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Yemen on the Brink of Disaster, Poverty, and Extinction

By Viktor Mikhin – New Eastern Outlook – 03.11.2021

UNICEF Spokesperson James Elder has just returned from Yemen with some tragic news about children living in what the United Nations calls the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

Speaking at a press briefing in Geneva, he said: “The Yemen conflict has just hit another shameful milestone: 10,000 children have been killed or maimed since Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign started in March 2015. That’s the equivalent of four children every day.” Elder told reporters that the estimates provided by the international UN agency were likely an understatement of the actual number of children killed and injured, which is rarely recorded by anyone. “These are of course the cases the UN was able to verify. Many more child deaths and injuries go unrecorded, to all but those children’s families.”

International experts have identified four significant dangers that have brought the country to the brink of humanitarian collapse. First of all, it is a brutal and protracted military conflict, and the blame for unleashing it lies entirely with the US and Saudi Arabia. Secondly, the colossal economic devastation that struck all regions of the country resulted from the military conflict. Also, there is a lack of infrastructure and social services, i.e., health, nutrition, water and sanitation, social protection, and education. Finally, the UN is critically underfunded.

It may be recalled that the war with Yemen began in March 2015, when Saudi Arabia brazenly and cynically launched a bombing campaign to restore the former regime, which obeyed orders from Riyadh, essentially maintaining Yemen’s status as a parallel and subordinate state to the Saudis. This had been the case before the popular revolution in the country, which triggered powerful Saudi airstrikes. The United States sold hundreds of billions of dollars worth of arms to the Kingdom during this war, in addition to intelligence and logistical support for Saudi military aircraft. Evidence shows that the UK is the second-largest supplier of arms to Riyadh, which is being actively used in an undeclared war, mostly against civilians. Other Western countries, including “democratic” France and Canada, have also profited enormously from this war, supplying the Saudis with mountains of offensive weapons.

These are the words and deeds of the so-called democratic West. Calling for democracy and freedom in their words, Western countries in reality supply arms and military equipment at every opportunity, thus fomenting military conflicts in which hundreds of thousands of people die in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Libya. It makes one wonder where are the so-called international organizations which allegedly aim to prevent conflict and prosecute those who incite and encourage these bloody wars?

The United States, the skilled cheaters of double standards in politics and human rights, has once again manifested itself concerning Yemen. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has loudly reiterated that resolving the conflict in Yemen remains an alleged top priority of US foreign policy. These comments were made during a telephone conversation with the newly appointed United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg. And this was said at a time when the Pentagon was sending a new shipment of aerial bombs to Saudi Arabia, which the Saudis are actively using in their war against, as Riyadh says, “the fraternal Yemeni people.”

So far, only human rights groups have accused these countries of complicity in Saudi Arabia’s war crimes in Yemen. One investigation found that the bomb dropped from a Saudi warplane in August 2018, which hit a school bus and killed more than 40 children, came from the United States. But it was just one bomb, while Yemeni officials say most Saudi airstrikes have targeted residential areas, and all Saudi bombs and missiles are purchased abroad from “democratic” countries.

The head of the UN Children’s Agency also presented journalists with these grim figures on the suffering of Yemeni children, from malnutrition to education and sanitation. For example, he said: “Let me share a few more numbers: Four out of every five children need humanitarian assistance; that’s more than 11 million children, and 400,000 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition More than two million children are out of school. Another four million are at risk of dropping out. Two-thirds of teachers, more than 170,000, have not received a regular salary for more than four years. 1.7 million children are currently internally displaced because of violence. As the violence has intensified, especially in the Marib area, more and more families have fled their homes. A staggering 15 million people (more than half of them, about 8.5 million, are children) do not have access to safe water, sanitation or hygiene. With the current level of funding and without an end to the fighting, UNICEF will not be able to help all these children.” And he went on to predict a grim prognosis: “There is no other way to help them without a lot of international support, which will result in a large number of Yemeni children dying.”

But does it matter to the gentlemen in western capitals who make huge profits from the blood of Yemeni children and the supply of arms, which allows them to eat sweet and sleep well? It’s none of their business. As they usually say in the United States, it’s just business, nothing personal.

Despite the efforts of UNICEF and other international organizations, the severity of the humanitarian situation in Yemen cannot be overemphasized. The economy is in a critical state. GDP has fallen 40% since 2015 when neighboring Arab Saudi Arabia decided to punish Yemenis for their “disobedience.” Vast numbers of people lost their jobs, causing family incomes to plummet. About a quarter of people, including many health workers, teachers, engineers, and sanitation workers, rely on civil servants’ salaries that are paid irregularly, if at all. And while the displacement and destruction of schools have resulted in classrooms that can hold up to 200 children, teachers are showing up. Yes, unpaid teachers come in and teach on their enthusiasm to educate the next generation.

In addition to the Saudi-imposed war, with the US behind it, many Yemenis are starving not because there is no food but because there is not enough money to buy it. “But such people have no choice, which means they are forced to sell everything from jewelry to pots just to feed their own children,” writes Egypt’s Al-Ahram. “But their children continue to starve, as families end up selling off all their possessions and cannot buy simple food for themselves or their children.”

Economists believe that UNICEF alone urgently needs more than $235 million to continue its life-saving work in Yemen until mid-2022. Failure to do so will force the agency to reduce or terminate life-saving assistance to vulnerable children. “Funding is critical,” notes Al-Ahram. “We can draw a clear line between donor support and lives saved,” it adds. And perhaps the newspaper’s most emotional comment was the following: “Yemen is the most brutal place in the world to be a child. And, incredibly, it’s getting worse.”

Last month, the United Nations warned that 16 million Yemenis, more than half the population, are facing starvation. Unless the international community steps up support, food aid could soon dry up. Doctors warn that a staggering 99% of Yemenis have not been vaccinated against Covid-19. The country is now battling a third deadly wave of infections in which large numbers of people, especially children and the elderly, will die due to a lack of vaccines. How the West treats the suffering of Yemenis, who are direct co-conspirators in Saudi Arabia’s shameful war, was directly commented on by Yemen’s Al-Sahwa : “We need the promised vaccines, but it is also shameful that by buying up all the vaccines for themselves, rich countries like the UK and Germany are blocking all decisions to get the medicine we need into our country.”

Many countries worldwide are well aware of the plight of the Yemeni people, especially the children and elderly, and deplore the fact that Saudi Arabia still seeks a military solution to the Yemeni crisis, stating that this approach will lead to nothing but death and destruction. They have repeatedly called on Riyadh to abandon a military solution and instead seek political ways to end the devastating war in Yemen. Speaking at a briefing for journalists, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said: “Unfortunately, the Saudi government is still looking for a military solution for Yemen, even though it knows and has understood after a long time that war has no other result than killing innocents and civilians, damaging the peoples of the region and security.” The sooner the Government of Saudi Arabia shows its commitment to political solutions and ends this destructive war, the better for the country and the region, as well as for the peace and security in the entire region.

November 5, 2021 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Biden Approves $650 Million Missile Sale To Saudis After Earlier Vowing To End War In Yemen

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | November 4, 2021

Despite the prior stated intent by the Biden White House to see an immediate end to the war in Yemen, the administration on Thursday announced that it’s approving a new $650 million sale of air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM) and related equipment to Saudi Arabia.

“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of AIM-120C Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $650 million,” a Pentagon statement announced. Specifically it includes up to 280 air-to-air missiles.

What’s been described as the “forgotten war” in Yemen has raged since 2015, with for much of that period the Pentagon providing direct assistance to Saudi-UAE coalition airstrikes against Yemeni Houthi rebels backed by Iran. Prior US involvement in the Saudi-waged war grew increasingly controversial, given the high civilian death toll – amid a total estimated death toll of over 130,000 Yemenis killed.

Further the United Nations within the past two years has designated the conflict “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.” Recall that back in February Biden earned bipartisan praise for the following foreign policy “promises”:

In his first major foreign policy address, President Joe Biden on Feb. 4 declared his commitment to “end the war in Yemen,” which he called a “humanitarian and strategic catastrophe.” The president announced that the US would stop assisting all “offensive operations” in that impoverished country and halt all “relevant arms sales” to the Saudi Arabia/UAE-led coalition that is waging war there.

In describing the rationale for the new massive weapons sale to the kingdom, the Thursday Biden administration statement characterized the ‘defensive’ nature of the systems:

We’ve seen an increase in cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia over the past year. Saudi AIM-120C missiles, deployed from Saudi aircraft, have been instrumental in intercepting these attacks that also US forces at risk and over 70,000 US citizens in the Kingdom at risk.

There have been multiple missile and drone attacks launched out of Yemen over the past year, with the Iran-backed Houthis showing increased sophistication and reach.

Astoundingly, Pentagon also claimed that the Saudi kingdom is a “force for progress” in the Middle East: “This proposed sale will support US foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that continues to be an important force for political and economic progress in the Middle East,” it said.

Notably the weapons transfer will include medium-range missiles for Saudi fighter jets, which will likely directly aid in the continued Saudi bombing of Yemen as it continues to lay siege the country – further contributing to the humanitarian crisis of famine, disease, and lack of basic medicines.

Prior analysis we featured days ago described described that 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.

So it appears the US administration is now seeking to justify its freshly approving the new missile deal by attempting it to link it to conditions that would end the war in Yemen. Though there doesn’t seem to be anything Riyadh has firmly or definitively agreed to just yet.

November 5, 2021 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment

Direct Flight from Saudi Arabia Lands in Zionist Entity Monday Evening: Report

Al-Manar | October 25, 2021

A direct flight from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia will land at Zionist entity’s Ben Gurion Airport on Monday evening, Israeli media reported.

“The flight will be a VIP class Boeing 737-700 aircraft with registration A6-AIN owned by the Emirati Royal Jet airline,” Kan pubcaster said.

The Riyadh-Tel Aviv flight comes after a report that White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan raised the possibility of Saudi Arabia joining the so-called Abraham Accords during a meeting last month in Riyadh with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), according to three US and Arab sources involved in the talks.

The sources said that during the conversation, MBS did not immediately reject the proposal to establish diplomatic ties with the Zionist entity, listing the steps needed to make the move, including improving the relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

October 25, 2021 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Rulings against Palestinian inmates show Saudi desire to normalize relations with Israel: Yemen’s Ansarullah

Press TV – August 9, 2021

Yemen’s Ansarullah resistance movement has condemned Saudi Arabia for handing down harsh verdicts against dozens of Palestinian inmates in the kingdom, some of whom were given jail terms of up to 22 years, over alleged support for the Palestinian Hamas movement, saying the verdicts clearly reflect the Riyadh regime’s desire to normalize relations with Israel.

“We strongly condemn Saudi rulings against Palestinians living in the country. We consider such verdicts a poisonous stab in the back of the Palestinian cause, and a message of friendship and obedience to Israel,” Ansarullah’s political bureau said in a statement.

It added, “Given our knowledge about the Saudi regime’s nature and its eagerness to normalize ties with the Zionist enemy, we call upon Muslim nations to show solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners, and to press for their immediate release.”

“Sana’a is ready to release Saudi prisoners in exchange for the freedom of Palestinians being kept behind bars in the Riyadh regime’s detention,” Ansarullah said.

A Saudi court on Sunday issued various sentences against 69 Palestinians and Jordanians.

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 to Hamas.

Sources in the besieged Gaza Strip have previously said that they believed the crackdown was linked to warming ties between Israel and Riyadh.

An official Hamas source said last year that the majority of the detainees were Hamas members, who had resided in the Persian Gulf country for decades, accusing Saudi Arabia of “targeting everyone who is linked with resistance” against the Israeli occupation.

Several Palestinians have been detained since February 2019 and are facing trial before a Saudi terrorism court.

The Saudi court sentenced Hamas representative in Saudi Arabia Mohammed al-Khudairi to 15 years in prison. His son, Hani, was sentenced to three years, Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency reported.

Khudairi’s brother, Abd al-Majeed, said the sentence includes “clemency for half the term.”

Khudairi, 82, was a veteran Hamas leader responsible for managing the relationship with Saudi Arabia for two decades.

Hamas, meanwhile, condemned the sentences handed out on Sunday, calling them “unjust” and saying those sentenced had done nothing to harm Saudi Arabia.

“We were shocked … by the rulings issued by the Saudi judiciary against a large number of Palestinians and Jordanians residing in the kingdom,” Hamas said in a statement.

“We deplore the harsh and undeserved sentences against most of them. All they did was support their cause and their people, to which they belong, without any offence to the kingdom and its people,” it added.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement also condemned the rulings.

Over the past three years, the Saudi authorities have also deported more than 100 Palestinians from the kingdom, mostly on charges of supporting Hamas financially, politically or through social networking sites.

The Riyadh regime has imposed strict control over Palestinian funds in Saudi Arabia since the end of 2017.

August 9, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 1 Comment

Tunisia’s instability and coup are backed by the UAE, Saudi

By Robert Inlakesh | MEMO | July 30, 2021

With Tunisian President Kais Saied seizing power, in what has been called a coup by the country’s largest political party, it seems that the last stronghold of democracy in Northern Africa, having emerged from the Arab Spring, is falling. Celebrated by some, such a transition could have its consequences especially with the involvement of Gulf dictatorships.

Tunisia is often held up as the one standing success story of the 2011 Arab Spring. Having overthrown former President and dictator Ben Ali, during the Jasmine Revolution, the people of Tunisia have experienced a bumpy ride since, but have maintained a democracy. This could all be changing soon with Gulf despots looking to pick up the pieces of any shattering of the nation’s democratic model.

Fears are now emerging, of a repeat of the affairs which transpired in Egypt, destroying the democratic system set up in the country and installing a military dictator. However we aren’t quite seeing such a dramatic shift and there are key differences between the move to dissolve parliament, fire the prime minister and consolidate power, in Tunisia, and the all out military coup which occurred in Egypt in 2013.

But, as there are differences between Egypt’s coup and Tunisia’s, there are also some alarmingly similar forces at work. In Egypt the target was the democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi, he represented the Muslim Brotherhood and in order to remove him, we now know that the UAE and Saudi Arabia both worked to bankroll his overthrow. In Tunisia, for years the UAE and Saudi Arabia have been working to oust the ruling Ennahda Party, which is connected to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The two Gulf regimes have historically bankrolled the opposition to Ennahda and Abu Dhabi was even accused of attempting to organise a coup in Tunisia. As President Kais Saied took control, the office of Al Jazeera came under attack by his security forces who stormed the Qatari funded outlet’s building and forced its journalists out. This has been interpreted as a clear attack on the channel, due to its political leanings towards the side of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Last year it was also reported that Turkish intelligence had foiled an attempted coup plot inside Tunisia, which was allegedly coordinated by the United Arab Emirates. Around that time, a group of demonstrators calling themselves the ‘Salvation Front’ took to the streets of the capital to condemn the Ennahda Movement and its alignment of the Qatari/Turkish axis, it was later discovered that the facebook group for the movement was run by two individuals based in the UAE.

The UAE may have well backed last year’s alleged coup attempt, after their anti-Muslim Brotherhood ally in Libya, Khalifa Haftar, was starting to suffer loses following the introduction of Turkish military aid to help the GNA forces of Fayez Al-Sarraj. Being involved in combating neighbouring Tunisia’s Ennahda Party, could be in part about securing a pro-Haftar dictator for the UAE. The UAE has a well known track record of anti-Muslim Brotherhood and anti-democracy action, having backed reactionary actors in countries like Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, Sudan and Yemen.

It’s also no secret whose side the UAE, Saudi Arabia and even their allies like Egypt are on, having celebrated the political turmoil in Tunisia as the “final fall” of the Muslim Brotherhood. Riyadh and Abu Dhabi have also been using social media accounts to whip up anger online and drive the country further into chaos.

Prominent Saudi journalist, Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed, wrote a celebratory opinion piece in the kingdom’s Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper saying something quite rich for a supporter of Saudi Arabia’s regime: “It is not surprising that the “Brotherhood” has fallen in Tunisia now, but rather it is years later than was expected… they were associated with chaos, assassinations, and deliberate obstruction operations to thwart government action”.

The economic problems, government mismanagement, corruption and the anger over the mishandling of the current health crisis, are all real issues and Tunisia has risen up many times since 2011 to demand a change. None of these real issues should be undermined, nor should it be stated that there is no Muslim Brotherhood alliance. But when it comes to a domestically created group which engages in a democratic process and the power of foreign brutal dictatorships with some of the worst human rights records on earth, it’s clear which option is more detrimental.

It cannot be understated, the insidious role that the UAE and, to a lesser extent, Saudi Arabia, have been playing to stir up civil unrest in Tunisia. If President Kais Saied crowns himself dictator, aligning himself with Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, this could have serious repercussions for the country. It is not as of now certain that we will see such a takeover, but regardless of what transpires, the UAE and the Saudi will not stop working to destabilise Tunisia in order to remove the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence.

Importantly, if the West, which claims to care so much about democracy, truly cared for it at all, it would quickly drop its alliances with the brutal regimes of Saudi’s Mohammed Bin Salman and the UAE’s Mohammed Bin Zayed. The destructive role of these Gulf actors and their strides towards crushing all Arab democracies, whilst remaining the best of friends with the self proclaimed “worldwide spreader of democracy” [the US] shows exactly which side the American government is truly on.

July 30, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , | 1 Comment

New Normal Newspeak #3: “Progressive”

OffGuardian | July 30, 2021

“New Normal Newspeak” is a series of short articles highlighting how our language has come under assault in the past eighteen months.

***

We have a backlog for these NNNS posts, but I saw this today on Twitter, and it made me laugh so it gets to jump the queue.

A few days ago, Saudi Arabia announced they would be introducing vaccine passes for, essentially, anyone that wanted to do anything.

And then Max Boot, the neo-liberal warmonger who’s paid to squat over his keyboard and squeeze out columns for the Washington Post, called it “progressive”:

There it is in black and white – an absolute monarchy that still practices public beheadings, has no religious freedom, democracy or equal rights, has decided to add to their delightful resume by introducing digital surveillance, enforced experimental vaccination and medical apartheid. Doesn’t that sound so progressive?

The Council of Foreign Relations fellow has since deleted the tweet. And it’s not hard to see why.

Maybe no other word has had its meaning as brutally violated as “progressive” in the last decade. It is used to stifle freedom of speech, to camouflage corruption of “liberal” candidates, as a casus belli for regime change and to bang the drum for new cold wars with both Russia and China.

But applying it to Saudi Arabia is a whole new level of stretched meaning.

It’s also a little preview of how the billionaire-owned MSM will be selling medical apartheid to their hypnotized “liberal” readers in coming weeks.

July 30, 2021 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment

UK’s arms sales to Riyadh three times higher than previously thought

Press TV – July 15, 2021

A new investigation has revealed that Britain has exported around three times as much weaponry and military equipment to Saudi Arabia, which is leading a devastating military aggression against Yemen, than previously believed.

According to a report published by British online newspaper The Independent, the British government’s official figures state that British ministers have signed off 6.7 billion pounds (9.28 US dollars) worth of arms, such as bombs, missiles, and aircraft, to the oil-rich kingdom ever since it started its bombardment campaign of neighboring Yemen back in March 2015.

However, researchers say the actual figure is likely to be close to £20 billion (over $27 billion) because the official numbers do not entail sales carried out under an obscure “open license” system.

The investigation further casts doubts on allegations of the British government about having “one of the most robust and transparent export control regimes in the world.”

The probe emphasized that Britain’s operation of the parallel and less transparent “open license” system gives a more open-ended green light to arms manufacturers to sell specific armaments to a specific country without a monetary limit.

It further noted that the United Kingdom operated an open license for bombs and air-to-surface missiles to Saudi Arabia between 2014 and August 2019.

Moreover, an open license has covered Britain’s sales of equipment and components for use in the twin-engine and multi-role Eurofighter Typhoon jets to Saudi Arabia. The warplanes have been used in Saudi airstrikes across Yemen.

The researchers also examined the accounts of companies known to be selling arms to Saudi Arabia, and discovered that the revenues of British multinational arms producer BAE Systems, for instance, totaled nearly 17 billion pounds (23.5 US dollars).

As a result, they estimate that the real value of exports is close to £20 billion ($27 billion).

“The use of open licenses also offers the government a convenient sleight of hand when it comes under pressure over arms sales to a particular country due to events such as wars, military coups, or well-publicized human rights abuses,” the report warns.

Katie Fallon of Campaign Against Arms Trade, which conducted the research, stated, “The use of Open Licenses covers up the real extent of the UK arms trade and makes it impossible to know what quantities of weapons are being sold around the world.”

“UK-made fighter jets, bombs and missiles have had a devastating impact in the ongoing bombardment of Yemen. The fact that the real total of these sales could be so much higher than previously reported emphasizes the central role that the UK government and UK-based companies have played in the war. There must be full transparency about what arms have gone over and in what quantity,” Fallon added.

“So much of the arms industry takes place in secret, and that’s how the arms dealers like it. As long as the widespread use of Open Licenses continues, the true nature and volume of the UK arms trade will remain hidden from scrutiny, and therefore from meaningful control,” Fallon pointed out.

Saudi Arabia, backed by the US and its regional allies, launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the popular Ansarullah resistance movement.

Yemeni armed forces and allied Popular Committees have, however, gone from strength to strength against the Saudi-led invaders, and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.

The Saudi war has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead, and displaced millions more. The war has also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases across the Arab country.

July 16, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

Ex-Mossad chief becomes head of new Saudi-backed SoftBank office: Report

Press TV – July 10, 2021

Yossi Cohen, the former chief of Israeli spy agency Mossad, is becoming head of the new office of the Saudi-backed conglomerate SoftBank in Israel, a report says.

Citing unnamed sources, the Israeli business newspaper Globes reported on Friday that SoftBank, a Japanese multinational conglomerate holding company led by Masayoshi Son, was appointing Cohen to head its new office in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Back in May 2017, Tokyo-based SoftBank and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF), which is the Arab kingdom’s main sovereign wealth fund, jointly created the Softbank Vision Fund. The joint venture is the world’s largest technology-focused private equity fund with a capital of $93 billion.

Having invested huge sums into companies such as Uber, Alibaba, and TikTok, SoftBank is seen as the world’s leading technology fund.

This is the second investment giant within three months to open a representative office in Israel, after Blackstone.

According to the daily, although Cohen does not have a background in investment, he is a well-known and popular figure in Israel, capable of connecting to Israeli entrepreneurs and opening doors for them in any company, government, or public authority in any territory.

His duties would include managing SoftBank’s activity in the occupied Palestinian territories and looking for investments.

Cohen has served as the head of Mossad since January 2016. He has reportedly served as former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s special envoy for various tasks. Netanyahu reportedly sees him as his preferred successor.

Cohen played an important role in the Israeli regime’s normalization deals with a number of Arab states. He traveled to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

The ex-Mossad chief reportedly joined Netanyahu on a 2020 visit to Saudi Arabia for talks with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

July 10, 2021 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | Leave a comment

Yemeni UAVs are changing course of Saudi war

A Yemeni TV report on the “game-changing effects” of low-cost attack drones on the course of the Saudi military campaign in Yemen

Al Masirah TV | May 2, 2021

Transcript:

Eight drone strikes have targeted King Khalid Air Base in Khamis Mushait since the start of the holy month (of Ramadan). Since the beginning of the US-Saudi aggression on Yemen, drone operations – in addition to other air operations – have been striking the (King Khalid) Air Base as a main target.

The series of intensive attacks against the most important military base in the southern region of the Kingdom (of Saudi Arabia) has shown the inability of modern US defense systems to intercept or destroy these drones. This turn of events has complicated the process of dealing with this type of weapon which is low-cost, but great in effect.

The impact that the (Yemeni) drone operations have had on the workflow of the largest air base in the south of the Kingdom can be clearly seen in the disruption each air operation brings about at most airports in the south of the Kingdom, especially since the operation of defense systems throughout the southern region requires stopping air traffic in order for the defense radars to efficiently monitor the airspace.

Riyadh realizes that the military capabilities that Sana’a possesses have greatly influenced the course of the battle. It also realizes that its military spending on additional weapons did not put an end to its military retreat, especially as US reports acknowledge the difficulty of dealing with this new generation of drones.

The (US-Saudi) aggression coalition’s reliance on its air and military superiority is dwindling in the face of the effectiveness of the Yemeni (military) capabilities, which the (Yemeni) armed forces assert are meant for deterrence and responding to the continuing aggression and siege.

(Please help MEO keep producing independent translations for you by contributing a sustainable monthly amount )

June 9, 2021 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Biden lied about Yemen

By Caitlin Johnstone | April 29, 2021

The Biden administration has finally admitted that the US is indeed providing offensive material support to Saudi Arabia’s genocidal assault on Yemen, directly contradicting Biden’s February claim that it would no longer be providing offensive support in that war. We are being lied to about yet another US war by yet another US president.

“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,” Pentagon spokesperson Jessica McNulty has informed Vox reporter Alex Ward.

“Multiple US defense officials and experts acknowledged that, through a US government process, the Saudi government pays commercial contractors to maintain and service their aircraft, and those contractors keep Saudi warplanes in the air. What the Saudis do with those fighter jets, however, is up to them,” Ward reported, adding, “The US could cancel those contracts at any time, thus effectively grounding the Saudi Air Force, but doing so would risk losing Riyadh as a key regional partner.”

“The recent admission by the Department of Defense that US companies are still authorized to maintain Saudi warplanes … means that our government is still enabling the Saudi operations, including bombings and enforcing a blockade on Yemen’s ports,” Hassan El-Tayyab, the legislative manager for Middle East policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation lobbying group, told Ward.

El-Tayyab is on record speaking out after Biden’s deceitful February announcement, saying this administration needs to make it abundantly clear what it actually means by ending offensive support for the war on Yemen and actually stick to it.

“I’m not a full pessimist here. I welcome the news,” he told Al Jazeera at the time, adding, “But I’m just trying to stay vigilant and not take the foot off the gas on advocacy pressure. Because we don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Well, now we do know. The US is maintaining and servicing the warplanes that are bombing Yemen and enforcing a blockade, which has killed hundreds of thousands and the United Nations warns could kill 400,000 more this year alone if conditions don’t change, proving Joe Biden a liar and vindicating the experts and activists who cautioned against accepting his announcement on blind faith.

Getting to this point where questions are finally answered about the reality of the Biden administration’s Yemen policy has been like pulling teeth, with officials giving questioners the runaround for months on this issue. Watch this clip of US Yemen Envoy Tim Lenderking dodging questions like George Bush dodges shoes as congressman Ted Lieu tries to get a straight answer as to whether the US has stopped supporting the war on Yemen:

Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp writes the following:

“The admission comes over two months since President Biden said he was ending support for Riyadh’s ‘offensive’ operations in Yemen. Vox reporter Alex Ward asked Pentagon spokesman John Kirby on Monday if the planes that the US is servicing could be used for offensive operations in Yemen. Kirby admitted that the ‘maintenance support for systems could be used for both’ offensive and defensive operations. … Besides continuing to maintain the Saudi Air Force, the Biden administration has given Riyadh the political cover to continue enforcing the blockade on Yemen. Biden officials have claimed that Yemen is not under a blockade, even though Saudi warships are preventing fuel shipments from docking in the port of Hudaydah, which makes it impossible to deliver food to Yemen’s starving civilian population.”

The United Nations conservatively estimates that some 233,000 Yemenis have been killed in the [Saudi-led] war … mostly from what it calls “indirect causes.” Those indirect causes would be disease and starvation resulting from what UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calls “the worst famine the world has seen for decades.”

When people hear the word “famine” they usually think of mass hunger caused by droughts or other naturally occurring phenomena, but in reality the starvation deaths we are seeing in Yemen (a huge percentage of which are children under the age of five) are caused by something that is no more natural than the starvation deaths you’d see in a medieval siege. They are the result of the Saudi coalition’s use of blockades and its deliberate targeting of farms, fishing boats, marketplaces, food storage sites, and cholera treatment centers with airstrikes aimed at making those parts [of the country, which are] controlled by Yemen’s Ansarullah movement so weak and miserable that they break.

The United States lies about all its wars with the help of the mass media, but up until this year its lies about Yemen have largely consisted of lies by omission: simply not talking about Yemen (like when MSNBC went an entire year without mentioning it a single time during the height of Russiagate hysteria), reporting on the famine as though it’s the result of a tragic natural disaster, or omitting America’s role in the slaughter. This time, it was just a straightforward lie: Biden said the US was ending offensive support, and it wasn’t.

As we’ve discussed previously, when the people demand something of their government it’s a lot easier to simply tell them you’re on their side and redirect them than to tell them no. Democrats are especially good at this.

As awareness grows that Yemen is the single most horrifying atrocity taking place in our world today, pressure is mounting for the US government to use its tremendous amount of leverage over Saudi Arabia to cease the human butchery. Rather than increasing that pressure by saying no, the Biden administration defused it by falsely pretending to give in to the demands. Because the risk of “losing Riyadh as a key regional partner” was deemed too great.

And meanwhile the slaughter continues, unbroken from Obama to Trump and from Trump to Biden. The names change, the narratives change, but the murderous imperial war machine rolls on uninterrupted.

May 2, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Militarism, War Crimes | , , , | 3 Comments

Ten years on, Syria is almost destroyed. Who’s to blame?

Syria in ruins after ten years of conflict (File photo)
BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | INDIAN PUNCHLINE | MARCH 20, 2021 

In George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm, the ruling pigs led by Napoleon constantly rewrote history in order to justify and reinforce their own continuing power. The rewriting by the western powers of the history of the ongoing conflict in Syria leaps out of Orwell. 

The joint statement issued by the foreign ministers of the US, UK, France, Germany and Italy last week to mark the tenth anniversary of the Syrian conflict begins with an outright falsehood by holding President Bashar al-Assad and “his backers” responsible for the horrific events in that country. It asserts that the five western powers “will not abandon” the Syrian people — till death do us part.

The historical reality is that Syria has been a theatre of the CIA’s activities ever since the inception of that agency in 1947. There is a whole history of CIA-sponsored “regime change” projects in Syria ranging from coup attempts and assassination plots to paramilitary strikes and funding and military training of anti-government forces.

It all began with the bloodless military coup in 1949 against then Syrian president Shukri al-Quwatli which was engineered by the CIA. As per the memoirs of Miles Copeland Jr, the CIA station chief in Damascus at that time — who later actually went on to write a fine book of high literary quality on the subject — the coup aimed at safeguarding Syria from the communist party and other radicals!

However, the CIA-installed colonel in power, Adib Shaishakli, was a bad choice. As Copeland put it, he was a “likeable rogue” alright who had not “to my certain knowledge, ever bowed down to a graven image. He had, however, committed sacrilege, blasphemy, murder, adultery and theft” to earn American support. He lasted for four years before overthrown by the Ba’ath Party and military officers. By 1955, CIA estimated that Syria was ripe for another military coup. By April 1956, a joint CIA-SIS (British Secret Intelligence Service) plot was implemented to mobilise right-wing Syrian military officers. But then, the Suez fiasco interrupted the project.

The CIA revived the project and plotted a second coup in 1957 under the codename Operation Wappen — again, to save Syria from communism — and even spent $3 million to bribe Syrian military officers. Tim Weiner, in his masterly 2008 book Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA, writes:

“The president (Dwight Eisenhower) said he wanted to promote the idea of an Islamic jihad against godless communism. “We should do everything possible to stress the ‘holy war’ aspect,” he said at a 1957 White House meeting… (Secretary of state) Foster Dulles proposed a “secret task force,” under whose auspices the CIA would deliver American guns, money, and intelligence to King Saud of Saudi Arabia, King Hussein of Jordan, President Camille Chamoun of Lebanon, and President Nuri Said of Iraq.”

“These four mongrels were supposed to be our defence against communism and the extremes of Arab nationalism in the Middle East… If arms could not buy loyalty in the Middle East, the almighty dollar was still the CIA’s secret weapon. Cash for political warfare and power plays was always welcome. It could help an American imperium in Arab and Asian lands.”

But, as it happened, some of those “right-wing” officers instead turned in the bribe money and revealed the CIA plot to the Syrian intelligence. Whereupon, 3 CIA officers were kicked out of the American embassy in Damascus, forcing  Washington to withdraw its ambassador in Damascus. With egg on its face, Washington promptly branded Syria as a “Soviet satellite”, deployed a fleet to the Mediterranean and incited Turkey to amass troops on the Syrian border. Dulles even contemplated a military strike under the so-called “Eisenhower Doctrine” as retaliation against Syria’s “provocations”. By the way, Britain’s MI6 was also working with the CIA in the failed coup attempt; the details came to light accidentally in 2003 among the papers of British Defence Minister Duncan Sandys many years after his death.

Now, coming down to current history, suffice to say that according to the WikiLeaks, since 2006, the US had been funding London-based Syrian dissidents, and the CIA unit responsible for covert operations was deployed to Syria to mobilise rebel groups and ascertain potential supply routes. The US is known to have trained at least 10,000 rebel fighters at a cost of $1 billion annually since 2012. President Barack Obama reportedly admitted to a group of senators the operation to insert these CIA-trained rebel fighters into Syria.

The well-known American investigative journalist and political writer Seymour Hersh has written, based on inputs from intelligence officers, that the CIA was already transferring arms from its Benghazi station (Libya) to Syria around that time. Make no mistake, Obama was the first world leader to openly call for the removal of Assad. That was in August 2011. Then CIA chief David Petraeus paid two unannounced visits to Turkey (in March and September 2012) to persuade Erdogan to step in as the flag carrier of the US’ regime change project in Syria (under the rubric of “anti-terror fight”.)

In fact, the US’ key allies in the Persian Gulf — Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE — took the cue from Obama to loosen their purse strings to recruit, finance and equip thousands of jihadi fighters to be deployed to Syria. Equally, from the early stages of the conflict in Syria, major western intelligence agencies provided political, military and logistic support to the Syrian opposition and its associated rebel groups in Syria.

Curiously, the Russian intervention in Syria in September 2015 was in response to an emergent imminent defeat of the Syrian government forces at the hands of the jihadi fighters backed by the US’ regional allies. Saudi Arabia withdrew from the arena only in 2017 after the tide of the war turned, thanks to the Russian intervention.

The joint statement issued last week by the US and its NATO allies belongs to the world of fiction. In reality, there is Syrian blood in the hands of these NATO countries (including Turkey) and the US’ Gulf allies. Look at the colossal destruction that the US has caused: in the World Bank’s estimation, a cumulative total of $226 billion in gross domestic product was lost to Syria due to the war from 2011 to 2016 alone.

The Syrian conflict has been among the most tragic and destructive conflicts of our time. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have died, half a nation has been displaced, and millions have been forced into desperate poverty and hunger. In the UNHRC estimation, after ten years of conflict, half of the Syrian population has been forced to flee home, 70% are living in poverty, 6.7 million Syrians have been internally displaced, over 13 million people need humanitarian assistance and protection, 12.4 million people suffer from lack of food (or 60% of the entire population), 5.9 million people are experiencing a housing emergency and nearly nine in 10 Syrians are living below the poverty threshold.

And, come to think of it, Syria used to have one of the highest levels of social formation in the entire Muslim Middle East. It used to be a middle income country until the US decided to destabilise Syria. Ever since the late 1940s, the US’ successive regime change projects were driven by geopolitical considerations. The agenda is unmistakeable: the US has systematically destroyed the heart, soul and mind of “Arabism” — Iraq, Syria and Egypt — with a view to perpetuate the western [Zionist] domination of the Middle East.

Former President Donald Trump intended to withdraw the US troops from Syria and end the war. He tried twice, but Pentagon commanders sabotaged his plans. What Joe Biden proposes to do is anybody’s guess. Biden doesn’t seem to be in any rush to withdraw the US troops.

The most disturbing aspect is that the US is methodically facilitating a Balkanisation of Syria by helping the Kurdish groups aligned with it to carve out a semiautonomous enclave in the country’s northeast. In fact, the the Arab population in northeastern Syria resents being under the Kurds’ governance, and this may eventually turn into a new source of recruits for Islamic State. Meanwhile, Turkey seized the US-Kurdish axis as alibi to occupy vast territories in northern Syria.

The sad part of the joint statement by the US and its European allies is not only that it is rewriting history and spreading falsehood but conveys a sense of despair that there is no hope for light at the end of the tunnel in the Syrian conflict in a conceivable future. 

The US policy in Syria is opaque. It has oscillated between aiming to prevent a resurgence of IS, confronting Iran, pushing back against Russia, providing humanitarian aid, and even protecting Israel, while the crux of the matter is that successive US administrations have failed to articulate a clear strategy and rationale for the US military presence in Syria.

May 1, 2021 Posted by | Book Review, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Washington Institute Calls Yemeni Forces as New Hezbollah, Warns against Augmenting Military Capabilities of Ansarullah

Al-Manar | April 4, 2021

The augmenting military capabilities of the Yemeni Armed Forces have been increasingly worrying the United States of America and the Zionist entity, according to The Washington Institute for the Near East Policy.

The study, titled “Yemen’s ‘Southern Hezbollah’: Implications of Houthi Missile and Drone Improvements”, called on the US administration to deal with the “Houthis” as a challenge that will go beyond the war in Yemen.

In light of the recent Yemeni attacks on the Saudi home front, the study concentrated on the development of Yemen’s missile and drone industries, calling on U.S. diplomats and military planners to factor this threat complex into their future calculations beyond the current Yemen war.

The study also considered that the Yemeni armed forces can develop missile/drone assembly industry further range increases, adding that the Yemeni forces would be able to reach new targets if they so desire—perhaps ‘Israel’ given their known enmity toward that country, or even Egypt and Jordan as part of a wider effort to exert themselves in the Red Sea (e.g., hindering international shipping, targeting Suez Canal infrastructure).

The study warned against the possible victory of the Yemeni army and popular committees (Ansarullah) in Marib, considering that either a win or a draw would ensconce the Houthis as “a new ‘southern Hezbollah’ on the Red Sea—mirroring the position of Lebanese Hezbollah on the Mediterranean—with a growing arsenal of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and drones capable of threatening the Suez Canal, the Bab al-Mandab Strait, the Gulf states, the Red Sea states, and perhaps even ‘Israel’”.

April 4, 2021 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments