SAUDI ARABIA | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

SAUDI ARABIA

Nov 30 07:23

Saudis, Allies Pound Yemeni Capital of Sanaa in Weekend Strikes

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

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

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

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

Nov 29 07:17

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

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

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

Nov 25 09:34

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

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

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

Nov 24 13:41

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

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

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

Nov 23 08:03

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

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

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

Nov 23 08:03

Saudis Launch Airstrikes Against Yemen Capital

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

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

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

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

Nov 17 06:44

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

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

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

Nov 10 14:38

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

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

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

Oct 30 06:08

Weapons trade with Saudis and Israel must be disrupted

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

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

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

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

Oct 29 05:48

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

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

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

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

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

Oct 25 08:07

Saudi Coalition: Over 260 Houthis Killed in Three Days

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

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

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

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

Oct 22 07:02

Former Saudi intelligence official says crown prince plotted to kill him

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

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

Oct 17 07:37

Are Saudi Arabia and Iran on the road to reconciliation?

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

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

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

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

Oct 10 07:54

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

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

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

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

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

Oct 04 06:46

Saudi Confirms First Round of Talks With New Iranian Government

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

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

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

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

Sep 30 06:30

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

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

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

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

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

Sep 28 10:38

Iran, Saudi sides continue tension-easing talks in Baghdad

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

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

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

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

Sep 27 06:35

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

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

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

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

Sep 22 11:28

Mina, City of Tents

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

Sep 22 04:55

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

Sep 21 07:56

Saudi Airstrikes Kill 35 Houthis in Maarib

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

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

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

Sep 21 07:56

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

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

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

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

Sep 19 04:49

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

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

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

Sep 18 08:26

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

By Brett Wilkins

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

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

Sep 16 06:34

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

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

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

Sep 15 07:11

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

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

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

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

Sep 15 04:58

Saudi Airstrikes Kill 43 Houthis in Yemen’s Maarib

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

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

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

Sep 13 08:19

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

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

Sep 13 06:14

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

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

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

Sep 11 06:43

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

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

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

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

Sep 09 05:37

HAS BIDEN NOW LOST SAUDI ARABIA?

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

Sep 01 06:15

Iran and Saudi Arabia Plan to Resume Talks

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

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Aug 31 05:27

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

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

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

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

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

Aug 25 06:24

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

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

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

Aug 22 05:24

Former House Foreign Affairs chair will lobby for Saudi Arabia

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

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

Aug 17 08:58

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

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

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

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

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

Aug 17 06:08

Saudi Arabia sentences dozens of Palestinians, Jordanians

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

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

Aug 07 05:50

Pegasus: Tunisia's Ghannouchi targeted by Saudi Arabia

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

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

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

Aug 03 09:13

Iran, Saudi Arabia on the edge of rapprochement

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

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

Jul 30 06:42

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

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

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

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

Jul 27 08:51

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

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

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

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

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

Jul 26 05:59

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

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

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

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

Jul 26 05:47

Scores Killed in Saudi Airstrikes in Northern, Central Yemen

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

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

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

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

Jul 25 06:31

Pegasus Project: Why I was Targeted by Israeli Spyware

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

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

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

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

Jul 22 07:40

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

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

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

Jul 22 06:46

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

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

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

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

Jul 14 08:09

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

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

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

Jul 14 07:53

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

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

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

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

Jul 12 12:36

US alarmed as Saudi lawsuits threaten to expose secrets

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

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

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

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

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

Jul 01 09:16

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

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

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

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

Jun 29 10:29

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 29 10:28

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 25 09:22

Saudi Coalition Fighter Jets Heavily Bombard Yemen's Marib

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

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

No casualties or damage have been reported so far.

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

Jun 25 04:17

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

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

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

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

Jun 25 04:14

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

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

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

Jun 24 08:09

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

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

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

Jun 22 06:11

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 20 06:16

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

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

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

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

Jun 15 07:29

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

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

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

Jun 14 08:59

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

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

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

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

Jun 08 11:09

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 07 02:23

The DARPA-Taped Letters

Via Harvard2TheBigHouse Subsatck,

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

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

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

Jun 05 04:58

US Blames Houthis for Yemen’s Woes

State Dept falsely claims Houthis are refusing ceasefire.

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

May 28 05:39

Saudi media outlets acting as Israeli propaganda platforms

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

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

May 24 06:32

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

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

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

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

May 24 06:15

Three Saudi soldiers convicted of high treason

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

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

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

May 21 06:00

Mohammed Bin Salman to Plant 10 Billion Trees in the Desert

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

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

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

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

May 10 07:47

Two Longtime Enemy Mideast Countries Have Entered Unlikely Peace Talks

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

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

May 07 05:47

Saudi Arabia-Iran rapprochement: What is driving push for diplomacy?

We know we are a main target for the Iranian regime... We will not wait until the battle is in Saudi Arabia. We will work so that the battle is at theirs in Iran."

- Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 2017

"Iran is a neighbouring country. We want good and special relations with Iran. We don't want Iran's situation to be difficult. On the contrary, we want Iran to be prosperous."

- Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 2021

Even by the standards of the ever-shifting geopolitics of the Middle East, bin Salman's turn from talks of war to wanting neighbourly relations with Iran is a sharp one.

May 05 05:37

Saudi Arabia Poised To Mend Relations With Assad In Major First Since War Began

Multiple international reports on Tuesday revealed that Saudi Arabia's powerful intelligence chief traveled to Damascus Monday to meet with his Syrian counterpart in what's being seen as a major step toward detente. The two broke off relations since near the start of the war in 2011, especially as it became clear the Saudis were a key part of the Western allied push for regime change, through covert support to anti-Assad insurgents and jihadists which included regular weapons shipments.

Gen Khalid Humaidan, the head of Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Directorate, led a delegation where they were received by Syrian government officials in Damascus. According to The Guardian, Riyadh is currently preparing for a "normalization of relations" - expected to come immediately after the Muslim holiday of Ramadan next week.

May 04 06:11

America Is Still Servicing Saudi Aircraft Bombing Yemen

The Biden administration has finally clarified the extent to which it is still supporting Saudi Arabia’s military in Yemen.

In comments to Vox, Pentagon officials admitted that the US is still maintaining Saudi Arabia’s warplanes by using contractors. The US could cancel the contracts at any time, which would effectively ground the Saudi Air Force, ending the vicious bombing campaign that has been raging since March 2015.

“The United States continues to provide maintenance support to Saudi Arabia’s Air Force given the critical role it plays in Saudi air defense and our longstanding security partnership,” a Pentagon spokesperson told Vox over the weekend.

The maintenance is done through the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Sales program, which means Saudi Arabia pays the US to provide contractors that can maintain the warplanes.

Apr 30 09:14

DESPAIR GRIPS THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman voiced rare praise of Ansar Allah joined by ample promises, in hope of a ceasefire.

In his recent interview, the Crown Prince said that the Houthis (as Ansar Allah are known) have strong relations with Iran, but that they are still Arabs and Yemenis more than anything. He went on to promise financial rewards, peace, prosperity and normality.

All the Houthis need to do is agree to a ceasefire and to sit at the negotiating table.

This could potentially mean that the Kingdom is close to realizing that massive resources spent over the course of more than 6 years on weapons and mercenaries have achieved little.

This is likely the result of two developments.

Firstly, the United States has ceased its support for the Saudi-led forces in the war on Yemen and suspended some arms sales to the Kingdom earlier this year.

Apr 30 07:58

Iran And Saudi Arabia Are Finally Talking

Washington’s fixation on Israel has undermined U.S. policy in the Middle East and helped make Americans global targets of terrorism. Perhaps even worse has been Washington’s devotion to Saudi Arabia, essentially turning American troops into royal bodyguards and treating Iran as an enemy. Taking sides in the Sunni-Shiite struggle, a miniature cold war that sometimes runs hot, has needlessly entangled the U.S. in multiple violent conflicts.

However, recent discussions between Iranian and Saudi delegations at the encouragement of Iraq have generated hope for change. Although the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia denied that any talks had occurred, Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, suggested otherwise while refusing to comment directly.

Apr 27 09:49

As Yemen War Intensifies Biden Set To Resume Weapons Sales

By Robert Inlakesh

US President Joe Biden declared in February that the United States was seeking to end the Saudi-led coalition’s war on Yemen, which was promised to come with stopping offensive weapons sales to the Saudi Kingdom. Yet now it seems that this was all a facade...

Apr 21 05:53

Bin Salman backed Israeli plot to overthrow Jordan king: Report

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has reportedly backed an Israeli “scheme” to overthrow Jordanian King Abdullah II in exchange for the guardianship of al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds.

Lebanon's Al Akhbar newspaper, quoting a Jordanian security official, said in a report on Tuesday that the coup attempt against King Abdullah II was a "scheme" involving Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.

The Beirut-based daily said the Saudi crown prince had agreed to support the Israeli plot in return for the transfer of the guardianship over the holy sites in the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds from Jordan to Saudi Arabia.

According to the unnamed official, Israel planned the coup against the Jordanian king over Amman’s opposition to the so-called US deal of the century, which allows the Tel Aviv regime to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank and the Jordan Valley.

Apr 21 05:52

Yemen army hits ‘military site’ inside SW Saudi airport in new retaliation

The Yemeni army has carried out a successful drone attack against a “military site” within the Abha International Airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia, keeping up the impoverished country’s retaliation against a Riyadh-led war.

The reprisal against the terminal that lies in the kingdom’s Asir region took place on Tuesday, using one of the Yemeni armed forces’ indigenously-manufactured Qasef-2K UAVs, army spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Saree said in a brief statement.

“The hit was accurate,” Saree noted in the statement that was reported by Yemen’s al-Masirah television network. “This targeting comes in response to the escalation of aggression and the ongoing siege on our dear country.”

The Saudi kingdom and its allies have been waging the war for more than seven years in a futile attempt to restore Yemen’s former Riyadh-allied officials.

Apr 17 06:57

UN complicit in US-Saudi act of piracy against fuel tankers: Yemen

The Yemen Petroleum Company (YPC) has lashed out at US-backed invading Saudi coalition for impounding Yemeni fuel tankers, calling the United Nations "a partner in the maritime piracy."

“The US-Saudi coalition keeps confiscating ships carrying Yemeni fuel under the auspices of the United Nations,” YPC Executive Director Ammar al-Adhrai said.

Al-Adhrai made the remarks on Friday during a protest held outside the UN office in the Yemeni capital Sana'a under the slogan "Denying the siege is an additional crime."

"Since the beginning of 2021, only one ship carrying diesel has been able to enter Hudaydah,” he added, referring to the strategic port that is a lifeline for millions of Yemenis.

Adhrai warned that the lives of 26 million Yemenis will be at risk if the act of preventing Yemeni fuel vessels from entering Hudaydah continues.

Apr 17 06:05

US lawmakers introduce bill to stop Saudi Arabia from obtaining nuclear weapons

A group of US lawmakers have introduced legislation that seeks to stop the possibility of Saudi Arabia obtaining a nuclear weapon, after reports surfaced last year that China had secretly assisted Riyadh to expand its nuclear programme.

The bill, titled, The Saudi WMD Act, aims to "take steps to impede access to sensitive technologies that could pave the way to Saudi Arabia acquiring a nuclear weapon", according to a press release announcing the legislation on Thursday.

It was introduced in the Senate by senators Ed Markey and Jeff Merkley, and introduced in the House of Representatives by congressmen Ted Lieu and Joaquin Castro.

"Nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists and rogue regimes is one of the gravest threats to the security of the American people and to our partners around the world," Merkley said in a statement.

Apr 12 06:08

Yemeni drones, missiles hit Aramco refineries, military sites in Saudi Arabia

Yemeni armed forces and allied Popular Committees fighters have launched fresh attacks on targets deep in Saudi Arabia in retaliation for the kingdom’s ongoing aggression on their country.

Spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree said that 17 drones and ballistic missiles were used in a operation against Saudi Arabia on Monday.

Aramco refineries in Jubail and Jeddah were hit with 10 drones of Samad-3 type as part of the operation, he said.

According to the spokesman, “sensitive military targets” in the Saudi cities of Khamis Mushait and Jizan were hit with five Qasef-2K UAVs as well as two ballistic missiles of Badr 1 type.

The operation, which took place on Sunday evening and continued until dawn, hit its targets “successfully”, he added.

Saree stressed that the retaliatory attacks will continue as long as the Saudi aggression and blockade persist.

Apr 05 06:26

EXCLUSIVE: Inside the Dubai balcony 'publicity stunt' for an 'Israeli porn site' that saw more than a dozen naked women arrested for breaking decency laws

New pictures show up to 19 models preparing for the nude photoshoot
Group of naked women were filmed posing on the balcony of a building in Dubai
Dubai Police confirmed group had been arrested on public debauchery charges
Violations of public decency law can result in six months in prison or hefty fines

Mar 30 05:38

Mohammed bin Salman has lost the war in Yemen. It's time to end the humanitarian disaster

This week, Saudi Arabia announced an initiative to end the Yemen war and implement a nationwide ceasefire. The move was met with rejection by the Ansar Allah group, known as the Houthis, the main protagonists on the other side of this six-year-old conflict.

The proposal, according to the Houthis, didn’t promise the total lifting of the blockade imposed by the Saudis on Sanaa international airport and Hodeidah port, which, with Saleef port, handle about 80 percent of Yemen’s imports including staples and fuel.

The Houthis are now on the offensive and are unlikely to retreat or surrender. It is most likely that they will continue their offensive in Marib and sweep the shrinking territories and fragile authority of the Riyadh-based exiled President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

On Wednesday, Jawad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, said Iran backed a peace plan that would end the blockade and violence.

Mar 26 05:31

Attack on Saudi oil terminal leaves fuel tank on fire after wave of Houthi drones targets nearby cities

An attack on an oil terminal on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast set one fuel tank ablaze, the country’s petroleum ministry said, after several Houthi drones reportedly targeted two cities not far from the border with Yemen.

A projectile struck an oil terminal in Jizan, a port on the Red Sea north of the Saudi-Yemen border, on Friday, igniting a fire but resulting in no casualties, according to a statement from the Saudi Oil Ministry.

“The kingdom condemns this cowardly attack directed against vital installations, which does not target the kingdom only, but also targets the security of petroleum exports, the stability of energy supplies to the world, and the freedom of global trade,” the ministry said.

Unverified video footage has circulated online purporting to show the blaze in progress.

Mar 23 06:57

Saudi Arabia Bombs Grain Port in Yemen

The US-backed Saudi-led coalition continues to launch airstrikes across Yemen. Over the past few days, Saudi bombs have hit the capital Sanaa, Maarib province, and the Red Sea port of Salif.

On Monday, the UN said the airstrikes in Salif targeted a grain port and hit a warehouse and the living quarters of a food production company. “Local authorities and company management stated that six injured workers were transferred to local medical facilities for treatment,” the UN mission in Hodeidah, Yemen, said in a statement.

According to the Houthis Al-Masirah, the bombing in Salif killed at least one of the grain company’s workers and injured six more. Salif lies to the northwest of Hodeidah and is inside the UN-brokered neutral zone as per a deal signed in Stockholm in 2018. But bombings around Hodeidah and violations of the Stockholm agreement are a regular occurrence.

Mar 23 05:57

The Six-Year Epic Failure: Riyadh’s Crusade On Yemen

Six years of the Saudi-led war have passed in Yemen, and it keeps going with no sign of a peaceful solution on the horizon. The “occasion” was “commemorated” with a briefing by Ansar Allah, or as they are popularly known – the Houthis. Some impressive numbers were shared.

Houthi spokesperson Yahya Sari said that the Saudi-led coalition carried out more than 266,150 airstrikes throughout these 6 years. The predominant number of those strikes targeted Yemeni citizens, homes, cities and other infrastructure.

On the side of the Houthis, at least 1,348 separate missile operations were launched, with nearly 500 being behind enemy lines on key military facilities of the Kingdom and the UAE. In total, the Houthi Air Force carried out 12,623 raids with drones. In 2021 alone, Ansar Allah has carried out 1,464 operations, including 124 attack operations, and the rest reconnaissance.

Mar 21 07:42

Rights group slams exclusion of Israel, Saudi-led coalition from UN’s children-in-conflict blacklist

A group of child rights experts has strongly criticized the UN secretary-general for excluding eight parties, including the Israeli regime and the Saudi-led coalition, from a global blacklist of parties accountable for harming children during conflicts.

In a report, experts from Watchlist on Children, an international child rights group, said at least eight parties to conflicts were found responsible for killing and maiming more than 100 children in a single year but were excluded from the blacklist.

There were “numerous discrepancies and omissions in listing decisions, as well as unwarranted delisting decisions,” the report said, noting that the UN Security Council’s 2001 resolution establishing the list to protect children from the horrors of war “is being seriously undermined” and could result in “putting children at even greater risk.”

Mar 19 08:28

Biden Must Pressure Saudi Arabia To End The War On Yemen

Give President Joe Biden some credit. He pulled the U.S. back from supporting Saudi Arabia’s six-plus year campaign of murder and mayhem against Yemen, one of the world’s poorest nations. The Obama and Trump administrations made Americans accomplices to Saudi aggression and war crimes. The Biden administration should end all military assistance in any form for Riyadh as long as the latter is involved in the conflict.

Modern Yemen has been convulsed by unrest and war for most of its six decades of existence. (Two states emerged in the 1960s and merged in 1990.) In the 2000s Ansar Allah, widely known as the Houthis, battled the government led by President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was backed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In 2012 he was overthrown during the Arab Spring and replaced by his vice president, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. Two years later Saleh and the Houthis joined to defenestrate Hadi, which prompted Saudi and Emirati military intervention.

Mar 18 18:22

After Bashing 'Killer' Putin, Biden Defends Killer Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Joe Biden bashed Vladimir Putin as a "killer" who "doesn't have a soul" in an interview with ABC News released Wednesday only to turn around in the same interview and defend Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman -- who ordered the savage murder of Jamal Khashoggi -- by insisting he not face any sanctions.

Mar 02 22:51

Report: Mohammed bin Salman Tried to Buy Parler, Demanded Ability to Monitor 'Extremist' Accounts

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attempted to buy Parler in June 2019 and flew ex-CEO John Matze to Riyadh for negotiations, according to Palestinian activist Iyad el-Baghdadi.

Mar 01 06:51

Biden Admits He Won't Sanction MbS Simply Because Saudis Remain "Our Allies"

The White House has issued a belated response - or ultimately a weak attempt at damage control - amid growing bipartisan outrage that despite his prior "tough" talk on the campaign trail to "hold the Saudis to account", crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is getting off scot-free.

"The Biden administration defended its decision not to sanction Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally for his role in the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, as the White House confirmed no more actions against the kingdom are imminent," Stars & Stripes reports Sunday. This means that not so much as suspension of weapons sales are on the table, apparently.

Feb 26 08:06

Yemenis stage nationwide protests against Saudi blockade

Tens of thousands of people have staged rallies across Yemen in protest at the all-out Saudi blockade and closure of Sana’a International Airport, which have made it impossible for food and medical supplies to reach the poor in the war-torn country.

Protesters took to the streets in the Damt district of the southern Yemeni province of Dhale on Friday morning in a rally entitled “The Siege of the Coalition of Aggression is Killing Yemeni People.”

They chanted slogans against the United States and the Israeli regime for supporting the Saudi blockade of war-wracked Yemen.

Elsewhere in the southeastern province of Dhamar, Yemeni demonstrators marched on the United Nations office, urging the world body to intervene and lift the brutal siege.

People in Sha’ara area of the mountainous northwestern province of Sa’ada also censured the suffering of the Yemeni people as a result of the tight Saudi-led aerial and naval blockade.

Feb 26 07:51

Tensions Between US and Saudi Arabia on the Rise

oe Biden’s ideological commitment to Western liberal values promised to recover old US alliances, which were threatened by Trump’s nationalism – as in the European case. However, the rigid defense of these same values can apparently also hinder important points of American foreign policy, destroying other historic alliances, mainly in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia, a historical representative of Western interests in the Middle East, remains uncertain about the future of its relations with the US, considering the rise of Biden. So far, Saudi officials have received no contact from the new American president. Not only that: Washington has already stated that it will not make a call to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and that any matter needing dialogue will be dealt directly with King Salman.

Feb 26 07:32

President Biden Speaks With Saudi Arabia’s King Salman

President Biden spoke with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Thursday ahead of the release of a US intelligence report on the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi that is expected to pin the killing on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS.

US officials have told media outlets that the report is a declassified version of an intelligence assessment that says MBS ordered Khashoggi’s murder that took place in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia denies that MBS directed the hit.

The Biden administration has said it will reevaluate the US-Saudi relationship. So far, the only real policy change has been an announcement that the US is ending all support for Saudi Arabia’s “offensive” operations in Yemen. But President Biden made it clear that military support will continue if it can be framed as defensive.

Feb 26 07:32

MBS: Why the world may be stuck with the ‘CEO of Saudi Inc’

As the United States prepares to release a declassified version of its intelligence report on the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi by a Saudi hit squad, the world’s focus is on the role the kingdom’s de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, allegedly played in the assassination.

MBS, as he is known, has become increasingly powerful amid his father’s continuing health battles and the political shakeups he has presided over within his own family. In 2020, Wall Street Journal reporters Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck published Blood and Oil: Mohammed Bin Salman’s Ruthless Quest for Global Power in an effort to pull back the curtain on a man who is likely to shape Saudi and regional politics for decades to come.

Feb 25 07:50

Ma’rib battle: Yemeni army close to retaking city from Saudi-led forces

Victory appears to be on the horizon in the heated battle for Yemen’s strategic central province of Ma’rib as army troops, backed by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have reportedly taken control of most areas there and dislodged Saudi-led coalition forces and Riyadh-backed militants from those regions.

A Yemeni military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Arabic service of Russia’s Sputnik news agency that Yemeni soldiers and their allies had encircled Ma’rib city, following weeks of fierce clashes with Saudi-led coalition forces and their mercenaries.

The source added that Yemeni forces had cut off the main supply route into the eastern flank of Ma’rib, which leads to the Arab country’s largest province of Hadhramaut.

Feb 25 07:31

Secret documents reveal Saudi Khashoggi killers used private jet Crown Prince had seized - as U.S. prepares to condemn royal for personally approving the murder

Top secret documents have revealed that the assassins who killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi used two private jets from a firm that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince had seized as a declassified version of a US intelligence report on Thursday will find that Mohammed bin Salman approved the 2018 killing.

The documents, which were filed as part of a lawsuit in Canada and obtained by CNN, describes how ownership of Sky Prime Aviation was transferred into the country's $400billion sovereign wealth fund, known as the Public Investment Fund, in 2017.

Just a year later, in October 2018, the company's Gulfstreams were used to carry out Khashoggi's murder.

Feb 24 09:56

Saudi Arabia Sued By Families Of Pensacola Terror Attack Victims

Saudi Arabia is once again facing a major lawsuit in the US filed by the families of victims killed in a terror attack perpetrated by a Saudi citizen.

The attack in question occurred at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla. on Dec. 6, 2019. On that morning, a 21-year-old member of the Saudi military opened fire on Americans staying at the Naval base, carrying out a shooting rampage that led to the deaths of 3 Americans with 13 others wounded. The perpetrator, Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, is believed to have posted his justification to social media before the attack. He was a member of the Royal Saudi Air Force staying in the US as part of a program whereby the US military offers training to military pilots from certain geopolitical 'partners'.

Feb 21 07:34

US Reaffirms Commitment to ‘Defend’ Saudi Arabia

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday and reaffirmed the US military’s commitment to the “defense” of Saudi Arabia.

The conversation comes after President Biden announced he was ending US support for Saudi Arabia’s “offensive” operations in Yemen, leaving room to support Riyadh militarily if it can be framed as defensive.

Austin condemned attacks inside Saudi Arabia that are launched by Yemen’s Houthis. “The Secretary condemned the recent Houthi cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia and expressed his commitment to assisting Saudi Arabia in the defense of its borders,” The Pentagon said in a statement on the call.

Feb 21 07:33

Loujain al-Hathloul: The rest of Saudi Arabia must follow her lead

Famous and courageous Saudi activist Loujain al-Hathloul is neither free nor compensated after 1,001 days behind bars, during which she was allegedly subjected to torture by the infamous Saud al-Qahtani, who together with others was a key suspect in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

While Hathloul is finally out of prison, she faces three years of probation and a five-year travel ban, effectively keeping her in limbo. She cannot express opinions or resume her activism. In the words of her sisters, Alia and Lina, during an online media conference on Thursday, Saudi state institutions have disintegrated over the last three years, which made them seek international solidarity after giving up on securing the release of their innocent sister.

Feb 21 07:29

US seeks ‘fallback’ Saudi bases in case of Iranian escalation

US Army Central Command chief says military looking to operate from other bases during ‘a period of heightened risk’; no plan to shut down existing ones

The US military is looking for fallback bases in Saudi Arabia to prevent its troops deployed there from becoming obvious targets in the event of tensions with Iran, a senior US military official said Thursday.

“We are not looking for new bases. I want to be clear on that,” said General Kenneth McKenzie, head of the US Army Central Command (CENTCOM), during a tour of the Middle East.

“What we would like to do, without shutting down these [current] bases …. is to have the ability to go to other bases to operate in a period of heightened risk,” he explained.

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