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UK doubles arms deals with governments on its own rights blacklist: Report

Press TV – July 19, 2018

The UK has almost doubled its arms deals with governments that it has blacklisted as violators of human rights, figures show.

The government of British Prime Minister Theresa May approved some £1.5 billion in arms licenses in 2017, up from £820 million it did the year before, the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) pressure group reported Wednesday.

The licenses allowed weapons sales to 18 countries on Home Office blacklist, which includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Pakistan and the Israeli regime.

Arms deals with Saudi Arabia, which has been running a deadly military aggression against Yemen since March 2015, accounted for £1.13 billion of the total amount, the group said.

The ruling Tory government is “actively arming and supporting many of the regimes that even it believes are responsible for terrible human rights abuses,” CAAT’s Andrew Smith told The Independent.

“There is little oversight in the system, and no controls over how these arms will be used once they have left the UK,” he added.

“The arms sales being agreed today could be used to fuel atrocities for years to come. Right now UK-made fighter jets and bombs are playing a central role in the Saudi-led destruction of Yemen, and the government and arms companies have totally failed to monitor or evaluate how this deadly equipment is being used.”

“These arms sales don’t just provide dictatorships and human rights abusers with the means to kill, they also give them a huge degree of political support,” Andrews continued.

Saudi Arabia and its allies launched the war on Yemen in March 2015 to reinstall its former Riyadh-allied government. The military aggression has so far killed over 13,600 Yemenis.

The UK has increased its weapons sales by around 500 percent since the onset of the Saudi invasion, according to a report by The Independent. The UK has, so far, sold more than £6 billion worth of arms to the kingdom.

Israel second largest blacklisted buyer

With a total of £221 million of licenses granted, Israel was the second-biggest purchaser of UK arms last year to be featured on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) human rights priority list.

In its latest version of the watch list, published this week, the FCO blasted Israel for violating the international law during its ongoing occupation of Palestinian lands in the West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds and Gaza.

It also slammed the Tel Aviv regime’s “systematic policy of settlement expansion,” despite constant calls by the UN, the European Union and many other international organizations to end them.

Bahrain became the third largest buyer on the list, acquiring £30.7 million of British arms in 2017, while Egypt imported £6.5 million and Pakistan, £11.2 million.

CAAT’s figures came amid efforts by British members of Parliament sitting on the Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) to reform the UK’s arms export regime and stop arms sales to blacklisted governments.

In its latest report, the committee called on cabinet ministers to consider imposing a “presumption of denial” when weighing arms sales applications for such countries.

“We believe there must always be a more stringent process in place for any arms exports to such countries,” read the report.

July 19, 2018 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Regional states muscle in to seek a bigger ‘say’ in Afghan conflict

By M.K. Bhadrakumar | Asia Times | July 19, 2018

A new strategic fault line appeared in the Afghan conflict last week when Islamabad hosted an unusual meeting of the heads of the intelligence agencies of Russia, China and Iran on July 11.

Moscow thoughtfully publicized the event both for its optics as well as to pre-empt misperceptions that some sort of zero-sum game might be afoot.

The focus was on joint measures to stop the terrorist group Islamic State Khorasan Province (IS-K) from threatening the territorial boundaries of the four regional states. In the Russian estimation, there could be up to 10,000 fighters in IS-K’s ranks already and the group is already active in nine of the 34 provinces in Afghanistan.

The four participating countries “reached understanding of the importance of coordinated steps to prevent the trickling of IS terrorists from Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan, where from they would pose risks for neighboring countries.” But they also “stressed the need for a more active inclusion of regional powers in the efforts” to end the war in Afghanistan.

Clearly, the leitmotif is in the latter claim by the regional states seeking a greater say in Afghan peace-making. Three related developments over the weekend also signal the new churning. One, the Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, General Mohammad Baqeri, started a three-day visit to Islamabad on July 15 at the invitation of Pakistani army chief General Qamar Bajwa.

This is the first time since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 that a chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces visited Pakistan. No doubt, the visit signals Tehran’s appreciation that Pakistan is no longer in the US orbit. General Bajwa visited Tehran in November.

According to the Pakistani readout, General Bajwa noted that Pakistan’s military cooperation with Iran would have a “positive impact on peace and security in the region.” Later, General Baqeri told the Iranian media that the US and its allies seek to weaken security in the region and Iran and Pakistan are “duty-bound to take actions” to safeguard regional peace and security.

There is a history of cross-border terrorism from across the porous Pakistani border in which Tehran suspected the hidden hand of hostile powers. Therefore, today, the Iranian calculus prioritizes the “return” of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to the Afghan chessboard recently, after a prolonged absence, given the geopolitical rivalries playing out in a diverse theatre across the Greater Middle East.

Curiously, although the newfound Saudi-Emirati pro-activism in Afghanistan is coinciding with the steady expansion of IS-K, the two Gulf states today are preoccupied with weakening the Taliban, whom they had mentored in an earlier era in the 1990s. The Kabul government approved on June 6 the deployment of UAE Special Forces to Afghanistan.

On July 11-12, Saudi Arabia hosted an Ulema conference in Jeddah and Mecca, which issued a ‘fatwa’ against the ‘jihad’ waged by the Afghan Taliban. Washington encouraged these parallel Saudi-Emirati moves, which implies a concerted attempt to weaken the Taliban whom the US military failed to defeat, with a view to force it to compromise.

However, on the contrary, a paradigm shift is under way in the regional perceptions regarding the Taliban. The special envoy of the Russian president on Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, disclosed on the weekend that Moscow proposes to invite the Taliban to the second round of the Russian regional initiative on Afghanistan, which is expected to be held sometime late in the summer.

Kabulov characterized the Taliban as a force that has “integrated” with the Afghan nation, and therefore, having a legitimacy, which in some respects even exceeds the Kabul government’s, and controlling more than half the territory of Afghanistan. Kabulov implicitly doubted the representative character of the present Afghan government.

Suffice to say that the Russian policy is incrementally redefining the battle lines in Afghanistan from ‘Taliban versus the Rest’ to ‘Afghanistan versus the IS-K.’ Conceivably, Iran, China and Pakistan are in harmony with the Russian thinking.

The heart of the matter is that while these regional states regard the Taliban as an Afghan movement indigenously rooted in traditional Islam and with a political agenda confined to their homeland, they abhor the IS-K as a brutal terrorist group weaned on Salafi-Wahhabist teaching which casts a seductive appeal to misguided Muslim youth worldwide.

However, in the final analysis, the above interplay needs to be juxtaposed with recent reports that President Trump may order a policy review of his one-year old Afghan strategy. In fact, the sudden visit of the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Kabul on July 9 only reinforced that impression in the region. Unsurprisingly, Pompeo maintained while in Kabul that the Trump administration’s “strategy is working.”

But then, instead of heaping praise on the US military, he instead stressed the urgency of a peace process with the Taliban. Pompeo offered that the US will “support, facilitate and participate in these peace discussions.” He then added meaningfully: “We expect that these peace talks will include a discussion of the role of international actors and forces.”

July 19, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Saudi Arabia arrests Islamic scholar over criticism of Bin Salman’s ties with Israel

MEMO | July 13, 2018

According to unofficial Saudi sources, the authorities have arrested the Islamic scholar, affiliated to Sahwa Movement (Awakening movement), Sheikh Safar Al-Hawali, along with a number of his sons because of his position towards the ruling family’s policies in the country.

A Twitter account named “Moatqali Al-Ray” (Prisoners of Conscience) published a tweet in which it said that the arrest of Sheikh Al-Hawali, 68, came a few days after he published his book Muslims and the Western Civilisation in which he attacked the ruling family in Saudi Arabia and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed.

Prisoners of Conscience Twitter account said that the security forces raided Al-Hawali’s house. They covered his eyes and tied him and his son Ibrahim up. They also frightened children in the house and confiscated mobile phones and electronic devices.

Sheikh Al-Hawali’s newly published book is a 3000-page publication in which he wrote that the ruling family “has been wasting funds on fake projects.”

Sheikh Al-Hawali attacked the crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman and his ties with Israel, calling it a “betrayal”. He called to move away from what he described as “bin Zayed’s approach in the UAE.”

According to Arab media outlets, Sheikh Al-Hawali holds a doctoral degree in religions and beliefs. He is considered the most important scholar of Sahwa Movement in the 1980s and 1990s, which is the largest religious movement in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Hawali is also one of the strongest opponents of the US and Israeli presence in the region. The Saudi authorities imprisoned him in the mid-1990s along with a large number of advocates of Sahwa Movement because of their opposing position against US forces entering to Saudi Arabia.

Since September last year, the Saudi authorities have launched an anti-Sahwa-Movement arrests campaign that included Islamic scholars Salman Al-Ouda, Ayed Al-Qarni and others.

July 15, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Wars for Israel | , | 1 Comment

Dr. Mohammad Marandi: Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE Have Been Cooperating Closely for Many Decades Now

American Herald Tribune | July 13, 2018

Mohsen Abdelmoumen: What is the immediate impact on the Iranian people of the Trump administration’s exit from the Iran nuclear deal?

Dr. Mohammad Marandi: Obviously, it is going to have a short term negative impact. People are concerned about the effect it will have on the economy and Iranian currency has dropped significantly. However, I believe that in the midterm the economy will stabilize, and as Iran reorientates its economy, trading partners and strategic partnerships things will stabilize. In the long term, I think Iran will probably even benefit because the US will no longer have any leverage that it can use against the country and its people.

Are not the economic sanctions imposed by the Trump administration intended to provoke disturbances within the Iranian population in order to change the power in Iran?

Without a doubt. Actually, just recently in a speech in France to the MEK terrorist organization, a cult group which has killed 17 thousand Iranians through assassinations and bomb attacks and has also fought for Saddam Hussein, Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer and close friend, admitted that the disturbances in Iran are not spontaneous and that they are carried out by their people. That does not mean there are no ordinary people who protest here and there, but the foreign role is obvious and we can see it through the western, Israeli, and Saudi, funded Persian media outlets like BBC Persian and VOA among others that attempt to create tensions and fear among Iranians.

Do you think there is a special program to assassinate Iranian scientists as was the case with Iraqi scientists where some sources have spoken of the existence of a special CIA unit responsible for assassinating scientists?

I have no idea about that, but we do know that Mohammad bin Salman has said in public that he wants to take the war into Iran and after that we saw the terrorist attacks on Tehran and an increased number of attacks alongside the Pakistani-Iranian border as well as the border between Iran and Iraq Kurdistan.

What is the exact role of the Zionist entity of Israel and its services in the assassination of Iranian scientists?

Israeli intelligence and the MEK terrorist organization worked together in this regard. In addition, Western intelligence agencies have in the past passed on IAEA information on Iranian scientists to the Israelis thus helping them carry out a number of murders.

What do you think of the alliance between the Saudis and the Israelis? In your opinion, is it tactical or strategic?

The alliance between Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE among others is not new at all. They have been cooperating closely for many decades now, but these Arab regimes have always been afraid to make this alliance public. However, Trump is putting a lot of pressure on these regimes to come out of the closet, especially because he wants to impose his so called deal of the century on the Palestinian people in order to destroy the Palestinian nation.

In your opinion, can Europe play a role in maintaining the nuclear agreement?

It’s possible. However, I am skeptical about the EU’s intentions and I am even more skeptical about their ability to grow a backbone in face of persistent American violations of their sovereignty and threats against their businesses and citizens.

In your opinion, why is it that Israel that massacres the Palestinian people has never been subjected to sanctions?

I think it is widely known that the Israeli regime is allowed to implement apartheid policies, carry out ethnic cleansing and colonization, the bombing of neighboring countries, the killing of civilians, the arrest children, and the confiscation of land.Western countries will give them blanket support no matter what the regime does.

What is your analysis of the situation in Syria? Can we say that Daesh is defeated definitively or is it moving towards reorganization?

The extremist groups including Daesh that were supported by western intelligence services and regional client regimes have been severely weakened and the Syrian Arab army and government have gained the upper hand. But the war is not over, al-Qaeda and other extremist groups continue to get foreign support and Western countries and media outlets have been trying to give cover to these extremist groups by calling them “moderates” and “rebels”, whereas in reality their ideologies are very similar to ISIS.

What do you think of the position of Morocco that has just cut off its relations with Iran by accusing Hezbollah of having armed the Polisario Front? Don’t you think that this maneuver bears the signature of the Saudis, Israelis and Americans?

I think it is quite clear especially taking into account the timing of the accusations that the Saudis and probably countries like the US and the UAE are behind this. But I do not have any specific information.

Why do you think Westerners are silent, both the media and the political institutions, in the face of the carnage that Saudi Arabia is committing in Yemen?

It is because of Saudi oil wealth, and because the destruction of Yemen is in the interest of the Saudi and Israeli regimes. Therefore, Western governments and western media outlets will not do anything meaningful to prevent the massacres or starvation. This is just one example of many. They did the same thing in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, and Afghanistan.

Interview realized by Mohsen Abdelmoumen

Who is Dr. Mohammad Marandi?

Born in 1966 in Richmond, Virginia, Mohammad Marandi is the son of Professor Alireza Marandi, a former Iranian Minister of Health and a former member of the Iranian Parliament. Mohammad Marandi lived until he was 13 in the United States before joining Iran. He is a political analyst and expert on American studies and postcolonial literature. Dr. Marandi is a graduate of the University of Tehran and the University of Birmingham where he received a PhD in English Literature. He teaches English Literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran where he is head of the graduate program in North American Studies.

July 14, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hassan Nasrallah: Resistance victorious in Gaza, Syria & Iraq, Hezbollah Ready to fight Saudi-US Coalition in Yemen

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, on June 29, 2018

[…] Regarding the situation in the Middle East, I also have some issues to address, in a quick and synthetical way as well.

The first point is the Palestinian issue. It is clear that the developments, as we say in the Lebanese political language, the advances (meant to prepare the success) of the ‘Deal of the century’ began to be implemented with force. [Jared] Kushner has roamed the region for a long time, as well as Trump’s special envoy (in order) to (prepare) the peace initiative, what is known as the peace initiative. It is clear that serious US and Israeli efforts to ensure the success of the ‘Deal of the century’ are actively deployed. It is no longer empty words, mere expectations of journalists or such. We may be very close to the official US announcement on this agreement and on this really infamous step.

This is why at the stage where we are, all political leaders and all people who care about the Palestinian cause must of course follow these movements and developments to see what can be done (to neutralize them), and this, according to me, on several fronts.

Today, it is through this prism that we must consider what is happening in Palestine, as well as what is happening in the region, what has happened and is happening in Jordan, and also, as regards Lebanon, the disputes about the border, discussions on the Shebaa Farms (occupied Lebanese territory), on land and sea borders (with Israel): sometimes, these issues are not related to the ‘Deal of the century’, but sometimes they fit into what is known as the ‘Deal of the century’, and we must then be more careful and precise about it, of course with the strong commitment of all Lebanese to recover all their territories and get all their rights over our territorial waters.

Similarly, what is happening in Syria, when we will discuss it in the next step, we must consider it partly in this context, along with the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal and the continued pressure on Iran, whether political pressure, psychological warfare, economic pressure, threats of sanctions, the fact that Iran and Iranian oil (are embargoed) worldwide… All this, we must interpret it within one frame, the frame of the major US project in our region today, to which they will give (absolute) priority, ie the ‘Deal of the century’ which means the liquidation of the Palestinian cause.

This project should be followed closely and with vigilance, and that’s why everyone concerned must think about what to do, how they will fight, face and resist, and we already talked about it in detail (it is important that no Palestinian sign this agreement).

Also on the Palestinian issue, we must pay tribute, especially now, during these hours (of Friday afternoon), to all the men, women, young and elderly who gather (massively) on Friday afternoon on the border strip which separates Gaza from the remainder of Palestine occupied in 1948. These demonstrations of the March of Return prove the determination and perseverance of the Palestinians, and the continuity of this determination and of this (Resistance) movement. Because during all the past weeks, as should know those who follow these events, Israel has made every possible effort in psychological warfare, security pressure, mobilizing all its military and security capabilities towards the Gaza Strip, up to striking the young throwing kites, in addition to various regional pressures on the Palestinians to get them to despair and make them give up the March of Return. The March of Return represents a great challenge which is one of the few remaining opportunities for the Palestinian people.

And the third point is that we must pay tribute to the courage and boldness of the leadership of the Resistance in Gaza, the leaders of the (different) factions of the Resistance, and to the audacity and courage of the Resistants who demonstrated, during these last days and in recent weeks, that the equation of retaliation against any aggression was well in place.

This Israel who thinks he can bomb and kill (with impunity), and in return, he will not suffer any retaliation whatsoever, the Palestinian Resistance, during the past few days, has passed that stage and demonstrated the reality of this equation. We can truly say that they have demonstrated it, and this is the result of their boldness, their courage and their wise and just planning.

Anyway, whether it be the confirmation of this equation, the support to the Palestinian people, especially in Gaza, for the March of Return to continue, or a firm stand alongside the Palestinian people to deal with concrete measures being implemented today for the ‘Deal of the century’, everyone must assume his responsibility for everything that was said during the last weeks and months.

My second point about the regional situation is Syria. I have two points about it.

First point, the developments in southern Syria in recent days and today. I was in contact with the brothers (from Hezbollah) present there just a few moments ago, and (I can confirm that) the data that you hear in the media (on the dazzling success of the Syrian Arab Army) are true, and what is not public yet is even more important.

All data indicate a total collapse of the armed groups, which are completely abandoned by their (popular) base, in case they ever had one, with a strong impetus of the people to return to the State and to the bosom of the State, as has been expressed by a large number of towns and villages. And it may even be that data confirms that it is not only the western part of the Deraa region (whose liberation) must end today or tomorrow, but the entire southern region, whether in Deraa or Quneitra: all armed groups are in a state of collapse and defeat, and there are no prospects for more fighting (from them).

And anyway, the data also indicate that many of these (armed) groups have begun to review their calculations and to head towards the search for agreement and reconciliation. And in this region, only the darkest and the most obscurantist part controlled by ISIS will remain, whose fate (defeat) will in any way be clear and inescapable during the next step.

In a nutshell, in the south of Syria, we are facing a significant development and a great victory against all the armed organizations that were led and protected by the United States, and assisted and supported by Israel, those organizations who received all possible forms of support from some regional countries.

And what is happening in southern Syria, and happened in recent weeks in Manbij with the Kurdish-Turkish-American question, has many major and eloquent evidences of which we will talk (in detail) another time, because I do not have time today. And I believe it is in our interest that the battle in southern Syria comes to an end first before we talk about this evidence and these lessons of which we must all benefit in the light of this great decisive battle that is being waged in Syria for over 7 years.

The second point about Syria is that at the Syrian-Iraqi border, just a few days ago, enemy aircraft struck positions of factions of the Iraqi Resistance that operated there. The faction that was targeted is the Hezbollah Brigades in Iraq, which suffered many martyrs and wounded. Of course, this is an important and dangerous event, even if some may think (wrongly) that it is (already) in the past and that there will be no consequences.

First, I would like to extend to the families of those noble and dignified martyrs my congratulations (for the blessings and honor conferred by) this martyrdom and my condolences for the loss of loved and beloved ones, as well as to my brothers, dear and beloved leaders of the Hezbollah Brigades in Iraq and all their mujahedeen (fighters). And we also have to extend our congratulations and condolences to all the factions of the Resistance in Iraq to honor their martyrs, because martyrs of each faction are the martyrs of all.

And I would also like to take this opportunity to thank them for all their assistance and support in Syria (to fight terrorists). In Iraq, there is no doubt that all these factions, gathered behind the Hachd al-Cha’bi (popular mobilization), have had a real and important role of auxiliary force in defeating ISIS, the obscurantism of ISIS, the darkness and barbarism of ISIS, and the international and regional powers that stand behind ISIS. But ultimately, in Iraq, they were defending themselves, their holy places, their people and their nation. We must remember the jihad (struggle) of these Iraqi brothers, their sacrifices, their martyrs, their wounded, their perseverance, determination and presence in Syria, which continue until today, especially those who are present at the border between Syria and Iraq, to eradicate the last throes of life in this monstrous body shaped by the United States and Israel in the region and called ISIS. And we thank them for the extent of their support, their help and their presence, because as we have said during these 7 years, the battle in Syria is not only the battle of Syria, but it is the battle of Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, the Middle East and the future of this region.

Also, our brothers in the Hezbollah Brigades and in the rest of the factions of the Iraqi Resistance announced that they are investigating to ascertain which part (USA? Israel?…) hit these positions and caused so many martyrs and wounded, and that when the identity of this part shall be established with certainty, the attackers will be punished. This is a wise and natural position, and we pledge our support for any decision that these Resistant factions of Mujahideen (fighters) will make.

Yes, dear and noble brothers, yes, I declare to all peoples of the region: to our brothers in Palestine, in Syria, in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Yemen, across the whole region. Wherever the Resistance is struck and its blood is shed unjustly in acts of aggression, this aggression must not remain unanswered, without retaliation and without punishment. Because our enemies only understand this logic. This is what experience teaches us.

We can not count on either international law or on any moral principle, whether in Yemen, Palestine and in all that is happening in the region, and even in the United States. The image of immigrant children separated from their fathers and their mothers, their isolation clearly shows the monstrous reality of President Trump and his administration. Then they backed off because of pressure, but it does not change the truth of his being. If people could see the true face — in religious terms, we speak about the appearance of the (Divine) Kingdom (the reality of our soul, to be unveiled in the afterlife) —, the true appearance of Trump, they would see a ferocious beast (instead of a human being). Who can do such things?

Anyway, we are in a region and in a world where if we do not defend our people, if we do not avenge our martyrs, if we do not chastise our enemies, their aggression will never cease. If we remain inactive in front of this aggression, it will happen again and again, and we will suffer more attacks and lose many more martyrs and wounded.

I hope that by the grace of God, our brothers from the Hezbollah Brigades and other factions of the Iraqi Resistance will quickly manage to establish the identity of the aggressors and to take the (retaliation) measures they deem necessary. It is their decision that no one can impose on them.

Hezbollah is ready to fight Saudi-US coalition in Yemen

I will address my final point about the regional situation, (Yemen), through (what was reported by) the media in recent days.

A few days ago, what we used to refer to as the Arab alliance, and is now referred to as the Saudi-Emirati alliance, but for our part we refer to it as the Saudi-American aggression against Yemen, the forces of the Saudi-American aggression against Yemen… These forces announced two news items, broadcasted by (official Saudi) channel Al-Arabiya, some Arab satellite channels, [Western news agencies & mainstream media] and also some Lebanese media have followed suit, considering these news sources as very reliable.

The first is that because of the bombing in a specific region of Saada, Hezbollah would have lost 8 martyrs, including commanders of Hezbollah. At the same time, they announced another piece of information – do consider these two pieces of information (together) – according to which 8 Hezbollah members were captured. That is to say that the liar who disseminates these news items claimed at one point that 8 members of Hezbollah were killed, and at another time said they were taken prisoner. 

Anyway, after a few hours, they backtracked on the announcement of 8 prisoners, to which they preferred the announcement of 8 martyrs, because if there were prisoners, they should show them on television. And with certainty if there were prisoners, now or in the past…

You know that in recent years, in recent months, they have repeatedly claimed that they had captured a Hezbollah or Iran members (in Yemen), etc., good for them. Some time ago, they considered that they had got hold of a gem and made a fuss claiming they captured an Iranian in a region of Yemen. But it was later revealed that it was simply a Pakistani worker who had come to work in Yemen to earn his livelihood, and they got confused, being unable to distinguish Urdu from Persian.

Anyway, the information concerning prisoners died out of itself, and they stopped talking about it, but during 48 hours, they have not stopped talking about the martyrdom of eight Hezbollah members, including several commanders. I want to comment this information (to draw lessons) for both the past and the future, and I will also say a few words about the situation in Yemen.

First, throughout the past period, and until today, for various reasons and interests, we have not disclosed if we had a presence in Yemen or not. We have not addressed this issue. It is true that one day, I clearly said that we did not send fighters to Yemen, because our brothers in Yemen do not need fighters. Is there something else (counselors, military aid…)? We do not confirm it nor deny it, due to a number of interests. That’s the first point.

Second, whether we are present or not (in Yemen), I categorically deny this information that there would be martyrs of Hezbollah in Yemen, not during these last days nor during the past years.

Third, this is not the first time that the Saudi media evoke (falsely and without any evidence) Hezbollah martyrs or prisoners in Yemen.

Fourth, if we assume that one day this happens, and that members of Hezbollah are martyred in Yemen, I tell you frankly that we would not hide it, we would not be ashamed of it: on the contrary, we would be very proud and honored, and we would raise our head high because of these martyrs, if this was to happen one day. And on the contrary, we consider that we do not have to be ashamed if Hezbollah members fall martyrs in Yemen. We should rather be ashamed if we do not bring them the necessary assistance, if we do not provide what we hope or even dream of offering to the Yemeni mujahideen (fighters) and to the oppressed people of Yemen.

Therefore, let no one imagine that in Yemen or elsewhere (we hide our martyrs). If we have a martyr in Iraq, we acknowledge it. If we have a martyr in Syria, we acknowledge it. If a brother is arrested anywhere in Egypt or elsewhere, as has happened in the past, we are never ashamed of our actions, and we do not abandon our martyrs nor our prisoners. We are proud of them, proud of what they do, and we always declare it publicly. (I say this) as a basis for the future.

And so this question does not require that whenever news are spread about Hezbollah alleged martyrs or prisoners, the media contact us to get our denial. As long as we have not published a press release, that we have not talked ourselves of our martyrs to take pride in them, it means that there was nothing of the sort, and any such (propaganda) is fundamentally false and does not even need to be denied (as far as we are concerned). Let it be an established base for the future.

Fifth, about the situation in Yemen, anyway, they may have needed (false) information of this type that could go along the press campaign of Saudi media and of all those who are with them, whether the American media, the Gulf, etc, through recent weeks. Because what we have seen during the Battle of Hodeida, at the airport, around the town and in adjacent villages, and on the west coast of Yemen, is two scandals (humiliations). We witnessed two disgraces. A military disgrace in the field, and a media disgrace following military disgrace on the battlefield.

Regarding the military disgrace on the battlefield, for months, the United States and even, unfortunately, some European countries participating in this aggression – information evoke British, French and other Western countries’ participation – alongside the forces and states of the (Saudi) coalition, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the group of Abd Rabbo Mansour, mercenaries from all around the world, aviation, a huge number of military vehicles, tanks and armored vehicles (were preparing for an attack). Military vehicles seem even more numerous than the soldiers themselves, from what we see on television. The preparations took place for months, and a fierce psychological warfare, pressures, bribery, intimidation, terror…

And despite all that, when they went down to the battlefield, they suffered a humiliating defeat. A defeat in every sense. And what happened on the western coast of Yemen in recent weeks and so far is actually, even by military standards, truly miraculous. Because the fighting there takes place between on the one hand the most powerful aviation, extremely powerful intelligence agencies, leading-edge technical and technological equipment, experienced commanders, mercenaries, armies, forces, against a fighting people with modest abilities, but with enormous faith and considerable confidence in God the Almighty and Exalted.

These Resistants are, truly, from what we saw in this fight, an incarnation of (the recommendations of Imam Ali to his son before the Battle of the Camel): “Plant your feet firmly on the ground. Lend your head to God (be ready for the ultimate sacrifice). Mountains may move from their position (because of the multitude of enemies), but you should not move from yours.” They are a model (of courage and victorious Resistance).

And that is why I am one of those who can talk about this in full knowledge because me and my brothers have a similar experience. We know what war is, we know what it is to fight against a powerful aviation, violent, ferocious, having unlimited direct capabilities, we know what Resistance, endurance and perseverance are.

And that’s why when considering the war in Yemen, and especially this last experience on the west coast, in Hodeida Airport and everything around this region, me, all my brothers and any Resistant in the world and anyone who knows the military equations and has military experience, we must bow our heads with respect and humility before these fighters, these Resistants, these heroes and their wise, courageous, firm and steadfast leaders. This is the truth, this is not an exaggeration, I do not aim to cheer, no.

And I say to these fighters: myself, with others, I am embarrassed not to be at your side. In my heart, when I see videos (of the fighting) on ​​TV, these heroic acts, this legendary endurance, I keep telling myself: “If only I could be with you.” And I know that all my (Hezbollah) brothers feel exactly the same. And any dignified man in this world thinks the same thing: “If only we could fight alongside you. If only we could be with you. If only I could be one of your fighters, under the banner of your noble and courageous leader.” This is the truth. This faith and determination have inflicted this defeat (to the Saudi-US alliance).

And this is a great lesson that adds itself to the lessons of the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Iraq. This is a lesson to all Arab and Muslim peoples: through faith, perseverance and determination, relying on the people and the brave, faithful and noble youth, we can face the most powerful tyrants, the most powerful armies and the most powerful arrogant bullies of this world, armies and security forces.

And there is also the media scandal: how many times have they said they took and occupied Hodeida Airport? But they could not provide any pictures, while we could see every day videos showing the presence of leaders of AnsarAllah (Houthis attacked by Saudi Arabia) in the airport. How many times have they said that they had arrived inside the city, inside the harbor before it was revealed that they did nothing of the sort?

Weeks of lies to the peoples of the region, the Saudi people, the people of the Gulf countries, the peoples of the world, before it was revealed that these victories had no reality outside the Al-Arabiya channel, nothing more, nothing less. And this is the yardstick with which we must measure the credibility of these media [Western press agencies & mainstream media included] that are completely detached from reality, both for Yemen and for everything else. [Such an AFP report was deleted but still appears in cache]

Along these lines, we must also add our voice and our thanks to the new Malaysian government, the new head of the Malaysian government, Mahathir Mohamad, and to the government and to the Malaysian Defense Minister who announced yesterday the withdrawal of Malaysia from this infamous alliance. And we hope that the rest of the Muslim and Arab countries, at least, will follow suit.

And I particularly call on the Sudanese President, the government of Sudan, the Parliament of Sudan and the people of Sudan. It is sad, really sad that the forces of the Sudanese army fight alongside those tyrants. It is truly appalling that the forces of the Sudanese army are engaged in a battle alongside the US, the West, the takfiris, Israel, allied to Saudi Arabia and others. It’s really disgraceful. Sudan, which had a significant presence and a strong commitment to the causes of the region, the Palestinian cause, many causes of the (Muslim) Community. I also insist on Sudan because of the spectacle of young Sudanese who are abandoned in the deserts, valleys and mountains of Yemen, without protection, without defense and without any support or assistance. Why are they killed? For what cause are they dying?

Anyway, we call for this and we hope that all (the countries of the Saudi coalition) will reconsider things (and withdraw). And we hope that the experience of the last battle on the western coast and all these open frontlines will allow Saudi Arabia, the UAE and those who stand by their side to learn the lesson, and understand that they face a people who will never surrender, who has a very high capacity of Resisting and shaping victories, that your battle has no horizon, and that you must answer all Yemeni, Arab, Muslim and international calls to end the war and aggression, to declare a cease-fire and direct you towards dialogue and national reconciliation, and to save Yemen and the Yemeni people, all the people of Yemen, all the tribes of Yemen and all Yemeni political forces of the consequences of this devastating and destructive war.

I’ll stop there, and as for the rest, if necessary, I will speak shortly.

May the peace of God be upon you, and His mercy and His blessings.

Translation: unz.com/sayedhasan (RSS)

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July 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia and UAE Return to Afghanistan

By Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR | Strategic Culture Foundation | 10.07.2018

The 17-year old Afghan war is entering a new phase, as the Pentagon co-opts as allies the two Gulf Arab states that used to be the Taliban regime’s friend, guide and philosopher in the 1990s – Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It’s a double whammy for Pentagon – sheikhs usually carry moneybags, and secondly, the exasperating war is getting outsourced.

A conference of the ulema (religious scholars) drawn from 30 Muslim countries is taking place in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina on July 9-10. The host is notionally the secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), who is not known to act except at the bidding of Saudi Arabia.

The agenda is to issue a fatwa effectively de-legitimizing the Taliban’s ‘jihad’, sowing seeds of ideological disarray amongst the insurgents and encouraging defection from their ranks. The tantalizing idea to hold such conferences in various Muslim countries was an American brainwave, which took shape during the visit by US Defence Secretary James Mattis to Riyadh in February when he sought a proactive Saudi role in Afghanistan after a prolonged period of absence since 2001.

Mattis reached an understanding with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during the latter’s visit to the US in end-March. Alongside, Washington hosted a meeting in March of top security officials of the US, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Afghanistan to draw up a coordinated strategy whereby NATO will also be inducting Emirati military contingents to join the operations against the Taliban. Kabul has duly given formal approval.

Prima facie, all this is packaged as a new resolve on the part of the two Gulf Arab regimes to fight international terrorism. This is the first time that the Emiratis will be wading into the killing fields of the Hindu Kush. It is a poignant moment since Saudi Arabia and the UAE were the only two countries (other than Pakistan) to recognize the Taliban regime in the 1990s.

Curiously, this time around, their compass is reset to counter the Taliban’s expansion in Afghanistan. But appearances can be deceptive in the Hindu Kush. A deep American game plan could be unfolding with multiple objectives in view.

The US commanders cannot be unaware that if the stalemate in the war cannot be broken and sooner rather than later, a clamor will begin in Washington to disengage from the futile war and withdraw troops.

But then, they visualize open-ended military presence and preservation of the bases in Afghanistan as imperative for the US’ global strategies.

Hence the innovative approach to try to fragment the Taliban and buy off the reconcilable elements through the Saudis and Emiratis. The Saudi imprimatur is useful, given the prestige of the office of the Custodian of Holy Places. The UAE is already a battle-scarred veteran of hybrid wars.

Of course, there are sub-plots. It is a masterstroke that the OIC stamp is put to de-legitimize the Taliban’s ‘jihad’. This will put Pakistan in some quandary, but that is also the US intention. The Taliban has reacted strongly to the conference in Mecca and Medina, branding it as another “absolute anti-Islamic” plot by Washington, which has not only mooted this idea but also handled “logistical support and implementation”.

A Taliban statement on July 7 said, “The US wants through these conferences to find justification for their military occupation, legitimize their stooge Kabul Administration and thus weaken the Jihadic resistance of Afghan Muslim nation being put up against them. But, Americans and their allies should understand that as they have failed in fighting, political sphere and in the field of propaganda, likewise, Allah, the Almighty will stymie this scheme of invaders as well.”

It will be interesting to see how the Emirati special forces hunt down Taliban fighters under NATO supervision. On a broader plane, though, the Gulf regimes’ formal partnership with the NATO’s war carries much symbolism.

The disconcerting part of this new American enterprise is that the very same Gulf states, which have been responsible for fuelling the Syrian conflict, are being cast in a revamped role in a new theatre where the Islamic State of Khorasan is steadily expanding its presence. Ironically, Afghanistan is beckoning both the fighters who were defeated in Syria and their mentors for new adventures.

No doubt, Washington hopes to pit the two Gulf Arab regimes against Pakistan with a view to pressure the latter to cave in to the American demand to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table. Although the kinship between the Saudi regime and Pakistani ulema is deep-rooted, there is only scant representation from Pakistan at the conference in Saudi Arabia. On July 5, Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman rejected the US call that Pakistan should take “sustained and decisive action” to bring the Taliban to peace talks.

Equally, it is in US interest to trigger a vicious proxy war on Afghan soil between these two Sunni Arab states and Iran, which fits in perfectly with Washington’s containment strategy against Tehran. The Islamic State’s Afghan wilayat, known as the Islamic State in Khorasan, is an enigma wrapped in mystery. But that may not remain so for long if Iran enters the fray.

NATO has been notably passive toward the vanquished IS fighters from Syria regrouping in Afghanistan. There have been accusations that NATO’s remarkable passivity reflected a deliberate policy to justify its long-term occupation of Afghanistan. All in all, therefore, the return of Saudi Arabia and the UAE in a newfound role to weaken the Taliban looks an ominous development for regional security and stability.

July 10, 2018 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Human Rights Group Accuses UK of Secret Arms Sales to Saudis

Sputnik – 24.06.2018

NGOs allege that the UK has been selling weaponry to Saudi Arabia through an obscure system of arms exports licenses. Since 2015, a Saudi-led coalition has been involved in the Yemen war at the request of the country’s internationally recognized government.

Despite the UK has been insisting that it keeps all arms exports under close control, a freedom of information request submitted by Campaign Against Arms Trade, a UK-based NGO, disclosed that Britain has been selling Storm Shadow and Brimstone missiles, as well as Paveway IV laser-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia.

According to The Guardian, the deadly exports have been shipped for the last five years under Open Individual Export Licences (OIELs), which don’t oblige the seller to publish the total value of the license after it expires.

The surprising finding has prompted campaigners to claim that the authorities are trying to hide the real extent of their arms exports to Saudi Arabia.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, a Labour MP and member of the Commons Committee on Arms Export Controls, said, as quoted by The Guardian, that hundreds of millions of pounds of bombs were shipped to Saudi Arabia under open licenses issued before it launched its Yemen campaign.

“Open licenses remove the need for the seller to obtain prior approval for each export,” said Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade.

According to him, the “opaque” system of OIELs is used to hand over “extremely sensitive weaponry to the Saudi regime.”

Yemen is the site of a long-lasting conflict that rapidly escalated in September 2014 following a Houthi takeover of the Yemeni capital of Sana’a. In 2015, Saudi Arabia, the leader of a nine-member, mostly Sunni Arab, coalition, entered the conflict in a bid to restore Hadi’s government, concerned by the rise of Houthis.

The violent clash has destroyed the local economy and caused a humanitarian disaster. The UN estimates that the conflict has displaced around 3 million people and leaving over 22 million people in need of humanitarian assistance or protection.

June 24, 2018 Posted by | Deception, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

A Watershed Moment in Palestinian History: Interview with Jamal Juma’

By Ida Audeh | CounterPunch | June 22, 2018

For weeks now, Palestinians everywhere have been galvanized by events taking place in the Gaza Strip, the site of weekly (since March 30) mass protests demanding the end of the siege and blockade of Gaza (in place now since 2007) and the right to return to the homes from which they or their elders had been kicked out. Dubbed the Great March of Return, Gazans have assembled as close as they can to the Israeli-designated buffer zone separating Gaza from Israel. Israeli soldiers at a distance, crouched behind earth barriers that they created in the days preceding the march, and at absolutely no danger of attack from the unarmed protestors, pick off demonstrators at their leisure. By June 14, at least 129 Palestinians had been killed and 13,000 injured; the dead included medics like the 21-year-old Razan al-Najjar and journalists including Yaser Murtaja—typically seen as off-limits in conflict zones but transformed by Israel into prime targets.

On June 4, Ida Audeh spoke to Jamal Juma’, coordinator of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, about the popular resistance in Gaza, the Trump administration’s policy toward the question of Palestine, and Palestinian options to chart a new course. Salah Khawaja, an activist who works with the campaign, joined the conversation.

Ida Audeh: I interviewed you in August 2011 to learn more about the separation wall and its effect on communities in its path.[2] Describe Israel’s current system of control over the occupied territories, of which the wall is a part.

Jamal Juma’: It is clear that the wall was designed to isolate and lay siege to Palestinians. The project to place Palestinians under siege by means of the wall has been completed. It closed off all the dynamic areas that Israel considered necessary to isolate various areas. Eighty percent of the Wall is within the West Bank. The second part of the siege is reinforcement of the settlements. Each settlement has what Israel calls a buffer zone – a security apparatus consisting of barbed wire and roads that Palestinians are not allowed to use. This, together with the alternative (bypass) roads (which we call the apartheid roads), allows them to control the territory. Today there are two road networks: one is for Israeli settlers, about 1,400 km long, and its purpose is to connect all settlements to one another and to Israel in a kind of network. And this is complete. This network is the dominant one in the West bank, and it includes the major roads. The other, the alternative roads, are for Palestinians to use; these roads will intersect through 48 planned tunnels and bridges, some of which have been created already. The two road systems are separate. This is the basis of the racist discriminatory system we talk about: isolating Palestinians and confining them in limited spaces, control of their resources through settlements, the road network, and military installations, and the wall, which take up about 62% of the area of the West Bank.

With the extension of the settlements, we no longer just talk about Palestinians being ghettoized in the north, south and central region. There is more fragmentation of Palestinian residential areas. New settlement outposts are not being discussed in terms of whether they should be removed or not.  They are being transformed into settlements. When you see 150 outposts, you are really talking about 150 new settlements. This project is being intensified, and especially since Trump took office.

IA: So you noticed a clear acceleration after Trump?

JJ: It’s much more than an acceleration. This is a watershed moment in Palestinian history.  We consider that since Trump took office, US policy fully adopted the Zionist project and embarked on a process of liquidating the Palestinian cause, of eliminating it. It is clear program. This began with Jerusalem and the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Zionist entity, transfer of the embassy, targeting the refugees by cutting financing of UNRWA, and other forms of pressure on areas that host large numbers of refugees including getting them settled permanently in the host countries.

Israeli colonization, the geographic engineering of the political map, is another component in the liquidation of the Palestinian cause. Israeli proposals for colonization are massive. They are concentrating on the Jordan Valley – creating new settlements, expanding existing settlements, creating the supportive infrastructure, with huge incentives for Israelis who work in agriculture (including cash payments of $20,000 for anyone willing to move there). Now the settlements are on the tops of the mountain chain that overlook the Jordan Valley, which enable them to encircle lower lying towns. When you talk about Ariel, Ma’ale Adumim, and so on, it will be as though the entire West Bank is a suburb of Tel Aviv. This will make it impossible for there to be any separation in the future, for there to be any independent Palestinian entity; instead, an apartheid system of cantons will be imposed on Palestinians.  This is the reality on the ground.

Back to the new US policy: In addition to a shift in standing US positions on Jerusalem and the refugee issue, there is the use of Arab countries that are ready for normalization with Israel and eager to be aligned with the American project – first and foremost, Saudi Arabia, and also Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, which are pressuring the Palestinians to accept the US project to liquidate the Palestinian cause. This has complicated things and taken it out of the sphere of international law and the UN; everyone had previously worked within that framework. We have been demanding the implementation of resolutions. But the US dealt a blow to international law.

IA: The US now proposes the “deal of the century,” which Gulf states are eagerly endorsing. Can you describe the contours of that deal?

JJ: The proposal is to create a Palestinian state in Gaza with extensions into the Sinai Desert, to be administered by the Palestinian Authority. The West Bank and Jerusalem are not part of these calculations, although Israel might be willing to give up some areas around Jerusalem that are densely populated with Palestinians. (This part of the proposal has been floated by extremist Israeli groups even before the Trump proposal.) They might be willing to remove from Greater Jerusalem areas with high Palestinian density, like Jabal Mukkaber, Isawiya, Silwan, and Sur Bahir; there has been some discussion about removing Beit Hanina and Shufat. The Israelis would retain control of the Jewish settlements and the Old City, which together make up about 87% of the area of East Jerusalem—not exactly a small territory.

IA: What is the Palestinian response to these plans?

JJ:  On the formal political level, the PA is in a crisis. It placed its faith in the US, but now US determination to liquidate the Palestinian cause is very clear.  The only real option remaining to the PA is to cast its lot with the Palestinian people and on free people around the world, international solidarity and movements that support us. The Palestinian people have to make a decision, and so does the PA.

On the popular level, we see serious activity in search of an alternative to the status quo, the largest and the most important of which is taking place now in Gaza with the Great March of Return. These actions are important for a number of reasons. They changed the stereotypes about Gaza as a launchpad for rockets, a place of terrorism that has been hijacked by Hamas. In fact, the marches in Gaza since March 30 represent a widespread popular movement, massive popular resistance. Just like the first intifada emerged from Jabaliya in the Gaza Strip, today we have the beginnings of a mass civil disobedience movement. Gaza has a population that is resisting, and Hamas does not control this resistance. The discourse we generally hear, that Hamas is leading people to their death, should be recognized as racist and dehumanizing. People are not robots. Gazans of all ages, family situations, and economic and educational levels are taking part in these marches to raise their cause to the world.  These people are saying that the siege of Gaza cannot continue. We are human beings, we have rights, and one of those rights is to live like human beings. Gaza is no longer inhabitable. Gaza has been turned into a prison and a hell. Even the UN acknowledges that. The numbers around Gaza are just astounding.[3]

The Great March has returned focus on the refugee issue and put it squarely on the table despite all the efforts to ignore and erase it. More than 70% of Gaza residents are refugees, and they are demanding the right to return to their original hometowns.

For that reason, the marches in Gaza are very important in defining the trajectory of the Palestinian question and restoring the role of popular resistance to the forefront. They lay the popular foundation for the coming phase. They might also have prevented another massive disaster. I think Israel was preparing to implement the Trump administration’s proposals; the scenario that the Israelis were planning for was to pull Gaza into a military confrontation, which would justify more intense bombing than it has done in the past. The borders with Egypt would open, and people would flee into Egypt. But the march with its mass participation thwarted that plan.

IA: I find it hard to understand how Ramallah can be so tranquil considering the carnage in Gaza.

JJ:  It might seem that what is happening in the West Bank is not at all comparable to what is happening in Gaza. And that is true, it isn’t as massive. But actions are taking place in the West Bank, and they are also important. On a weekly basis people are gathering to protest at the checkpoints. Since 2011 there have been continuous outbursts (in Arabic, habbat); for example, in Jerusalem in the Bab al-Shams encampment and in the aftermath of the Abu Khdeir and Dawabshe killings (January 2013, July 2014, and July 2015, respectively).[4] These outbursts were significant and exemplary, the way Gaza is today. They reminded us of what the Palestinian people are capable of doing. I expect that these outbursts here and there will lead to widespread civil disobedience. Young people in Jerusalem and the West Bank have been going out to checkpoints in the hundreds, on a daily basis, and these conditions put one in the mindset of the first intifada.

We should take note of what Palestinians in Israel are doing as well. There are youth movements that are taking action in ways that are very impressive and a source of pride.  They defy the occupation and they involve large numbers of people, in Haifa and elsewhere.

IA: Let’s look at the relationship of Palestinians to formal political bodies. Recently the Palestinian National Council held its first meeting in 22 years. One might have thought that over the course of more than two decades, several issues and events warranted a meeting – regional events, the assassination of Yasir Arafat, and the status of the Oslo accords come to mind. But the convening of the PNC doesn’t seem to have generated much popular interest.

JJ: People did not pay much attention to it, but in fact they should be talking about it because it poses a threat. Meeting for the first time in 22 years, it did not even discuss what it has done since the last meeting! What it did do is effectively cancel itself, which means it is changing the structure of the PLO. There is an attempt to replace the Central Committee with a body consisting of the private sector, the political currents in the PA today, and elements of the security apparatus. No representation of Palestinians from the 1948 areas, or the diaspora, or even the Palestinian street. This is a threat to the Palestinian project.

The PLO as it has been transformed by Mahmoud Abbas threatens the national cause. It has been hijacked; our task is to restore it as a representative and unifying entity that works to support the Palestinian cause. The reform should be led by Palestinian groups and movements.

People have no confidence in the leadership; they don’t think it is capable of leading in the coming phase.  In fact, the outbursts I referred to earlier had the potential of triggering a third intifada.  People were waiting for a leadership to emerge, as happened during the first intifada; three months into the intifada, a unified leadership emerged and took charge. But this time, the PA wasn’t interested in assuming that role; three months into these protests, the PA sent its people to disrupt actions and prevent young people from gathering at checkpoints. The national factions were unable to form a unified leadership for obvious reasons.

IA: What is the alternative?

JJ: People have to create a national movement that can lead the change. What will lead the movement for change will not be a single individual. It will be a widespread national movement that has a real relationship with people on the ground, a movement that will direct the street. This is the only way change will take place. People have been waiting for a long time, but who are we waiting for? There is not going to be a great charismatic leader. We don’t talk about a heroic leader, we talk about a heroic people and a leadership of institutions.

We want a Palestinian state that represents all Palestinians. Within that broad outline, we say that right now, we have to protect the Palestinian project – the right to self-determination, and we all struggle for that right. We don’t have to get into a discussion about the final outcome. The time for the two state solution is clearly over—and in fact, that proposal provided the basis for trying to destroy our cause. The other option is clear. But like I said, we don’t want that discussion to detract from our focus now or to place us in conflict with the position of the PLO.

How do we support the Palestinian project? We have to confront what is happening in Jerusalem, the settlements. There has to be a practical program, not just slogans on paper. Palestinians in the diaspora should support these activities, get involved in the boycott movement, because we are part of that boycott movement. We are trying to keep the political work and the boycott movement separate to protect the boycott movement, because there is a Palestinian effort underway to weaken the BDS movement; through normalization, by invoking the PLO position. We consider the boycott movement an essential component of our activism.

This is what people are discussing today, here and with our people in the 1948 areas, and in the diaspora. There has to be a movement that preserves the unity of the Palestinian people and protects the national cause from liquidation. That’s what we are working on now. I expect that in the next few weeks there will be a meeting to put in writing some of the agreed upon principles underlying all of these actions. Many meetings have taken place, and they are being expanded.

SK: We are looking at all ways to get all Palestinians to participate under a banner of a common cause that unites us all. In the 1948 areas, the issue is colonization and civil rights, but Palestinians within Israel don’t find themselves too far apart from those in the West Bank and Gaza. In the West Bank, the issues are Judaization, settlements, attacks against the holy sites. Those in Gaza are concerned about 12-year siege and blockade, hunger, and murder. Those in the diaspora want the right of return. All of these are national issues that unite us, but each location faces specific threats.

The next phase will be difficult, as we figure out how to present a vision that unites all people, especially the youth, which have been marginalized, to be effective participants.  Since 2012, we have been in contact with the youth. About 76% of the population is 35 years old or younger. And yet no one is making a practical effort to involve them in political planning and decision making. As a campaign, we made a deliberate decision about this. Programs grow old, and so do people. So we need an extension, and the youth movement is part of that. Our hope is to create a mass youth activist base so that our energy will be renewed. We see in the diaspora and in the 1948 areas that the majority of activists are young – the marches in Haifa, confronting the Judaization of the Galilee, activism around the depopulated villages of 1948, the attempt to seize homes in Akka — young people are confronting these issues. We must raise the slogan of confronting colonialism, which is the main cause of what we face.  We Palestinians  have to work together, not against one another, and not expect solutions from others.

What they are doing is preparatory to a major outbreak; there will be a launch of boats to break the blockade, and not just from Gaza, and a rush toward all entry points to Palestine, without exception. Either we live with dignity, or we declare an intifada on those who deny us a life with dignity.

Everyone is targeted. In the West Bank, there are mass arrests, home demolitions, checkpoints, and people on the run. The idea of civil disobedience is not a slogan. We can rebel against all forms of Israeli control within the framework of a national program. Since the international community has not acted, what prevents Palestinians from adjacent countries from moving on mass to the border, as occurred in 2012 (and some were able to make it to Jaffa). Those in the diaspora might have ongoing marches in front of Israeli embassies and its supporters. They can paralyze Israel’s work in all countries. These are not the usual slogans or approaches to political work.  There is no need to hold on to agreements and positions that Israel long ago abandoned.

In 1948 we looked to what the international community might give us; it gave to Israel but nothing to us. There were conditions placed on it for recognition: its treatment of the Palestinian minority, accepting the Palestinian right of return, and the creation of a Palestinian state. None of them was fulfilled. After 1967, Palestinians agreed to accept 22% of historical Palestine, but even that was unacceptable for Israel. Palestinians can’t continue to think in terms of what Israel might be willing to give us.

We have a right to exist and to determine our own destiny. This is the issue that concerns us.

Notes.

[1] “Gaza protests: All the latest updates,” Al Jazeera, June 14, 2018, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/gaza-protest-latest-updates-180406092506561.html. See also Kate, “Israel has shot 29 medics at Gaza border, killing two,” Mondoweiss,http://mondoweiss.net/2018/06/israel-medics-killing/amp/

[2] Ida Audeh, “Interview with Jamal Juma’: PA ‘killing popular resistance.’” Electronic Intifada, August 8, 2011,https://electronicintifada.net/content/jamal-juma-pa-killing-popular-resistance/10249

[3] “Living conditions in Gaza ‘more and more wretched’ over past decade, UN finds,” UN News, 11 July 2017, https://news.un.org/en/story/2017/07/561302-living-conditions-gaza-more-and-more-wretched-over-past-decade-un-finds. Status Audio Journal Hosts, “Under siege: Daily life in Gaza with Rawan Yaghi,” Jadaliyya, May 16, 2018, http://www.jadaliyya.com/Details/37563/Under-Siege-Daily-Life-in-Gaza-with-Rawan-Yaghi. Gaza in Context Team, “Understanding Gaza in context,” Jadaliyya, May 16, 2018, http://www.jadaliyya.com/Details/37562/Understanding-Gaza

[4] The 2013 encampment known as Bab al-Shams was an attempt by Palestinians to thwart Israeli plans to establish a settlement on land in the E1 zone, between East Jerusalem and the Jewish-only settlement Ma’ale Adumim; the Israeli plan was designed to permanently sever the West Bank from East Jerusalem. Another encampment, Bab al-Karama, was set up in Beit Iksa and stormed by Israeli soldiers two days later. In July 2014, Israeli settlers in Jerusalem abducted 16-year-old Mohammad Abu Khdeir from Shufat and set him on fire; the ensuing demonstrations resulted in 160 Palestinians injured. Israel’s assault on Gaza began five days later. One year later, settlers set fire to a residence in Duma. The soul survivor of the attack was a 4-year-old child; the child’s parents and infant brother were killed. In 2015, a tent encampment, “Gate of Jerusalem,” was set up in Abu Dis to protest the Israeli government’s plans to displace Bedouin communities there. Beginning in September 2015 and lasting until the end of the year, protests spread from the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem throughout the West Bank; 108 Palestinians were killed and 12,260 were injured.  Palestinians in Israel demonstrated in solidarity.

Ida Audeh is a Palestinian from the West Bank who lives in Colorado. She is the editor of Birzeit University: The Story of a National Institution, published by Birzeit University in 2010. She can be reached at idaaudeh A T yahoo D O T com.

June 22, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Western Media Whitewash Yemen Genocide

By Finian CUNNINGHAM | Strategic Culture Foundation | 18.06.2018

With the United Nations warning that millions of civilians could die from violence or starvation from the ongoing military siege of the Yemeni port city of Hodeida, there is no other way to describe what is happening except as “genocide”.

The more than three-year war on Yemen waged by a Western-backed Saudi coalition has been arguably genocidal from the outset, with up to eight million people facing imminent starvation due to the years-long blockade on the Arabian country, as well as from indiscriminate air strikes.

But the latest offensive on the Red Sea city of Hodeida threatens to turn the world’s already worst humanitarian disaster into a mass extermination.

Hodeida is the entry point for 90 per cent of all food and medical aid into Yemen. If the city’s port stops functioning from the military offensive – as UN aid agencies are warning – then an entire country population of more than 20 million will, as a result, be on the brink of death.

The Saudi coalition which includes Emirati forces and foreign mercenaries as well as remnants from the previous regime (which the Western media mendaciously refer to as “government forces”) is fully backed by the US, Britain and France. This coalition says that by taking Hodeida it will hasten the defeat of Houthi rebels. But to use the cutting off of food and other vital aid to civilian populations as a weapon is a blatant war crime. It is absolutely inexcusable.

This past week an emergency session at the UN Security Council made the lily-livered call for the port city to remain open. But it stopped short of demanding an end to the offensive being led by Saudi and Emirati forces against Hodeida, which is the second biggest stronghold for Houthi rebels after the capital Sanaa. The port city’s population of 600,000 is at risk from the heavy fighting underway, including air strikes and naval bombardment, even before food, water and medicines supply is halted.

Since the Security Council meeting was a closed-door session, media reports did not indicate which members of the council voted down the Swedish call for an immediate end to hostilities. However, given that three permanent members of the council, the US, Britain and France, are militarily supporting the Saudi-led offensive on Hodeida, one can assume that these states blocked the call for a cessation.

As the horror of Hodeida unfolds, Western media are reporting with a strained effort to whitewash the criminal role of the American, British and French governments in supporting the offensive. Western media confine their focus narrowly on the humanitarian plight of Hodeida’s inhabitants and the wider Yemeni population. But the media are careful to omit the relevant context, which is that the offensive on Hodeida would not be possible without the crucial military support of Western governments. If the Western public were properly informed, the uproar would be an embarrassing problem for Western governments and their servile news media.

What is notable in the Western media reportage is the ubiquitous descriptor when referring to the Houthi rebels. Invariably, they are described as “Iran-backed”. That label is used to implicitly “justify” the Saudi and Emirati siege of Hodeida “because” the operation is said to be part of a “proxy war against Iran”. The BBC, France 24, CNN, Deutsche Welle, New York Times and Washington Post are among media outlets habitually practicing this misinformation on Yemen.

Both Iran and the Houthis have said that there is no military linkage. Granted, Iran politically and diplomatically supports the Houthis, and the Yemeni population generally, suffering from the war. The Houthis share a common Shia Muslim faith as Iran, but that is a far cry from military involvement. There is no evidence of Iran being militarily involved in Yemen. The claim of a linkage relies heavily on assertion by the Saudis and Emiratis which is peddled uncritically by Western media. Even the US government has shied away from making forthright accusations against Iran supporting the Houthis militarily. Washington’s diffidence is a tacit admission that the allegations are threadbare. Besides, how could a country which is subjected to an illegal Saudi blockade of its land, sea and air routes conceivably receive weapons supplied from Iran?

By contrast, while the Western media repeatedly refer to the Houthis as “Iran-backed”, what the same media repeatedly omit is the descriptor of “American-backed” or “British and French-backed” when referring to the Saudi and Emirati forces that have been pounding Yemen for over three years. Unlike the breathless claims of Iranian linkage to the Houthis, the Western military connection is verified by massive weapons exports, and indeed coy admissions by Western governments, when they are put to it, that they are supplying fuel and logistics to aid and abet the Saudi and Emirati war effort in Yemen.

Last week, the New York Times affected to lament the infernal conditions in Yemen as a “complex war”, as if the conflict is an unfathomable, unstoppable mystery. Why doesn’t the New York Times publish bold editorials bluntly calling for an end to US government complicity in Yemen? Or perhaps that is too “complex” for the Times’ editorial board?

The Washington Post also wrung its hands last week, saying: “The world’s most dire humanitarian crisis may get even worse. Emirati-led [and Saudi] offensive underway against port city of Hodeida, which is controlled by Iran-backed [sic] Houthi rebels.”

In its report, the Post did not mention the fact that air strikes by Saudi and Emirati forces are carried out with American F-15 fighter jets, British Typhoons and French Dassault warplanes. Incongruously, the Post cites US officials claiming that their forces are not “directly involved” in the offensive on the port city. How is that credible when air strikes are being conducted day after day? The Washington Post doesn’t bother to ask further.

In a BBC report last week also lamented the “humanitarian crisis” in Hodeida, there was the usual evidence-free casual labelling of Houthi rebels as “Iran-backed”. But, incredibly, in the entire article (at least in early editions) there was not a single mention of the verifiable fact that the Saudi and Emirati military are supplied with billions-of-dollars-worth of British, American and French weapons.

In the final paragraph of its early edition of the report, the BBC editorializes: “In March 2015, Saudi Arabia and eight other mainly Sunni Muslim Arab states launched a military campaign to restore [exiled president] Hadi’s government after becoming alarmed by the rise of the Houthi group which they see as an Iranian Shia Muslim proxy.”

Note the BBC’s lame and unconvincing implication of Iran. This is a stupendous distortion of the Yemeni conflict by the British state-owned broadcaster which, astoundingly, or perhaps that should be audaciously, completely airbrushes out any mention of how Western governments have fueled the genocidal war on Yemen.

At the end of 2014, the American and Saudi puppet self-styled “president” Mansour Hadi was kicked out by a Yemeni popular revolt led by the Houthis, but not exclusive to these rebels. The Yemeni uprising involved Shia and Sunni. To portray Iran as sponsoring a Shia proxy is a vile distortion which the Saudis and their Western backers have used in order to justify attacking Yemen for the objective of re-installing their puppet, who has been living in exile in the Saudi capital Riyadh. In short, covering up a criminal war of aggression with lies.

In reality, the Yemen war is about Western powers and their Arab despot client regimes trying to reverse a successful popular revolt that aspired to bring a considerably more democratic government to the Arab region’s poorest country, overcoming the decades it languished as a Western, Saudi client kleptocracy.

For over three years, Saudi and Emirati forces, supported with Western warplanes, bombs, missiles, attack helicopters, naval power, and air refueling, as well as targeting logistics, have waged a non-stop bombing campaign on Yemeni civilians. Nothing has been off-limits. Hospitals, schools, markets, mosques, funerals, wedding halls, family homes, farms, water-treatment plants and power utilities, all have been mercilessly obliterated. Even graveyards have been bombed.

Even during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the Saudi-led coalition – the supposed custodian of the two holy mosques of Mecca and Medina – has continued to massacre innocents from the air.

Elsewhere in the region, Western politicians and media have mounted hysterical protests against the Syrian government and its Russian ally when they have liberated cities from Western-backed terrorists, accusing Syria and Russia of “war crimes” and “inhuman sieges”. None of these hyperbolic Western media campaigns concerning Syria has ever been substantiated. Recall Aleppo? East Ghouta? The Syrian people have gladly returned to rebuild their lives now in peace under Syrian government protection after the Western terror proxies were routed. Western media claims about Syria have transpired to be outrageous lies, which have been hastily buried by the media as if they were never told in the first place.

Yet in Yemen there is an ongoing, veritable genocidal war fully supported by Western governments. The latest barbarity is the siege of Hodeida with the callous, murderous objective of finally starving a whole population into submitting to the Western, Saudi, Emirati writ for dominating the country. This is Nuremberg-standard capital crimes.

With no exaggeration, Western news media are a Goebbels-like propaganda ministry – par excellence – whose duty is to whitewash genocide conducted by their governments. The barefaced lies and sly omissions being told about Yemen is one more reason among many reasons why the Western media have forfeited any vestige of credibility. They are serving as they usually do – Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, Syria among others – as accomplices in an epic war crime against Yemen.

Photo: Geopolitics Alert

June 18, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Houthis say Saudi-led forces bogged down outside Hudaydah

Press TV – June 17, 2018

Yemen’s Houthi fighters have dismissed reports that Saudi-led forces have seized the airport in the port city of Hudaydah, saying the aggressors are on the retreat on all front lines.

Militants and foreign mercenaries armed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are attempting to capture the well-defended city and push the Houthis out of their sole Red Sea port in the biggest battle of the war.

“A battle of attrition awaits the Saudi alliance which it cannot withstand. The Saudi coalition will not win the battle in Hudaydah,” Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam told Lebanon-based al-Mayadeen TV.

Saudi Arabia on Sunday conducted airstrikes on the airport, to support forces attempting to seize it. The official SABA news agency said warplanes carried out five strikes on Hudaydah – a lifeline to millions of Yemenis.

Ground troops including Emiratis, Sudanese and Yemenis have surrounded the main airport compound.

Mohammed al-Sharif, deputy head of Yemen’s civil aviation, said images circulated online about the airport had been taken in October 2016.

A fence shown as proof of the airport’s capture is actually situated near the al-Durayhimi district, on a piece of land belonging to a Yemeni lawmaker, the official SABA news agency quoted him as saying.

Ahmed Taresh, the head of Hudaydah airport, also denied news of the airport’s capture, but said that it has been completely destroyed in airstrikes conducted by the Saudi-led coalition.

Abdulsalam warned that the Saudi-UAE offensive against the port city would undermine chances for a peaceful settlement of the Yemen crisis.

The rebuttals came after the media office of the Saudi-backed Yemeni forces loyal to ex-president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi said on Twitter that they had “freed Hudaydah international airport from the grip of” the Houthis.

Reports on Sunday said Saudi-backed forces had been surrounded in the al-Durayhimi Bayt al-Faqih district and at least 40 Saudi mercenaries killed by Yemeni sniper fire over the past two days.

Al-Mayadeen, meanwhile, cited informed sources as saying that the invading forces had retreated from all fronts in Hudaydah’s west.

A Yemeni military source said clashes had left 50 Saudi-backed forces dead and destroyed 13 of their armored vehicles in southern Hudaydah.

Yemeni forces have also managed to confiscate a French or American ship off Hudaydah’s coast, president of the Houthi Revolutionary Committee Mohammed Ali al-Houthi tweeted.

The UAE, a key member of the Saudi-led coalition waging the war on Yemen, launched the Hudaydah assault on Wednesday despite warnings that it would compound the impoverished nation’s humanitarian crisis.

Le Figaro newspaper on Saturday reported that French special forces were present on the ground in Yemen supporting the operation.

According to the Houthis, British and French warships were also on standby on Yemen’s western coast to launch missile and aerial attacks on Hudaydah.

Fighting on Saturday closed off the city’s northern exit, blocking a key route east to Sana’a and making it harder to transport goods from Yemen’s biggest port to mountainous regions.

The UN World Food Program and the World Health Organization have both expressed concern over the situation.

More than 70 percent of Yemeni imports pass through Hudaydah’s docks and the fighting has raised fears of a humanitarian catastrophe in a country already teetering on the brink of famine.

On Saturday, the UN envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths arrived in Sana’a to hold emergency talks on Hudaydah. He was believed to be pushing a deal for the Houthi fighters to cede control of the Red Sea port to a UN-supervised committee.

June 17, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Iran Prepares to Start Uranium Enrichment

By Peter KORZUN | Strategic Culture Foundation | 07.06.2018

Iran has launched preparations to boost its uranium enriching capacity. The decision is the result of the United States’ withdrawal from the nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JPCOA). Tehran has begun work on infrastructure to build advanced centrifuges at its Natanz facility. It also plans to secure nuclear fuel for the Bushehr power plant. The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was informed of its plans to increase the enrichment within the limits of the 2015 deal with world powers.

This is a signal that Iran will not comply with the JPCOA if it collapses. Tehran wants European banks to take the risk and safeguard trade. Oil sales must be guaranteed and the losses resulting from US sanctions must be compensated by Brussels. The demand for new negotiations on Iran’s ballistic missile program and regional policy must be abandoned as these issues are not related to the JPCOA.

The EU is trying to preserve the agreement but it’s hard to see how private companies could be convinced to deal with Tehran running the risk of American punitive measures. Peugeot, Total, and Italy’s Danieli have already halted or are preparing to halt their ties with Iran.

Actually, the chances that Europeans would be able to protect their companies dealing with Iran from the effects of US sanctions are slim at best. If so, Iran has no reason to comply with the deal anymore. Why should it? It was not Iran who tore it up. If it’s not working, then why should Tehran observe its part of it? True, formally the agreement is still effective. Iran said the enrichment will be within the agreed limits but the US and Israel are likely to say it is not. Washington and Jerusalem will raise hue and cry over the announced enrichment to describe it as a breach of the JPCOA, whether the limits stipulated in the deal are exceeded or not. They will cite “intelligence sources” or invent something to justify their claims, no matter what the UN watchdog says.

The trouble is that the US decision to pull out from the deal was not an element of a well-defined policy, there was no plan B. The hope to have the JCPOA renegotiated was a pipe dream from the start. An agreement is an agreement. Iran complied with it. Other controversial issues, such as ballistic missiles, could have been subjects for separate talks. If not, it’s still preferable to have the JPCOA in effect to make sure there will be no nuclear warheads installed on delivery means. But Washington chose the language of ultimatums to spoil it all.

In April, President Trump warned Iran of “big problems” if it resumes the nuclear program. Iranian Bavar-373 air defense systems have already been deployed to protect the related infrastructure. In late May, Israeli Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin said Israel is the first country in the world to carry out an operational mission with the F-35 stealth fighter, which flew over Beirut undetected. In March, two Israeli F-35s were reported to fly over Iranian air space unnoticed. This was a clear warning to Iran that the resumption of nuclear program would be responded to with force.

In 2012, Israel was ready to strike but was held back by the US. With President’s Trump’s tough stance on Iran, it may be different this time. On the contrary, the US may find the idea to use force against Iran too tempting before the June 12 summit with the North Korean leader in Singapore.

Actually, a war between Israel and Iran is already waged as Israeli aviation regularly strikes what it says Iran’s forces in Syria. The recent success of pro-Iranian Hezbollah in Lebanon brings an armed conflict even closer. The unsettled maritime dispute over the natural gas deposits in the Mediterranean makes it almost inevitable as the profits to be received by the Lebanese government will inevitably enrich Hezbollah. The Hamas attacks in Gaza are also viewed by Israel as a conflict ignited by Iran. It strikes the eye that Israel has changed its tone demanding complete withdrawal of Iran from Syria not just keeping away from the Golan Heights.

There are unconfirmed reports that the US military is building an outpost in the Sinjar mountains of Ninawa province to secure the Syria-Iraq border and prevent Iran from establishing a land corridor linking Iran’s western border to the Mediterranean. If the reports are true, the US is evidently preparing for a military operation. It will not have NATO by its side. America and Israel are on their own. They may be supported directly or indirectly by some Sunni Arab nations.

For instance, Saudi Arabia’s threat to use force against Qatar is another sigh of preparing a multinational war against Iran. The deal to purchase the Russian S-400 air defense systems is used as a pretext though it’s hard to see how these defensive weapon systems could pose a threat to the kingdom. Riyadh is in talks with Moscow on purchasing the systems, why can’t Doha do the same? The real reason is probably the refusal of Qatar to break ties with Iran.

There are very disturbing signs that a war waged by Israel, the US, and probably its Persian Gulf allies is close at hand. The tensions could be eased if diplomacy were given a chance but the US unilateral withdrawal from the JPCOA appears to turn such scenario into a very remote possibility.

June 7, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

UN aid boat comes under suspected Saudi attack off Yemen

Press TV – June 4, 2018

A United Nations vessel delivering humanitarian aid to the Yemeni port of Hudaydah has come under a suspected Saudi attack.

Yemen’s Red Sea Ports Corporation said on Monday that the vessel used by the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) was attacked after delivering a shipment at Hudaydah, a port in western Yemen which is controlled by the ruling Houthi Ansarullah movement and is under a blockade by Saudi Arabia and its allies fighting the Houthis.

“The vessel traffic office received a distress call from the VOS THEIA at 1730 (1430 GMT) on Sunday, June 3, 2018 about a fire in the vessel resulting from an external attack,” said the Port Corporation in a statement, although it would not elaborate on who might have launched the attack.

The statement added that the ship was waiting in anchorage for permission to leave when it came under attack.

The UN’s aid chief, Mark Lowcock said, however, that no one was injured and the situation was calm now.

“There was an incident … We don’t know who’s responsible. We’re investigating and the incident is over,” said Lowcock.

The UN official, however, criticized anyone seeking to disrupt the humanitarian aid delivery in Hudaydah, a port which handles the bulk of Yemen’s commercial imports and aid supplies and is regarded as a lifeline for some eight million Yemenis being fed by the UN.

“There’s no port more important than Hudaydah. So anything which called into question the operation of Hudaydah would be a matter of deepest concern,” he said.

Reports over the past weeks have indicated that Saudi Arabia and its allies have been advancing on Hudaydah, launching frequent attacks on port authorities and guards patrolling at sea.

Saudis refused to provide any comment on the incident involving the UN aid boat.

According to figures released by the Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights, more than 600,000 people have been killed or injured in the Saudi war since 2015.

The illegal campaign, which is meant to restore power to former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, has also displaced hundreds of thousands of Yemenis while exacerbating the humanitarian plight of millions already affected by poverty and malnutrition in the Arabian Peninsula’s poorest nation.

June 4, 2018 Posted by | War Crimes | , | Leave a comment