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Tag Archives: Saudi Arabia

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) Must Shelve His Vicious War in Yemen

This past weekend, Yemeni Armed Forces spokesman Brigadier Yahya al-Sari clinically described how Ansarallah, also known as the Houthi rebel movement, aided by what Yemenis describe as “popular committees,” captured three Saudi brigades of 2,400 ragged soldiers, plus Yemeni and Sudanese mercenaries as well as several hundred battle vehicles. At least 500 Saudi soldiers were killed, Ansarallah said. (A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition denied the claim.)

This was part of the significantly named Operation Nasrallah in Najran province, Saudi Arabia. The Houthis, who did learn a lot, tactically and strategically, from Hezbollah, duly praised mujahideen and “popular committees” involved in Operation Nasrallah.

Col. Pat Lang, in his blog, offers a particularly useful observation on the captured Saudi vehicles. Some belonged to the Saudi National Guard (SANG):

https://www.opednews.com/articles/Crown-Prince-Mohammad-bin-by-Pepe-Escobar-Crown-Prince-Mohammed-Bin-Salman_Houthis_Saudi-Arabia_Yemen-Destruction-191004-985.html

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Posted by on October 7, 2019 in Middle East, Uncategorized

 

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A year on from Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, and Saudi Arabia is lurching towards hysterical chaos

The Saudis are taking a pasting. Video pictures from the Houthis of Saudi soldiers and their allies killed or surrendering inside the Saudi border town of Najran represent a devastating blow to a kingdom which is constantly threatening war against Iran.

If it can’t protect its own armed forces inside Saudi territory, what is the point of wasting time menacing Iran with military action over the massive destruction of the oil facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais almost two weeks ago?

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/saudi-arabia-iran-jamal-khashoggi-donald-trump-middle-east-a9126601.html

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2019 in Middle East

 

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USA, Saudia Arabia, Iran: A New Conflict in the Middle East?

In normal times, the Officers Club on Riyadh’s King Abdul Aziz Road is a rather secretive place. But last Wednesday evening, there was a line of visitors snaking away from its door. Arabic could be heard, along with English and a few fragments of French.

After the security inspection, visitors enter a darkened hallway, reminiscent of a movie theater, that lead to a lecture hall: blue plush seats in ascending rows facing a brightly lit wood-paneled stage. It is generally a place where senior military officers gather to discuss their secret plans, but last week, it played host to around 80 diplomats and several international journalists, there at the invitation of the world’s most important oil exporting nation. Among them were high-ranking officials in flowing robes. It was a rather unique event: The Saudi military was putting its wounds on display to the world.

A half-dozen pedestals had been erected onstage to present evidence: large steel fragments that had been twisted and bent by the force of the explosion. The objects were the remnants of cruise missiles and drones, some of the weapons Saudis claim set the country’s two biggest oil facilities on fire earlier this month.

https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/usa-saudia-arabia-iran-a-new-conflict-in-the-middle-east-a-1287811.html

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2019 in Middle East

 

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How drone attacks on Saudi Aramco might blow up US-Iran tensions

Highly disruptive drone attacks on Aramco oil facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia are arguably the most significant military operation yet against the US-allied kingdom’s critical infrastructure.

Saturday’s attacks on petroleum and gas processing plants in Khurais and Abqaiq, which Yemen’s Iran-allied Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for, knocked down approximately 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) of total Saudi oil output.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/09/drone-attacks-saudi-aramco-blow-iran-tensions-190916051658838.html

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2019 in Middle East

 

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The drone attacks in Saudi Arabia have changed the nature of global warfare

The devastating attack on Saudi oil facilities by drones and missiles not only transforms the balance of military power in the Middle East, but marks a change in the nature of warfare globally.

On the morning of 14 September, 18 drones and seven cruise missiles – all cheap and unsophisticated compared to modern military aircraft – disabled half of Saudi Arabia’s crude oil production and raised the world price of oil by 20 per cent.

This happened despite the Saudis spending $67.6bn (£54bn) on their defence budget last year, much of it on vastly expensive aircraft and air defence systems, which notably failed to stop the attack. The US defence budget stands at $750bn (£600.2bn), and its intelligence budget at $85bn (£68bn), but the US forces in the Gulf did not know what was happening until it was all over.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/saudi-arabia-drone-attacks-trump-us-iran-global-warfare-nato-a9113636.html

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2019 in Middle East

 

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Saudi First: Trump Wants to Start a War With Iran When MBS Gives the Order

Who remembers “The Bow”?

In April 2009, three months into his first term in office, Barack Obama found himself in the midst of a bizarre controversy. At a meeting of the G-20, the new U.S president appeared to bow his head to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

Conservatives lost their minds. Fox News ran chyrons suggesting that Obama was “pandering” to Muslims; host Sean Hannity played the clip in slow motion and on a loop. Senate Republicans even ran an online ad attacking the president for bowing to the Saudi king, while the right-wing Washington Examiner published an editorial calling it “a shocking display of fealty to a foreign potentate.”

Fast forward a decade: If a president bowing to the Saudis made conservatives mad in 2009, what do they make of a president effectively putting the Saudis in charge of the U.S. military in 2019?

This was Donald Trump’s response to the recent airstrikes on two state-owned oil facilities in Saudi Arabia:

https://theintercept.com/2019/09/17/saudi-arabia-oil-field-attack-trump/

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2019 in Middle East

 

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The drone attack on the Saudi refinery is no game-changer. But is there a new ‘axis of evil’ in the Middle East?

When, a couple of days ago, Saudi Aramco’s crude-oil processing facilities were attacked with drones – it is thought by the Houthis in Yemen – our media repeatedly characterised this event as a “game-changer”. But was it really this? In some sense yes, since it perturbed the global oil supply and made a large armed conflict in the Middle East much more probable. However, one should be careful not to miss the cruel irony of this claim.

Houthi rebels in Yemen have been in an open war with Saudi Arabia for years, with Saudi armed forces (and the US and the UK supplying arms) practically destroying the entire country, indiscriminately bombing civilian objects. The Saudi intervention has led to one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes of the century with tens of thousands of children dead. As it was in the cases of Libya and Syria, destroying an entire country is obviously not a game-changer – just part and parcel of a very normal geopolitical game.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/houthi-drone-attack-saudi-arabia-aramco-oil-yemen-israel-a9108501.html

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2019 in Middle East

 

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The Saudi Crown Prince plans to make us forget about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi before the US election

The hideous cruelty of the murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by a Saudi death squad almost a year ago still jumps from the pages of the alleged latest transcript of the conversation between his killers as they wait for him to arrive at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

“Is it possible to put the body in a bag?” inquires Lieutenant-Colonel Maher Mutreb, a leader of the operation and a senior member of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s team of bodyguards. He later asks if “the animal to be sacrificed” has arrived at the consulate.

Mutreb speaks to Salah al-Tubaigy, the forensic pathologist in charge of cutting up the body, who calmly lists the professional challenges he will face. “No,” he replies to the query about putting body in a bag. “Too heavy, very tall too. Actually, I’ve always worked on cadavers. I know how to cut very well. I have never worked on a warm body, but I’ll also manage that easily.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/jamal-khashoggi-trump-saudi-crown-prince-us-election-a9104306.html

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2019 in Middle East

 

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The divergent Saudi-UAE strategies in Yemen

A recent surge in fighting in southern Yemen is part of an overarching Saudi-UAE strategy to keep the Arab world’s most impoverished nation in a perpetual weak state in order to serve their own objectives, according to analysts.

The battles this month in the city of Aden between government forces loyal to Saudi Arabia-based President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the United Arab Emirates-backed separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) have added another layer of complexity to Yemen’s already multifaceted war.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/08/analysis-divergent-saudi-uae-strategies-yemen-190830121530210.html

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2019 in Middle East

 

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No One Is Safe: How Saudi Arabia Makes Dissidents Disappear

DÜSSELDORF

Prince Khaled bin Farhan al-Saud sat in one of the few safe locations he frequents in Düsseldorf and ordered each of us a cup of coffee. With his close-cropped goatee and crisp gray suit, he looked surprisingly relaxed for a hunted man. He described his constant fear of being abducted, the precautions he takes when venturing outside, and how German law enforcement officials routinely check on him to make sure he is all right.

Recently, bin Farhan, who rarely grants interviews to Western reporters, had incensed the kingdom’s leaders with his calls for human rights reforms—an unusual grievance for a Saudi prince. What’s more, he spoke openly of his desire to establish a political movement that might eventually install an opposition leader, upending the kingdom’s dynastic rule.

As we sat over coffee, he relayed a story that at first sounded innocuous. One day in June 2018, his mother, who lives in Egypt, called him with what she thought was good news. The Saudi Embassy in Cairo had contacted her, she said, and had a proposal: The kingdom wanted to mend relations with the prince and was willing to offer him $5.5 million as a goodwill gesture. Since bin Farhan was struggling financially (reportedly due, in part, to a dispute with the ruling family), his mother welcomed this chance for a reconciliation. But as tempting as the overture was, he claimed he never considered it seriously. And when he followed up with Saudi officials, he realized the deal had a dangerous catch. They had told him he could collect his payment only if he personally came to a Saudi embassy or consulate. That immediately set off alarm bells. He declined the offer.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/07/how-saudi-arabia-makes-dissidents-disappear

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2019 in Middle East, Reportages

 

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