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SAUDI ARABIA

Jan 23 07:40

Saudis Bomb Youth Soccer Field & A Prison In Yemen, Over 200 Killed

A series of Saudi-led airstrikes were blamed Friday for killing scores of people in Yemen as civilians, including children, continue to suffer deadly consequences of the U.S.-backed conflict that has lasted for years. Overnight bombings included one that targeted a prison holding mostly migrants in the northern city of Sa'ada, an area described as being under the control of Houthi forces.

"It is impossible to know how many people have been killed. It seems to have been a horrific act of violence," said Ahmed Mahat, MSF's (Doctors Without Borders) head of mission in Yemen. A hospital in the city "has received 138 wounded and 70 dead" [later revised to over 200 killed] and is "so overwhelmed that they can't take any more patients," MSF said.

Jan 22 07:15

Hundreds injured & killed in Saudi strikes

Scores of people have been killed and potentially hundreds have been injured by airstrikes in Yemen, the latest escalation in the Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s war against Houthi rebels in the shattered country.

Targets struck on Friday reportedly included a prison and an airport in the northern city of Sa’ada, various government facilities and a telecommunications building in Hodeidah. Many of the victims were rushed to Al-Gumhourriyeh Hospital in Sa’ada, which received 138 wounded and 70 dead, according to the aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

Jan 22 07:14

‘A war crime against humanity’: Yemen rebels denounce attack

The Saudi-led coalition has denied reports that it bombed a prison in the northern Yemeni city of Saada, as the United Nations condemned the deadly coalition air strikes in the country.

An official from Yemen’s Houthi rebel group and medical charity Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) said on Friday that dozens of people were killed in a dawn bombing of a temporary detention centre in the northern city.

Jan 22 06:29

Saudi Arabia: Royal dissent could keep MBS from the throne

Saudis celebrated the end of 2021 with raves in the desert, while an absentee monarch - not seen for months amid old age and possibly fragile health - has disappeared from public life.

King Salman has been holed up in the new, futuristic Neom city, and may not be physically fit to receive the annual renewal of the oath of allegiance that would normally take place this month, marking seven years of his rule. But King Salman will not abdicate, remaining an absent king until his death. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) is now confirmed as the de facto ruler of the kingdom.

Jan 21 12:34

Yemeni rebels say Saudi-led airstrike on prison killed 70

A Saudi-led airstrike targeting a prison run by Yemen’s Houthi rebels killed at least 70 detainees and wounded dozens Friday, a rebel minister said. The strike was part of a pounding aerial offensive that hours earlier took the Arab world’s poorest country off the internet.

The intense campaign comes after the Iran-backed Houthis claimed a drone and missile attack that struck inside the capital of the United Arab Emirates earlier in the week. It marked a major escalation in the conflict, a brutal civil war in Yemen where the Saudi-led coalition, backed by the UAE, has battled the rebels since 2015.

Taha al-Motawakel, health minister in the Houthi government which controls the country’s north, told The Associated Press in the capital, Sanaa, that 70 detainees were killed at the prison but that he expects the number to rise in the coming hours since many of the wounded were seriously hurt.

Jan 21 05:59

Saudi Coalition Attacks Yemen Youth Soccer Game; Civilians Killed

Saudi Arabia’s state media reported “precise airstrikes against legitimate military targets” in Yemen today. This included an attack on a youth soccer field in al-Hodeidah, while a game was going on.

Details are still emerging as to the aftermath, though there were reportedly a number of casualties, including deaths. Photos showed several children among the casualties.

Despite the Saudis’ constant talk of legitimate military targets, and Hodeidah being militarized, this was just a soccer game with no official dimension at all, and there is no sign anyone was there except for a number of civilians.

Jan 21 05:58

Saudi Attack Leads to Nationwide Internet Outage in Yemen

Yemen lost its Internet connection as of 3:00 AM local time, following the latest round of Saudi airstrikes against the port of Hodeidah.

The FALCON submarine cable is the in-road to Internet access in Yemen, through a landing station at the Hodeidah port. The airstrikes targeted a TeleYemen building in the city, among other targets.

The Saudis presented this as “accurate airstrikes to destroy the capabilities” around the port. They have yet to acknowledge that this meant targeting telecom sites, nor all the civilian targets they hit.

Jan 21 05:57

'Where do you go?': Sanaa residents brace for more strikes as Yemen war spirals

Ghazi al-Qadasi closes his apparel store early these days to rush home as residents of the Yemeni capital brace for further air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition after at least 20 people were killed in a bombing two days ago.

"There have been three days of very strong strikes," said Qadasi, whose store is in Sanaa's Hael district, which lies 1 km (0.62 mile) from a military area that had been struck.
"Clients are scared and we have started closing our stores early to go make sure our children are inside the house."

Jan 19 08:22

Saudi Airstrikes Kill 20, Many Civilians, in Yemen Capital

Saudi airstrikes pounded residential areas of the Yemeni capital of Sanaa. The overnight strikes began after the Houthis attacked Abu Dhabi, and ended up the deadliest attack in Sanaa since 2019.

An estimated 20 people were killed in the attacks, and signs are that they were mostly civilians, though it’s not clear there was a great effort to identify them by the Saudis.

The Saudis presented the strikes as aimed at the homes of Houthi military figures, but it isn’t clear any of them were killed, and seemingly it was just whoever was nearby at the time.

The UN voiced concern over the killings, calling on all sides to exercise restraint. The UN further warned all sides have humanitarian responsibilities with regards to the civilians.

Jan 18 07:40

Saudi jets bomb Yemen after Abu Dhabi drone attack

The Saudi-led coalition has launched an air raid on the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, saying it was a response to the earlier attack by “Iran-backed” Houthi “terrorists” on Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi state media announced the raid on Monday evening, saying that the coalition’s F-15 fighters targeted and destroyed two ballistic missile launchers, allegedly used in the strike against the UAE.

Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree said on Monday that the militia, which controls the Yemeni capital, used five “ballistic and winged missiles” and “a large number of drones” to target “a number of important and sensitive Emirati sites and facilities,” including the airports in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Jan 18 07:30

Iran & Saudis Preparing To Reopen Embassies After Decade Of Regional Proxy War

In a highly unexpected and unusual development, and coming off a possible diplomatic breakthrough amid recent talks aimed at opening up relations, Iranian diplomats arrived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia this weekend for the first time in a half-decade. The two countries haven't had diplomatic relations since 2016, when Iranian protesters attacked the Saudi Embassy in Tehran following the kingdom's execution of a popular Shia cleric. They are reportedly preparing to reopen embassies.

The Saudis and Iranians have further been waging fierce proxy wars against the other in places like Syria and Yemen over a period of years. Shia Iran has long funded and sent weapons primarily to Hezbollah, as well as Yemen's Houthi rebels, while the Saudis have funded Sunni jihadists including ISIS. The two sides have also long vied for influence in Lebanon's politics, with Washington consistently backing the Saudis.

Jan 14 07:10

Video: The War on Yemen. Saudi-led Coalition Wins on the Battlefield but Loses in Propaganda

The years-long war in Yemen sees no end, and 2022 is not an exception. The year began with a large-scale operation, dubbed Southern Storm aimed to expel the Houthis (Ansar Allah) from Yemen’s central-southern province of Shabawah. The operation is mainly led by the UAE-backed Giant Brigades, a force of an estimated 15,000 fighters, with support from the Yemeni Armed Forces and backed by air cover from Coalition warplanes.

The operation took the Houthis by surprise and resulted in significant gains since its first days.

On January 2, the Giants Brigades managed to capture the center of Usaylan district. On January 3 and 4, the group’s fighters captured the mountain of Bin Aqil and the key town of al-Nuqub.

Jan 13 10:36

Saudi-led coalition apologises for fake Yemen video of Houthi missiles

Saudi-led coalition in Yemen have apologised for using old Iraq War footage as ‘evidence’ of Iran smuggling weapons to Houthi rebels at the port city of Hodeidah.

Jan 13 07:33

Deconstructing the Saudi narrative on the war in Yemen

On December 18, Hisham Sharaf, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Ansar-Allah-led government in Sana’a, Yemen, called for U.N.-sponsored negotiations to end the war. Two days later, the Saudi Air Force launched a fresh wave of air raids on Sana’a, targeting the airport and civilian areas. Yet, reports in the U.S. media continue to promote an inaccurate narrative that demonizes Ansar-Allah while portraying the Saudis as seeking peace.

Jan 13 06:17

Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund To Buy $10 Billion In Stocks This Year

The Saudis are taking another step toward "diversifying" as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman tries to make the Saudi economy less dependent on the energy sector.

Flush with cash thanks to the ongoing ramp in oil and natural gas prices, Saudi Arabia's massive $500 billion+ sovereign wealth fund has apparently decided to put it to work by buying some $10 billion in publicly traded equities during the coming year.

The decision comes as the Saudi wealth fund has promised to double its assets by 2025. As Bloomberg points out, heavy buying of equities by the kingdom's wealth fund could help buttress global equity valuations at a time when investors fear that the Federal Reserve is about to pull the rug out from underneath US stocks, causing them to sink dramatically after one of the best decades, performance-wise, that anybody can remember.

Jan 10 07:27

Saudis Say ‘Urgent’ Situation, They’re Running Out of Patriot Missiles

Saudi Arabia is pushing the US to rush sales of Patriot missiles for their air defense system, warning that they are running out and face an “urgent situation” if they don’t get more.

Escalation of the cross-border strikes in Yemen has seen the Saudis using a lot more interceptors than they had been, and at this rate they will run out of missiles in months.

The US almost certainly will sell the Saudis more, but such sales can be very slow. The Saudis have been pushing GCC allies for loans of a few missiles in the meanwhile.

This war is costing the Saudis huge amounts in weapons buys, and is lasting far longer than they expected. The cost of their air war was already huge, and now they’re rushing to get air defense arms as well.

Jan 10 07:03

Saudi princess freed after three years in jail: Report

Saudi authorities have released Princess Basmah bint Saud, 57, and her daughter who had been held without charge for nearly three years in the capital, a human rights group said on Saturday.

Alqst for Human Rights, in a post to Twitter on Saturday, said Princess Basmah "and her daughter Suhoud... have been released".

Jan 08 08:21

Saudi Media Ministry Hires Former Producer for US Anchor Katie Couric for PR Campaign

A former producer for US news anchor Katie Couric has taken a new job with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Media, according to a disclosure filed with the US Department of Justice.

According to the filing made under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) on Monday, Couric’s former producer told the DOJ that she had been working for Thiqah Business Services for much of the previous year. The firm is 100% owned by the Saudi government, according to the city marketing portal Eye of Riyadh, which notes it is “owned by Saudi Authority for Accredited Valuers (TAQEEM), and Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants (SOCPA).”

She received $15,000 in retainer payments from the firm in both November and December of 2021, but the filing noted no other information about compensation. A copy of the contract for her freelance services that was included in the filing was dated May 29, 2021.

Dec 28 11:13

Saudi expert defends intensified bombardment in Yemen, Ansarullah vows painful response

During a recent political talk show on RT Arabic, Saudi military expert Mohammad al-Qabibaan defended the recent intense escalation of the Saudi-led coalition’s bombardment campaign in Yemen, describing the relentless airstrikes of recent weeks as “successful operations” designed to force the Houthi Ansarullah movement to sit down at the negotiating table.

For his part, Nasr al-deen ‘Aamir, a representative from the Sana’a-led Media Ministry, said that the Yemeni Army had no choice but to respond to the intensified coalition bombardment that was targeting innocent civilians and his country’s civil infrastructure, and vowed that the army ‘will respond by striking locations’ that hurt Riyadh.

Dec 24 08:46

Report: Saudi Arabia Is Building Ballistic Missiles With China’s Help

CNN reported on Thursday that US intelligence agencies have concluded Saudi Arabia is now actively manufacturing its own ballistic missiles with the help of China.

As the world’s largest importer of arms, Saudi Arabia has purchased ballistic missiles from China in the past but has not previously had the ability to manufacture them.

Unnamed sources told CNN that US officials at several agencies have been briefed in recent months on “on classified intelligence revealing multiple large-scale transfers of sensitive ballistic missile technology between China and Saudi Arabia.”

In a statement to CNN, China’s Foreign Ministry said the two countries are “comprehensive strategic partners” and “have maintained friendly cooperation in all fields, including in the field of military trade.”

Dec 22 07:09

Saudi Attacks Halt Aid Flights Into Yemen Capital

The large civilian toll in the Saudi War in Yemen has been driven in large part by the Saudis heavily restricting access to humanitarian aid in the impoverished country. Today, the UN announced that they are halting all aid flights into the capital of Sanaa.

In the past couple of days, Saudi Arabia warned aid groups away from the airport, then attacked the airport. This further restricts ways of getting supplies into north Yemen after destroying most of the seaports and heavily limiting the ships in the area.

All through the war, food has been in short supply in Yemen, and medicine often undergoes shortages that kill those with chronic health conditions. The shortages are far worse in the Houthi north, as the Saudis restrict naval travel into the last port of Hodeidah.

Dec 20 06:41

Yemen’s Houthis Call for Dialogue to End War

Almost an entire year of fighting over Maarib has fueled high hopes of a new effort to end the Yemen War, and the Houthis are backing that, calling for dialogue with an eye toward peace.

Houthi FM Hisham Sharaf said the group wants talks under the auspices of the UN, or at least with international partners overseeing thew process.

Past peace bids have gotten bogged down in details, with groups not wanting to meet one another directly about certain topics. The war has gone on long enough that there are many enemies.

The end game of the war has been expected to involve power-sharing, but the players involved and the terms are going to take a long while to hash out.

Dec 20 06:40

NOW IN POWER, KEY ANTI-WAR DEMOCRATS SOFTEN ON SAUDI WAR IN YEMEN

WHEN CONNECTICUT DEMOCRAT Chris Murphy cast his vote in the Senate on Tuesday supporting a $650 million missile sale to Saudi Arabia, he bucked the better half of his party. That evening, 28 of 50 Senate Democrats voted for a resolution of disapproval, authored by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., that sought to stop the Saudi arms sale. The decision by a majority of Senate Democrats to oppose transferring weapons described by the State Department as “defensive” was a major show against President Joe Biden and an affirmation of their opposition to Saudi Arabia’s strangling of Yemen. But the Democrats on Murphy’s side were joined by all but two Republicans — Paul and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah — and the measure failed 30-67. In Murphy’s case, it was proof of a significant shift by the previous anti-war champion.

Dec 14 07:32

190 Houthis killed in military operations by Saudi-led coalition

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said on Saturday that 190 Houthis had been killed in military operations in the last 24 hours.

The coalition conducted 36 operations against Houthi targets in Marib in Yemen within the last 24 hours, the Saudi Press Agency tweeted. The operations also destroyed 20 military vehicles and drone control units.

The coalition regularly attacks Houthi military targets to deter the militia from launching drone and missile attacks against Saudi Arabian cities, mainly in border areas.

Dec 13 08:35

Friends of the House of Saud: America Ever Owes the Royals Deference and Defense

No matter the many crimes committed by the House of Saud, defenders rush to take up their cause. The Wall Street Journal’s Karen Elliott House was the latest. Readers can imagine tears cascading across her keyboard as she wrote about the plight of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which "is begging the U.S. for Patriot interceptors to defend itself against drone and missile attacks from the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen."

House complained that this is bad for America for three reasons. "First, it endangers the Saudi people, who look to the US for protection." Actually, what endangers the Saudi people is their reckless crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, and especially his continuing war of aggression against the KSA’s much poorer neighbor.

Dec 10 09:42

Bombings, Casualties Surge in Escalation of Saudi Air War in Yemen

The latest monthly data out of Yemen shows what everyone following the country already knows, the air war is bad, and rapidly getting worse, with data showing air raids surging across the country.

Maarib and Saada Provinces have seen the highest numbers of strikes recently, though in the past few weeks, a lot of other areas are getting hit as well. Hodeidah saw its highest number of strikes since the 2018 deal.

In the course of November, some 29 civilian casualties were reported. This is, of course, just an estimate, but would be the highest monthly figure since Mid-2020.

That’s a surprisingly low number when compared with the huge average of 30 airstrikes per day and the estimate that 28% of all airstrikes hit identifiable civilian targets.

Dec 10 09:21

Video: Ping-Pong War in Yemen: Houthis Strike Back with Drones over Riyadh

The Saudi-led coalition has recently tried to push back after the Houthis, as Ansar Allah is known, had gained significant territories in Yemen’s strategic Marib province. However, such Saudi attempts, as expected provoked a harsh response. Riyadh’s intense air raids on Houthi military targets, as well as civilian facilities, at the end of November, could not go unpunished.

On the night of December 7, Saudi citizens did not sleep well, as the country suffered an intence air attack of unprecedented scale from neighboring Yemen.

Dec 08 14:14

Saudi Arabia Is Running Out Of Patriot Missiles In Its Conflict With The Houthis

Saudi Arabia is requesting “hundreds more” missile rounds for its U.S.-supplied Patriot air-defense systems as it continues to wage a war against drones (as well as rudimentary cruise missiles) and ballistic missile attacks launched by the Iranian-backed Houthi forces based in neighboring Yemen. The diminishing Saudi missile stocks reflect the extent of the challenge facing The Kingdom, which recently sought to buy additional AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles, or AMRAAMs, to arm its fighter jets against some of the same threats.

Writing today in the Washington Post, Gordon Lubold reported that the United States is “poised to formally approve” a Saudi request for additional Patriot missile rounds. This comes amid fears within The Kingdom that the scale of drone and missile attacks “could result in significant loss of life or damage to critical oil infrastructure.”

Dec 07 09:28

One of Suspects in Journalist Jamal Khashoggi's Murder Arrested in France, Media Claims

The journalist of Saudi Arabian origin was killed in 2018 after he entered the premises of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman later revealed that his killing was carried out by a group of rogue state agents and promised to punish those responsible.

European Radio RTL has reported that one of suspected murderers of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 was arrested at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. The media outlet claims the 33-year-old former Saudi Royal Guard member, Khaled Aedh Al-Otaibi, was about to board a flight to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia before he was detained.

Dec 03 10:06

Saudi warplanes carpet-bomb Yemen with US help. This must end

The recent breaching of the United States’ embassy in Yemen’s capital city of Sanaa by rebel forces, and the detaining of Yemeni employees of the embassy, is the latest escalation in a war that has gone on for far too long. It is a war that the United States has supported and remains deeply involved in. It’s time for that complicity to end.

For more than six years, Saudi-led military intervention into Yemen’s civil war on behalf of Yemen’s exiled government against Yemeni rebels has been a key driver of the largest humanitarian disaster in the world. “The country’s economy has reached new depths of collapse, and a third wave of the pandemic is threatening to crash the country’s already fragile healthcare system,” United Nations humanitarian relief coordinator, Martin Griffiths, said in September, with millions “a step away from starvation”.

Dec 01 07:59

The World Keeps Yemen Waiting With Deadly Results

The United Nations Development Program projects that the war in Yemen will have killed at least 377,000 people by the end of this year. That projection represents an increase of more than 140,000 over the previous year’s report. As in previous years, 60% of the war’s casualties have been caused by indirect causes of disease and starvation. According to the report, a staggering 70% of the total casualties are children under the age of five. The youngest and weakest members of the population are most at risk when a country is wracked by mass starvation and multiple epidemics, and they are the ones dying in huge numbers. These are the victims of an unnecessary military intervention and a man-made famine, and most of these deaths could have been prevented if Yemen’s humanitarian crisis had been dealt with the urgency that its severity required.

Nov 30 07:23

Saudis, Allies Pound Yemeni Capital of Sanaa in Weekend Strikes

Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia and its allies carried out a flurry of airstrikes against the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa, with residents reporting several large explosions in parts of the city.

Results weren’t immediately clear, but officials now say that they attacked “secret underground tunnels” beneath the Sanaa presidential palace, where they believe ballistic missiles were stored. They also hit other military targets.

The coalition prefaced these attacks by warning Yemenis to avoid “legitimate military targets” in Sanaa, a warning that probably didn’t do much good if they were attacking underground sites that the public didn’t know anything about.

That’s been the case in a lot of recent strikes, as in addition to these tunnels, Saudi strikes targeted a plastics factory which had no apparent military significance. Officials later speculated that this was a “drone lab.”

Nov 29 07:17

The Biden Administration’s Missile Sale to Saudi Arabia Is Offensive, and Must Be Stopped

The Biden administration’s decision to sell $650 million in air-to-air missiles and related equipment to Saudi Arabia is a violation of President Biden’s pledge to treat Saudi Arabia as a “pariah” and to end the sale of weapons that can be used in its brutal war in Yemen, a conflict in which nearly a quarter of a million people have died since it was initiated in March 2015.

To their credit, Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have introduced a joint resolution of disapproval to stop the sale, which is likely to be voted on this week. It deserves support in the service of peace, human rights, and an end to the catastrophic suffering in Yemen.

Nov 25 09:34

Biden Is Wrong. There Is No Such Thing As “Defensive” Saudi Weapons in the War on Yemen.

At a 2019 Democratic primary debate, candidate Joe Biden pledged to stop U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Once in the White House, in February 2021, President Joe Biden claimed he would end all U.S. support for ?“offensive operations” in Yemen. And yet, Biden is now backing a proposed $650 million sale of air-to-air missiles and launchers to Saudi Arabia, an apparent betrayal of his campaign-trail promise.

The deal is setting up a fight in the Senate, where Sen. Rand Paul (R?Ky.) is planning to force a vote on a joint resolution to block the weapons transfer, along with Sens. Bernie Sanders (I?Vt.) and Mike Lee (R?Utah). This would be the first Senate vote on the Yemen war during the Biden administration, and would force Democrats?—?who opposed the war under former President Donald Trump but have been less legislatively aggressive under the Biden administration?—?to publicly state their positions.

Nov 24 13:41

Saudis, Russians Consider Pausing Oil Production Increases In Retaliation To Biden SPR Release

When commenting on yesterday's SPR release announcement by the Biden admin and several assorted hanger-on nations - which has backfired spectacularly sending the price of oil soaring now that the rumor can no longer be sold so the news has to be bought in line with every single SPR release in the past...

... we said that not only was the release far to smmal, but that in retaliation for the SPR release, "OPEC could easily consider halting its production hikes to offset the detrimental SPR impact of lower oil prices on the needed recovery in global oil capex, likely justifying such action as prudent in the face of COVID demand risks."

Nov 23 08:03

CAITLIN JOHNSTONE: THE US HAS AS MUCH MORAL AUTHORITY AS SAUDI ARABIA ON THE LEGITIMACY OF ELECTIONS

“Let there be no mistake — Sunday’s regional and municipal elections in Venezuela are nothing more than a sham,” reads a recent statement authored by Republican US Senators Jim Risch and Michael McCaul. “The illegitimate Maduro regime has taken drastic measures to dismantle or control every independent institution in the country, including hijacking political parties and the National Electoral Council to ensure state-sponsored electoral fraud.”

“Today’s elections in Venezuela are as illegitimate as Maduro’s tyrannical regime,” reads a tweet by Republican Senator Rick Scott. “The Venezuelan people deserve free and democratic elections NOW. The U.S. and all freedom-loving nations must stand up, condemn these sham elections and support the people in their fight for freedom.”

Nov 23 08:03

Saudis Launch Airstrikes Against Yemen Capital

Saudi state media reported a flurry of airstrikes against targets inside the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa. There have been no details on casualties, though claims were that they hit ‘high-value’ targets.

Saudi media presented this as retaliation for Yemen’s weekend drone raids. They also warned civilians to avoid gathering at Houthi ‘targets’ in Sanaa.

These tit-for-tat strikes have been ongoing since last week, with the Houthis hitting sites in southern Saudi Arabia, and the Saudis picking up the pace of airstrikes across northern Yemen.

Tuesday’s Sanaa strikes centered on military bases, though the Saudis have a history of going well beyond that in aerial campaigns, and shrugging off civilian casualties..

Nov 17 06:44

Saudi Arabia Makes Fool of President Biden: Continues Yemen War and Domestic Repression

Newly inaugurated President Joe Biden gave Americans hope of a major change in US policy toward human rights in general and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in particular. He promised to treat Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, responsible for numerous crimes and atrocities, as a well-deserved "pariah."

When Biden spoke at the State Department shortly after taking office he told the assembled foreign service officers: "We’re also stepping up our diplomacy to end the war in Yemen, a war which has created humanitarian and strategic catastrophe. … This war has to end, and to underscore our commitment, we’re ending all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales."

Nov 10 14:38

Three Houthi Ballistic Missiles Reportedly Strike Saudi Base in Dhahran Al-Janub, Kill Commander

According to reports, at least three ballistic missiles, but possibly as many as seven, struck a Saudi military camp near the Yemeni border on Wednesday evening, with numerous casualties reported.

According to a statement by the Houthi armed forces in Sana'a, a series of ballistic missiles also struck targets in Yemen's Ma'rib and Taiz governorates.
The attack on Dhahran al-Janub, a Saudi base just across the border in Saudi Arabia's 'Asir Region, included three ballistic missiles and "resulted in the killing and wounding of large numbers of Saudi enemy officers and soldiers," the statement said, including the commander of the Saudi First Regiment, Mansour Ali al-Asmari.

Oct 30 06:08

Weapons trade with Saudis and Israel must be disrupted

Earlier this month, the UN Human Rights Council voted to reject a resolution extending an independent expert review of the human rights situation in Yemen by another two years.

The resolution – proposed by the Netherlands – was the first to be defeated in the council’s 15 years of existence. It was supported by the principal Western suppliers of weapons to the Saudi-led coalition waging war against Houthi rebels in Yemen but, it seems, not with the same vigor as it was opposed by Saudi Arabia.

The Reuters news agency called it a “defeat for Western states” on the council, though many of those same states will continue to profit from the war their arms are fueling in Yemen.

Media outlets blamed the dashed resolution on intensive lobbying by Saudi Arabia and its proxy Bahrain, a voting member of the council.

Oct 29 05:48

Biden Presses Saudis To End Yemen War, But Kingdom Wants More US Weapons First

Having invaded Yemen in 2015 with an eye toward reinstalling the Hadi government, Saudi Arabia is facing a reality where the war is being lost, and under growing pressure to end a naval blockade that has caused starvation in Yemen.

There's currently a diplomatic push to get a ceasefire in place, and ultimately end the war. While this would get the Saudis out of the negative coverage of the war, the kingdom seems to be focused on what they can get out of the US for heading down this path.

Saudi officials are emphasizing the need for missiles, air defenses, and attack drones, and are keen to get those from the US. The Saudis are pushing this despite having been buying billions of dollars in weapons annually during the Yemen War.

Since the Biden Administration is known to be making ending the war a priority, it is entirely possible they’ll throw more weapons at the Saudis if they think it might facilitate that end.

Oct 25 08:07

Saudi Coalition: Over 260 Houthis Killed in Three Days

A statement reported that in 72 hours, Saudi warplanes launched dozens of strikes, killing more than 264 Hoiuthis in and around the city of Maarib, and destroyed at least 36 military vehicles.

The strikes took place south of Maarib and to the northwest. The Houthis have effectively surrounded the city, and have been moving into it, after some eight months of fighting.

Houthi spokesman Yahya Saree dismissed the airstrikes and death tolls, saying that the strikes will not break the progress of ground forces, or limit their determination to take the city.

Maarib is considered valuable as the last city in North Yemen not under Houthi control. Officials have hyped it as “oil rich” as well, though in practice Yemen has almost no oil anywhere, and Maarib’s small revenue just looks big by comparison, though virtually irrelevant economically.

Oct 22 07:02

Former Saudi intelligence official says crown prince plotted to kill him

A former top intelligence official in Saudi Arabia's government says the kingdom's ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, plotted to kill him and has taken his children hostage. Saad Aljabri makes these and other accusations about the crown prince in his first interview. The interview, conducted by Scott Pelley, will be broadcast on 60 Minutes, Sunday, October 24 at 7:30 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. PT on CBS.

Aljabri fled Saudi Arabia in 2017 and currently lives in Canada. He says the Saudi crown prince sent a hit squad to Canada days after Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 2018. The U.S. intelligence community has said that Mohammed bin Salman approved the operation against Khashoggi.

Oct 17 07:37

Are Saudi Arabia and Iran on the road to reconciliation?

Saudi Arabia and Iran reportedly are on the path to reconciliation after years of tense relations.

Iraq has been hosting a series of meetings between officials on both sides aimed at easing tensions after a five-year rift, and expectations are high that a public announcement of a normalization agreement could come soon.

A fourth round of negotiations between the two Middle East arch-rivals took place in late September.

Professor Mohammad Marandi, head of the American Studies Department at Tehran University, told The Media Line that he doesn’t believe that Iran sees Saudi Arabia as a rival, but rather as part of the western bloc.

Oct 10 07:54

Saudi Arabia Accused of Sabotaging UN Probe of War Crimes in Yemen

Human rights defenders are expressing outrage after the United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday voted against continuing a U.N.-backed probe into possible war crimes in Yemen.

Amnesty International said the outcome followed "pressure by Saudi Arabia and other coalition partners."

"Let it be clear," said the International Service for Human Rights following the vote. "States that voted no or abstained on [the] resolution to ensure continued international monitoring of the human rights crisis in Yemen support impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity, and voted against the rights, dignity, and future of the Yemeni people."

The resolution would have renewed the mandate of the Group of Eminent Experts (GEE) on Yemen, a group established by the U.N. council in 2017 which has since documented "unceasing suffering" by Yemenis and numerous abuses by all parties to the conflict including the Saudi-led coalition—findings the kingdom has rejected.

Oct 04 06:46

Saudi Confirms First Round of Talks With New Iranian Government

Saudi Arabia confirmed on Sunday it had held its first round of direct talks with Iran's new government last month, part of a process begun earlier this year to reduce tension between the Gulf's rival Sunni and Shi'ite Muslim powers.

The longtime foes who severed ties in 2016 began talks in April, at a time when Washington and Tehran were discussing reviving a nuclear pact that Riyadh and its allies had opposed.

Three rounds of Saudi-Iranian talks were held in Iraq in the months before Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, took office in August.

Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud said the latest round had taken place on Sept. 21. He did not give the location of the meeting. The date coincides with a speech by Raisi at the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Sep 30 06:30

Saudi-led coalition impounds 4th Yemen-bound oil tanker

The Saudi Arabia-led coalition that has been waging a war on Yemen for the past seven years has impounded a fourth oil tanker bound for the impoverished country.

The vessel was confiscated as it was heading towards the western al-Hudaydah port city, Yemen’s al-Masirah television network reported on Tuesday, citing the country’s Oil Company.

The company said the tanker was towed away, although, it had already obtained the documentation that is required by the United Nations to authorize it to carry the crude for the destination.

It condemned, what it called, “Saudi piracy taking place in front of the eyes of the world.”

Sep 28 10:38

Iran, Saudi sides continue tension-easing talks in Baghdad

Representatives from Iran and Saudi Arabia have held a new round of talks in Baghdad, two Iraqi officials said Monday, in the first such meeting between the regional foes since a new president was sworn in in Tehran.

The meeting held last week discussed “pending issues between the two countries according to a previously agreed on roadmap, including diplomatic representation between the two countries,” according to one Iraqi official.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to give official statements, said the meeting was not on a ministerial level, but described the talks as positive.

Iraq has recently played the role of mediator between the two regional foes whose rivalry has often played out to deadly consequences in Iraq and elsewhere in the region.

Sep 27 06:35

Humanitarian Crisis Ravages Yemen: Yet Biden Administration Continues To Service Saudi War Machine

President Joe Biden began his presidency with a promise to confront Saudi Arabia and treat the murderous regime as a "pariah." In particular, he pledged to end "all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales."

Yet nearly eight months later little has changed. The president undercut his initial promise when he said "We’re going to continue to support and help Saudi Arabia defend its sovereignty and its territorial integrity and its people."

The reason Houthi insurgents battling for control of Yemen are attacking the Kingdom is because it continues offensive operations – after spending more than six years slaughtering Yemenis with attacks on weddings, funerals, school buses, apartments, and myriad other civilian targets. Even worse may be the Saudi blockade of Yemen.

Sep 22 11:28

Mina, City of Tents

Mina is a small town located inside a low valley in the province of Mecca in western Saudi Arabia, about 8 km east of the holy city of Mecca. Inside the 20 sq km valley, tents cover every open space, neatly arranged, row after row, as far as the eye can see. It is in these tents that Haj pilgrims stay overnight during the five days of each Haj season. The rest of the year Meena remains quite deserted.

Sep 22 04:55

HOUTHIS EXECUTE SAUDI SPIES ON THE HEELS OF SUCCESSFUL LARGE-SCALE OPERATION

Sep 21 07:56

Saudi Airstrikes Kill 35 Houthis in Maarib

Pro-Saudi officials reported at least 35 Houthis were killed in Yemen’s province of Maarib on Monday in a flurry of Saudi airstrikes. They also said 13 vehicles were destroyed trying to block reinforcements.

The Houthis’ media appeared to confirm the matter, saying there were 23 Saudi strikes in Sirwah District. This tends to be where the reinforcements arrive. The Houthis did not confirm the death toll, which they normally don’t do.

The Houthis have been trying to make a push against Maarib since February, and in recent weeks they’ve been sending growing numbers of reinforcements to the area, even as mounting airstrikes have caused large death tolls.

Sep 21 07:56

Groups push lawmakers to use defense bill to end support for Saudis in Yemen civil war

More than 50 anti-war groups are urging lawmakers to use the annual defense policy bill to end all U.S. support for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting in Yemen’s civil war.

In a letter being sent Monday, the organizations call on lawmakers to use the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to “legislate an end to ongoing U.S. complicity in the war and blockade in Yemen.”

“By suspending the sale of arms and ending U.S. participation in the Saudi coalition’s war and blockade, Congress can prevent a humanitarian catastrophe from spiraling further out of control as it reasserts its constitutional authority on matters of war and peace,” the 56 organizations wrote in the letter, a draft of which was obtained by The Hill.

Sep 19 04:49

Antiwar Voices Blast Biden Over ‘Absurd’ $500 Million Saudi Military Contract

Peace and human rights advocates on Friday accused President Joe Biden of breaking his promise to end American support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen after the US State Department approved a potential agreement to provide half a billion dollars worth of support services to the Middle East monarchy known for its pervasive human rights abuses and military atrocities.

In a statement, the State Department said Thursday that the proposed $500 million maintenance support services contract – which will serve the Saudi military’s fleet of AH-64D/E, UH-60L, UH-60M, Schweizer 333, and Bell 406CS helicopters, as well as the new CH-47F Chinook copters it is slated to acquire – “will support US foreign policy and national security objectives by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that continues to be an important force for political stability and economic growth in the Middle East.”

Sep 18 08:26

Antiwar Voices Blast Biden Over “Absurd” $500 Million Saudi Military Contract

By Brett Wilkins

Peace and human rights advocates on Friday accused President Joe Biden of breaking his promise to end American support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen after the US State Department approved a potential agreement to provide half a billion dollars worth of support services to the Middle East monarchy known for its pervasive human rights abuses and military atrocities.

In a statement, the State Department said Thursday that the proposed $500 million maintenance support services contract – which will serve the Saudi military’s fleet of AH-64D/E, UH-60L, UH-60M, Schweizer 333, and Bell 406CS helicopters, as well as the new CH-47F Chinook copters it is slated to acquire – “will support US foreign policy and national security objectives by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that continues to be an important force for political stability and economic growth in the Middle East.”...

Sep 16 06:34

Who do they think they are? Israel tells US to ease off Saudi, Egypt human rights

Israeli officials warned the United States not to hold Saudi Arabia and Egypt accountable for human rights abuses, or else risk driving them into the arms of China, Russia, and Iran. This would contradict President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken’s pledge to “put human rights at the center of U.S. foreign policy.”

Israel need not worry: despite his campaign rhetoric lambasting Trump’s fondness for Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman and President Sisi, since taking office Biden has made few efforts to pressure the Saudi or Egyptian governments on human rights. Washington did pause the bonanza of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, but then allowed certain sales to go through.

Sep 15 07:11

FBI Releases First Doc on 9/11 Probe, No Evidence Saudi Gov't Was Complicit

Biden previously issued an executive order initiating an interagency review to possibly declassify, within six months, certain documents related to the September 11 terrorist attacks against the United States.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has published the first of several documents relating to the 9/11 investigation, under US President Joe Biden's executive order.

"This material is being released in response to the executive order, signed September 3, 2021, [by US President Joe Biden] on the declassification review of certain documents concerning the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001," the FBI said.

Sep 15 04:58

Saudi Airstrikes Kill 43 Houthis in Yemen’s Maarib

24 hours of Saudi airstrikes in the Sirwah District of Maarib Province have killed at least 43 Houthis, according to officials. Nine vehicles were also reported destroyed in the airstrikes.

The attack took place on the front line, where the Houthis and pro-Saudi fighters are contesting Maarib. The pro-Saudi reports say that all the slain were Houthis, with no other casualties at all.

This is common in claims on strikes, though the recent reports have suggested the Houthis are making a lot of gains around the periphery of Maarib, leaving open the question of why the pro-Saudi reports are always so upbeat and are claiming victories that never show up on the ground outside of body counts.

Sep 13 08:19

America's forever foreign policy debate: Groupthink recipe for perpetual disasters

Lawrence Davidson argues that the confinement of debate over the course of Washington's foreign policy to insiders dooms the US to repeat its foreign fiascos and renders such policy "the product of the desires of dominant lobbies pursuing parochial interests".

Sep 13 06:14

Biden Removes US Missiles from Saudi Arabia, In an Obama-Like Move to Appease Iran

The wheels of insanity in the OBiden Administration are about to fall off again. Rather than solidifying President Trump’s policy of peace in the Middle East, OBiden’s actions are likely to blow the entire region up into another OBiden mess.

President Trump went to the Middle East and visited world religious leaders on his first overseas visit in an effort to bring peace to the Middle East. President Trump inherited ISIS terrorizing the Middle East as well as Iran and both these terrorist entities were backed by the OBiden gang.

Sep 11 06:43

US Inexplicably Pulls Patriot Missiles Out of Saudi Arabia Amid Houthi Missile and Drone Attacks

The Gulf sheikdom has spent years facing a stream of missile and drone attacks carried out by Yemen’s Houthi militia, with the militants beginning the strikes in the aftermath of the Saudi-led coalition’s incursion into the southern Gulf state in March 2015 to try to restore its ousted government.

The United States has removed a Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system and multiple Patriot missile batteries from Saudi Arabia, The Associated Press reports, citing an analysis of satellite photos by a private earth imaging company.

According to the news agency, satellite snaps by Planet Labs show that the air and missile defence systems have been removed from a runway at the Prince Sultan Air Base, a military facility situated about 115 km outside Riyadh.

Sep 09 05:37

HAS BIDEN NOW LOST SAUDI ARABIA?

The ignominious US withdrawal from Afghanistan has blown a global hole in the post-1945 American Century system of elaborate world domination, a power vacuum that likely will lead to irreversible consequences. The immediate case in point is whether Biden’s Washington strategists—as he clearly makes no policy—have already managed to lose the support of its largest arms buyer and regional strategic ally, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Since the first days of Biden’s inauguration in late January, US policies are driving the Saudi monarchy to pursue a dramatic shift in foreign policy. The longer-term consequences could be enormous.

Sep 01 06:15

Iran and Saudi Arabia Plan to Resume Talks

Iran said it plans to resume talks with Saudi Arabia in Iraq once the new Iranian government is formed. Starting in April, the regional rivals have held negotiations in Baghdad that have been on hold as Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi is creating his government.

“We have had three rounds of negotiations with the Saudi side, and the fourth round is to be held after the formation of a new Iranian government,” said Iraj Masjedi, Iran’s ambassador in Iraq.

Since 2016, Iran and Saudi Arabia have had no formal diplomatic relations. US intervention in the region has played a role in fueling the rivalry between the two Middle Eastern countries and has disrupted previous indirect talks.

When Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani was killed by a US drone strike in Baghdad in January 2020, he was scheduled to meet with Iraq’s former prime minister, who was facilitating indirect talks between Tehran and Riyadh.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This could be a major problem for the US Government if the talks succeed.

Aug 31 05:27

British lawyers mount bid for war crimes inquiry into Saudi-led coalition 'massacres' in Yemen

British lawyers are leading moves for a war crimes inquiry into the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen on behalf of hundreds of victims killed in atrocities in the country.

Guernica 37, a London-based human rights chambers, is today submitting evidence to the International Criminal Court (ICC) of three alleged war crimes where more than 140 Yemenis including children were killed and in some cases tortured.

The lawyers are urging the ICC to launch an investigation into the alleged crimes and are exploring the possibility of issuing international arrest warrants against the military leaders of the six year war as well as bringing class actions against them in Britain and the US.

The evidence has been drawn from survivors, their relatives, and families of those murdered in three incidents which have already been investigated by international NGOs.

Aug 25 06:24

Russia, Saudi Arabia Sign Military Pact amid Biden Chaos in Afghanistan

Saudi and Russian officials Tuesday announced the signing of military cooperation pact between the two countries.

Saudi Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman announced the agreement via Twitter, stating it would aid in “developing joint military cooperation between the two countries.” In a second tweet, he elaborated on his meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Shoygu, in which the pair explored ways to “strengthen the military and defense cooperation between our two countries.”

Aug 22 05:24

Former House Foreign Affairs chair will lobby for Saudi Arabia

Former Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) has added another foreign government to his lobbying resume, his third foreign client in less than two months. Royce, once the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee who now lobbies for Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, will join the firm’s team representing Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to a new filing with the Justice Department, to “facilitate meetings with federal government officials either via phone or email on behalf of” the ministry.

— Brownstein has represented the ministry going back to 2016, DOJ filings show, and was paid around $1.8 million for its work on the kingdom’s behalf over the past year, according to a March filing with the department.

Aug 17 08:58

Saudi Arabia 1st to recognize renewal of Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan?

Saudi Arabia is reportedly to recognize renewal of the Taliban’s rule over Afghanistan as the militant group’s flash takeover of the country has given rise to mixed messages, mostly of warning, from across the world.

Reporting on Monday, some media outlets alleged that Riyadh had thrown its support behind the militants. Earlier in the day, the militants rode into the presidential palace in the capital Kabul to mark the frosting on the cake on their recent lightning advances throughout Afghanistan.

Russia’s Sputnik news agency said Riyadh had become the “first country to recognize the Taliban” as Afghanistan’s new masters.

The government in Riyadh has not yet said anything in corroboration of the reports, other than reporting that it had begun evacuating the Saudi diplomats from the kingdom’s mission in the Central Asian country.

Aug 17 06:08

Saudi Arabia sentences dozens of Palestinians, Jordanians

A court in Saudi Arabia has delivered verdicts against 69 Palestinians and Jordanians, handing jail terms of up to 22 years to some while also acquitting an unspecified number on Sunday.

The group was detained in March 2018 during a wave of arrests by Saudi authorities on a group of long-term Palestinian and Jordanian residents in the kingdom on alleged links with an unnamed “terrorist” group, according to a 2020 report by Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Aug 07 05:50

Pegasus: Tunisia's Ghannouchi targeted by Saudi Arabia

Rached Ghannouchi, the speaker of Tunisia's parliament and head of the Ennahda party, was targeted by Saudi Arabia for surveillance using the NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, Middle East Eye can reveal.

Ghannouchi is one of 50,000 numbers found on a list acquired by investigative NGO Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International that is believed to be made up of phones that the Israeli tech company’s clients have targeted since 2016.

Forbidden Stories told Ghannouchi his phone was on the list two weeks ago. It is his primary number, one of two he uses, and one he has used for 10 years. The number is not in the public domain.

Aug 03 09:13

Iran, Saudi Arabia on the edge of rapprochement

Iran and Saudi Arabia are inching towards a rapprochement that, if achieved, would profoundly shift the region’s dynamics, diplomacy and stability. Officials from both sides have recently hailed backchannel talks held first in Iraq and now in Oman as “constructive.”

In May, Iraqi President Barham Salih confirmed his country had been hosting quiet talks between the two often bitter rivals. The talks, which started in April, have recently been attended by high-profile delegates, including Saudi chief of General Intelligence Directorate Khalid al-Humaidan and Iranian Deputy Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Saeed Iravani.

Jul 30 06:42

Revealed: Saudi death squad in Khashoggi murder was trained in US

Four Saudi operatives involved in the brutal killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 are revealed to have received paramilitary training on US soil the previous year as part of a contract approved by the State Department.

The training came as the secret Saudi unit responsible for Khashoggi’s torture killing was engaged in an “extensive campaign of kidnapping, detention and torture of Saudi citizens ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, to crush dissent inside the kingdom,” the New York Times reported Saturday.

The instruction, according to the report, was provided by the Arkansas-based security company Tier 1 Group — owned by the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management — and included “safe marksmanship” and “countering an attack.”

Jul 27 08:51

Saudi-led coalition receiving heavy blow in Yemen’s al-Bayda: Ansarullah

A spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement says the Saudi-led coalition is receiving a heavy blow in al-Bayda amid territorial gains made by the Yemeni army and allied Popular Committees in the central province.

“Once again and thanks to God, the enemy is receiving a painful blow in al-Bayda,” Mohammed Abdulsalam said in a tweet on Wednesday.

Abdulsalam, who is also the chief negotiator of Ansarullah, noted that the United States had sent Takfiri militants to the province, but it was “shocked by their rapid defeat” and raised its voice in demand for peace.

“In this round, the American [the United States] will wake up to the impact of a greater disappointment and therefore a greater scream as a result of the collapse of his mercenaries in al-Bayda.”

Jul 26 05:59

Saudi Arabia: Rights group claims children of crown prince enemy imprisoned as 'leverage'

Saudi authorities should immediately release the imprisoned children of a former Saudi official following an unfair trial that took place in an apparent effort to coerce him to return to Saudi Arabia, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Sunday.

Omar al-Jabri, 23, and Sarah al-Jabri, 21, the children of Saad al-Jabri, a former top Saudi intelligence official, were arrested in March 2020 and held incommunicado until January 2021.

Saudi authorities brought charges against the siblings in September 2020, a month after their father sued Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the US Federal Court under the Torture Victim Protection Act, alleging that the crown prince had sent a hit squad to murder him in Canada in 2018.

Jul 26 05:47

Scores Killed in Saudi Airstrikes in Northern, Central Yemen

Saudi warplanes were reported to have carried out a flurry of airstrikes against Houthi targets over the weekend, killing scores of Houthis in attacks near Maarib and Bayda.

17 airstrikes were reported against Surwah District, west of Maarib. The exact number killed in those strikes is still not certain. Five airstrikes hit near Bayda, killing 21 Houthis and wounding a number of others.

Maarib is the last government-held city in northern Yemen, while Bayda is south of it. Both cities have been contested, with the Houthis trying to take Maarib, and the Saudi-backed forces trying to chase them out of Bayda to make Maarib more defensible.

Territory seldom changes hands in Yemen’s War, and fighting tends to involve heavy casualties. The Saudis have been increasingly reliant on airstrikes in these fights, as ground operations are seldom decisive.

Jul 25 06:31

Pegasus Project: Why I was Targeted by Israeli Spyware

The Orwellian prediction finally came true. I knew it was only a matter of time before the Saudi regime tried to hack my phone, using Pegasus software manufactured by the private Israeli security company NSO Group.

This development highlights the consolidation of a new axis of evil: Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have become a chorus of malicious powers aiming to stifle activism and the quest for democracy in the region. Israel provides knowledge; the others provide funds.

“I have spent more than half my life writing, researching and teaching. You wouldn’t expect me to be hacked. But such professional activities are a crime in Saudi Arabia”

The privatisation of the Israeli security apparatus, and the mushrooming of private companies founded by ex-defence and ex-Mossad agents, is a threat not only to Palestinians in Israel, Gaza and the occupied West Bank, but also to all Gulf citizens, with Israeli spyware sold to dictatorships across the Arab world.

Jul 22 07:40

Saudi Aramco Targeted In $50M Crypto Extortion Scheme After Major Data Breach

Saudi Aramco is pointing the finger at a third-party contractor for a breached data incident which has resulted in demands for $50 million in ransom from an unknown mysterious entity in what's looking like a Colonial Pipeline style cyber drama. The Saudi oil giant acknowledged to The Associated Press that it "recently became aware of the indirect release of a limited amount of company data which was held by third-party contractors."

"We confirm that the release of data was not due to a breach of our systems, has no impact on our operations and the company continues to maintain a robust cybersecurity posture," Aramco said, without specifying the contractor through which the breach happened. The language of "indirect release" reveals it was likely a leak and not the result of an external hacking operation.

Jul 22 06:46

If Biden can’t stand up to Saudi Arabia, then Congress should, and now

In sharp contrast to Donald Trump’s uncritical embrace of the Saudi regime and its brutal war in Yemen, President Biden took the opportunity of his first foreign policy speech in February of this year, to pledge an end of U.S. support for “offensive operations” in Yemen along with “relevant arms sales.”

Biden also appointed a special envoy, veteran diplomat Tim Lenderking, to support United Nations efforts to craft a peace agreement to end the Yemen war. It was a promising start towards ending the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe – a war in which nearly a quarter of a million people have died.

Unfortunately, the Biden administration has been slow to fulfil its promise to help bring peace to Yemen, dragging its feet on key initiatives and falling short on others.

Jul 14 08:09

YEMEN: BIDEN SHRUGS OFF CAMPAIGN PROMISE AS US BACKS NEW SAUDI OFFENSIVE AND AQAP SUPPORT

President Joe Biden gave a lot of people a sense of cautious optimism when he took to the campaign trail and promised to bring a swift end to the Saudi-led war on Yemen. The oil-rich monarchy, supported heavily by the United States, has been waging arguably the deadliest military campaign of the past decade on the forgotten country for over six years, exacting a brutal humanitarian toll on its civilian population.

To his credit, Biden sent Tim Lenderking to lead a team of negotiators in an attempt to broker reconciliation between the conflict’s many belligerents. But without the political will to stand up to the Saudi monarchy and the varied American interests that profit handsomely from its wars, Lenderking had little chance of success. Now it seems the Kingdom — once again emboldened, armed, and covered by the United States — has all but abandoned any pretense of reconciliation and doubled down on its brutal war.

Jul 14 07:53

Treat Saudi Arabia Like a Normal Country: No More Special Favors for a Murderous, Aggressive Regime

One of the Saudi royals slunk into town last week. There was little press coverage. Indeed, Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman, son of the king, might as well have been a covert agent for all the publicity that he generated.

President Joe Biden apparently wanted to downplay his continued reliance on America’s dubious ally in the Middle East, after promising to treat Riyadh as a "pariah." It now looks like business-as-usual for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as administration officials speak of a "recalibration" of the alliance.

This Saudi royal, like his brother, the crown prince, was involved in the gruesome murder of journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi. Khalid bin Salman then was his country’s ambassador and apparently baited the trap by telling Khashoggi to go to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate. The ambassador later lied to the US about Riyadh’s involvement.

Jul 12 12:36

US alarmed as Saudi lawsuits threaten to expose secrets

Two lawsuits pitting Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler against a former intelligence czar threaten to expose highly sensitive US government secrets, prompting Washington to consider a rare judicial intervention, documents show.

The cases in US and Canadian courts centre on corruption allegations levelled by state-owned Saudi companies against Saad Aljabri, a former spymaster who long worked closely with American officials on covert counterterrorism operations.

That marks the latest twist in a long-running feud between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and Aljabri.

Aljabri's patron, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef (MBN), is currently in Saudi detention after being deposed as heir to the throne in a 2017 palace coup.

The legal drama sheds light on Shakespearean rivalries in the top echelons of the Saudi royal family, but Washington fears that a bitter courtroom showdown risks exposing sensitive information related to its covert operations.

Jul 01 09:16

Saudi intel chief who saved U.S. lives was detained, allegedly mistreated by Saudi government

The Biden administration is under increasing pressure to help a former Saudi intelligence chief credited with saving American lives who was initially detained by the Saudi government during the Trump administration. Two sources familiar with the matter allege he was physically abused to the point he is unable to walk unassisted.

Mohammed bin Nayef, 61, was Saudi Arabia's interior minister and a close partner of American intelligence agencies in the fight against al Qaeda after 9/11. Having survived four assassination attempts by terrorists, he was arrested in March 2020 by Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman as the de facto Saudi leader, also known as MBS, moved to consolidate power and sideline rivals.

Former U.S. intelligence officials who worked with bin Nayef are furious that the Trump administration did not appear to come to his aid, and they say President Joe Biden should be doing more.

Jun 29 10:29

Sources: Saudi Crown Prince Asks Israeli PM to Stand against Iran

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a letter to new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has felicitated him on winning the election, and called for Tel Aviv’s serious confrontation against Iran, sources said.

Informed sources told the Arabic-language Saudi Wikileaks website that Bin Salman has congratulated Bennett on the new post, stressing Riyadh’s commitment to all previous agreements with Tel Aviv.

In his letter, he has expressed the hope that the new Israeli prime minister and his cabinet would seriously pursue Iran’s case and stand against what he claimed as Iran’s danger in the region, they added.

According to the sources, the letter was written after the US declaration of intention to withdraw its military equipment from West Asian region, including Saudi Arabia.

Jun 29 10:28

Iran slams UN for failing to include Israel, Saudi Arabia in child killers blacklist

Iran has criticized the United Nations for failing to include Israel and Saudi Arabia in its blacklist of parties violating minors’ rights during conflicts, calling on the world body to adopt a non-discriminatory approach in naming and shaming child-killer regimes.

Iran’s UN Ambassador Majid Takht-Ravanchi made the remarks in an address to the Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict on Monday, after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres presented his annual report.

The report covers countries and organizations under the UN’s Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism, which are listed as grave violators in the report’s annexes.

Recruitment of child soldiers, attacks on schools and hospitals, killing and maiming, sexual assault and abduction of children could trigger inclusion in the annex, which could result in Security Council sanctions.

Jun 25 09:22

Saudi Coalition Fighter Jets Heavily Bombard Yemen's Marib

Yemen's Al-Masirah network reported on Thursday night that Saudi fighter jets had carried out large-scale attacks in the central Yemeni province of Marib.

Al-Masirah reported that the Saudi coalition fighter jets had bombed the Sirwah at least 12 times and the Raghwan region in Marib province six times.

No casualties or damage have been reported so far.

The Saudi aggression coalition is targeting the Yemeni province of Marib more than ever these days, following the field defeat of its forces in the Yemeni province of Marib.

Jun 25 04:17

Saudi Arabia one of the world’s worst abusers of human rights, according to index

Saudi Arabia is one the most disempowering and unsafe countries from state abuse, according to new data published by a human rights metrics organisation.

The Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI), which is run by activists, researchers and academics, released its annual tracker on Thursday, breaking down scores across a range of rights covering safety from the state, empowerment and quality of life.

Saudi Arabia scored 2.4 out of 10 on overall safety from the state: the second worst state (behind Mexico) of 36 countries for which there was full data.

Jun 25 04:14

Saudi bodyguards have been training in the U.S. since Obama. Why?

Four of the 15 Saudis involved in the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi received training in the United States, according to the New York Times. The story highlights the depth of the U.S.-Saudi relationship, the critique of which has simmered following Khashoggi’s grisly murder and dismemberment in October 2018.

Tier 1 Group, the security company that conducted the training of the four Saudi men, has stressed that the instruction they received had no relation to the acts of brutal violence they carried out against Khashoggi. Instead, the training was defensive in nature, intended to “counter an attack” ostensibly against a high profile individual. This reiterates the link to Mohamed bin Salman, as members of MBS’ personal protection squad carried out the killing, although the Saudis continue to deny the Crown Prince’s responsibility in ordering the murder.

Jun 24 08:09

‘They Want Help’: Saudi Arabia Afraid of Iran, Houthis if US Pulls Troops Out, US General Claims

When the Houthis claimed responsibility for suicide drone attacks on two Saudi Aramco oil facilities in September 2019 that paralyzed the country’s economy for several days, the US quickly rushed to blame Iran, while they have also accused Tehran of exacerbating the war in Yemen by supporting the Houthis’ fight against Riyadh.

The head of US Central Command (CENTCOM) told reporters on Sunday that Riyadh is still asking for US military assistance in deterring Iran. Washington backed out of supporting the Saudi-led war in Yemen earlier this year, but the Biden administration has committed to providing for Saudi Arabia's defense, including increasing the efficiency of its air defenses in shooting down Houthi missiles.

Jun 22 06:11

Dawn calls on Congress to interrogate Egypt intelligence chief over Khashoggi murders

Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) is calling on members of Congress to interrogate Egypt's intelligence chief about reports that Cairo was involved in the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Last week, Yahoo News reported that the airplane carrying Saudi assassins who killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate in Istanbul in October 2018 stopped off in Cairo to pick up deadly narcotics.

These narcotics were injected into Khashoggi's left arm by a Saudi Interior Minister doctor, killing him within a matter of minutes, reported Yahoo, disclosing a previously unknown link between Egypt and the journalist's death.

There is also evidence that Egypt provided training for the hit squad as it has in the past. Cairo allegedly assisted in the 2015 Saudi abduction from Italy of Saudi Prince Saud Bin Saif Al-Nasr, who was an outspoken critic of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS).

Jun 20 06:16

Saudi officials plan to execute over 40 teenagers over participation in Qatif protests, say activists

Human rights activists have warned that Saudi authorities plan to execute dozens of teenagers from the kingdom’s Shia-?populated Qatif region in Eastern Province over their participation in peaceful anti-regime protests.

Even though Saudi officials claimed last year to have halted the practice of executing people for crimes committed as a minor, the activists said, more than 40 teenagers face death penalty only because they took part in pro-democracy rallies in 2011, the Arabic-language Saudi Leaks news website reported.

The report comes less than a week after Saudi Arabia executed young Shia Muslim man Mustafa bin Hashim bin Issa Al Darwish, 26, who was convicted on charges stemming from his participation in an anti-regime protest as a minor.

Jun 15 07:29

US, Saudi forces hold anti-drone drill amid fear of resistance power

The US Central Command (?CENTCOM) says it has held a joint exercise with Saudi forces on countering small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

In a post on its Twitter account, CENTCOM said Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) and Marine Air Defense Integrated System (MADIS) conducted the drill in Saudi Arabia last week in order to achieve specific objectives during crises.

Jun 14 08:59

Ousted Israel PM plotted with Saudi's MBS to undermine Jordan king

New details have emerged about the alleged plot to overthrow Jordan's King Abdullah, indicating that former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu played a starring role along with senior officials within the Trump administration, prominent Jordanians, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Details of the role played by Netanyahu, who was ousted yesterday after the Israeli parliament voted in a new coalition government led by the far-right nationalist Naftali Bennett, was reported in a Washington Post article by David Ignatius titled "Inside the palace intrigue in Jordan and a thwarted 'deal of the century'".

Ignatius shed light on one of the biggest stories of April when Jordan's former crown prince Hamzah Bin Hussein was accused of plotting to oust King Abdullah II. The alleged plot is said to have been backed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, also known as MBS.

Jun 08 11:09

Yemen deputy minister says illegal Saudi-imposed blockade major obstacle to peace

A Yemeni deputy minister has strongly lambasted the years-long Saudi inclusive siege imposed on Yemen, saying the crippling and inhumane blockade is a major obstacle to any possible move made to forge peace among the warring parties.

Hossein al-Ezi, deputy foreign minister of the Yemeni Salvation Government, made the remarks on Saturday, saying the Saudi-led coalition is using the tight blockade against tens of millions of Yemenis as a “weapon to extract political and military gains.”

He condemned such an illegal act by the invading enemy and denounced it as a “major obstacle to peace”, Yemen's al-Masirah television network reported.

“Every talk about peace will remain dull. All doubts about our intentions toward negotiations will remain unfair and incomprehensible as long as the siege continues,” the Yemeni deputy minister wrote in a post on his official Twitter account.

Jun 07 02:23

The DARPA-Taped Letters

Via Harvard2TheBigHouse Subsatck,

Why have several researchers with close ties to the CCP been undermining the dissemination of peer reviewed research which looks at a lab origin of the COVID-19 Pandemic and gain-of-function research?

And in case any of this sounds a bit outlandish, turns out there’s been a high-level defector from China in America for several months, working alongside the DIA exclusively since “DIA leadership believes there are Chinese spies or sources inside the FBI, CIA, and several other federal agencies."

The idea that there’s even a discussion as to whether or not SARS-CoV-2 was engineered is entirely absurd, the only people acting like this is in doubt at all are looking to cover as many asses as they possibly can while directly aiding and abetting a disinformation campaign being run by the Chinese Military, and simultaneously keep the door open to violate as many Natural Laws as they possibly can.

Jun 05 04:58

US Blames Houthis for Yemen’s Woes

State Dept falsely claims Houthis are refusing ceasefire.

ack from a visit to the Gulf area, State Department special envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking returned to the US to push the narrative that the Shi’ite Houthi movement is mostly to blame for the ongoing problems in Yemen.

Yemen’s problems include large civilian casualties from the Saudi-led war and the borderline famine conditions as Saudi-enforced naval blockade has kept food imports far below pre-war levels. That lack of food and medicine, also because of the blockade, is an ongoing crisis.

It’s hard not to notice that the common denominator in all of these major humanitarian problems for Yemen is Saudi Arabia. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reiterated earlier this week that the US remains committed to Saudi Arabia when it comes to regional security, and that clearly is the intent as Lenderking pointed the finger at the Houthis.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

More absolute total bovine excrement regarding this crisis, courtesy of Team Biden; lying with impunity, coupled with not being able to see a situation to its logical conclusion, seems to be the prerequiste for government work these days.

May 28 05:39

Saudi media outlets acting as Israeli propaganda platforms

Last year, during the holy month of Ramadan, in an unprecedented, move Saudi Arabia aired a TV series called "Um Haroun", starring Jewish characters. Fans praised the show, for highlighting the history of Jewish communities in the Persian Gulf, but critics blasted it as a barefaced attempt to reshape Arab views of Israel to pave the way for formal relations, or what many in the Arab world call “normalization.”

This year, during the month of Ramadan, something more serious happened to reinforce the pro-Israeli tendency of leading Arab media outlets in Saudi Arabia, above all others, the Al Arabia Media Company.

May 24 06:32

As Rapprochement Between Saudi Arabia and Iran Continues, Will a Deal Happen?

The two countries still have many disagreements when it comes to regional issues like Syria and Yemen, and a Saudi political analyst says his country would need firm guarantees before it proceeds with further talks with the Islamic Republic.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Wednesday his country was ready for closer ties with Saudi Arabia, one of its main regional rivals.

Speaking in Damascus after his meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the top diplomat also said that he hoped the recent round of talks, hosted by Iraq, would lead to greater stability in the region.

May 24 06:15

Three Saudi soldiers convicted of high treason

Saudi Arabia, one of the major belligerents in the all-our war against Yemen, armed to the teeth with state-of-the-art weapons; the Saudi top-brass was under the impression that they would win the war easily.

Their miscalculation, however, has resulted in a war of attrition, which has caused a loss of morale within the army.

The Saudis are now faced with the double whammy of the Yemeni Ansarullah Movement gaining ground steadily since the breakout of the war AND the increasing number of low-spirited forces who are sick and tired of a meaningless war.

May 21 06:00

Mohammed Bin Salman to Plant 10 Billion Trees in the Desert

The proportion of Saudi Arabia’s land area covered by forest has remained unchanged since 1990 at about 0.5%. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who aims to transform the petrostate’s economy and society, announced in late March a plan to plant 10 billion trees over the coming decades to increase by twelvefold the area covered by existing trees.

“The kingdom is determined to make a lasting global impact,” he declared.

However, large-scale projects modifying the natural environment should be done carefully, as human actions can ripple through the entire fragile desert ecosystem of Saudi Arabia. For example, change in local precipitations and soils can affect indigenous species of plants and animals.

China’s greening of a third of its Kubuqi Desert, which Saudi Arabia has studied, provides a model for restoring recently degraded land. Prince Mohammed’s plan appears to aim at restoring degraded lands but also to plant in areas previously not covered by trees.

May 10 07:47

Two Longtime Enemy Mideast Countries Have Entered Unlikely Peace Talks

Two longtime bitter enemies who have for much of the past couple decades battled for influence in the Middle East while clashing through proxies have entered unlikely secret talks. On Friday a Saudi foreign ministry official confirmed previously widespread rumors of the past weeks that the kingdom is in communications with Iran in order to reduce regional tensions. Earlier reports suggested the talks secretly took place in Baghdad.

"We hope they prove successful, but it is too early, and premature, to reach any definitive conclusions," Saudi ministry Ambassador Rayed Krimly told Reuters. He said that Riyadh needs to see "verifiable deeds" before evaluating the talks, with Bloomberg noting that Iraqi officials are mediating, with a focus on de-escalating the situation in Yemen - where Riyadh and Tehran are supporting rival sides of the civil war.

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