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Saudi Crown Prince defies the US policy against Syria

By Steven Sahiounie | Free West Media | January 22, 2023

In November 2022, Saudi Arabia formally changed its stance on Syria. Saudi Arabia is the political powerhouse of the Middle East, and often shares positions on foreign policy and international issues with the UAE, which has previously re-opened their embassy in Damascus.

“The kingdom is keen to maintain Syria’s security and stability and supports all efforts aimed at finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan told the November Arab League summit in Algeria.

Syria was suspended from the Arab League in 2011 following the outbreak of conflict instigated by the US, and portrayed in western media as a popular uprising of pro-democracy protesters.

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said, “The developments in Syria still require a pioneering Arab effort. It is necessary to show flexibility from all parties so that the economic collapse and political blockage can be dispelled. Syria must engage in its natural Arab environment.”

The next Arab League summit will be held in Saudi Arabia, and there is a possibility of Syria once again taking its seat at the round table.

On January 16, the Syrian Foreign Ministry agreed to resume imports from Saudi Arabia after over a decade of strained relations, and Syria planned to import 10,000 tons of white sugar. This development signals a new beginning between the two countries.

Saudi and the Syrian tribes

The Arab tribes in the north east of Syria have traditionally had strong ties with Saudi Arabia, and have received support from the kingdom. The tribes have opposed the ethnic cleansing and forced displacement of Arab villages which the US-led YPG militia has conducted for years. Even though Saudi Arabia has been viewed as a US ally in the past, this has changed since the US military has supported the Marxist YPG who have oppressed Syrians who are not Kurdish.

The US occupied oil wells in north east Syria may come under attack by Arab tribes who are demanding their homes, farms and businesses back from the US-supported YPG. Some analysts foresee the US troops pulling out of Syria after the Kurds find a political solution with Damascus.

Turkey and Syria repair relationship

Turkey and Syria have begun steps to repair their relationship, which ended after Turkey supported the US-NATO attack on Syria for regime change, and hosted CIA operations  funneling weapons and terrorists into Syria, under the Obama administration.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad recently demanded the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Syria to begin to repair the relationship.

Russia is brokering the reconciliation between Erdogan and Assad, which began with the Moscow hosted meeting of the three defense ministers, and a meeting between the three foreign ministers is upcoming.

The developments between Turkey and Syria are being watched by Iran. Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said his country was “happy with the dialogue taking place between Syria and Turkey.” Amirabdollahian will travel to Damascus on Saturday for talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Mekdad.

Iran is looking to establish a new role in the recovery process in Syria. President Ebrahim Raisi will visit both Turkey and Syria soon, his first visit to Turkey since taking office two years ago. While analysts see Saudi Arabia and Iran as antagonists, some feel the kingdom will ultimately realize they have to work with Iran in Syria and Lebanon. Iran is part of the region and can’t be excluded from the geo-political sphere.

Saudi Arabian reforms

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) said on April 27, 2021 that the country was undergoing a sweeping reform which would restructure the role of religion in Saudi politics and society. The process began a few years before he became crown prince, but under his leadership it has accelerated. Islamic institutions in the Kingdom have seen changes in procedure, personnel, and jurisdiction. All of these reforms are in line with the future vision of the country.

Some analysts feel the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1960s eventually gave rise to support for domestic religious institutions, and eventually led to funding of religious activities abroad, while religious leaders at home wielded power over public policy.

Vision 2030

Saudi King Salman, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and his son, MBS have a plan for the country which is known as Vision 2030. MBS is also Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs.

The days of unlimited oil and markets are in the decline. Education, training, and employment opportunities are the stepping stones to building a thriving country and MBS is determined to plan for a long future of growth and innovation.

MBS

The Crown Prince is young and has new ideas. He is instituting sweeping reforms to the society which have included more rights and freedoms for women. He has championed projects to place Saudi Arabia as a tourist destination, year round golf and soccer venue, and encouraged cultural arts such as musical productions. MBS is breaking the mold: no longer will Saudi Arabia be a breeding ground for Radical Islam.

Extremist preachers

Saudi Arabia had hosted many extremist preachers. Some were featured on satellite TV channels located in Saudi Arabia, and others were local preachers, authors, or scholars. Some had traveled abroad preaching in pulpits and exporting their hatred and sectarian bigotry.

One of the most famous preachers was Muhammed Al-Arifi, who has had an electronic surveillance device attached to him by Saudi intelligence agents, after they seized all of his social media accounts. His last tweet is said to be on May 6, 2019, when he had 20 million followers, and 24 million likes on Facebook, which ranked him as tenth in the Arab world and in the Middle East. The kingdom is shutting down clerics who are extreme.

In 2014, Great Britain banned Arifi from entering the UK following reports that was involved in radicalizing three young British citizens who went to Syria as terrorists.

A YouTube video in 2013 showed Arifi preaching in Egypt and prophesying the coming of the Islamic State. Egyptian TV reported Arifi meeting with the former Muslim Brotherhood prime minister Hisham Qandil in his office.

Arifi is best remembered for his statement on the media Al Jazeera in which he called for jihad in Syria and supported Al Qaeda.

Adnan al-Arour is another extremist preacher who had appeared regularly on two Saudi-owned Salafist satellite channels. Arour was originally from Syria before settling in Saudi Arabia, and in the early days of the Syrian conflict he would stand up on camera, shake his finger, and call for his followers to ‘grind the flesh’ of an Islamic minority sect in Syria and ‘feed it to the dogs’.

These extremist preachers made it clear that the battles being waged in Syria had nothing to do with freedom or democracy, which the western media was pushing as the goal. The truth was the conflict in Syria was a US-NATO attack for regime change and utilized terrorists following Radical Islam, who fought a sectarian war with the goal of establishing an Islamic State in Syria.

The previous Crown Prince

Muhammad bin Nayef Al Saud (MBN) served as the crown prince and first deputy prime minister of Saudi Arabia from 2015 to 2017. On June 21, 2017 King Salman appointed his own son, MBS, as crown prince and relieved MBN of all positions.

MBN met with British Prime Minister David Cameron in January 2013. He then met with President Obama in Washington, on 14 January 2013. The discussion focused on the US-NATO attack on Syria and its support from Saudi Arabia.

In February 2014, MBN replaced Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then intelligence chief of Saudi Arabia, and was placed in charge of Saudi intelligence in Syria. Bandar had been in charge of supporting the US attack on Syria. Bandar had been trying to convince the US in 2012 that the Syrian government was using chemical weapons. However, research has shown that the terrorists used chemical weapons to push Obama into a military invasion, based on his speech of ‘The Red Line’.

In March 2016, MBN was awarded Légion d’honneur by French President François Hollande, another partner in the US-NATO attack on Syria.

On February 10, 2017, the CIA granted its highest Medal to MBN and was handed to him by CIA director Mike Pompeo during a reception ceremony in Riyadh. MBN and Pompeo discussed Syria with Turkish officials, and said Saudi Arabia’s relationship with the US was “historic and strategic”. Just months later in June MBS would depose MBN and strip him of powers, in a move considered to be “upending decades of royal custom and profoundly reordering the kingdom’s inner power structure”.

US diplomats argued that MBN was “the most pro-American minister in the Saudi Cabinet”. That is what brought MBN down. The days of blindly following the US directives are over in Saudi Arabia. MBS has refused to bow down to Biden when he demanded an increase in oil production. The Vision 2030 that MBS developed does not include financing failed wars in the Middle East for the benefit of the Oval Office. MBS has a strained relationship with Biden, and he wears it as a badge of honor.

Saudi role in the Syrian war

Saudi Arabia played a huge role in the large-scale supply of weapons and ammunition to various terrorist groups in Syria during the Syrian conflict. Weapons purchased in Croatia were funneled through Jordan to the border town of Deraa, the epi-center of the Syrian conflict.

At the height of Saudi involvement in Syria, the kingdom had their own militia in Syria under the command of Zahran Alloush. The Jaysh al-Islam are remembered for parading women in cages through the Damascus countryside prior to massacring them.

In summer 2017, US President Donald Trump shut down the CIA operation ‘Timber Sycamore’ which had been arming the terrorists fighting in Syria. About the same time, Saudi Arabia cut off support to the Syrian opposition, which was the political arm of the terrorists.

Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6, expressed his view at the time that “Saudi Arabia is involved in the ISIS-led Sunni rebellion” in Syria.

Syria has been destroyed by the US and their allies who supported the attack beginning in 2011. Now, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are looking to find a solution which will help the Syrian people to rebuild their lives. Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia have turned away from past policies which found them supporting the conflict in Syria at the behest of the US. There is a new Middle East emerging which makes its own policies and is not subservient US interests.

January 22, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Yemen’s medics: Saudi-led coalition using biological weapons in war

By Yousef Mawry – Press TV – January 12, 2023

Sanaa – Doctors and medical experts in Yemen believe that Saudi Arabia and its coalition forces are using biological weapons which are believed to be the reason for the increased cancer and birth defect cases in Yemen. Yousef Mawry has the special story.

Sana is dying. She was born just a few days ago, but because of a rare birth malformation, doctors believe she only has a few days to live.

Sana is one of the thousands of Yemeni babies facing similar fate. Here at the Sabeen Hospital in the Yemeni capital Sana’a doctors say they have been receiving birth defect cases at an alarming rate since 2015. That’s when the Saudi-led coalition launched its war on Yemen. Doctors here are convinced that biological weapons were employed by the Saudis.

Cancer cases are also on the rise. The spokesperson for Yemen’s Ministry of Health says the data and statistics recorded since the war started indicate that biological weapons used by the Saudi-led coalition are the main cause of the steady increase in cancer and birth defects.

We visited the registration office at Yemen’s only oncology center. It was packed with people pushing their way to register for cancer treatment.

According to Yemen’s Ministry of Health, the number of cancer patients increased by more than 50% since the war was launched in 2015.

The Yemeni Ministry of Health says it will form a committee to officially investigate the main cause for the increase in birth defects and cancer cases in the areas that have been hit the most by Saudi airstrikes. Even if it’s evident that prohibited weapons were utilized by Saudi Arabia and its coalition forces, it is unlikely they will face prosecution since most of the weapons used in the war are supplied by the American and British governments.

Doctors and medical experts say the increase in cancer and birth defect cases is rooted in the eight-year Saudi-led war that has polluted Yemen’s air, water and food. They blame the Saudi-led coalition’s use of prohibited weapons such as biological weapons, cluster bombs and toxic gases.

January 12, 2023 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

US meddled in Saudi-Yemen peace process

The Cradle | January 6, 2023

Lebanese daily newspaper Al-Akhbar reported on 6 January that Saudi Arabia has expressed its readiness to end the status quo in Yemen and withdraw under the conditions set by Ansarallah.

The kingdom agreed to lift the blockade, and pay compensations for the war after retreating under a pledge not to interfere in the country’s political process.

For that, Riyadh demanded the government in Sanaa present a set of “guarantees” that it will not threaten Saudi Arabia and its security, nor allow hostilities to originate from Yemeni soil.

According to Al-Akhbar, these demands were reiterated by Iran and the Sultanate of Oman, who assured the kingdom of Ansarallah’s willingness to meet Riyadh’s demands.

Despite that, no progress has been made to end the current state, which has left Yemen torn between peace and war. This lack of progress has prompted Ansarallah’s leadership to publicly reject that this limbo becomes a permanent reality.

In an interview with Al-Masirah TV on 1 January, Ansarallah’s spokesman and peace envoy, Mohammed Abdel Salam, demanded a permanent ceasefire between Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

“We are working to reach a point of clarity in Yemen, in which we move into either a truce or permanent ceasefire, and we have presented our point of view to the Omani mediator,” said Abdel Salam.

He added that this would require opening all ports, airports, and roads, and paying salaries with the revenue generated from Yemen’s oil and gas exports.

A source close to Ansarallah in Sanaa revealed to The Cradle that Saudi Arabia agreed to this demand in October 2022, and was ready – along with Qatar – to finance the salaries of all government employees in northern Yemen.

However, the US sabotaged this agreement and blocked the solution by pressuring Riyadh to cease its efforts.

The leader of Ansarallah, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, has ordered the military to prepare for a scenario in which all prospects for peace diminish, as the status quo is no longer acceptable.

On the other hand, the UN coordinator for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, and US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Arabian Gulf Affairs, Tim Lenderking, met in Riyadh on 5 January, to discuss the developments with the head of the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council, Rashad al-Alimi.

According to local media, the meeting tackled the UN’s efforts to coordinate with the international community to keep the peace process on track and explore ways to end Yemeni suffering.

However, progress has yet to materialize, and no plan has been set to find ways to establish communication with the Sanaa government, as a key to peace.

January 6, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

More than 3,000 Yemeni civilians killed, injured by Saudi-led coalition’s airstrikes in 2022

Press TV – January 2, 2023

More than 3,000 civilians, including women and children, were killed or injured in the airstrikes launched by the Saudi-led coalition against Yemen in the year 2022, according to a Yemeni rights group.

The Humanity Eye Center for Rights and Development issued a report on Monday, showing that the total number of casualties was 3,083 during last year’s war on Yemen, which included the death of 643 citizens and the wounding of 2,440 others.

The report said 102 children lost their lives and 353 others sustained injuries, in addition to 27 women killed and 97 others wounded.

The Yemeni rights group confirmed that 514 men were killed and 1,990 others injured.

As for the damage to Yemen’s infrastructure in 2022, the report said the Saudi-led coalition warplanes destroyed 14,367 homes, 134 mosques, 5 tourist facilities, 12 hospitals, 64 educational centers, 1987 agricultural fields and seven media facilities.

The aggression also destroyed 22 power stations, 974 roads and bridges, 46 communication towers and stations, 334 tanks and water stations, and 57 government facilities.

The Humanity Eye Center for Rights and Development also reported that the coalition destroyed many business firms, which amount to 229 business facilities. In addition, the warplanes targeted 1,022 means of transportation, 29 chicken farms, 37 medicine storehouses, 95 food trucks, 21 fuel stations and 13 fuel tankers.

Saudi Arabia, in collaboration with its Arab allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and other Western states, launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015.

The objective was to crush the Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen, and reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

While the Saudi-led coalition has failed to achieve any of its objectives, the war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

January 3, 2023 Posted by | War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

Eighteen civilians injured in Saudi shelling on Sanaa

The Cradle | January 2, 2023

Eighteen civilians were injured in Yemen on the evening of 1 January after Saudi-led coalition border troops launched several rounds of artillery fire into residential areas in the northwestern province of Saada, Yemeni media reported.

According to local sources, 10 people were wounded by coalition artillery fire in the province’s Monabbih district, while eight others sustained injuries in another attack on the district of Shadaa. There were reportedly two African migrants among the injured.

This latest bout of violence follows a significant escalation in tension last week between the Ansarallah resistance movement and UAE-backed coalition troops, which left around 32 people from both sides killed and injured on 29 December.

As Yemen enters its fourth month since the expiration of the UN-brokered humanitarian ceasefire agreement, the Saudi-led coalition has taken no steps to lift the severe economic blockade on the country, continues to loot its natural wealth, and has persistently withheld the salaries of Sanaa-affiliated government employees in blatant violation of the truce terms.

With the persistence of these violations, it seems less likely with each day that a ceasefire extension will be reached.

Just in the last two days, the Saudi-led coalition seized another four UN-inspected humanitarian fuel vessels and barred them from entering the country’s main port of Hodeidah, which has been under Saudi blockade since 2015.

Attempts at UN-sponsored negotiations and regional mediation efforts have – for the most part – failed, and Yemeni officials have repeatedly warned that no truce extension is possible until all demands have been met.

As the prospect of a renewed ceasefire fades, Ansarallah has also persisted with its warnings to the coalition that it is willing to take matters into its own hands.

On 29 December, senior Ansarallah official Ali al-Qahhoum said in a statement that Saudi Arabia and its regional allies in the coalition face “unprecedented retaliatory strikes” should they maintain their war and blockade against Yemen.

January 2, 2023 Posted by | War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Ansarallah seeks ‘permanent ceasefire’ in Yemen

The Cradle | January 1, 2023

Yemen’s Ansarallah movement seeks a “permanent ceasefire,” according to a spokesperson of the resistance group.

Mohammed Abdel Salam, a spokesperson of the Ansarallah movement, said on 1 January that a permanent ceasefire would require the opening of all ports, airports, and roads, and that all government wages are paid from oil and gas revenues.

“We are working to reach a point of clarity in Yemen, in which we move into either a truce or permanent ceasefire, and we have presented our point of view to the Omani mediator,” he said to Almasirah TV station.

“Any solution to Yemen’s crisis must be based on the disbursement of [government] employees’ salaries from oil and gas revenues according to the 2014 budget,” he added.

Meanwhile, an official delegation from the Sultanate of Oman landed in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on 21 December as part of Muscat’s mediation efforts to reach a political solution to the Saudi-led war that has been raging for nearly eight years.

No further details were provided about the meeting, nearly three months after a UN-brokered ceasefire between Sanaa and Riyadh ended.

Since then, Oman has been mediating talks between Saudi and Yemeni officials seeking to end a war that has killed nearly 400,000 Yemenis and pushed the rest of the population into famine.

Since 2015, Yemen has suffered a brutal Saudi-led war and economic blockade that has killed and displaced millions, and destroyed the country’s infrastructure. On top of this, western NGOs have been accused of mishandling billions of dollars in humanitarian aid for Yemenis.

Yemeni officials have also cautioned that US and French troops deployed in provinces controlled by the Saudi-led coalition have arrived to coordinate the looting of Yemen’s natural resources, similar to Washington’s oil trafficking operations in Syria.

The White House’s latest pro-war scheme comes at a time when the Pentagon is expected to receive its highest annual budget ever, as defense spending in the US is on track to reach $1 trillion annually before the decade is out.

January 1, 2023 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , | Leave a comment

Yemen: Despite truce, Saudi-led coalition killed, injured 900 civilians since April

MEMO | December 29, 2022

More than 900 civilians have been killed and injured by the Saudi-led coalition’s missile strikes in Yemen’s border district of Shada, west of Saada governorate, since the signing of the UN armistice agreement in early April, Abdullah Musraa, the director of the hospital in Razih Al-Rifi said.

Musraa added that since the beginning of the truce Razih Hospital has received 111 dead civilians and 796 wounded, including African immigrants, Al-Mayadeen reported, citing the Houthi-controlled official news agency SABA.

He noted that nothing has changed in the behaviour of the Saudi regime since the signing of the UN humanitarian and military truce.

Musraa stressed that the border areas in Saada governorate are witnessing a continuous escalation by the Saudi-led coalition with the bombing of homes, farms and public and private property, according to Al-Mayadeen.

He added that many cases were transferred to other hospitals across the governorate and the capital, Sanaa, as Razih Hospital could not keep up with the demand or provide the necessary services for critical cases.

truce was agreed on 2 April between the Saudi-led alliance and the Houthis. It was extended twice for two months, however, the second extension ended on 2 October.

Since then, fighting has resumed. The UN has failed to reach an agreement to reinstate the ceasefire.

December 29, 2022 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

US Patriot Missiles in Ukraine: A Desperate & Dangerous Escalation

By Brian Berletic – New Eastern Outlook – 28.12.2022 

US appears to be in the process of transferring its Patriot air defense missile system to Ukraine. CNN in its article, “Exclusive: US finalizing plans to send Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine,” claims the US will approve and then quickly ship the system or systems into Ukraine in just days after the decision is made.

Paradoxically, CNN admits that training the large numbers of Ukrainians necessary to operate the system will take months. This has left analysts speculating that in fact NATO personnel already familiar with the system will operate it merely posing as “Ukrainians.”

This represents a significant escalation. While Western forces are believed to be covertly operating across Ukraine against Russian forces in a variety of roles, Western personnel operating an ever-growing number of sophisticated weapons may lead to mission creep in terms of other sophisticated Western weapons including Western aircraft and tanks entering the conflict with Western operators behind the controls.

The decision to send Patriot missiles follows a now steady tempo of Russian missile and drone strikes across Ukraine targeting military and dual-use infrastructure including the power grid. The Western media admits Ukraine’s own Soviet-era air defense systems are dwindling in number and running low on interceptor missiles.

The Financial Times in its article, “Military briefing: escalating air war depletes Ukraine’s weapons stockpile,” admits:

… ammunition and spares for the S300 and Buk systems, the mainstay of Ukraine’s air defences, are dwindling. Ukrainian officials have confirmed a claim by British military intelligence that Russia has been firing X-55 nuclear missiles — with the nuclear warhead replaced by an inert one — simply to exhaust Ukrainian air defences.

The article notes that buying additional ammunition and spare parts for the systems is not practical. It also notes efforts by the West to provide Ukraine their own air defense systems, however such systems suffer from similar problems in terms of limited quantities and limited access to ammunition.

Financial Times cites the German “Gepard” mobile anti-aircraft gun as being “highly effective.” No evidence was provided to substantiate that claim and ironically, shortly after the article was published, shortages of ammunition for Gepard systems were reported as was Switzerland’s unwillingness to supply additional ammunition to Ukraine.

Germany’s Rheinmetall company has announced it would expand ammunition production to compensate for Switzerland’s decision according to Anadolu Agency, but production would not begin until June at the earliest and Ukraine would not begin receiving ammunition until at least July and only if the German government places an order for the 35mm rounds the Gepard fires.

IRIS-T and NASAMS, two Western short to medium range air defense missile systems have been provided to Ukraine, albeit in small numbers that will increase incrementally over the course of several years. This represents a rate far too slow to replace Ukraine’s dwindling Soviet-era air defense systems.

Considering this reality, the decision by the US to transfer Patriot missile systems to Ukraine may not be because Washington believes they can make a difference, but simply because the US and its allies have nothing else more appropriate or numerous to send in its place.

But even the Patriot air defense system is plagued with problems ranging from its own critical shortage of ammunition to its inability to provide defense against drones and cruise missiles, the very systems they will be tasked with protecting Ukrainian skies against.

Patriot Missiles: Too Few, Too Feeble 

Far from “Russian propaganda,” the Patriot’s shortcomings have been reported by the Western media for years. Al Jazeera in an early 2022 article, “Saudi Arabia may run out of interceptor missiles in ‘months’,” would admit to Saudi stockpiles of Patriot interceptor missiles running low and the inability of the US to manufacture enough to replace them.

The Wall Street Journal would report in March 2022 that additional missiles were eventually acquired, but not because the US was able to manufacture more, and instead because the US convinced Saudi Arabia’s neighbors to transfer missiles from their own stockpiles to Saudi air defense forces.

Faced with a growing shortage of missiles, Lockheed Martin pledged in 2018 to double annual missile production from 250 to 500, according to Defense News. By 2021, Camden News would report that Lockheed was on course to reaching its 500 missiles per year goal by 2024 after building a new 85,000 square foot expansion to existing production facilities.

However, even at 500 missiles a year, and if every single missile was subsequently sent directly to Ukraine, it would not be nearly enough to match the number of cruise missiles, drones, and other long-range precision weapons Russia is using as part of its ongoing special military operation.

The New York Times in an article titled, “Russia Is Using Old Ukrainian Missiles Against Ukraine, General Says,” cites Ukrainian sources who claim Russia is likely building at least 40 cruise missiles a month. Over the course of a year that works out to 480 cruise missiles. Considering the Patriot missile system falls far short of 100% effectiveness, the idea that 500 Patriot missiles could protect Ukraine against 480 Russian cruise missiles is unrealistic.

Annual missile production for Russia is likely higher, however. From October onward alone, the BBC reports that Russia has fired over 1,000 missiles and drones at targets across Ukraine. This is twice the number of missiles Lockheed plans on producing annually.

This reality is so obvious that Western analysts have commented publicly about their doubts regarding any impact Patriot missiles will have. Breaking Defense in its article, “Patriot missile system not a panacea for Ukraine, experts warn,” would cite a missile defense expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Tom Karako, who called the transfer of Patriot missiles to Ukraine “a political gesture of support.”

The article would also note, citing Karako, that:

“We need to be careful about these scarce, precious assets,” Karako said. “While we’re only sending one battery, once it’s there, it’s probably not going to come back. And if they start expending munitions, they’re going to ask for more, right? And we don’t have just tons and tons of PAC-2s and PAC-3s [missiles] lying around that we can afford.

Karako would also point out that Patriots are needed for “deterring a Taiwan conflict,” highlighting the fact that the steady depletion of Western weapon stockpiles in its proxy war with Russia is not happening in a geopolitical vacuum and impacts the West’s ability to menace other nations in other regions of the planet – especially in East Asia.

The same article also pointed out how expensive Patriot missiles are versus the relatively cheap drones they would be attempting to intercept. But that’s even if the Patriot missile system can intercept them.

NBC News in a 2019 article titled, “Why U.S. Patriot missiles failed to stop drones and cruise missiles attacking Saudi oil sites,” would note how US-provided Patriot missile systems failed against cruise missiles and “triangular” drones used by Yemen against Saudi oil production facilities.

Despite Patriot missile batteries guarding the facilities, Saudi forces resorted to small arms fire in a failed attempt to down the drones. One attack temporarily disrupted half of Saudi Arabia’s daily oil output.

The article claims:

Drones and missiles can be detected by radar, but they tend to have small radar signatures and can fly close to the ground, sharply reducing the detection range and thus opportunities to fire on them from far away. They also are easy to maneuver, allowing them to hit the coverage gaps between radars and Patriot batteries. And drones and cruise missiles are often cheaper than a $2 million or $3 million Patriot missile, meaning the supply of Patriots can be depleted much faster than the bevy of drones launching attacks.

NBC News is describing precisely the threats Patriot missile systems transferred to Ukraine will face, but on a much larger and more sophisticated scale.

The article discusses extensive measures the US is taking to counter threats the Patriot is not well-suited to defend against – measures that only began being fielded as of 2021 – but not measures the US is prepared or even able to send to Ukraine in large numbers.

The US and its NATO allies have long neglected ground-based air defense systems in favor of achieving and maintaining air superiority over any potential battlefield through the use of warplanes. Several decades of fighting “small wars” against adversaries lacking anything resembling an air force has only compounded the problem.

Just as it will take years and large amounts of money to solve the current weapons and ammunition shortage the West faces as it continues to arm Ukraine, creating air defense systems in both the quantities and quality Ukraine’s requirements demand will take more time than Ukraine has, and more resources than the West may care to spend.

While it is common knowledge that wars are won through superior logistics, military technology, and strategy, one would be hard-pressed to recall when any war was won by “a political gesture of support.”

December 28, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment

Biden pledged to end the war in Yemen, but is doing the opposite

By Robert Inlakesh | RT | December 27, 2022

Two weeks into his term, US President Joe Biden claimed that he would seek a negotiated peace in Yemen, thus shunning Saudi Arabia. Now he is performing a 180-degree pivot. With such arbitrary foreign policy positions the US is causing instability and weakening its own hand.

On December 13, US Senator Bernie Sanders decided to withdraw a War Powers Resolution on ending US support for Saudi offensive efforts in the war in Yemen. Sanders was supposed to put the resolution to a vote, believing it would have passed. However, owing to pressure mounted against him from the White House, he decided to retreat. Instead, the progressive American senator claimed that he was informed that the Biden administration would “continue working” with his office on ending the conflict.

As revealed by The Intercept, which obtained the key talking points distributed by the White House against the resolution, the Biden administration communicated its position that such a resolution would be counterproductive and further exacerbate the crisis in Yemen. However, the ‘Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft’ says that Sanders’ decision to withdraw the resolution “may embolden the many members of Washington’s foreign policy elite who would like to ensure that the president’s capability to unilaterally wage war remains unchallenged by Congress’s constitutional prerogative over matters of war and peace.”

The biggest problem here for the US government is that the War Powers Resolution essentially aims to force Biden to implement most of the policies that he himself outlined in February of 2021. Despite Biden having announced that the US was halting all “relevant arms sales” to the Saudi-led coalition – which has been at war with Yemen’s Ansarallah, known commonly as the Houthis, since 2015 – this policy position has never been put into practice.

During his 2020 campaign, Biden claimed that he would make longtime American ally Saudi Arabia a global “pariah.” Yet, when it began to sink in that the powerful oil-producing state was a necessary partner in the Middle East, a realization that came months into the West’s sanctions campaign aimed at Russia, the Biden administration quickly decided to change its stance. In July, the president decided to go on a foreign visit to Saudi Arabia, while in the days prior he entered into discussions about beginning to supply the Saudis with offensive weapons again; the framing of this was a little disingenuous because the weapons sales freeze of February 2021 had effectively been ended by April of the same year anyway. Both of these moves came as a clear attempt to get Saudi Arabia to raise oil-production levels, a goal that failed as the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, refused to pander to the US president.

Since then, the US government approved a potential multibillion-dollar deal with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and in August the Biden administration granted the Saudi Crown Prince immunity from a civil lawsuit over his role in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Biden was reportedly humiliated earlier this year after allegedly bringing up the Khashoggi killing to the Crown Prince, who fired back by citing the Israeli killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, asking why Jamal Khashoggi mattered more. Notably, the US head of state failed a number of times to even pronounce Shireen Abu Akleh’s name correctly when delivering a speech beside Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas just days earlier and did not bring the killing up to Israeli representatives.

The White House insinuated, in its opposition to Senator Bernie Sanders’ resolution on Yemen, that it had a hand in the six-month long ceasefire between the two primary opposing sides in the war. The reality was that it was the United Nations that brokered the ceasefire, which ended on October 2. In the eyes of Ansarallah, the US government is the primary obstacle to peace in Yemen; Abd al-Wahhab al-Mahbashi, a senior member of Ansarallah, recently warned that “the presence of US troops in the Bab al-Mandab and off the coast of Yemen poses a serious threat to maritime navigation.” In fact, Ansarallah views the conflict as a war on behalf of the US, with Saudi Arabia acting as its proxy, a view held by millions in the region.

The day following Sanders’ withdrawal of his War Powers Resolution, two fuel shipments, carrying tons of diesel, were seized by the Saudi-led coalition and prevented from reaching Yemen. The blockade of Yemen is one of the major factors contributing to the resurgence of tensions – Ansarallah accuses Riyadh and Abu Dhabi of stealing the nation’s oil resources and depriving native Yemenis. In addition to this, when the US is clearly attempting to cozy up to Saudi Arabia, this signals to the leadership of Ansarallah that the Biden administration is favoring Riyadh in the conflict.

The Biden administration has so far proven ineffective at bringing the Saudis under its wing in the way it had hoped, indicating that its foreign policy tactics have proven ineffective at best. The reason for this failure likely comes down to the way the current government has dealt not only with Saudi Arabia, but with all the states of the Arabian Peninsula in addition to Iran. The US has shown that it cannot be trusted to keep its word, as was proven by its Iran nuclear deal blunder. More importantly, Saudi Arabia understands that, when it comes to security, Washington is not the most important player anymore. Instead of following the Biden administration into a dangerous anti-Iran coalition, the Saudis would be a lot smarter to engage diplomatically with Tehran, a step that would be especially helpful when it comes to regional security.

For Washington, meanwhile, an escalation in Yemen at this point would prove advantageous, for it could end up pushing Saudi Arabia closer to it, as the latter needs US help to maintain its war effort, although there is a chance that large-scale ballistic and cruise missile strikes against Saudi Arabia’s vital infrastructure could cause the Kingdom to go straight to the negotiating table. Regardless of how things go, it is clear that US influence in the Arabian Peninsula is rapidly declining and part of its legacy will be this brutal war that has cost upwards of 400,000 lives and that the Biden administration has refused to end.

Robert Inlakesh is a political analyst, journalist and documentary filmmaker currently based in London, UK. He has reported from and lived in the Palestinian territories and currently works with Quds News.

December 27, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | 4 Comments

Saudi Coalition forced to release detained Yemeni fuel ships

By Yusef Mawry – Press TV – December 25, 2022

Sana’a – Fuel prices have slightly dropped in Yemen after the release of two Yemeni fuel ships that were detained by the Saudi-led coalition earlier this week in the Red Sea.

The Yemeni army issued a stern warning to Saudi Arabia and the UAE that if the ships were not released soon, military action would follow.

Yemeni bus and motorbike drivers in the capital Sana’a who make a living from public transportation welcomed the lowering of fuel prices. They say this is going to help them cope with the fuel price hike caused by the blockade.

Yemeni political experts say the release of the fuel ships by the Saudi-led coalition isn’t enough, as Yemen will continue to struggle until Saudi Arabia and its allies completely lift the blockade and end their illegal involvement in Yemen.

Despite falling oil prices, tensions are rising on all active battlefronts in Yemen for what could soon be a resumption of war if a political solution is not reached soon, as Saudi Arabia and the UAE continue their militarization of strategic Yemeni Islands in the Red and Arabian sea.

The release of fuel ships detained by the Saudi-led coalition marks a big victory for the Yemeni government based in Sana’a and the people living in the areas controlled by Ansarullah. This also indicates that Saudi Arabia and the UAE simply cannot afford to have their oil industries targeted by Yemeni missiles and that’s why they decided to go with a safer option by releasing the fuel vessels.

December 25, 2022 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , | Leave a comment

US playing ‘dangerous game’ in Yemen, insists on aggression: Ansarullah

Press TV – December 14, 2022

Yemen’s popular resistance Ansarullah movement has warned against the United States’ military presence in the country, saying Washington is playing a “dangerous game” as it insists on pursuing a policy of aggression while impeding the national peace process.

Ali al-Qahoum, a member of Ansarullah’s Political Bureau, made the remarks during an exclusive interview with Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television network on Tuesday night.

“The presence of US troops in the Bab al-Mandab and off the coast of Yemen poses a serious threat to maritime navigation,” he said, adding that it further proves Washington’s aggressive policy against the impoverished country.

He went on to say that Saudi Arabia’s war and blockade against Yemen over the past eight years has been fully coordinated by the US, noting that “Riyadh is nothing but a tool in the hands of Washington to execute its policy of aggression with the participation of Israel, the UK and France.”

The Ansarullah official further noted that “the US and UK’s tendencies to keep the conflict ongoing and impose more embargo on Yemen, demand the utmost national responsibility of enhancing steadfastness.”

“If the Americans insist on aggression and blockade, the response will be in a way that achieves the required effect and sufficient pressure on the aggressor, whoever it may be,” he added.

Al-Qahoum further stated that our message to the Saudi-led coalition is that “elusiveness, gaining time, changing tools, and all the aspects of aggression and conspiracies are unacceptable.”

“We tell the aggressor countries not to rely on time and not to count on the deceptiveness of the United Nations and the US envoys as the overall equation is changing and the reality is different,” he added.

He further pointed out that “the only guarantor for the return of the ceasefire is that the demands of the Yemeni people and their rights be respected, which will open the prospects for peace, and there is no way to achieve this through deception.”

The UN-brokered truce between the Saudi-led coalition and Yemen first came into effect in April and has been extended twice since.

In mid-October Yemeni Foreign Minister Hisham Sharaf said there would be no talks about the extension of the six-month truce which expired on October 2 unless the nation’s legitimate demands were fully met.

Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015. The objective was to reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and crush the popular Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.

While the Saudi-led coalition has failed to meet any of its objectives, the war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Washington and London have been providing the coalition with direct arms, logistical, and political support, including through outfitting it with precision-guided ammunition that the Saudi-led forces have been using amply against Yemen’s civilian population.

December 14, 2022 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Xi Jinping ends landmark KSA visit by calling on Arab states to embrace multipolar world

The Cradle | December 10, 2022

Chinese President Xi Jinping left Saudi Arabia early on 10 December following a three-day visit that saw him attend three different summits with leaders from across West Asia and Africa.

On Friday night, Xi headed the first China-Arab States Summit, which saw a large majority of Arab League heads of state attend in a bid to strengthen bilateral ties with the Asian giant.

“As strategic partners, China and Arab states should … foster a closer China-Arab community with a shared future, so as to deliver greater benefits to their peoples and advance the cause of human progress,” the Chinese president said during his keynote speech.

Xi also called on Arab states to remain “independent and defend their common interests,” adding that China “supports Arab states in independently exploring development paths suited to their national conditions and holding their future firmly in their own hands.”

“China is ready to deepen strategic mutual trust with Arab states, and firmly support each other in safeguarding sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity,” Xi said, noting that the two sides should “jointly uphold the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, practice true multilateralism, and defend the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries.”

The Chinese leader also urged leaders from West Asia and Africa to embrace “synergy between their development strategies, and promote high-quality [cooperation in the Belt and Road Initiative].”

Launched nine years ago, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is considered the crown jewel of Xi’s long-term foreign policy agenda. The stated aim of the mega-infrastructure project is to bring capital and infrastructure to Global South countries while dramatically strengthening connectivity for commerce, finance, and culture.

The BRI also aims to secure markets for Chinese companies, stable supplies of inputs for Chinese factories, and productive outlets for China’s large foreign exchange holdings. Close to 150 nations across the globe have signed on to participate in the BRI.

For the first half of 2022, Saudi Arabia was the biggest recipient of China’s finance and investment spending in the BRI.

Ahead of the China-Arab Summit on Friday, the Chinese president met with leaders from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). During this summit, he urged the oil and gas giants to conduct energy sales in the Chinese yuan, potentially divorcing the US dollar from bilateral transactions.

He also vowed to import more oil and natural gas from Gulf Arab states while not interfering in their affairs, a departure from Washington’s long-standing policy of interference and domination.

Xi later took the opportunity to express China’s support for the end of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and voiced frustration over the “historical injustice” suffered by Palestinians.

“It is not possible to continue the historical injustice suffered by the Palestinians,” the Chinese president said on Friday.

He went on to call on the international community to grant Palestine “full membership in the United Nations” and said Beijing “supports the two-state solution and the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Beijing’s emergence as a major superpower since the turn of the century has proven to be critically important for Arab states, prompting them to diversify their strategic objectives and balance themselves away from a decades-long Western dependency.

December 10, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , | 2 Comments