

Saudi Arabia and America Are Responsible for the ‘Houthi Threat’ in Yemen

America’s post-9/11 wars have had disastrous consequences. They have been a geopolitical bust, fragmenting rather than eliminating terrorist groups, enhancing Iran’s influence, and destabilizing the Middle East. The humanitarian consequences have been even worse: thousands of Americans killed, tens of thousands wounded, hundreds of thousands of civilians killed, millions of people displaced, al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Islamic State loosed, and entire nations ravaged.

Sep 13 07:38

Saudi fighter pilots bombed UK weapons ranges during RAF training

Saudi fighter pilots have carried out air strikes on target ranges in the UK as part of training exercises with the Royal Air Force, the Ministry of Defence has revealed.

Details about the training programme were revealed on Friday by Declassified UK which submitted a freedom of information request to the ministry asking it to release video footage of the air strikes.

However, the ministry refused the request on the grounds that “releasing of the recordings of air-to-ground training sorties could prejudice the effectiveness and capability of RAF and RSAF [Royal Saudi Air Force] tactics”.

Sep 11 11:32

HOUTHIS STRIKE RIYADH WITH MISSILES AND DRONES. SAUDI COALITION RETREATS IN YEMEN

Late on September 10, the Saudi capital of Riyadh came under a missile and drone attack from the Ansar Allah movement (more widely known as the Houthis).

The Yemeni missile and air forces, loyal to the Houthi government, announced that they struck a “high-value target” in Riyadh with a Zulfiqar ballistic missile and three Samad-3 suicide drones.

“The attacks are a response to the enemy’s permanent escalation and its continuing blockade against our country,” Brig. Gen. Yahya Sari, a spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Houthi government, said in a statement promising more attacks on Saudi Arabia if the Kingdom “continues its aggression and siege” on Yemen.

Sep 11 07:49

Saudi Aramco Is Now Suffering The Consequences Of A Failed Oil Price War

It was evident to anyone with even half a brain that the last Saudi-instigated oil price war would end in abject failure for the Saudis, just as the previous 2014-2016 effort did and for the very same reasons.

For Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), one of the masterminds behind the oil war – the economic and political problems that his country now face appear to come a very distant second to preserving whatever he thinks is left of his own reputation, with the most obvious public manifestation of this being the aftermath of the internationally-shunned omni-shambolic initial public offering (IPO) for hydrocarbons giant, Saudi Aramco (Aramco). Consequently, in order to stand by one of the inducements required to inveigle anyone to buy the shares – in the triple-locked guaranteed dividend payout – swingeing cuts to key projects for Saudi Arabia are now being announced.

Sep 09 03:39

Nearly 3,500 Yemeni children killed in Saudi airstrikes since 2015: Rights group

Nearly 3,500 children have been killed in Yemen since 2015, when a Saudi-led military coalition started a devastating war against the impoverished country, a human rights group says.

In a report, carried by Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network, Yemen’s Human Rights Center said on Monday that some 7,200 Yemeni children were either killed or wounded in the imposed war.

Of these ill-fated children, 3,468 were killed, further said the report, which was titled “Childhood with the Color of Blood and the Smell of Death.”

Citing reports by Yemen’s Health Ministry and the country’s media, the center added that 91 percent of the dead were those who had lost their lives in ceaseless aerial attacks by the invaders.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

When you kill the children, babies, and toddlers of a country, you are also killing that country's future; this is what Saudi political and military leadership have attempted to do in Yemen.

They attempt to buy press silence, or sic their "American attack dogs" against anyone who calls it by its rightful name; this is the murder of innocents, writ large.

Sep 09 01:42

Iran Seeks Revenge For Sabotage Attack On Natanz Nuclear Plant

Iran has identified the perpetrators of an act of sabotage at Natanz nuclear facility in the central part of the country in July, according to a spokesperson for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. Behrouz Kamalvandi said that while the details of the act of sabotage are still being investigated, the security forces “have detected the agents [who committed the act of sabotage] as well as the motive, methods and manner of the sabotage.”

The AEOI for the first time described the July 2 incident at the Natanz nuclear facility as a sabotage attack on July 23, and since then pro-Iranian sources have repeatedly vowed to take revenge for the attack.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Defence Minister Amir Hatami announced that the country is working to expand its missile capabilities even further. In particular, the military is working on air-launched cruise missiles that would be able to hit targets in the range of up to 1,400km.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And we have a companion piece, also from antiwar.com, with the following title:
Iran moves its centrifuge-manufacturing in Natanz deep Underground.

Sep 07 06:41

Satellite images confirm yellow-cake facility in Saudi northwest desert

A clandestine Saudi nuclear programme, revealed by whistle-blowers, has been confirmed by satellite images showing a large compound, in a suspicious location in the middle of the desert, a checkpoint, towering security fences, a big building about 150 feet on a side and pools for the collection of uranium waste; a typical blueprint for yellow-cake mills.

In one of its latest reports, The Wall Street Journal, has uncovered a facility constructed in a remote area in Saudi Arabia for extracting uranium yellow-cake from uranium ore. Ironically, the facility is located near a solar-panel production area.

Such undeclared nuclear capabilities in the hands of the KSA are extremely worrying, in light of the abysmal Saudi human rights record, the last thing anyone would wish for is a nuclear armed KSA.

Sep 07 06:40

King Salman of Saudi Arabia called Donald Trump for permission to invade Qatar

More than three years since the blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt. With no end in sight, the recent revelation of a Saudi-led, UAE-funded plot to invade neighboring Qatar in the early days of the blockade is indicative of high tensions among Washington's key Arab allies.

The Revelation

In early August, the American news publication Foreign Policy revealed in detail that King Salman of Saudi Arabia had called Donald Trump to get permission for invading Qatar on June 6, 2017, that is just one day after the blockade imposition.

Although the U.S. President had offered his full-throated support to the Saudi-led campaign, the military invasion was a flagrant violation of international law.

But it was, according to The Intercept, the efforts of Rex Tillerson, then U.S. Secretary of State that dissuaded the Saudis and their ilk from attacking Qatar; and it was exactly the same efforts that cost Tillerson his career.

Sep 03 05:40

Report: UAE Letting Israel Send Spies Into Yemen

Reports originating in the Turkish state media are claiming that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia are allowing Israel’s intelligence agencies growing access into Yemen, with the UAE in particular giving Israeli agents access to the strategic island of Socotra.

There is still not a lot of evidence of how far-reaching this is. One Socotra tribal elder was quoting in the media saying this is the case. Socotra’s tribes have been trying to build up opposition to the UAE’s assertion of control over the island during the ongoing Yemen War.

Socotra has regional strategic value, which is why the UAE wants a presence there, and presumably why Israel would also want a presence there. Couple this with the Israel-UAE peace, and the allegation practically writes itself.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I frankly wouldn't be surprised if this story proves true.

Sep 01 06:05

REPORT: Thousands Of Africans Dying In Horrifying Saudi Detention Camps

Thousands of Africans have been trapped for months in horrifying detention centers in Saudi Arabia, driving many to commit suicide while others have died of heatstroke, according to a report. The Sunday Telegraph published cellphone images of shirtless, emaciated African men lying in tight rows on the floor in a bare room with barred windows.

One image showed a man who hanged himself from a window grate, while another showed what appeared to be a blanket-wrapped corpse in the middle of the room – a man the migrants say died of heatstroke.

Aug 31 06:58

US Secretary of State Pompeo defends Saudi arms sales after damning watchdog report on Yemen

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has defended Washington’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia after a watchdog report said the State Department failed to “fully assess” the risk of civilian deaths in war-torn Yemen.

Pompeo said on Wednesday that his department “did everything by the book” in regards to arms sales to Riyadh in May 2019.

“I am proud of the work that my team did. We got a really good outcome. We prevented the loss of lives,” he claimed.

News / Foreign Policy
US Secretary of State Pompeo defends Saudi arms sales after damning watchdog report on Yemen
Thursday, 13 August 2020 9:24 AM [ Last Update: Thursday, 13 August 2020 11:05 AM ]
US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It's all about Trump's getting those contributions from the members of the US's military industrial complex, for being allowed to make those sales to the Saudi government, and making out like bandits, right, Mikey?!?

You, sir, are a very interesting piece of work; a man who claims to be a Christian, but appears to have had his conscience surgically removed, before you took the job as Secretary of State.

As a sister Christian with a conscience, I find that a very hard combination to fathom.

The images of dead Yemeni babies and toddlers, shot to death or wounded for life with weapons the US sold Saudi Arabia, have seared my conscience. And for those of you wondering, the following images are gritty, horrifically graphic, and, if you still have one, will break your heart.

Images: Yemeni babies and toddlers murdered or maimed for life, courtesy of us-sold weapons used by the Saudi military

American Bombs Have Killed Hundreds of Civilians, Including Children, in Unlawful Strikes on Yemen: Report

Mr. Secretary, this has to stop; and while I cannot personally stop it, the only true power I have, as a Christian Pacifist Activist, who never advocates violence, is to witness to the ultimate consequences of selling these weapons to a government which defiles its own humanity by assassinating, and wounding innocent babies, toddlers, women, and the medically fragile elderly.

Aug 29 01:19

Nearly two dozen Saudi troops enter US base in northeastern Syria: Report

Saudi Arabia has reportedly deployed nearly two dozen combat troops to a US-run military base in Syria’s oil-rich northeastern province of Hasakah as the Riyadh regime and some of its regional allies are vying with the United States to loot the natural resources of the war-ravaged country.

Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network, citing an informed source, reported that 20 Saudi soldiers, led by an officer called Saud al-Joghaifi, arrived at the US base in the city of Shaddadi on Wednesday.

The source added that the Saudi troops were accompanied by a convoy of US-led forces from the coalition purportedly formed to fight the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, which withdrew from Camp Taji, situated 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, earlier this week.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So it's not JUST the US stealing Syrian oil; it's the Saudis as well!!

Aug 28 06:12

Nearly two dozen Saudi troops enter US base in northeastern Syria: Report

Saudi Arabia has reportedly deployed nearly two dozen combat troops to a US-run military base in Syria’s oil-rich northeastern province of Hasakah as the Riyadh regime and some of its regional allies are vying with the United States to loot the natural resources of the war-ravaged country.

Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network, citing an informed source, reported that 20 Saudi soldiers, led by an officer called Saud al-Joghaifi, arrived at the US base in the city of Shaddadi on Wednesday.

The source added that the Saudi troops were accompanied by a convoy of US-led forces from the coalition purportedly formed to fight the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, which withdrew from Camp Taji, situated 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, earlier this week.

Aug 27 11:05

Ex-Saudi intel official who sued crown prince says his son-in-law has been arrested in ‘act of reprisal’

A former Saudi intelligence official living in Toronto says his son-in-law has been detained overseas in retaliation for a lawsuit the official filed accusing the crown prince of sending a “hit squad” to kill him.

A statement issued on behalf of Saad Aljabri on Tuesday said Salem Almuzaini, Aljabri’s son-in-law, had been summoned Monday to Saudi state security offices, where he was arrested.

“His whereabouts are unknown,” the release states.

The development follows the alleged detainment by Saudi officials of two of Aljabri’s children, earlier this year.

Officials with the Saudi embassy in Washington, D.C., did not immediately respond to the Star’s request for comment.

Aug 27 10:57

“THIS PLANE IS NOT GOING TO LAND IN CAIRO”: SAUDI PRINCE SULTAN BOARDED A FLIGHT IN PARIS. THEN, HE DISAPPEARED

Something wasn’t right about Captain Saud. Sitting on a fine-grained leather couch in the custom wood-paneled cabin of his Boeing 737-800 in Paris, he had the outward appearance of a pilot. His uniform was crisp, his demeanor confident and friendly. He cracked jokes and showed pictures of his children to staffers of the VIP he was supposed to fly to Cairo, a Saudi prince named Sultan bin Turki II.

But little things seemed off. One member of the prince’s entourage was a recreational pilot, and Saud couldn’t keep up with his small talk about 737 pilot training. The captain’s plane had a crew of 19, more than double the usual number of staffers. And the crew was all men, some a little burlier than you’d expect. Where were the leggy European blondes who were fixtures on Saudi Royal Court flights?

Then there was the watch. Saud was fascinated by the Breitling Emergency watch the prince’s companion wore. “I’ve never seen one of these,” he said, in perfect English.

Aug 24 09:47

Ignore at your peril: Palestine ranks high in Arab public opinion

James Dorsey explains that while domestic issues such as provision of jobs, education and health care, good governance and protection of personal rights are of primary concern to Arab citizens, opinion polls indicate that Palestinian rights remain at the top of citizens’ agendas.>>

Aug 20 06:19

Saudi Arabia issues desperate call for extension of anti-Iran UN arms ban

The Saudi regime has issued a desperate call for the extension of a UN arms embargo against Iran only days after the UN Security Council said a resounding ‘No’ to a US resolution seeking an illegal extension of the embargo.

The cabinet, chaired by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Tuesday, demanded the extension of the arms embargo on Iran, alleging that the removal of the sanctions will lead to “more destruction” and further fuel conflicts in the Middle East region.

It also pledged the kingdom’s support for all international measures that contribute to stopping Iran’s regional clout.

Aug 20 06:05

Pompeo Says Keeping Saudis From Nukes a Top US Priority

Following reports that this is a specific concern of Israel, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he believes it is a “real risk” that Saudi Arabia will get nukes, and that the US views it as a “top priority” to try to prevent the Saudis from getting such arms.

Recent reports, all centering on the Israeli narrative, claim the Saudis are processing yellowcake uranium, and that they are getting secret help from China that could lead to the acquisition of nuclear arms in the future.

This is an unusual place for the administration to be in, as they general support arming the Saudis to the teeth, and Pompeo has repeatedly gone to bat for the idea that the Saudis need more arms for their “emergency” state. Those are US-made arms, of course.

Aug 20 06:05

Saudi Arabia says no Israel deal without Palestinian peace

Saudi Arabia said Wednesday it will not follow the United Arab Emirates in establishing diplomatic ties with Israel until the Jewish state has signed an internationally recognised peace accord with the Palestinians.

Aug 20 04:35

Pompeo Says Keeping Saudis From Nukes a Top US Priority

Israel concerned Saudis might get nuclear arms with 'China's help'

Following reports that this is a specific concern of Israel, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he believes it is a “real risk” that Saudi Arabia will get nukes, and that the US views it as a “top priority” to try to prevent the Saudis from getting such arms.

Recent reports, all centering on the Israeli narrative, claim the Saudis are processing yellowcake uranium, and that they are getting secret help from China that could lead to the acquisition of nuclear arms in the future.

This is an unusual place for the administration to be in, as they general support arming the Saudis to the teeth, and Pompeo has repeatedly gone to bat for the idea that the Saudis need more arms for their “emergency” state. Those are US-made arms, of course.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"purchased Yellowcake uranium"..... now, where have we heard this charge before?!?

Oh, yes, I remember now; it was before the US invaded Iraq, and it was the Bush administration making that claim.

Chronology of Bush Administration Claim that Iraq Attempted to Obtain Uranium from Niger (2001-2003)

And remember when Secretary of State Colin Powell's address to the UN, regarding Iraq's WMD program, which US intelligence agencies knew was chock-full of bold-faced lies?!?

How the Bush administration sold the war – and we bought it

But if China spurns Saudi Arabia, there is always their nuclear-armed "regional frenemy", Pakistan, which "just might be persuaded" to do so. After all, just 3 days ago, Pakistan's Army Chief visited Saudi Arabia. Pakistan’s Army Chief Visits Saudi Arabia Amid Strained Ties

One would have to be naive in the extreme, to think that the issue of potential Saudi nuclear weapons didn't come up at some of these meetings.

Aug 20 03:40

Saudi Arabia Breaks Silence, Tentatively Embraces Israel-UAE Peace Deal

As the steward of the two Muslim holy cities (Mecca & Medina) - cities where no non-Muslims are allowed - Saudi Arabia has an image to maintain as an ally in the regional struggle to support the Palestinians in their struggle against Israel. But in another sign of just how significant Jared Kushner's accomplishment actually was, it appears the desert petro-kingdom is finally ready to make an important step toward publicly accepting Israel as a neighbor and friend.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Prime Minister Netanyahu has made it quite clear, that his annexation will continue to move forward; just perhaps at a slower pace than the speed at which he originally wanted this accomplished.

I am as of yet unsure that this move will find Palestinians "forced to the table" for other concessions.

Aug 18 10:42

UAE recognition of Israel: Whither the Arab and the Muslim world?

James Dorsey says parochial interests and rivalry between the Arabian peninsula's rulers lie behind the United Arab Emirates’ decision to recognise Israel and Saudi Arabia’s turning its back on Jammu and Kashmir.>>

Aug 13 03:56

Saudi Arabia hit hard by low oil prices as Aramco posts massive loss

Low oil prices exacerbated by the spread of the new coronavirus pandemic, have inflicted a huge financial loss on Saudi Arabia and its biggest revenue generator, the state-run oil company Aramco.

In a Sunday statement, Aramco CEO Amin Nasser admitted the company had suffered bitterly as a result of recent developments in the international oil markets.

Revenues declared by Aramco for the three-month period to the end of June had been reduced $18.1 billion year on year to stand at only $6.6 billion.

That reflects a massive loss of 73 percent compared to the similar period last year.

Aug 11 12:38

US court issues summons for Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Salman

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has been issued a summons by a US court for a lawsuit by a former top Saudi intelligence agent who was reportedly targeted in a foiled assassination attempt.

The US District Court for the District of Columbia issued the summons on Friday, a day after Saad al-Jabri filed the lawsuit accusing Prince Mohammed of sending a hit squad to Canada to try and kill him.

A summons is an official notice of a lawsuit, given to the person or persons being sued.

Jun 30 09:57

Who is the late Saudi Prince Bandar bin Saad bin Muhammad bin Abdulaziz? – Erm news

Late on Sunday evening, the Saudi Royal Court mourned Prince Bandar bin Saad bin Muhammad Al Saud, who died after a conflict with the disease, according to what close to him reported.

The late prince belongs to one of the branches of the Al Saud family, which includes tens of thousands of princes, and his full name is Bandar bin Saad bin Muhammad bin Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Faisal Al Saud.

This branch of the ruling family meets with the branch of King Abdulaziz, the founder of Saudi Arabia, at his grandfather, Faisal bin Turki.

The late prince is the grandson of the founding king of his daughter Madawi Bint Abdulaziz.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In looking at the image of this guy, compared to Mike and me, and he was a very young man when he passed.

Although it mentions a "conflict with the disease" (most likely being Covid-19), I have to speculate; was he, in any way, a "rival" to Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and possibly "eased" into an early death to prevent any possible competition with MBH's reign?!?

Assassinations are hardly out of character for this guy, as we know from his past history.

Jun 29 07:48

Shots Fired: Saudi Arabia Forced 3 Iranian Boats From Its Territorial Waters

A rare moment where Saudi and Iranian vessels were in a direct standoff in what described as Saudi territorial waters has been revealed Saturday by Saudi state news agency SPA.

Saudi Arabia says its coast guard forced no less than three Iranian vessels out of its territorial waters after firing warning shots.

While it's unclear whether the Iranian boats had military personnel or perhaps civilian fishermen, the Saudi maritime border patrol issued repeated warnings, and then fired shots signaling it was ready to engage, SPA described.

Jun 26 06:37

At Least 54 Killed as South Yemen Ceasefire Collapses in Abyan

A Saudi-brokered ceasefire between the Saudi-backed government in Yemen and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) has not lasted long, and after tensions on the island of Socotra, fighting erupted in Abyan Province.

Fighting has raged over 24 hours in Abyan Province, with at least 54 fighters killed. Both sides are blaming the other for starting the fighting and “violating” the truce. Monitors are still heading into Abyan, but it’s not clear there is a ceasefire left to monitor.

A coastal province, Abyan has often been contested by the STC, and the same territory was under dispute during the Arab Spring, when Islamist groups tied to al-Qaeda seized several towns in the area, including the provincial capital of Zinjibar.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Anyone holding any hope for this cease-fire holding, does not really understand the nature of this conflict.

Jun 22 09:13

As Coronavirus Rips Through Yemen, Saudi Bombs Continue to Fall

With an already shattered medical infrastructure due to the five-year US-Saudi siege, Covid-19 has rapidly spread through Yemen. The Arab country lacks the basic necessities for preventative measures like clean water, and a population facing malnourishment is especially vulnerable to the disease. A recent uptick in Saudi bombing might put a country already on the brink of collapse over the edge.

Last week, Saudi warplanes pounded Yemen’s capital Sanaa, in what residents called the worst airstrikes they have seen since the first years of the war. Seventy-seven airstrikes hit several provinces in north Yemen within 24 hours. According to the Houthi’s health ministry and NGOs on the ground, one of the strikes hit a car traveling in the Sadaa province and killed 13 civilians, including four children.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Killing civilians, particularly civilian kids; that's what we, with our war-crimes enabled and sanctified by the US government, DO!!" - official Saudi souse.

The Saudi government has the best PR money can buy, and they have to buy it, because their human rights record, both at home and abroad, is simply so execrable as to cause the most callous of human hearts to faint dead away from its excesses, both at home and abroad.

The assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, in the Saudi embassy in Turkey, was just the tip of the proverbial ice berg here.Audio Offers Gruesome Details of Jamal Khashoggi Killing, Turkish Official Says

And Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the guy who most probably ordered this hit, is one of President Trump's "BFFs" in the Middle East?!?

One has to wonder if one of the Prince's "attractive qualities" to this President, is that he can literally get away with murder... and never have to say he's sorry.

Mr. President, you really may want to think a little more carefully about with whom you align, internationally; because right now, the US is still enabling and abetting Saudi war crimes in Yemen: I know this, as do millions of other
Americans, particularly those who lived through the horror which was the war against Vietnam.

Jun 19 07:47

US, Saudis, allies responsible for any environmental disaster off Yemen coast: Houthi

A member of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council has held Saudi Arabia and its regional allies, which are involved in an atrocious military campaign against the impoverished Arab country, fully responsible for a potential oil leakage from a decaying tanker in the Red Sea, and the impending environmental disaster it could cause.

“We do not assume any responsibility for any leakage from the Safer tanker afloat at the sea,” Arabic-language al-Masirah television network quoted Mohammed Ali al-Houthi as saying on Thursday.

He called for immediate actions over the matter, holding the United States, Saudi Arabia and their allies fully liable for any disastrous consequences as they have not allowed Yemen to sell the crude loaded at the tanker.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Saudis and the US government will not lift a finger to prevent this coming, preventable catastrophe; all they care about, is the further destruction of Yemen and its people, to the point of the Houthis' capitulation.

I would like to gently suggest to the governments of both countries that this is only likely to happen... when pigs discover they are aerodynamic.

Jun 16 09:44

Saudi Airstrike Kills 13 Civilians in Yemen

An airstrike from the US-backed Saudi-led coalition hit a vehicle carrying civilians in north Yemen on Monday. The airstrike killed 13 people, including four children. The same day, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres removed the Saudi coalition from a global list of parties who have harmed children in conflicts.

The international humanitarian group Save the Children said the victims were on their way home from a local market when the vehicle was suddenly bombed. The Houthi’s Health Ministry identified 11 of the victims, which included one woman and four children, ages 12-14.

The coalition often targets civilian infrastructure, which is why Guterres’s move to remove them from the “blacklist” drew sharp condemnation from human rights groups. Saudi warplanes have hit schools, hospitals, water treatment plants, markets, weddings, and other civilian targets.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to guess that when countries are as wealthy as is Saudi Arabia, one can buy people like UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as your geopolitical whores, and deny any culpability for murdering civilian innocents; hey, Guterres, what was your price here?!?

We're very keen to know, and right the hell now!!

Jun 13 04:01

NEW EVIDENCE SUGGESTS TURKEY PREPARING FOR LIBYA-STYLE MILITARY INTERVENTION IN YEMEN

SOURCE: MINT PRESS
ADEN, YEMEN — As focus begins to turn to developments in Libya and the foreign interference that plagues the Arab country, it seems that Turkey already has its eye elsewhere, preparing for military involvement in Yemen in a move that has sparked concern among Yemenis already struggling against an intervention led by Saudi Arabia, famine and most recently, COVID-19.

Informed sources in Aden and Taiz revealed to MintPress that a militia belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated El-Eslah Party, the ideological and political ally of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, is already engaged in the latest round of fighting in Yemen’s southern provinces, particularly in Abyan and Shabwa.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

President Obama originally sent "advisors" to Yemen, to placate the Saudi government; President Trump has "doubled down" on this approach, and put the US into the position of enabling Saudi war crimes in Yemen.

One has to wonder what Erdogan's "end game" against Saudi Arabia might well be here; Turkish control of Marib, perchance?!?

Jun 01 07:35

Trump Administration Plans $500 Million Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia: Move would give Raytheon licenses to make bombs in Saudi Arabia

The Trump Administration has sent a notification to Congress confirming plans to sell $500 million in weapons to Saudi Arabia in an upcoming round of sales. The plan would include sales of Paveway bombs to the Saudis, and licenses to Raytheon to let them manufacture the bombs directly in Saudi Arabia.

These bombs are part of a 2019 deal in which the Saudis intend to buy 60,000 precision munitions. The deal has continued to face heavy resistance in Congress, in no small part because the Saudis have been committing war crimes with these US-made arms.

Concerns about US culpability in having provided these arms were compounded with the Saudi assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which fueled a substantial political backlash. So far, the Trump Administration has resisted letting Congress block any sales, but each announcement starts the battle anew.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Apparently, the Saudi approach in Yemen is assassinating all native Yemenites, particularly women, children, and the medically fragile elderly, so they can own the country.

Mr. President, by signing off on this deal, you are telling the world that you proudly are signing off on Saudi war crimes, courtesy of US enabling; what the hell kind of message do you think this is sending to the world?!?

Are you so "sheltered" by your toadying advisors, that you don't know this is precisely what the Saudi military will do with these munitions?!?

Mr. President, you have both a world of hurt to try to help to heal, both societally and economically, to the country you alledge you actually govern; so can you please attempt to do some positive governing to resolve those issues, before you treat your weapons developers/massive contributors to yet another windfall in weapons profits?!?

Or do you really relish the title of"Merchant of Death in Chief"?!?

May 22 10:16

Reining in the Rogue Royal of Arabia

If the crown prince of Saudi Arabia has in mind a war with Iran, President Trump should disabuse his royal highness of any notion that America would be doing his fighting for him.

Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS, the 32-year-old son of the aging and ailing King Salman, is making too many enemies for his own good, or for ours.

Pledging to Westernize Saudi Arabia, he has antagonized the clerical establishment. Among the 200 Saudis he just had arrested for criminal corruption are 11 princes, the head of the National Guard, the governor of Riyadh, and the famed investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

May 13 17:47

FBI 'Mistakenly' Releases 9/11 Bombshell In Court: Key Saudi Diplomat Who "Tasked" Hijackers Named

It's being called "a complete government cover-up of the Saudi involvement" according to 9/11 victims' families who are in a lengthy ongoing lawsuit seeking to expose Saudi involvement in the 9/11 attacks and US efforts to cover it up.

A new bombshell has been dropped which the families of victims are hailing a huge success: FBI court documents inadvertently left a key Saudi embassy official's name unredacted, revealing one of the government's most sensitive secrets regarding the September 11 attacks and state sponsorship.

A Yahoo News exclusive reveals, based on what has since been admitted as "a giant screw-up," the identity of "a mysterious Saudi Embassy official in Washington who agents suspected had directed crucial support to two of the al-Qaida hijackers."

May 12 04:49

War in Yemen forces more girls into child marriage

An extraordinary case of child marriage in Yemen has highlighted the rising number of forced, underage weddings. In rare instances, women have managed to fight back, reports Safia Mahdi from Sana'a.

When 12-year-old Hind visited her father in jail a few months ago, he told her she was to marry a fellow inmate. Her groom, 30, had been sentenced to death for drug smuggling and possession, but they would get married anyway, she was told.

When Hind's mother managed to get a court order cancelling the marriage contract, her story became one of the rare cases of reprieve in Yemen, where the rate of child marriage is rising rapidly.

There is still no clear law regulating the minimum age for marriage in Yemen and many girls are forced to marry at ages considered too young to allow for their consent.

Read more: Empowering women in Yemen's civil war

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Child marriage is one of the worst forms of child abuse inflicted on young girls, and should be universally banned.

May 12 04:22

New investigation reveals shocking extent of torture in Saudi women's prisons

A documentary by Al Jazeera revealed shocking testimonies from female former detainees about the extent of torture and sexual harassment in Jeddah's Dhahban Central Prison.Tags:Dhahban, torture, women's rights, prison.
A new documentary broadcast on Al Jazeera's Arabic channel has uncovered terrifying details about the torture of female prisoners in Saudi Arabia.

The film presents a selection of testimonies from former detainees of Jeddah's Dhahban Central Prison, revealing rampant physical and psychological torture as well as sexual harassment during interrogation sessions.

Dhahban Prison is where a number of prominent Saudi women's rights activists have been arbitrarily detained since a sweeping campaign of arrests in May 2018.

The activists have previously complained about sexual harassment, torture and other forms of mistreatment during interrogation, however, the documentary is the first of its kind in airing direct testimonies.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would strongly and politely suggest to President Trump, that he may well want to pick his international "friends" just a little more carefully than he has with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

This torture of women is apparently what the guy has signed off upon, and if it has happened under MBS's watch, he must have approved it, and continues to approve it.

This is one of the myriad of reasons you would never get me, willingly, to go to Riyadh; being a Christian, and a woman, is enough to get one tortured and killed, under this barbaric regime's watch.

In fact, as noted in the following article last month, people in the international community are beginning to sit up and take notice. This article was published at justsecurity.org, last month: Ending Impunity: Now Is the Time for a UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in Saudi Arabia

The article goes on to state: "One cannot deny that Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, not stellar to begin with, has been worsening, especially after Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was made Crown Prince in 2017. Since then, the regime has systematically silenced any dissent and has racked up a worrying toll of human rights violations, against both Saudi and foreign citizens. Saudi authorities act with total impunity with the international community looking on. This can no longer be tolerated, nor go unpunished: an essential first step is establishing a United Nations independent expert to monitor the human rights situation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), in the form of a special rapporteur.

Saudi policy continues to incorporate torture, murder, and restrictions on fundamental rights and freedoms, including the right to life, freedom of expression and opinion, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of belief and movement, women’s rights, minority rights, and migrant workers’ rights, coupled with alleged war crimes in Yemen. Saudi authorities persistently persecute peaceful activists by labelling them as terrorists or agitators and using anti-terror and security laws against them, following a pattern of rife violations. Suspects are often beaten to extract confessions; they are denied access to legal support and family visits; they are exposed to corporal punishment; and remain in excessively protracted pre-trial detention, with any pleas for fair investigation of these violations falling on the deaf ears of judicial authorities."

May 11 07:03

Saudi Arabia Running Out Of Money: Riyadh To Slash Spending By $27 Billion, Suspend Cost Of Living Allowance

Last weekend we quoted Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan, who warned that the world's biggest oil exporter hasn’t witnessed "a crisis of this severity" in decades, adding that government spending will have to be cut "very deeply", something we touched on previously.

We didn't have long to wait, because early on Monday, the Saudi government - which appears to be running out of money fast - ordered government spending cuts including suspending the cost of living allowance amid broad austerity measures for about $26.6 billion and a tripling of the value-added tax as part of measures aimed to shore up state finances, which have been battered by low oil prices and the coronavirus.

"Cost of living allowance will be suspended as of June first, and the value added tax will be increased to 15% from 5% as of July first," said the Saudi finance minister according to the state news agency, suggesting Saudi Arabia is on the verge of a full-blown fiscal crisis.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder: will this financial crisis ultimately be enough to topple the House of Saud as the country's leadership, and replace it with a somewhat democratic regime?!?

May 08 06:09

US Pulling Patriot Missiles, Warplanes Out of Saudi Arabia Amid Dispute

The Trump Administration has been annoyed at Saudi Arabia’s inability to stabilize oil prices at a level high enough to ensure US producers a profit, and in a move that appears to be retaliation based on those tensions, the US is starting to pull military assets out of Saudi Arabia.

Officials announced on Thursday that the US will be withdrawing two Patriot missile batteries, along with a number of warplanes from the Saudi desert, along with other air defenses. The assets were placed in the area in recent months to “counter Iran.”

The US buildup in Saudi Arabia began after a Yemeni missile hit oil-producing regions. Saudis blamed Iran, and the US sent forces there to “deter” them. US-Iran tensions over Iraq ultimately led to more deployments into the area.

May 07 12:36

Oil Surges After Saudis Slash Price Discounts In Bid To Prop Up Market

After slumping much of yesterday, Brent soared on Thursday morning, after Saudi Arabia stepped in to prop up the recovery in the energy market by raising crude prices for its customers worldwide. Saudi Aramco increased pricing for most of its grades for shipment in June.

According to a price list seen by Bloomberg, Aramco raised its official selling price for flagship Arab Light crude to buyers in Asia by $1.40 a barrel, to a discount of $5.90 below the Middle East benchmark. The company was expected to reduce its official pricing by $2.50 a barrel, to a discount of $9.80, according to the median estimates in a Bloomberg survey of seven traders and refiners. By increasing pricing for Asia, Aramco is also indicating it sees demand beginning to recover in its largest regional market. The company is reversing three consecutive months of reductions in pricing for the world’s largest oil-consuming region.

May 05 12:27

U.S. should keep Congress informed about nuclear talks with Saudis - GAO

The U.S. Departments of State and Energy should commit to regular briefings to relevant committees in Congress on talks about nuclear power cooperation with Saudi Arabia, a congressional watchdog said in a report on Monday.

The Government Accountability Office, or GAO, report said Congress should consider amending the 1954 Atomic Energy Act, or AEA, to require the briefings for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations about negotiations on nuclear power sharing.

May 05 09:59

Coronavirus and Saudi Arabia’s “Soft Power”. Will This Year’s Hajj be Cancelled? “Pilgrims bring in Billions of Dollars…”

Today, the tourism industry is considered as one of the important sources of the soft power of countries in promoting and disseminating its material and spiritual attractions to attract other nations of the world. Saudi Arabia is known as a country with the soft power of religious tourism due to its Islamic richness and Muslim holy sites. Despite high economic income from oil sales, Saudi Arabia is seeking to expand its tourism industry and tourism for pilgrim’s day by day due to the presence of Mecca and Medina, to spread its culture and achieve its political goals by bringing pilgrims from different parts of the world. Get an outsider. But in late February, Saudi Arabia abruptly suspended all visas for Umrah and pilgrimage to the holiest Muslim city. A city with about thirteen million visitors a year. Today, the two holy cities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mecca and Medina, are fully involved in the spread of the coronavirus.

May 04 05:33

The Coronavirus Will Make A Mirage Of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030

As Saudi Arabia struggles to salvage its ailing economy and move away from oil dependency, the coronavirus crisis has rendered Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's (MbS) future ambitions even more fragile. And as the world faces the prospect of a global recession, there's good reason to believe Saudi Arabia will not be spared.

May 01 23:02

China's Surveillance Tech-Centric Society Is Far Superior, Is Desireable, & Gov't, Tech, & Corp Media Believe The US Should Switch NOW — & Will Try To Convince You Any Way They Can

Did you know that the Chinese model of Total Government Domination & Control Of The Socio-Political Sphere & Its Discourse (Online & Off) is objectively betterl -- that, as the Atlantic puts it, one thing we learned from the coronavirus pandemic was that "China was right?"

WHAT?!

This PDF may very well blow your mind.

Links available at source: Fulltext (PDF, JPG, HTML); context; background, textual and videographic analysis; & a detailed graphic mosaic representation of Society therein described.

May 01 04:13

Shocker: FBI Lied, Hid Evidence, Covered Up State of Disorder

Notorious for failing in its duty to thwart terrorist attacks, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is under fire again, this time from a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators who want the beleaguered law enforcement agency investigated for “major abnormalities” involving evidence in a terrorism case. Known for its corrupt method of operating, the FBI appears to be hiding evidence critical to a pending Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) lawsuit brought by family members of 9/11 victims. Two years ago, the FBI received a civil subpoena in the case and the lawmakers believe the agency has committed numerous violations and may be trying to conceal that its “investigative files are in a state of disorder.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I'm appalled, but not shocked; for the current iteration of the FBI, such horrific, ethicless behaviour, has become absolutely the "New Normal".

May 01 03:11

WHO Cuts 80% Of Humanitarian Aid To War-Torn Yemen At Moment COVID-19 Emerges

Authored by Julia Conley via CommonDreams.org,

The United Nations warned Monday that the World Health Organization would likely impose drastic cuts to humanitarian aid in Yemen this week, a move that follows the Trump administration's slashing of funds for the global health agency.

Lise Grande, U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, said WHO is expected to suspend about 80% of its funding for Yemen's hospitals, primary healthcare programs, and other healthcare needs.

The announcement at a panel hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies came two weeks after Yemen reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Although the official number of cases remains low, Al-Monitor reported last week that many cases may have been kept secret from the public and from global health organizations.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This withholding of funds and aid... is genocide writ large, folks.

Apr 29 04:58

Yemen's health system has been wrecked by war, but Britain is still helping the Saudis bomb it – even during the Covid-19 pandemic

Ravaged by years of conflict, Yemen is facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Its health system has been decimated and many of its people are starving – but the flow of British weapons to Saudi Arabia has not stopped.
Britain’s role in fueling and sustaining Riyadh’s devastating bombing campaign in Yemen has always been despicable, but it becomes especially monstrous as the threat of Covid-19 looms over the war-torn country.

Apr 27 04:38

Figures reveal staggering depletion of Saudi Arabia’s foreign reserves under Salman's rule

Saudi Arabia’s foreign reserve fund has been depleted massively ever since current King Salman bin Abdul Aziz took power in January 2015, figures from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority have revealed.
The statistics show that Saudi Arabia held $732 billion in foreign reserves in January 2015 but held only $499 billion in December 2019 – a decline of $233 billion in nearly five years. The massive decline was first reported in an article by David Hearst, the editor of Middle East Eye.

Hearst said that the war in Yemen, massive arms purchases from Western countries, and spending on “vanity projects” like the controversial futuristic city of NEOM had all played their part in draining the Saudi kingdom’s foreign reserves.

The massive loss of wealth – averaging about $46 billion per year, is equal to the total GDP of other countries in the MENA region. The Arabic news website Arabi 21 pointed out that $233 billion is 18 times the yearly budget of a country like Tunisia.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These... are pretty staggering numbers, all right; the question is, how does the country extricate itself from the hole in the economy his decisions have created?!?

Apr 27 04:17

South Yemen Separatists Declare Self RuleSaudi-backed govt rejects 'coup' against their rule

An issue that was always going to come to a head at some point has arisen again in Yemen this weekend, with the Southern Transitional Council (STC), announcing full self-rule of the territory of South Yemen, and an effort to move to reassert the nation as it existed before 1990.

South Yemen existed from 1967 to 1990, mostly as a Soviet-aligned state. A civil war beginning in 1986 ended with South Yemen being annexed by the north. Southern separatists have remained active since, and with the hacking of the United Arab Emirates have become a contesting power to the Saudi-backed “government” that occupies parts of the south. The Saudi-backed government rejected the claim of self-rule, labeling it a “coup.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We have a companion piece, also from antiwar.com, with the following title:

The future of war in Yemen amid COVID-19 and a failed ceasefire

The article, by Thomas Lippman, goes on to state: "How long can a war go on when its most powerful combatant wants to get out?

In Yemen, the answer could be, quite a while, even if Saudi Arabia succeeds in finding a face-saving way to withdraw after five futile years. Yemen is so Balkanized, so fragmented, that its well-armed tribes and factions could well continue the conflict that attracted Saudi intervention in the first place.

On April 8, Saudi Arabia, the leader of a coalition that has been battling an insurgent Yemeni group known as the Houthis, unilaterally announced a two-week ceasefire to go into effect the next day, with an extension possible if negotiations warrant.

The kingdom’s statement, issued in the name of the “Coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen” by its spokesman, Col. Turki al-Malki, said the purpose of the ceasefire was “to counter the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic” by stimulating new efforts to negotiate a comprehensive settlement. The disease has hit Saudi Arabia so hard that the kingdom has blocked pilgrims from going to Mecca, and it now has also reached neighboring Yemen, which is virtually defenseless against the disease after years of bombing and devastation."

The US needs to withdraw from Yemen right now, as the reality of aiding and abetting Saudi war crimes here, appears to have known no bounds.

Apr 26 07:00

Saudi Arabia courts abolish flogging as punishment

Saudi Arabia has abolished flogging as a legal punishment in response to criticism of its use of corporal punishment, the Supreme Court has announced.

Hundreds of lashes could previously be ordered for a variety of offences, including murder, extramarital sex and breach of the peace.

Despite the change attributed to reforms under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Amnesty International reported last week that Saudi Arabia executed a record 184 people in 2019, accusing the kingdom of using the death penalty notably against Shia Muslim dissidents.

The Saudi supreme court said the latest reform was intended to "bring the kingdom into line with international human rights norms against corporal punishment".

Apr 26 06:22

Saudi Arabia to take on billions in debt to survive the oil price crisis

Saudi Arabia may have to borrow as much as $58 billion this year to cover a budget shortfall caused by the oil price slump, Bloomberg reports, citing Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan.

Al-Jadaan told media this week that the Kingdom might issue bonds worth $26.57 billion (100 billion riyals) this year in addition to an earlier issue of $31.88 billion (120 billion riyals) worth of debt.

Saudi Aramco, for its part, is considering a $10 billion sale in part of its pipeline business, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

“The kingdom went through similar crises in its history – maybe even worse – and was able to pass through them,” Al-Jadaan said. “This is not an exception.”

Apr 26 06:14

Oil price war started after shouting match between Putin and MbS

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the shouting match phone call between Saudi Crown Prince MbS and Russian President Vladimir Putin that eventually launched a devastating oil price war.

Reports claim that the Saudi crown prince threatened Russian president over production cuts prior to flooding market. A source for the Middle East Eye reports that ‘the call ended badly.’

Apr 22 03:21

EXCLUSIVE: Saudis launched oil price war after 'MBS shouting match with Putin'

A telephone call last month between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman degenerated into a shouting match just before Riyadh decided to flood the market with oil in a move which sent prices spiralling.

Saudi officials with knowledge of the disastrous call told Middle East Eye that the row threatened to undo months of detente between the two countries, in which a significant arms trade was also agreed.

The call took place just before an Opec+ meeting on 6 March, in which major oil producers failed to agree a deal on cutting production despite falling global demand as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Just before that meeting there was a call between Putin and MBS. MBS was very aggressive and gave an ultimatum. He threatened that if there is no agreement, Saudi would start a price war.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is most unfortunate, that one of President Trump's BFFs in the Middle East, his most murderous Royal Highness Mohammed Bin Salman, still has no clue about to whom he is speaking, when he speaks to Russia's Putin; perhaps future economic collapse in Saudi Arabia, might well teach the gentlemen a lesson in restraint, but I sincerely doubt that this will happen, until, most probably, the entire Saudi family has to run for its life from the ruin it has visited upon its native country.

Apr 20 14:39

Oil prices plunge below zero, sending stocks lower

This is really bad. A total collapse of oil prices.

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices plunged below zero on Monday as demand for energy collapses amid the coronavirus pandemic and traders don’t want to get stuck owning crude with nowhere to store it.

Apr 20 09:28

South Korea blocks test kits for Iran on Saudi-funded TV's request

Iran says South Korea has rejected a SWIFT payment request by Tehran for purchase of coronavirus testing kits over the US sanctions.

Iran's Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour late Saturday released a document that shows a Saudi-funded TV had asked a Korean bank to reject the request.

"As a result, the Korean bank rejected Iran's request and the kits were not delivered to Iran," he said.

According to the document, London-based Iran International television channel falsely claimed that the SWIFT request had been made by a software company which sought to export non-medical goods to Iran.

Apr 20 09:26

Bogged down Saudis look for exit from Yemen quagmire using COVID-19 as fig leaf: Report

Saudi Arabia is reportedly using the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as a “fig leaf” for an exit from the quagmire in war-torn Yemen, where fighters from the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement now have the upper hand against Saudi-led invaders.

An article published by The Economist newspaper on Saturday raised doubts about the objective of the so-called ceasefire declared by the Riyadh regime in Yemen earlier this month.

The Saudi-led coalition, which has been waging the war on Yemen since 2015 to reinstall the regime of pro-Riyadh former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, claimed that its unilateral two-week truce in Yemen was designed to head off the outbreak.

“Cynics doubt that compassion is truly motivating Saudi Arabia, a majority Sunni nation. For years its bombs have hit hospitals, houses and schools in Yemen—often, it seemed, on purpose. Rather, the war is turning and the Saudis are losing heart,” the report said.

Apr 15 02:59

Saudi Arabia has carried out 800 executions under King Salman: ReportExecutions have doubled in only five years, with at least 13 juvenile defendants currently on death row, says Reprieve

Saudi Arabia has carried out the 800th execution of King Salman bin Abdulaziz's five years of rule, human rights organisation Reprieve said on Tuesday.

According to the British nonprofit, which campaigns against the death penalty, the rate of execution in Saudi Arabia has doubled since 2015, when King Salman succeeded to the throne in January after the death of his half-brother, King Abdullah.

While the king's son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said that his government planned to limit the number of executions in the kingdom, the reality is far from that statement, Reprieve said.

By comparison, Saudi authorities executed 423 people between 2009 and 2014.

Currently, there are at least 13 juvenile defendants on death row - including Ali al-Nimr, Dawood al-Marhoon and Abdullah al-Zaher - who are “at imminent risk of execution”, Reprieve and the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

To other world leaders, Saudi money (not to mention oil) is what makes these abominations completely acceptible.

One wonders how so many cases of Covid-19, which has infested the royal House of Saud somewhat in the manner of a plague, are going to reshape the Saudi royal family, and in what direction.

150 members of royal Saudi family test COVID-19 positive

Apr 14 04:29

Saudi preventing aid from entering Yemen: Commentator

Political commentator Paul Larudee says Riyadh is under pressure from both inside and outside Saudi Arabia to halt its war on Yemen.

Apr 14 04:17

Is Saudi Arabia Restarting The Oil War?

Apr 10 08:02

War-Torn Yemen Confirms First COVID-19 Case, Official Says Brace For 'Millions'

Throughout five years of war Yemen has been considered by the UN and health agencies to be the 'world's worst humanitarian disaster' — but few Americans have heard much about the war or its over 100,000 dead, including tens of thousands of civilians, given that it's the US-Saudi coalition doing the bombing.

But now Yemen is about to rip back into the headlines, given the first confirmed COVID-19 case in the country, with health officials fearing "one million" could be infected if the outbreak takes hold in the war-torn country.

This as already some 25 million civilians are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including basic food, medicines, and other staples. The Saudis have essentially imposed a complete land, sea and air blockade of the country for years. Its health system also long ago collapsed.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As I type this, there was a news flash in the Presstitute Non-Media from yesterday which got nearly zero traction, and the headline read: Saudi royals hit by COVID-19; King, Crown Prince in isolation. Any infected staff members will now be treated at a less elite hospital to save room for royals.

Please remember; Saudi royalty will be treated brilliantly, and their staffs, at least well, and with any and everything known to help them recover, and ease their suffering.

But once this gets hold of the Yemeni population, the Yemeni people, suffering from underlying medical conditions as malnutrition; cholera; and with infants; children; women and the medically fragile elderly maimed for life by US/Saudi bombing sorties, and God knows what else, thanks to the US/Saudi blockade, Yemenis will die by the thousands from this new scourge.

I would truly love to be a citizen of a country which does not, as a matter of national course and policy, commit war crimes; unfortunately, Mike and I are both too broke, and too old, to make that happen at this time.

But having said this, I want to make something very clear to both the present, and future, US administrations; the moment you start committing war crimes around the world in our names, and with our tax dollars, this site will, in the most peaceful, logical, and most documented manner, will call you out on it, for both our brother and sister Americans, and all the world to see.

Apr 10 05:20

Saudi Hospitals Alerted To "Influx Of VIPs" As 150 Members Of Royal Family Have COVID-19

Despite the Saudis starting as early as February in shutting key public sites down in the kingdom, including the historically unprecedented shuttering of the pilgrimage to Mecca, it's been reported this week that COVID-19 has hit the Saudi royal family hard.

A source close to the royal family told The New York Times Wednesday that up to 150 members of the Saudi royal family have contracted the coronavirus.

Appropriately titled Coronavirus Invades Saudi Inner Sanctum the Times report says that even King Salman has been moved to isolation near the city of Jeddah, after his nephew and governor of Riyadh, Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulziz al Saud, tested positive. The prince is said to be in intensive care in serious condition.

Apr 09 21:05

Putin, Trump, Saudi King Salman Discussed Situation in Oil Markets, OPEC+ Talks - Kremlin

Earlier, US President Donald Trump said during a press briefing that he had held a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Riyadh's King Salman. The phone talks followed the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries's (OPEC) discussions on a deal for new oil cuts.

Apr 09 04:33

Saudi-Led Coalition Declares Two-Week Ceasefire in Yemen to Prevent COVID-19 Outbreak

Senior Saudi officials have announced a ceasefire in Yemen to begin on Thursday in an effort to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in that country.

A two-week-long ceasefire in Yemen will begin on Thursday at noon local time between the Royal Saudi Armed Forces and its allied forces on the one side, and the Houthi militant group and its allies on the other, according to senior Saudi officials in Riyadh.

The officials said the ceasefire is aimed at bringing the Houthis to the negotiating table for peace talks led by the United Nations, as well as to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country, which has already been wracked by famine and disease for years due to the war.

Apr 06 06:43

Yemen Is Shattered And The U.S. Helped The Saudis Break It

Five years ago the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia invaded neighboring Yemen. The conflict was supposed to be quick and simple, over in a few weeks. Now the once-haughty Saudi royals have offered a ceasefire, after their opponents, Houthi irregulars, captured the province of al-Jawf.

The conflict has created a horrific humanitarian crisis. Yemen, which has long been divided, impoverished, and embattled, is wrecked, and is unlikely to emerge as one complete nation. The cost has been roughly 100,000 dead in combat (nearly 20,000 of them civilians); another 130,000 dead from the consequences of the conflict; a million people suffering from Cholera; 20 million Yemenis facing food insecurity; sixteen million regularly hungry; and ten million at risk of famine.

Apr 05 06:53

Saudi-led airstrike, gunfire leave nearly dozen civilians dead in Yemen

Nearly a dozen people have lost their lives and several others sustained injuries when warplanes operated by the Saudi-led military coalition and militiamen loyal to Yemen's former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi launched separate attacks in the northwestern province of Sa’ada and the central province of Ma’rib over a span of 24 hours.

Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network that three people were killed and a woman was injured on Friday, when the warplanes struck Ghafra area in the Dhaher district of Sa'ada.

The source added that the air raid also resulted in the death of dozens of livestock and destruction of the house targeted.

Apr 03 04:26

Saudi Arabia Urges Muslims to Halt Hajj Plans over Coronavirus

Saudia Arabia urged over one million Muslims to halt preparations for the mandatory pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) on Tuesday. The request has caused some to speculate that the pilgrimage may be canceled this year.

Apr 02 04:41

Which target after Syria?

Events in the "Broader Middle East" since 2001 have followed a relentless logic. The current question is whether the time has come for a new war in Turkey or Saudi Arabia. The answer depends in particular on the resumption of hostilities in Libya. It is in this context that the Additional Protocol negotiated by Presidents Erdo?an and Putin to resolve the Idleb crisis must be interpreted.

Apr 02 04:33

Saudi-led forces airdropping virus-infected masks in Yemen: Minister

Yemen’s information minister has raised the possibility of the facemasks airdropped by Saudi-led warplanes in Sana’a and other cities being infected with the new coronavirus, urging media outlets and activists to spread awareness of the danger.

Dhaifullah al-Shami said given the fact that the Saudi-led coalition has turned Yemen into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis through years of lethal military aggression, it is a big surprise to see coalition forces distributing masks across the capital and several other Yemeni provinces, the Middle East Monitor press observatory organization reported on Tuesday.

Shami urged media and activists to warn citizens against touching or wearing the masks.

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