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Al-Houthi Hits back at US Claims on Iran Missile Supply

Head of Yemen’s Revolutionary Council, Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi
Al-Manar | December 15, 2017

Head of Yemen’s revolutionary Committee, Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi hit back at US claims that Iran had been supplying Yemeni revolutionaries with missiles.

“Had we imported Iranian missiles, then we would have boosted our air-defense system,” Al-Houthi said on his Twitter account.

“What’s ironic is that the US is the side who is supplying the Saudi-led aggression with banned weapons that have been killing the Yemeni people,” Al-Houthi said, stressing that the US has failed in Yemen.

Yemen has been since March 2015 under a brutal aggression by Saudi-led coalition, in a bid to restore power to fugitive former president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis have been injured and martyred in Saudi-led strikes, with the vast majority of them are civilians.

However, the allied forces of the Yemeni army and popular committees established by Ansarullah revolutionaries have been heroically confronting the aggression with all means, inflicting huge losses upon Saudi-led forces.

The Saudi-led coalition – which also includes UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan and Kuwait – has been also imposing a blockade on the impoverished country’s ports and airports as a part of the aggression.

December 15, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 1 Comment

Food and medicine can’t get past the Saudi blockade on Yemen, but Nikki Haley thinks missiles can

Nikki Haley once again pushing for war against Iran–this time making an argument that is not only flawed but nonsensical

By Adam Garrie | The Duran | December 15, 2017

Nikki Haley, Donald Trump’s Ambassador to the United Nations, has given an extraordinary “press conference”, even by her habitually outrageous standards.

First all, it was hardly a “press conference” as Haley did not answer any of the questions posed to her. Instead, she merely assured journalists that she has evidence to back her up position, although it is not clear what this evidence might look like.

Haley’s position is that since the outbreak of the current crisis in Yemen, beginning in March of 2015, Iran has been supplying Yemen’s Ansar Allah Movement, more commonly known [in western media] as the Houthis, with the missiles they have sporadically used to target Saudi Arabia and allegedly the UAE.

There is a fatal flaw in this line of thinking however. Saudi Arabia has, since the beginning of the conflict, controlled all air and sea traffic coming into Yemen, while monitoring the region with the latest US made technology.

Yemen has subsequently been surrounded by a Saudi Naval blockade, Saudi borders through which nothing can pass and Omani borders through which there is no evidence of anything passing and which in any case, border areas which do not belong to Ansar Allah fighters, but instead have fluctuated between the Hadi government based in Aden, al-Qaeda terrorists and ISIS terrorists.

Not only has the Saudi blockade caused a man made famine which itself has resulted in a mass outbreak of the disease Cholera, but even the UN has found it difficult to convince the Saudis to allow basic medicine, bottled water and dried foods into the always poor and now starving nation.

But for Nikki Haley, who gave her press conference standing in front of what appeared to be a rusty missile casing–it all makes perfect sense. In Haley’s parallel universe, an aid ship with UN flags cannot bring bottles of water and jars of medical pills to Yemenis, but somehow Iranian ships bearing humongous missiles have easily passed through the Saudi blockade undetected.

There is simply no logic to the argument, no matter how it is interpreted.

Even a journalist at Haley’s “press conference” asked how the US can verify the provenance of the missiles and in particular when they were sent to Yemen. She had no answer apart from effectively saying ‘trust us–we know’.

The fact, as the Ansar Allah themselves have always maintained, is that the missiles which they occasionally launch are taken from Yemeni military bases which Ansar Allah have controlled for approximately two years. Video footage of the missile strikes is consistent with these statements.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has Tweeted the following photo, comparing Haley’s accusations against Iran to Colin Powell’s infamous accusations against Iraq, saying that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction which he did not possess.

In reality, Haley’s statement is even more ludicrous as there is physically no way for Iran to transport missiles or anything else for that matter, to Yemen without being seen and almost certainly stopped by the Saudi blockade, a blockade which started in March of 2015, nearly four months before the JCPOA even came into effect.

This last point is crucial as Haley’s allegations rest on the fact that in delivering missiles to the Ansar Allah, Iran is in violation of the terms of the JCPOA, a longstanding US allegation that has been rejected by the EU as a whole, as well as individual parties to the agreement: Germany, France, Britain, China, Russia and the United Nations.

Haley of course repeated what for most American neo-cons is a standard line that Iran sponsors terrorism and is “behaving badly” in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. If fighting groups like ISIS(Daesh) and al-Qaeda is bad behaviour, the mind simply boggles. The closest Iran is to terrorism is fighting terrorism on the field of battle and advising Iraqi and Syrian partners on how better to do such.

Nikki Haley has proved once again that her aptitude is low, her ethics are non existent and her intelligence is a void.

The fact that she is an Ambassador to the UN but acts increasingly like a hybrid of a Secretary of State combined with a Defense Secretary, is a deeply worrying prospect for all those concerned with global peace and stability.

December 15, 2017 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Deception, Fake News | , , | 3 Comments

US allegations on Yemen missile ‘provocative’, ‘destructive’: Iran

Press TV – December 14, 2017

Iran’s UN mission has categorically dismissed as “unfounded” US Ambassador Nikki Haley’s claim that a missile fired at Saudi Arabia from Yemen last month was supplied by the Islamic Republic.

In a statement released on Thursday, the mission denounced the US allegations as “irresponsible, provocative and destructive,” saying “this purported evidence … is as much fabricated as the one presented on some other occasions earlier.”

“These accusations seek also to cover up for the Saudi war crimes in Yemen, with the US complicity, and divert international and regional attention from the stalemate war of aggression against the Yemenis that has so far killed more than 10,000 civilians, displaced three million, crippled Yemen’s infrastructure and health system and pushed the country to the brink of the largest famine the world has seen for decades, as the UN has warned,” the statement read.

It went on to accuse the US government of being “constantly at work to deceive the public into believing the cases they put together” to advance its agenda.

“While Iran has not supplied Yemen with missiles, these hyperboles are also to serve other US agendas in the Middle East, including covering up for its adventurist acts in the region and its unbridled support for the Israeli regime,” the statement read.

It also stressed “the Yemenis’ right to self-defense” and reiterated that the conflict in the impoverished country had no military solution.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also took to twitter to compare Haley’s allegations against Iran to those of former US secretary of defense, Colin Powell, who alleged in 2003 that former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, was hiding weapons of mass destruction in order to make a case for attacking the country.

The anti-Iran accusations come at a time that the US and Saudi Arabia themselves are under fire for secretly providing weapons to the militants fighting the Syrian government.

Conflict Armament Research (CAR), a UK-based organization that monitors the movement of conventional weapons, warned on Thursday that the sophisticated arms given to the so-called Syria militants fell into the hands of the Daesh terrorist group.

The weapons included anti-tank rockets purchased by the US military that ended up in possession of Daesh within two months of leaving the factory, according to the study, which was funded by the European Union and German government.

This came after the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a confidential report obtained by AFP on Monday, December 11, that the world body’s team, which visited Riyadh last month to scrutinize the alleged evidence, had not yet established a link between them and the Islamic Republic.

On November 4, a missile fired from Yemen targeted the King Khalid International Airport near Riyadh, reaching the Saudi capital for the first time.

The Houthi movement, which has been fighting back a Saudi aggression, said it had fired the missile but the Riyadh regime was quick to point the finger at Iran.

Tehran rejected the allegations as “provocative and baseless,” saying the Yemenis had shown an “independent” reaction to the Saudi bombing campaign on their country.

Speaking at a press conference at a military base in Washington on Thursday, Haley presented what she claimed to be “undeniable” evidence, including the allegedly recovered pieces of the missile, saying it proved that Iran was violating international law by giving missiles to the Houthis.

“It was made in Iran then sent to Houthi militants in Yemen,” she added.

However, a panel appointed by the United Nations Security Council said last month that it had seen no evidence to support Saudi Arabia’s claims that missiles had been transferred to Yemen’s Houthi fighters by external sources.

The Security Council-appointed panel said in its confidential assessment that it had seen no evidence to back up the Saudi claims that short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) had been transferred to Yemeni fighters in violation of the Resolution 2216.

It said the tightening of the blockade by the Saudi-led coalition and its invoking of Resolution 2216 had been an attempt to merely “obstruct” the delivery of civilian aid.

“The panel finds that imposition of access restrictions is another attempt by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition to use paragraph 14 of resolution 2216 as justification for obstructing the delivery of commodities that are essentially civilian in nature,” the assessment read.

The Saudi war since 2015, accompanied by the land, naval, and aerial blockade on Yemen, has killed over 12,000 people so far and led to a humanitarian crisis as well as a deadly cholera epidemic.

Saudi Arabia and its allies launched the war in a bid to crush the Houthi movement and reinstate the former Riyadh-friendly regime, but the kingdom has achieved neither of its goals.

The UN has listed Yemen as the world’s number one humanitarian crisis, with 17 million Yemenis in need of food and gripping the country.

The US, which has long been a staunch Saudi ally, signed a deal to sell the kingdom $110 billion in weapons in May.

December 14, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 3 Comments

Yemen, Afghanistan in focus as landmine casualties spike

Press TV – December 14, 2017

Landmines killed 8,605 people in several countries in 2016, despite an international ban on the deadly device, a monitoring group says.

According to the annual report released Thursday by Landmine Monitor, about three-quarters of the known casualties were civilians, including more than 1,000 children who were injured and nearly 500 who were killed.

The number of the casualties — which were mostly recorded in Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine and Yemen — showed a 30% surge compared to 2015.

“A few intense conflicts, where utter disregard for civilian safety persists, have resulted in very high numbers of mine casualties for the second year in a row,” Loren Persi, an editor of the Landmine Monitor said.

Persi described the spike as “alarming”, adding that the true number of the victims would be significantly higher if the data gathering were complete.

The surge comes after a 18-year decline in landmine casualties since the Mine Ban Treaty first came into force in 1999.

The treaty bans the use of landmines and other explosive devices placed on or under the ground, designed to blow up when somebody unintentionally steps on them.

These weapons can be continuously deadly weapons for many years, long after the war has ended. About 80% of landmine victims are civilians.

The Mine Ban Treaty, which has been signed by 163 countries, also bans production, stockpiling and transfer of the deadly landmines.

December 14, 2017 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

Yemen: Saudi Airstrikes Kill Dozens

teleSUR | December 13, 2017

Renewed Saudi airstrikes against Yemen, mainly in the capital city of Sana’a, have resulted in the deaths of dozens of people.

At least 39 people died and 90 others were left injured, Reuters reported. Yemen’s al-Masirah TV reported that at least 51 people died and 80 were left injured.

The airstrikes reportedly targeted Yemen’s military police headquarters in Sana’a’s Shu’ab district. Some of the casualties included prisoners detained at the facility awaiting investigation.

In a separate series of attacks, Saudi planes levelled Yemen’s northwestern district of Sahar. Four civilians were wounded, one of whom later died from injuries. Eleven people were also killed during airstrikes in Maqbanah District of the southwestern province of Ta’izz.

Since the bombing campaign against Yemen began in 2015, the United Kingdom has licensed roughly US$4.2 billion dollars in weapons to Saudi Arabia, according to PressTV.

In early June, the U.S. Department of Defense also confirmed a US$750 million military sale to Saudi Arabia. It included U.S. made missiles, bombs, armored personnel carriers, warships, munitions and a “blanket order training program” for Saudi security forces receiving the military equipment both inside and outside the kingdom, Reuters reported.

Amid the bombing and devastation, which has killed tens of thousands of people and forced more than a million to flee their homes, Yemen also faces a severe cholera outbreak that has claimed the lives of at least 2,119 people, according to Alexandre Faite, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Another eight million are on the verge of starvation.

Wolfgang Jamann, head of the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief non-governmental humanitarian agency, described the ongoing crisis in Yemen as being an absolute “shame on humanity.” The United Nations referred to it as “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”

December 13, 2017 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

UN experts do not confirm Iran link to Yemen missiles: Report

Press TV – December 12, 2017

UN experts, who examined the debris from missiles fired from Yemen at Saudi Arabia earlier in the year, have not confirmed that the projectiles were “Iranian-made” as claimed by the Riyadh regime and the US.

The missiles were fired by Yemeni Houthi fighters at the Saudi capital on July 22 and November 4 in retaliation for Riyadh’s deadly raids against the country.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a confidential report obtained by AFP on Monday that the world body’s team, which visited Riyadh last month to scrutinize the alleged evidence, had not yet established a link between them and the Islamic Republic.

Saudi Arabia, which accuses Iran of arming Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement against the kingdom, claims the missiles, which it says were fired at its capital city, had been supplied to Yemeni forces by Iran.

Following the first missile launch, Riyadh also angered the international community and human rights groups by tightening the already crippling siege against Yemen.

Tehran has invariably dismissed having ever armed the movement and any accusation of regional interference for that matter.

On Monday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said, “Whatever happens inside Yemen concerns the Yemeni people and resistance and does not concern the Islamic Republic.”

The Houthis have been defending Yemen against a Saudi-led military offensive, which seeks to restore the former Riyadh-allied government. The war has killed some 12,000 people and reduced the country’s infrastructure to smithereens since its start in early 2015.

Guterres wrote that UN officials were “still analyzing the information collected and will report back to the [UN] Security Council.”

The investigators also examined two drones allegedly recovered in Yemen, but did not confirm a Saudi claim that one of them was “Iranian-made.”

December 12, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

Saudi Coalition Crumbles In Yemen: Sudanese Mercenaries On Front Lines, Foreign Officers, Proxies In Revolt

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | November 26, 2017

Most Americans might be forgiven for having no clue what the war in Yemen actually looks like, especially as Western media has spent at least the first two years of the conflict completely ignoring the mass atrocities taking place while white-washing the Saudi coalition’s crimes. Unlike wars in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, which received near daily coverage as they were at their most intense, and in which many Americans could at least visualize the battlefield and the actors involved through endless photographs and video from on the ground, Yemen’s war has largely been a faceless and nameless conflict as far as major media is concerned.

Aside from mainstream media endlessly demonstrating its collective ignorance of Middle East dynamics, it is also no secret that the oil and gas monarchies allied to the West are rarely subject to media scrutiny or criticism, something lately demonstrated on an obscene and frighteningly absurd level with Thomas Friedman’s fawning and hagiographic interview with Saudi crown prince MBS published in the New York Times.

Saudi Arabia’s hired help in Yemen: Sudanese fighters headed to the front lines. Image souce: al-Arabiya

But any level of meticulous review of how the Saudi coalition (which heavily involves US assistance) is executing the war in Yemen would reveal a military and strategic disaster in the making. As Middle East Eye editor-in-chief David Hearst puts it, “All in all, the first military venture to be launched by the 32-year-old Saudi prince as defense minister is a tactical and strategic shambles.”  

And if current battlefield trends continue, the likely outcome will be a protracted and humiliating Saudi coalition withdrawal with the spoils divided among Houthi and Saudi allied warlords, as well as others vying for power in Yemen’s tenuous political future. But what unsurprisingly unites most Yemenis at this point is shared hatred for the Saudi coalition bombs which rain down on civilian centers below. For this reason, Hearst concludes further of MBS’ war: “The prince, praised in Western circles as a young reformer who will spearhead the push back against Iran, has succeeded in uniting Yemenis against him, a rare feat in a polarized world. He has indeed shot himself, repeatedly, in the foot.

So how has this come about, and how is the war going from a military and strategic perspective?

First, to quickly review, Saudi airstrikes on already impoverished Yemen, which have killed and maimed tens of thousands of civilians (thousands among those are children according to the UN) and displaced hundreds of thousands, have been enabled by both US intelligence and military hardware. Cholera has recently exploded amidst the appalling war-time conditions, and civilian infrastructure such as hospitals and schools have been bombed by the Saudis. After Shia Houthi rebels overran Yemen’s north in 2014, embattled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi vowed to “extract Yemen from the claws of Iran” something which he’s repeatedly affirmed, having been given international backing from allies in the West, and a major bombing campaign began on March 2015 under the name “Operation Decisive Storm” (in a cheap mirroring of prior US wars in Iraq, the first of which was “Desert Storm”).

Saudi Arabia and its backers fear what they perceive as growing Iranian influence in the region, something grossly exaggerated, and seek to defend at all costs Yemeni forces loyal to President Hadi. The coalition includes Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Egypt, Sudan, and the US and UK, and the Saudi initiated war has also lately received behind the scenes political support from Israel, something recently confirmed by Israeli officials. Concerning the supposed Iran threat in Yemen, an emergency session of the Arab League recently doubled down on its shared commitment to wage war against Iranian interests after it blamed Tehran for a November 4 ballistic missile attack from Shia Houthi rebels against the Saudi capital, which Iran denies playing a role in.

But the Saudi coalition is now in shambles according to a new Middle East Eye investigation. The report highlights some surprising facts long ignored in mainstream media and which give insight into how the Saudi military campaign is likely to end in total failure as “more than two years into a disastrous war, the coalition of ground forces assembled by the Saudis is showing signs of crumbling.”

Below are 5 key takeaways from the full report.

1) Saudi coalition ground forces have a huge contingent of foreign fighters, namely Sudanese troops with UAE officers, suffering the brunt of the battle on the front lines.

Sudanese forces, which constitute the bulk of the 10,000 foreign fighters in the Saudi-led coalition, are suffering high casualty rates. A senior source close to the presidency in Khartoum told Middle East Eye that over 500 of their troops had now been killed in Yemen.

Only two months ago, the commander of the Sudanese Army’s rapid support force, Lieutenant General Mohammed Hamdan Hamidati, quoted a figure of 412 troops killed, including 14 officers to  the Sudanese newspaper Al Akhbar. “There is huge pressure to withdraw from this on-going fight,” the Sudanese source told MEE. A force of up to 8,000 Sudanese troops are partly led by Emirati officers. They are deployed in southern Yemen as well as to the south and west of Taiz in al Makha.

2) Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has been dubbed “president of the mercenaries” for accepting over $2.2 billion from Saudi Arabia and Qatar in order to provide canon fodder for the Saudi ground war in Yemen in the form of thousands of young Sudanese troops, but he’s threatening revolt. To escape his untenable position, he is reportedly seeking help from Putin.

At home, Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir is also having second thoughts. He remembers the lifeline he got when Riyadh deposited $1bn in Sudan’s Central Bank two years ago, followed by Qatar’s $1.22bn. But he hardly enjoys being known as “president of the mercenaries,” and he has other relationships to consider.

On Thursday, Bashir became the latest of a procession of Arab leaders to beat a path to Vladimir Putin’s door. He told the Russian president he needed protection from the US, was against confrontation with Iran, and supported the policy of keeping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power. This follows an incident at home, which was variously described as espionage and a coup attempt. Taha Osman Ahmed al-Hussein was dismissed as the director of the Office of the Sudanese President after he was discovered carrying a Saudi passport and a residency permit for the UAE. He was caught maintaining secret contact with both.

3) Saudi-backed Yemeni fighters are increasingly mutinying and fear local mass push back from Yemen’s civilian population due to the unpopular bombing campaign.

Mutiny is also stirring in the ranks of Yemenis who two and a half years ago cheered the Saudi pushback against the Houthis who were trying to take over the entire country.

The Saudi relationship with Islah, the largest group of Yemeni fighters in the ground force employed by the coalition, has at best been ambivalent. The Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s closest partner in Yemen, Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, is openly hostile to the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Yemeni party… They [Islahi leadership] are feeling the political price they are paying for supporting a campaign that turned in Yemeni eyes from liberation to occupation… Enough is enough. The regional Islahi leadership are now talking of starting direct negotiations with the Houthis, a senior Islah source told MEE.

4) Saudi proxy fighters are at war with each other: an Emirati-backed militia fighting under the Saudi coalition is assassinating other members of the Saudi coalition in what’s increasingly an internal coalition civil war. 

They are also paying a physical price. A number of Islahi sheikhs and scholars as well as Salafis who rejected Emirati leadership have been killed or targeted by assassination attempts. The list is growing: there have been assassinations of Khaled Ali al-Armani, a leader in the Islah Party, on 7 December 2016; Sheikh Abdullah Bin Amir Bin Ali Bin Abdaat al-Kathri, on 23 November 2017 in Hadhramaut; Abdelmajeed Batees (related to Saleh Batees) a leader in the Islah Party on 5 January 2017 in Hadhramaut; Mohammed Bin Lashgam, Deputy Director of Civil Status, on 17 January 2017; Khaled Ali al-Armani, a leader in the Islah Party, on 7 December 2016…

“The Emiratis do not conceal their hostility to Islah. Islahi sheikhs and scholars are being assassinated, and this is being co-ordinated by the pro-Emirati militia. In addition, the UAE is clearly enforcing the blockade of Taiz, and withholding support for our fighters in the city,” the source said.

5) Oman is entering the fray, which will further fragment the Saudi coalition as rivalries for territorial control develop.

As if the balance of competing outside forces  in Yemen is not complicated enough, enter Oman. Oman, too, regards southern Yemen as its backyard. It is particularly worried about the takeover of a series of strategic ports and islands off Yemen by the Emiratis. A Qatari diplomatic source described this as the Emiratis’ “seaborn empire,” but the Omanis are upset by this too.

The Omanis are understood to be quietly contacting local Yemeni tribal leaders in south Yemen, some of them separatist forces, to organize a more “orchestrated response” to the militias paid for and controlled by Abu Dhabi.

Like the proxy war in Syria, it appears that Gulf/US plans have backfired, and we are perhaps in for a long Saudi coalition death spiral fueled by delusion and denial. Sadly, it is primarily Yemeni civilians and common people in the region that will continue to bear the brunt of suffering wrought by such evil and delusional stupidity.

November 28, 2017 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 2 Comments

Why Saudi Public Relations Are So Disastrous

By Finian CUNNINGHAM | Strategic Culture Foundation | 27.11.2017

What a disastrous past week it’s been for Saudi Arabia’s international public relations. It’s hard to imagine how it could possibly become more ignominious or cringe making for the House of Saud.

But of course, how could it be otherwise? When the oil-rich kingdom is run by a father-and-son clique, cosseted by venal super-wealth, and ruled by patronage, pampered by cowering flunkies. In addition, obsessed with an obscurantist Wahhabi sectarian hatred, and to cap it all, indulged by an ignorant American president who himself shares dynastic family ambitions.

Last week’s roll call of PR disasters included the Syrian peace process getting underway in earnest, in spite of Saudi efforts to derail. Secondly, Lebanon appears to have stabilized politically with the return of its Prime Minister Saad Hariri, again in spite of Saudi attempts to sabotage the government in Beirut. And thirdly, most shamefully, the shocking images of emaciated children in Yemen have shown the world the sickening reality of the Saudi-led blockade on that war-stricken country.

Let’s start with the tale of two summits. While Russian President Vladimir Putin was last week hosting his Syrian, Iranian and Turkish counterparts in the Black Sea city of Sochi in a major diplomatic boost for a peaceful end to the Syrian war, at the same time the Saudi rulers were convening something lackluster and frankly, irrelevant, by comparison.

The Saudis held a summit in Riyadh for the so-called Syrian “opposition” comprising the discredited political talking heads of sundry terror groups that have ravaged Syria for the past nearly seven years. Disgracefully, the UN envoy Staffan de Mistura was present in a vain bid to lend some ersatz credibility to the terrorist apologists.

Putin, and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan joined political forces to push for a comprehensive peace settlement in Syria “determined by the Syrian people alone without external interference”. Whereas at the Saudi conference of has-been Syrian opposition figures, who have been living a charmed life in exile in Saudi Arabia, there were the tired-old, futile calls for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to quit as leader.

With the Syrian War near over and with Assad’s state forces dominant over the foreign-backed insurgents, no-one can take the demand for Assad to stand down as serious. It’s a pipe-dream that the Saudis still keep puffing on. Not even Washington and its NATO allies bother to make this demand seriously any more.

In a nutshell, the Saudi rulers are seen to be left holding the putrid remnants of their defeated regime-change intrigue in Syria.

Moving on to the debacle over Lebanon. Again, Saudi machinations were seen here to have turned pear-shaped. After nearly two weeks of trying to arm-twist Lebanese premier Saad Hariri to resign and thereby collapse the coalition government in Beirut with Shia group Hezbollah, Hariri returned last week to his country.

In the meantime, Lebanon has rallied across sectarian lines to unite against Saudi interference – the exact opposite of what the Saudi rulers were agitating for. The whole Saudi-inspired attempt to sabotage Lebanese politics and even incite a sectarian war in the country has ended up only strengthening the country and in particular elevating Hezbollah as a defender of the nation’s sovereignty.

The Saudi paymaster had wanted Sunni politician Saad Hariri to resign as prime minister. His resignation was broadcast on Saudi television on November 4 after Hariri had been summoned to Riyadh and where he inexplicably stayed for the next two weeks. According to the Saudi-inspired script, Hariri said his life was in danger from an assassination plot by Hezbollah and its Shia ally Iran. Hezbollah and Iran scoffed at that claim as ridiculous. Lebanese President Michel Aoun, from the Christian constituency, also dismissed Hariri’s sensational claims.

Last week when Hariri returned to Lebanon, he abruptly reversed his resignation decision, saying now that he would remain in the prime minister’s post. The bizarre images of Hariri looking relaxed at a military parade in Beirut marking Lebanon’s independence day last Wednesday were a stupendous rebuttal of Saudi-orchestrated fear-mongering that this was a man whose life was purportedly under threat.

The Saudi reckless attempts at destabilizing Lebanon not only spectacularly backfired. Their interference in the sovereign affairs of Lebanon has earned the Saudis the scorn of Lebanese and Arab people across the entire region.

As if those PR cock-ups weren’t bad enough, then the world was shocked by images out of Yemen showing skeletal children starving to death from the Saudi blockade on the country. Also, caught on the hook of Saudi barbarity were the US and Britain which have been supplying the Saudi regime with weapons and logistics in its nearly three-year war on the poorest nation of the Arab region.

The Saudis imposed a total sea, air and land blockade on Yemen on November 6 following a ballistic missile attack near the Saudi capital by Houthi rebels from Yemeni territory. The Houthis say they are taking the war to Saudi Arabia because of the latter’s aerial bombing campaign which has targeted civilians. For the Saudis to respond by imposing collective punishment through a blockade on vital aid entering into Yemen is a gross violation of humanitarian law – a war crime.

Nearly two weeks of this total blockade provoked the UN and other international aid agencies to issue dire warnings that millions of Yemenis are facing starvation. So bad is the international image of the Saudis that the US State Department was motivated to urge its client regime to relent on the suffering it was inflicting. At the end of last week, the Saudi rulers claimed that they were lifting the blockade on Yemen’s airports and sea ports. The UN and aid agencies still said the dubious Saudi lifting of blockade would not alleviate the suffering.

How could any country preside over such a week of horrible public relations? What is it about the Saudi rulers that make them so incorrigibly incompetent, so barbaric and so self-defeating?

Several factors combine to make the Saudi rulers a perfect shit-storm.

The House of Saud is a family-run crony dynasty. That’s not new. But over the past year or so, the present rulers have consolidated absolute power to a father-and-son clique, headed by ailing King Salman (82) and the precocious 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. These scions of intoxicating hyper-wealth live in an ivory tower within an ivory tower.

The Saudi system of governance never had accountability except within its own arcane crony inner-circle. Now it has even less accountability. It’s therefore not hard to imagine how the Saudi rulers are prone to making ever-more foolish foreign policy calculations. The war on Yemen was “masterminded” by the ambitious, insecure Crown Prince trying to prove his mettle, when he probably never had any competence to begin with. The guy probably reads intricate regional politics through the prism of one of his puerile computer games.

Secondly, the Saudi rulers, present and past, are guided by an obsessive sectarian Wahhabi hatred towards Shia Islam. All policy decisions are made out of an irrational abhorrence towards Shia Iran, and any ally of Iran, from Hezbollah to Syria. The reasons for this obsessive hatred are rooted in an obscurantist religious belief that Shia Islam is “heretical”. That antipathy is also fueled by an insecure sense of envy and nemesis that Iran’s relatively progressive politics are more legitimate and appealing to the masses in the Middle East than the feudalist monarchy of the Saudis. In any case, to construct foreign policy relations on the basis of a Medieval-like worldview is inevitably problematic, to say the least, in the 21st Century.

A third reason why the Saudis are so incorrigibly inept is because the rulers are indulged by American and European governments and the Western media. Admittedly, some Western media outlets have belatedly given some coverage to the horror inflicted on Yemen.

Nevertheless, the media coverage is still shamefully muted considering the scale of suffering and crimes perpetrated. We are talking about a genocide unfolding in Yemen imposed by the Saudi rulers with the support of their American and British patrons. Yet in spite of this utter barbarity, Western media remain relatively mute. Contrast the Western media reporting on Yemen with the hysterical coverage they were giving to the Syrian city of Aleppo last year when the Syrian army and Russian forces were moving in to liberate that city from a siege by foreign-backed militants.

Western indulgence of the Saudis – in the form of low-key hypocritical media coverage – emboldens these despots to embark on their reckless and ruinous schemes.

None is more to blame for Western indulgence than the British and American governments who have plied the Saudi regime with billions of dollars-worth of warplanes and bombs over the past three years in the war on Yemen. Despite the evidence of war crimes against civilians, Washington and London maintain the despicable, risible fiction that all is ethical and legal.

Topping the Western indulgence of the Saudi despots is US President Donald Trump and his businessman son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is his unelected “top aide” on Middle Eastern affairs. Every recent PR disaster by the Saudis has been encouraged and approved by Trump who seems to run the White House as if it were a family business dynasty. Both Trump and Kushner are regarded as having very limited knowledge about history and geopolitics. Dumb and Dumber, in short.

Trump’s dispatch of 36-year-old gormless Kushner to delve into Middle East affairs and to pander to the whims of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is certainly a major factor in why the House of Saud keeps making foreign policy like operating a wrecking ball.

When House of Trump pairs up with House of Saud, no wonder then that it’s a super-sized PR fiasco.

November 27, 2017 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The US-Saudi Starvation Blockade

By Pat Buchanan • Unz Review • November 24, 2017

Our aim is to “starve the whole population — men, women, and children, old and young, wounded and sound — into submission,” said First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill.

He was speaking of Germany at the outset of the Great War of 1914-1918. Americans denounced as inhumane this starvation blockade that would eventually take the lives of a million German civilians.

Yet when we went to war in 1917, a U.S. admiral told British Prime Minister Lloyd George, “You will find that it will take us only two months to become as great criminals as you are.”

After the Armistice of Nov. 11, 1918, however, the starvation blockade was not lifted until Germany capitulated to all Allied demands in the Treaty of Versailles.

As late as March 1919, four months after the Germans laid down their arms, Churchill arose in Parliament to exult, “We are enforcing the blockade with rigor, and Germany is very near starvation.”

So grave were conditions in Germany that Gen. Sir Herbert Plumer protested to Lloyd George in Paris that morale among his troops on the Rhine was sinking from seeing “hordes of skinny and bloated children pawing over the offal from British cantonments.”

The starvation blockade was a war crime and a crime against humanity. But the horrors of the Second World War made people forget this milestone on the Western road to barbarism.

A comparable crime is being committed today against the poorest people in the Arab world — and with the complicity of the United States.

Saudi Arabia, which attacked and invaded Yemen in 2015 after Houthi rebels dumped over a pro-Saudi regime in Sanaa and overran much of the country, has imposed a land, sea and air blockade, after the Houthis fired a missile at Riyadh this month that was shot down.

The Saudis say it was an Iranian missile, fired with the aid of Hezbollah, and an “act of war” against the kingdom. The Houthis admit to firing the missile, but all three deny Iran and Hezbollah had any role.

Whatever the facts of the attack, what the Saudis, with U.S. support, are doing today with this total blockade of that impoverished country appears to be both inhumane and indefensible.

Almost 90 percent of Yemen’s food, fuel and medicine is imported, and these imports are being cut off. The largest cities under Houthi control, the port of Hodaida and Sanaa, the capital, have lost access to drinking water because the fuel needed to purify the water is not there.

Thousands have died of cholera. Hundreds of thousands are at risk. Children are in danger from a diphtheria epidemic. Critical drugs and medicines have stopped coming in, a death sentence for diabetics and cancer patients.

If airfields and ports under Houthi control are not allowed to open and the necessities of life and humanitarian aid are not allowed to flow in, the Yemenis face famine and starvation.

What did these people do to deserve this? What did they do to us that we would assist the Saudis in doing this to them?

The Houthis are not al-Qaida or ISIS. Those are Sunni terrorist groups, and the Houthis detest them.

Is this now the American way of war? Are we Americans, this Thanksgiving and Christmas, prepared to collude in a human rights catastrophe that will engender a hatred of us among generations of Yemeni and stain the name of our country?

Saudis argue that the specter of starvation will turn the Yemeni people against the rebels and force the Houthi to submit. But what if the policy fails. What if the Houthis, who have held the northern half of the country for more than two years, do not yield? What then?

Are we willing to play passive observer as thousands and then tens of thousands of innocent civilians — the old, sick, weak, and infants and toddlers first — die from a starvation blockade supported by the mighty United States of America?

Without U.S. targeting and refueling, Saudi planes could not attack the Houthis effectively and Riyadh could not win this war. But when did Congress authorize this war on a nation that never attacked us?

President Obama first approved U.S. support for the Saudi war effort. President Trump has continued the Obama policy, and the war in Yemen has now become his war, and his human rights catastrophe.

Yemen today is arguably the worst humanitarian crisis on earth, and America’s role in it is undeniable and indispensable.

If the United States were to tell Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that we were no longer going to support his war in Yemen, the Saudis would have to accept the reality that they have lost this war.

Indeed, given Riyadh’s failure in the Syria civil war, its failure to discipline rebellious Qatar, its stalemated war and human rights disaster in Yemen, Trump might take a hard second look at the Sunni monarchy that is the pillar of U.S. policy in the Persian Gulf.

Copyright 2017 Creators.com

November 27, 2017 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Ignoring Washington’s Role in Yemen Carnage, 60 Minutes Paints US as Savior

By Adam Johnson | FAIR | November 20, 2017

In one of the most glaring, power-serving omissions in some time, CBS News 60 Minutes (11/19/17) took a deep dive into the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and did not once mention the direct role the United States played in creating, perpetuating and prolonging a crisis that’s left over 10,000 civilians dead, 2 million displaced, and an estimated 1 million with cholera.

Correspondent Scott Pelley’s segment, “When Food Is Used as a Weapon,” employed excellent on-the-ground reporting to highlight the famine and bombing victims of Saudi Arabia’s brutal two-and-a-half year siege of Yemen. But its editors betrayed this reporting—and their viewers—by stripping the conflict of any geopolitical context, and letting one of its largest backers, the United States government, entirely off the hook.

As FAIR has previously noted (10/14/16, 2/27/17), US media frequently ignore the Pentagon’s role in the conflict altogether. Pelly did not once note that the US assists Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign with logistical support, refueling and the selling of arms to the tune of $400 billion.  The US also routinely protects Saudi Arabia at the UN from condemnation—a shield that may have vastly prolonged the war, given that it signals the support of the most powerful country on Earth.

Meanwhile, Iran’s involvement in the conflict—which, even by the most paranoid estimates, is far less than the United States’—is placed front and center as one side of the “war.” The conflict is framed in hackneyed “Sunni vs Shia” terms, with Saudi Arabia unironically called the “leader of the Sunni world” and Iran the “leader of the Shia world.” A reductionist narrative that omits that Sunnis have fought alongside the Houthis, and the fact that Saudi bombs kill members of the marginalized, mostly Sunni Muhamasheen caste, who are neither “led” by Saudi Arabia nor part of the “Shia world.”

This cartoon dichotomy is the extent of the context. Saudi Arabia is rightly singled out as the primary aggressor (though a dubious comparative body count of 3,000 killed by Saudis vs. 1,000 by Houthis is proffered that is far lower than the UN’s January 2017 estimates of 10,000 total civilians killed), but who the Saudis’ primary patrons are—the United States and Britain (and Canada, too)—is simply not mentioned. One would think, watching Pelley’s report, it was a purely regional conflict, and not one sanctioned and armed by major Western superpowers to counter “Iranian aggression.”

To compound the obfuscation, 60 Minutes doesn’t just omit the US role in the war, it paints the US as a savior rescuing its victims. The hero of the piece is American David Beasley, the director of the UN’s World Food Programme, the organization coordinating humanitarian aid. “The US is [the World Food Programme]’s biggest donor, so the director is most often an American. Beasley was once governor of South Carolina,” Pelly narrates over B-roll hero shots of Beasley overseeing food distribution.

Beasley, in his sit-down interview, bends over backwards to downplay Saudi responsibility, insisting at every turn that “all parties” are to blame:

You see it’s chaos, it’s starvation, it’s hunger, and it’s unnecessary conflict, strictly man-made. All parties involved in this conflict have their hands guilty, the hands are dirty. All parties.

The spin that the crisis is the fault of “all parties” is understandable from a US-funded de facto diplomat, charged with providing some cover for a major regional ally. But the premise that “all parties” are causing the famine is never challenged by Pelley. It’s taken as fact, and the piece moves on.

It’s part of a broader trend of erasing American responsibility for the conflict and resulting humanitarian disaster. The Washington Post ran an editorial last week (11/8/17) and an explainer piece Saturday (11/19/17) detailing the carnage in Yemen, neither one of which bothered to mention US involvement. American complicity in the war is so broad in scope, it merited a warning last year from the US’s own State Department they could be liable for war crimes—yet it hardly merits a mention in major media accounts. The war just is, a collective moral failing on the part of “all parties”—irrational sectarian Muslims lost in a pat “cycle of violence” caricature.

As momentum builds in Congress, animated by grassroots anti-war activists, to push back against the war and hold US lawmakers accountable, how the US contributes to the death and disease in the Arabian peninsula is of urgent political import. By erasing the US role in the war, CBS producers obscure for viewers the most effective way they can end the war: by pressuring their own lawmakers to stop supporting it. Instead, viewers are left with what filmmaker Adam Curtis calls “Oh, dearism”: the act of feeling distressed but ultimately helpless in the face of mindless cruelty—perpetrated, conveniently, by everyone but us.


You can send a message to 60 Minutes at 60M@CBSNews.com (or via Twitter: @60Minutes).

November 27, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

Nasrallah: US did what it could to help Daesh in Syria’s Bukamal

Press TV – November 20, 2017

The secretary general of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement says despite the US claims about fighting terrorism, it spared no effort to help Daesh forces in the Syrian town of al-Bukamal.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made the remarks in a televised address to the Lebanese nation in capital city of Beirut on Monday.

Nasrallah noted that recapturing Bukamal was a major victory over Daesh, because Bukamal was the last Syrian city occupied by Daesh.

“The US helped Daesh as much as it could in Bukamal short of directly engaging forces that fought to liberate the town from Daesh,” the Hezbollah leader noted.

Nasrallah went on to note that the US provided Daesh terrorists with full air cover in Bukamal.

The US sent its drones to Bukamal and provided Daesh with accurate information about what was going on, Nasrallah said, adding that American forces also waged electronic warfare against forces that were fighting to liberate Bukamal.

American forces also provided air transfer for Daesh commanders and facilitated their escape to eastern shores of the Euphrates, he said. The Hezbollah leader stated that even Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed the US for helping Daesh.

Nasrallah emphasized that recapturing Bukamal led to unity of Syria and ended Daesh’s self-proclaimed state in the country.

Following recent victories in Iraq and Syria, he added, the military structure of Daesh collapsed in the two countries and Iraqi forces have reached the Syrian border.

Hezbollah leader noted that the victory over Daesh was victory of Islamic values over terrorists’ savagery.

Nasrallah also highlighted the role played by Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ Quds Force Major General Qassem Soleimani in anti-terror operations in both Iraq and Syria.

He noted that Soleimani was commanding anti-Daesh operations in the two countries at the frontline and was never a commander to issue orders from behind the lines.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Nasrallah referred to the latest meeting of the Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo, who designated the Lebanese Hezbollah as a terrorist group, saying that this was not the first time that such accusations were leveled against Hezbollah.

Arab League Secretary General Ahmad Aboul Gheit announced at a press conference in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Sunday that Arab states had agreed to designate Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement a “terrorist organization.”

The Arab League’s extraordinary general meeting on Sunday was held at the request of Saudi Arabia, which has assumed an aggressive stance against Hezbollah for its alleged links to Iran, Riyadh’s powerful rival in the region. Riyadh associates Hezbollah with Iran and has been trying to weaken the resistance movement, which is Lebanon’s de facto deterrent force against Tel Aviv.

In its concluding resolution, the Arab League announced that Arab foreign ministers, excluding those of Lebanon and Iraq, would hold Hezbollah responsible for supporting “terrorist groups” across the region.

Nasrallah said the Arab League statement has labeled Hezbollah’s council, which is part of the Lebanon’s government, as a terrorist outfit, alleging that it provides missiles to terrorist groups in the region.

He added that accusations about Hezbollah sending missiles to regional countries were false and undocumented, emphasizing that the group has never sent any missiles or even light weapons to Kuwait, Yemen, Iraq or Bahrain or any other country in the region.

The leader of Hezbollah went on to say that the Arab League has warned Lebanon that if Hezbollah is not disarmed, security of the country would be in jeopardy.

Hezbollah rejected the accusation, noting that the main threat to security of Lebanon was the Zionist regime of Israel.

He added that the resistance front’s weapons were the main factor restoring security and stability to Lebanon, because they were used for defensive purposes in the face of the Israeli aggression.

Nasrallah emphasized that Hezbollah’s weapons were used only against terrorist groups such as Daesh and posed no threat to security of Lebanon.

A United Nations Security Council-appointed panel says it has seen no evidence to support Saudi Arabia’s claims that missiles have been transferred to Yemen’s Houthis by external sources.

Nasrallah stated that the main reason behind the recent Arab League meeting was not to discuss the issue of Palestine or other problems facing the Islamic world, but its main reason was the recent missile attack against a Saudi airport near the country’s capital, Riyadh.

Refusing Saudi Arabia and Arab League claims that the missile was provided to Yemeni Ansarullah fighters by Iran or the Lebanese Hezbollah, Nasrallah said Iran or Hezbollah had not sent any missiles to Yemen and Yemeni forces made their own missiles in the country.

He categorically rejected Arab League’s claims in this regard, noting that Saudi Arabia and its allies must admit that they have been defeated by Yemeni forces in their war of aggression against the country.

Nasrallah emphasized that Arab countries must put an immediate end to their support for terror groups, and do not fill the Middle East region with such outfits.

He reiterated that no member of Hezbollah was involved in the November 5 Yemeni missile strike against King Khalid International Airport of Riyadh.

The Hezbollah leader then took the Arab League to task for failing to address Saudi Arabia’s devastating aerial bombardment of the “Arab country of Yemen,” saying, “Saudi Arabia is bombing Yemeni people day and night.”

Strongly denouncing the Riyadh regime over perpetrating outrageous atrocities against millions of “Arab Muslims” in Yemen, Nasrallah lashed out at the Arab world’s “deafening silence” over the grim situation in Yemen.

“The turmoil we are witnessing in the Arab world is a cover for the announcement of normalization of relations with Israel,” he commented.

Nasrallah then called on Arabs to do their best to maintain their national unity in the face of all divisive efforts.

The Hezbollah secretary general also praised Lebanese officials and politicians for their firm stance regarding Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s shock resignation, calling on him to return to Lebanon as soon as possible.

November 20, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Is The US Helping Saudi Arabia Destroy Yemen?

By Ron Paul | November 20, 2017

It’s remarkable that whenever you read an article about Yemen in the mainstream media, the central role of Saudi Arabia and the United States in the tragedy is glossed over or completely ignored. A recent Washington Post article purporting to tell us “how things got so bad” explains to us that, “it’s a complicated story” involving “warring regional superpowers, terrorism, oil, and an impending climate catastrophe.”

No, Washington Post, it’s simpler than that. The tragedy in Yemen is the result of foreign military intervention in the internal affairs of that country. It started with the “Arab Spring” which had all the fingerprints of State Department meddling, and it escalated with 2015’s unprovoked Saudi attack on the country to re-install Riyadh’s preferred leader. Thousands of innocent civilians have been killed and millions more are at risk as starvation and cholera rage.

We are told that US foreign policy should reflect American values. So how can Washington support Saudi Arabia – a tyrannical state with one of the worst human rights record on earth – as it commits by what any measure is a genocide against the Yemeni people? The UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs warned just last week that Yemen faces “the largest famine the world has seen for many decades with millions of victims.” The Red Cross has just estimated that a million people are vulnerable in the cholera epidemic that rages through Yemen.

And why is there a cholera epidemic? Because the Saudi government – with US support – has blocked every port of entry to prevent critical medicine from reaching suffering Yemenis. This is not a war. It is cruel murder.

The United States is backing Saudi aggression against Yemen by cooperating in every way with the Saudi military. Targeting, intelligence, weapons sales, and more. The US is a partner in Saudi Arabia’s Yemen crimes.

Does holding hands with Saudi Arabia as it slaughters Yemeni children really reflect American values? Is anyone even playing attention?

The claim that we are fighting al-Qaeda in Yemen and thus our involvement is covered under the post-9/11 authorization for the use of force is without merit. In fact it has been reported numerous times in the mainstream media that US intervention on behalf of the Saudis in Yemen is actually a boost to al-Qaeda in the country. Al-Qaeda is at war with the Houthis who had taken control of much of the country because the Houthis practice a form of Shi’a Islam they claim is tied to Iran. We are fighting on the same side as al-Qaeda in Yemen.

Adding insult to injury, the US Congress can’t be bothered to even question how we got so involved in a war that has nothing to do with us. A few conscientious Members of Congress got together recently to introduce a special motion under the 1973 War Powers Act that would have required a vote on our continued military involvement in the Yemen genocide. The leadership of both parties joined together to destroy this attempt to at least get a vote on US aggression against Yemen. As it turns out, the only Members to vote against this shamefully gutted resolution were the original Members who introduced it. This is bipartisanship at its worst.

US involvement in Saudi Arabia’s crimes against Yemen is a national disgrace. That the mainstream media fails to accurately cover this genocide is shameful. Let us join our voices now to demand that our US Representatives end US involvement in Yemen immediately!

November 20, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 2 Comments