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Israel, US Mulling Training Syria Terrorists with Saudi Arabia

Al-Manar | April 1, 2014

Top Israeli and US military officials discussed on Monday the possibility of “security cooperation” between the Zionist entity and some Arab states in the Persian Gulf.

The New York Times reported that a meeting took place on Monday between Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and Gen. Martin Dempsey, visiting chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff in al-Quds.

Prior to the meeting, Gantz hinted that even in the current period of instability there could be opportunities, Israeli daily, Haaretz reported.

Those opportunities became clearer when Dempsey said after the meeting that the discussions included “an outreach to other partners who may not have been willing to be partners in the past,” the Israeli daily said according to NYT.

“What I mean is the Gulf States in particular, who heretofore may not have been as open-minded to the potential for cooperation with Israel, in any way.” Dempsey said.

Haaretz noted that while Dempsey did not go into specifics, other American military officials said that possibilities include “intelligence-sharing, joint counterterrorism exercises and perhaps looking for how Israeli and Saudi troops could jointly work on the training of Syrian opposition fighters.”

Remarking that “world jihadists are not fighting only against Israel,” Gantz added that it would be in the interests of both Israel and neighboring states to “look for ways to combat common enemies.”

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. Over 140,000 people have been reportedly killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by the foreign-backed militants.

Western powers and some of their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – are reportedly supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

April 1, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama Weighs New Aid for Gunmen in Syria, Sets Joint Military Plan with Saudis

Al-Manar | March 29, 2014

The United States is considering allowing shipments of portable air defense systems to Syrian opposition groups, a U.S. official said Friday, as President Barack Obama sought to reassure Saudi Arabia’s king that the U.S. is not taking too soft a stance in Syria and other Mideast conflicts.

A Washington Post report said Saturday that the U.S. is ready to step up covert aid to Syrian armed groups under a plan being discussed with regional allies including Saudi Arabia.

The plan includes CIA training of about 600 Syrian opposition forces per month in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Qatar, foreign affairs columnist David Ignatius wrote on Thursday. That would double the forces currently being trained in the region.

The Obama administration was debating whether to use U.S. Special Operation forces and other military personnel in the training, something Syrian mercenaries have argued would carry less political baggage than the CIA, according to the column.

The Obama administration has been criticized by some in Congress for failing to do more in Syria, where 140,000 people have been killed so far, millions have become refugees and thousands of foreign gunmen have been trained since 2011.

Washington was also considering whether to provide the armed opposition with anti-aircraft missile launchers, known as MANPADS, to stop President Assad’s air force, the column said. Saudi Arabia wanted U.S. permission before delivering them, it said.

The plan, which was still being formalized, also called for vetting of opposition forces for “extremist links” during and after training, according to Ignatius.

Qatar has offered to pay for the first year of the program, which could cost hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the column. The program would try to stabilize Syria by helping local councils and police in areas not under Assad’s control and seek to establish safe corridors for humanitarian aid, it said.

Saudi rulers are hoping for the United States to shift its position on support for Syrian armed opposition, whom Riyadh has backed in their battle to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

March 29, 2014 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Militarism, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Syria: Three Years of Lies – Diplomatic Negotiations

This is an episode from a planned series on several aspects of the Syrian conflict.
Full transcript and links available at: http://apophenia.altervista.org/syria…

March 22, 2014 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | Leave a comment

West to accelerate proxy war on Syria: Report

Press TV – March 12, 2014

The West is planning a new push against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad through funding proxy war on the conflict-stricken country, a report suggests.

The British daily The Guardian reported that a fresh clandestine effort is under way for opening up a “southern front” against the Syrian president.

A secret command center for international operations in Amman is monitoring preparations for the offensive. This center is staffed by military officials from the US, Britain, Israel and 11 Arab states opposed to Assad.

The paper said its information is based on leaks from the United States, Israel, Jordan and some Persian Gulf Arab states.

It said the planned offensive, dubbed Geneva Horan, is aimed at pushing back Syrian troops in the Daraa, Quneitra and As-Suwayda governorates in the southwest of the country in a bid to clear the way for militants to reach the capital Damascus.

The operation derives its name from the plains near Jordan’s border with Israel.

“The command centre, based in an intelligence headquarters building in Amman, channels vehicles, sniper rifles, mortars, heavy machine guns, small arms and ammunition to Free Syrian Army (FSA) units,” the Abu Dhabi-based National newspaper quoted militants as saying.

Syria has been gripped by deadly crisis since 2011. Over 130,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the unrest.

Saudi Arabia has been the main supplier of weapons and funds to foreign-backed militants inside Syria.

The United States is also constructing runways for reconnaissance aircraft near the border between Jordan and Syria to help with the operation against Syria.

The Guardian said the US hosted secret talks last month between President Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Saudi Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.

The talks, reportedly attended by spy chiefs from Jordan, Qatar, Turkey and other regional countries, focused on making a “stronger effort” to assist the militants in Syria.

March 12, 2014 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Militarism, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , | Leave a comment

Iraqi PM Al-Maliki accuses Saudi, Qatar of supporting terrorist movements

RT | March 9, 2014

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of declaring war on Iraq and supporting global terrorism. The Iraqi leader blamed the two countries for orchestrating the latest wave of bloody violence to hit Iraq this year.

In a heated attack on Iraq’s Sunni Gulf neighbors, Prime Minister Maliki leveled a number of accusations at Qatar and Saudi Arabia in an interview with France 24. He said both countries are supporting extreme sectarian groups within Iraq, with a view to destabilizing the country and are “attacking” Iraq through Syria.

“I accuse them of inciting and encouraging the terrorist movements. I accuse them of supporting them politically and in the media, of supporting them with money and by buying weapons for them,” Maliki told FRANCE 24.

“I accuse them of leading an open war against the Iraqi government,” said Maliki, adding that Saudi Arabia and Qatar not only supported terrorism in Iraq, but also sponsor terrorism worldwide.

He went on to warn the Gulf States that their support of global terrorism “will turn against them” and Iraq does not intend to retaliate because it does not wish to “widen the arena of confrontation.”

Addressing allegations he is marginalizing Iraq’s Sunni population, Maliki said such accusations come from sectarians with foreign agendas spurred on by Saudi and Qatari support. Both countries are “buying weapons for the benefit of these terrorist organizations,” he said.

Iraq has been hit by a wave of bloodshed over the past year, with January registering as the most deadly month in the country since April 2008. Suicide bombings and sectarian conflicts across the country claimed the lives of over 1,000 people in January and over 700 in February.

On Saturday violence left 15 people dead, including a parliamentary election candidate and four children, security and medical sources report. Iraq will hold elections this year on April 30 and Maliki has been pushing security forces to bring violence in the country to heel in the run-up.

One of the main conflict areas in the country is the province of Anbar where anti-government militants seized control of the city of Fallujah in December. Since then government forces have been unable to get the city back from the rebel fighters.

In connection with its ongoing fight against insurgency, Iraq will hold an international counter-terrorism conference this Wednesday in Baghdad. Attendees will discuss issues of arming, supporting, funding terrorist groups and training camps in some countries.

March 9, 2014 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel, US Mulling Training Syria Terrorists with Saudi Arabia

Al-Manar | April 1, 2014

Top Israeli and US military officials discussed on Monday the possibility of “security cooperation” between the Zionist entity and some Arab states in the Persian Gulf.

The New York Times reported that a meeting took place on Monday between Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and Gen. Martin Dempsey, visiting chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff in al-Quds.

Prior to the meeting, Gantz hinted that even in the current period of instability there could be opportunities, Israeli daily, Haaretz reported.

Those opportunities became clearer when Dempsey said after the meeting that the discussions included “an outreach to other partners who may not have been willing to be partners in the past,” the Israeli daily said according to NYT.

“What I mean is the Gulf States in particular, who heretofore may not have been as open-minded to the potential for cooperation with Israel, in any way.” Dempsey said.

Haaretz noted that while Dempsey did not go into specifics, other American military officials said that possibilities include “intelligence-sharing, joint counterterrorism exercises and perhaps looking for how Israeli and Saudi troops could jointly work on the training of Syrian opposition fighters.”

Remarking that “world jihadists are not fighting only against Israel,” Gantz added that it would be in the interests of both Israel and neighboring states to “look for ways to combat common enemies.”

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. Over 140,000 people have been reportedly killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by the foreign-backed militants.

Western powers and some of their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – are reportedly supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

March 1, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia replaces Bandar bin Sultan as leader of Syrian dossier

MEMO | February 21, 2014

Diplomatic sources told AFP on Thursday that Saudi Arabia has sidelined its intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, by transferring key aspects of the Syrian dossier, which he had previously been overseeing, to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.

A Western diplomat in the Gulf region told the news agency that Prince Bandar is no longer in charge of the Syrian dossier, leaving Prince Nayef primarily responsible.

According to a source close to the dossier, Prince Nayef participated in a meeting last week in Washington between Western and Arab officials to discuss the situation in Syria.

Diplomatic sources added that Washington has criticised Prince Bandar’s management of the Syrian dossier.

Prince Bandar, the son of the former Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, was appointed in July 2012 as the head of the Saudi Intelligence Service. He had previously served as the Saudi Ambassador to Washington for 22 years and played a key role in encouraging the Bush administration to invade Iraq in 2003.

The Saudi media have not covered any activity of Prince Bandar’s since January.

A diplomatic source told AFP that he was hospitalised recently in the United States and is currently in Morocco.

Media aligned with the Syrian regime have accused him of backing extremists in Syria.

Prince Nayef is the son of the former Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, and is playing a major role in the war being waged by Saudi Arabia against terrorism and Al-Qaeda.

February 21, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saudi forces kill two anti-government protesters in Qatif

Al-Akhbar | February 20, 2014

A Saudi court has jailed seven protesters for up to 20 years for joining a demonstration and chanting anti-government slogans in the kingdom’s Eastern Province, local media reported Thursday.

The Eastern Province, where Qatif is located, was the site of frequent Shia-led protests between February 2011 and August 2012.

A specialized court in Riyadh on Wednesday sentenced the young defendants to between six and 20 years in prison and imposed travel bans of the same duration as their jail terms.

They were convicted of “taking part in protests,” “chanting slogans against the state,” and “possessing and making Molotov cocktails,” according to local newspapers.

The court in the ultra-conservative kingdom also sentenced one of the defendants to 80 lashes for consuming alcohol.

The defendants said they would appeal.

Protests first erupted in the province of eastern Saudi Arabia in March 2011. Since then 10 people have been killed in clashes with security forces.

The Eastern Province is home to many of the kingdom’s minority Shias, who have long complained of discrimination in a country that hews to the rigid Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam.

Shias say they are passed over for government jobs, that some of their neighborhoods lack investment afforded to Sunni districts and that powerful government-paid clerics publicly denigrate their faith. The authorities deny discrimination.

Fighting intensified after the arrest in July 2012 of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, considered to be a driving force behind the protests.

However, tensions eased in August that year when seven dignitaries from Qatif hailed a call by King Abdullah for the creation of a center for Sunni-Shia interfaith dialogue.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

February 20, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture, Video | , , , , | Leave a comment

Do We Care About People If They Live in Bahrain?

By David Swanson – February 17, 2014

I had a heck of a time making sense of the U.S. Navy’s new motto “A Global Force for Good” until I realized that it meant “We are a global force, and wherever we go we’re never leaving.”

For three years now people in the little island nation of Bahrain have been nonviolently protesting and demanding democratic reforms.

For three years now the king of Bahrain and his royal thugs have been shooting, kidnapping, torturing, imprisoning, and terrorizing nonviolent opponents.  An opponent includes anyone speaking up for human rights or even “insulting” the king or his flag, which carries a sentence of 7 years in prison and a hefty fine.

For three years now, Saudi Arabia has been aiding the King of Bahrain in his crackdown on the people of Bahrain.  A U.S. police chief named John Timoney, with a reputation for brutality earned in Miami and Philadelphia, was hired to help the Bahraini government intimidate and brutalize its population.

For three years now, the U.S. government has been tolerating the abuses committed by Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, continuing to sell weapons to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and continuing to dock the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain.  In fact, the U.S. military has recently announced big and pricey plans to expand its bases in Bahrain and add more ships.

For three years now, the U.S. government has continued to dump some $150 billion (with a ‘B’) each year into the U.S. Navy, a large portion of which goes for the maintenance of the Fifth Fleet in Bahrain. Withdrawing and disbanding that fleet would save that gargantuan expense. Retraining and re-employing in peaceful activities all personnel would cost a fraction of $150 billion. Providing aid to nonviolent pro-democracy activists in Bahrain would cost a tiny fraction of a fraction. Establishing a policy in the case of this one country of supporting human rights over brutal dictatorship would be, as they say, priceless. It would create a very useful model for a transformation of U.S. policy in numerous other nations as well.

Accurate and timely information about the horrors underway for the past three years in Bahrain are available online, via Western human rights groups, and via small back-page stories in U.S. newspapers.  There’s little dispute over the general facts.  Yet, there’s little outrage.  There appears to have been no polling done of the U.S. public on the topic of Bahrain whatsoever, so it’s impossible to know what people think.  But my impression is that most people have never heard of the place.

The U.S. government is not shouting about the need to bomb Bahrain to protect its people. Senators are not insisting on sanctions, sanctions, and more sanctions.  There seems to be no crisis, no need for “intervention,” only the need to end an intervention we aren’t told about.

Which raises a tough question for people who give a damn.  We’re able to reject a war on Iran or Syria when the question is raised on our televisions. But we can’t seem to stop drone strikes nobody tells us about. How do we create a question nobody is asking, about a topic nobody has heard of, and then answer it humanely and wisely?  And how do we overcome the inevitable pretense that the Fifth Fleet serves some useful purpose, and that this purpose justifies a little teargas, a bit of torture, and some murders here and there?

The Fifth Fleet claims to be responsible for these nations: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Yemen.  None of these nations have ships in U.S. waters claiming to be responsible for it.  None of these nations’ peoples have indicated majority support for having the Fifth Fleet be responsible for them.  Afghanistan has suffered under U.S. occupation for over a decade, with chaos and tyranny to follow.  Egypt’s thugs are rising anew with steady U.S. support, money, and weaponry. Iran has threatened and attacked no other nation for centuries, has never had a nuclear weapons program, spends less than 1% what the U.S. does on its military, and moves away from democracy with every U.S. threat. Why not leave Iran alone?  Iraq, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and others of these nations, including Bahrain, suffer under the rule of U.S.-backed governments. One might reasonably add Israel and the lands it occupies to the list, even if the Navy cannot bring itself to mention them. Yemen and Pakistan suffer under the constant buzzing and missile launching of U.S. drones, which are creating far more enemies than they kill.  In fact, not a single nation falling under the past 19 years of benevolent “responsibility” of the Fifth Fleet has clearly benefited in any way.

At a third annual conference recently held in Lebanon, Bahraini activists laid out a plan of action. It includes building international connections with people who care and are willing to help. It includes supporting the International Day to End Impunity on November 23rd.  It includes pushing Bahrain to join the ICC, although that may be of little value until the U.S. can be persuaded to do the same and until the United Nations can be democratized.  The plan includes calls for an end to weapons sales and the initiation of sanctions against the Bahraini government (not its people).

Those would certainly be good steps. The first question in my mind remains: do the people in the nation that screams most loudly about “freedom” and does the most to support its repression wherever deemed useful, care?

February 18, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Militarism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saudis Agree to Provide Gunmen in Syria with Mobile Antiaircraft Missiles

Press TV – February 15, 2014

Saudi Arabia has reportedly agreed to provide foreign-backed militant groups in Syria with more sophisticated weaponry.

Citing Western and Arab diplomats as well as foreign-backed Syrian opposition sources, the Wall Street Journal said on Saturday that the weapons include anti-aircraft shoulder-fired missiles.

“Saudi Arabia has offered to give the opposition for the first time Chinese man-portable air defense systems, or Manpads, and antitank guided missiles from Russia,” the journal said.

A Western diplomat with knowledge of the weapons deliveries told the journal that “new stuff is arriving imminently.”

Saudi Arabia has been the main supplier of weapons and funds to foreign-backed militants inside Syria.

The United States is also said to have stepped up its financial support for the militants.

Militant commanders say Washington has handed them millions of dollars in new aid.

Meanwhile, the Syrian army has reportedly arrested more than 80 foreign officers and soldiers, mostly from Saudi spy services.

The detainees include seven high-ranking Saudi military officers, 14 Qatari officers and 9 Turkish intelligence personnel.

The detainees are said to have entered Syria to carry out terrorist attacks.

French daily Le Figaro recently said that the weapons used by the militants in Syria are initially purchased by Saudi Arabia from black markets in Ukraine and Bulgaria.

The weapons, which include Israeli missiles, are then transferred to a number of cells on the outskirts of the Syrian capital, Damascus, Le Figaro added in its report.

February 15, 2014 Posted by | Militarism, Video, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

UK’s Prince Charles to visit Qatar, Saudi Arabia

Press TV – February 12, 2014

Prince Charles, the heir apparent to the British throne, is set to make a four-day official visit to Saudi Arabia and Qatar later this month.

According to a statement on the British government website, released on Wednesday, the Prince of Wales is expected to begin his trip to the Middle East region from Saudi Arabia on February 17 and end it in Qatar on February 20.

He will meet King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani during his trips.

In March 2013, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, also visited Saudi Arabia as part of a nine-day tour of the Middle East, with stops in Jordan, Qatar and Oman.

This comes as Britain as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar are considered as major foreign supporters of the ongoing militancy in Syria.

The UK has also played a major role in fanning the flames of unrest in Syria by arming and training militants fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

February 12, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saudi journalist sentenced to 12 years in jail for ‘disobeying the ruler’

RT | February 5, 2014

A journalist was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years in prison by a Saudi criminal court for “disobeying the ruler” and claiming in televised remarks that the Saudi kingdom incites terrorism, state media reported.

Local media identified the convicted as Wajdi Al-Ghazzawi, who was also accused of contacting an unnamed “enemy of Saudi Arabia at the time (2009) and receiving a suspicious sum of money from it,” according to SPA news agency.

Reports suggested that Ghazzawi was accused of taking money from former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2009, a time of tension between Tripoli and Riyadh.

Ghazzawi, the court in Riyadh said, was guilty of “disobeying the ruler on a television programme, inciting sedition… discrediting the kingdom and claiming that terrorism and Al-Qaeda were created by Saudi Arabia.”

He was also charged with spreading excerpts of the televised remarks on the internet and of accusing the Saudis “of insulting residents and denying them their rights,” SPA reported.

The court also instituted a 20-year travel ban on Ghazzawi, in addition to barring him from appearing in any media.

Gaddafi, a long-time foe of Saudi Arabia during his four-decade rule in Libya, was killed by rebels in 2011 following the NATO-led ouster of his regime. In 2004, US and Saudi news outlets accused Gaddafi of allegedly plotting to assassinate Saudi King Abdullah, who was crown prince at the time, AFP pointed out.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia passed a broad law that deems those that “disturb the public order” as terrorists.

It defines terrorism as “any act carried out by an offender… intended to disturb the public order… to shake the security of society…stability of the state… expose its national unity to danger… suspend the basic law of governance or some of its articles,” according to its text, as cited by Human Rights Watch.

Terrorists can also be considered those individuals who “insult the reputation of the state or its position… inflict damage upon one of its public utilities or its natural resources,” or those who attempt to force “governmental authority to carry out or prevent it from carrying out an action, or to threaten to carry out acts that lead to the named purposes or incite [these acts].”

The legislation, made up of 40 clauses, allows security forces to arrest and detain suspects for up to six months with the possibility to extend the confinement for another six months. Suspects are allowed to be held incommunicado for 90 days without the presence of their lawyer during the initial questioning.

February 5, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 1 Comment

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