Tuesday, December 11, 2018

A Nuclear Deal with Iran: The Impact on Oil and Natural Gas Trends

Most immediately, lifted sanctions on Iran's oil and gas industry could spur tensions with other energy producers, such as Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. In last week's State of the Union Address, President Obama threatened to veto new legislation affecting five issues, four of them in the domestic policy arena...
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Ceasefire in Yemen Faces Collapse as U.S. Continues Weapons Sales to Saudi Arabia, Fueling...

United Nations-brokered peace talks in Yemen's nine-month-old civil war are faltering, amid disputes between rival factions over the release of prisoners. Meanwhile, local officials have reported intensifying clashes and renewed airstrikes despite an ongoing ceasefire. Over the weekend, U.S.-backed, Saudi-led airstrikes killed 19 Yemeni civilians in their homes and...

Of Strategic Interest To NATO: The Militarization of Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf

On June 18 Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen met with Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Nizar Madani at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The head of the Western military alliance extended an invitation to the Persian Gulf kingdom to join NATO’s partnership program...

Israel’s air superiority clouded by new Russian missiles in Syria

Putin's deployment of advanced S-400 system impacts a mainstay of Israel's defense strategy, though coordination with Moscow mitigates the threat. Israel's air superiority over its enemies has been a linchpin of its defense strategy for decades. The capacity of Israeli planes to carry out attacks well within enemies’ borders has...

US Delivers 3,000 Tons Of Weapons And Ammo To Al-Qaeda and Co in Syria

The United States via its Central Intelligence Agency is still delivering thousands of tons of additional weapons to al-Qaeda and others in Syria. The British military information service Janes found the transport solicitation for the shipment on the US government website FedBizOps.gov. Janes writes: The FBO has released two solicitations in recent months looking for shipping...

Saudi Attack on Yemen – The New Normal?

Saudi Arabia, in an unprecedented act of unprovoked unilateral military aggression against Yemen by the autocratic absolute monarchy, was allegedly triggered in a US-backed attempt to restore what Riyadh is calling the "legitimate government of Yemen." What exactly constitutes a legitimate government is not clear for a despotic regime where...

Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From CIA

With help from the C.I.A., Arab governments and Turkey have sharply increased their military aid to Syria’s opposition fighters in recent months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment for the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to air traffic data, interviews with officials in several countries and...

Bob Graham and the Missing 9/11 Report Pages

The media has taken an increasing interest in the 28 pages that were redacted from the 9/11 Joint Congressional Inquiry Report. The stories usually feature one of the Inquiry’s leaders, former Senator Bob Graham, who has claimed that the missing pages point to involvement of the government of Saudi Arabia. Although Saudi complicity...

Jordan agrees deal for Russia to build nuclear plant

The $10bn power plant in energy-poor Jordan is scheduled to be completed in 2023. Jordan said Tuesday it has signed a framework agreement with Russia for the construction of the first nuclear power plant in the kingdom at a cost of $10bn. The deal was signed by Khaled Tukan, head of the Jordan Atomic Enegry Commission,...

U.S. Pursued Secret Contacts With Assad Regime for Years

Effort to limit violence and get president to relinquish power failed. The Obama administration pursued secret communications with elements of Syria’s regime over several years in a failed attempt to limit violence and get President Bashar al-Assad to relinquish power, according to U.S. and Arab officials. Early on, the U.S. looked...

Saudi Arabia Is Burning Through Its Foreign Reserves at a Record Pace

Saudi Arabia is burning through foreign reserves at a record pace as the largesse of the new king and regional turmoil ratchet up pressure on public finances already hurt by the oil price slump. The kingdom spent $36 billion of the central bank’s net foreign assets -- about 5 percent...

US-trained Division 30 rebels betray US and hand weapons over to al-Qaeda’s affiliate in...

Pentagon-trained rebels are reported to have betrayed US and handed weapons over to Jabhat al-Nusra immediately after entering Syria. Pentagon-trained rebels in Syria are reported to have betrayed their American backers and handed their weapons over to al-Qaeda in Syria immediately after re-entering the country. Fighters with Division 30, the “moderate”...

Egypt relinquishes control of strategic islands

Saudi Arabia and Egypt demarcate maritime boundary, officially putting islands in the Straits of Tiran under Saudi control; implications for Israel-Egypt relations and Israeli shipping still unclear. According to the Egyptian newspaper Al-Youm Al-Sabaa, the Egyptian cabinet announced an agreement with Saudi Arabia on Saturday, delineating the maritime boundaries between...

Houthi arms bonanza came from Saleh, not Iran

Claims Iran is supplying the Houthis with weapons ignore the fact the group was already flush with American arms from ex-president Saleh. As the Saudi bombing campaign against Houthi targets in Yemen continues, notwithstanding a temporary pause, the corporate media narrative about the conflict in Yemen is organised decisively around...

ISIS is now deploying US-supplied TOW Anti-tank Missiles in Syria

ISIS fighters are currently boasting of the deployment of their latest military hardware through photos distributed by Islamic State’s “Wilayat Damascus” (State of Damascus): the US-supplied BGM 71E TOW anti-tank missile system. Among those confirming the authenticity of the photos include analysts at the hawkish Brookings Institution and the Foundation...

What are the real Saudi motives in Yemen?

Jamal Benomar, the former UN mediator in Yemen, caused a diplomatic stir when he told me recently that a dozen Yemeni parties, including the Houthis, were close to a power-sharing deal until the first Saudi bomb dropped on Yemen on 26 March. Benomar said there was agreement on all major points except...

Major deal: Israel to purchase four patrol ships from Germany to defend gas rigs

Germany will provide Israeli navy with ships at cost of NIS 1.8 billion and finance third of costs; deal announced day before Israel and Germany mark 50 years of diplomatic relations. Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and his German counterpart Ursula von der Leyen signed a contract Monday under which Israel...

Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response

The rise of the insurgent terrorist group known as the Islamic State (IS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL/ISIS) and Russia’s military intervention on behalf of the Syrian government have reshaped debates over U.S. policy toward the ongoing civil conflict in Syria, now in...

Cost no barrier to Saudi Arabia’s Yemen intervention

(Reuters) - Despite a record budget deficit caused by low oil prices, Saudi Arabia can easily afford its military intervention in Yemen and cost is unlikely to limit the duration or scale of its operations, military analysts believe. The world's biggest oil exporter is acting while it faces the heaviest...

Migrant Crisis & Syria War Fueled By Competing Gas Pipelines

Don’t let anyone fool you: Sectarian strife in Syria has been engineered to provide cover for a war for access to oil and gas, and the power and money that come along with it. Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect recent Wikileaks revelations of US State Department...

How Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen has made Al Qaeda stronger – and richer

One unintended consequence of the war in Yemen: Al Qaeda now runs its own mini-state, flush with funds from raiding the local central bank and levying taxes at the local port. DUBAI/CAIRO – Once driven to near irrelevance by the rise of Islamic State abroad and security crackdowns at home,...

Death From Above: How American Drone Strikes Are Devastating Yemen

On the ground in a country where unmanned missile attacks are a terrifyingly regular occurrence. The people of Yemen can hear destruction before it arrives. In cities, towns and villages across this country, which hangs off the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, the air buzzes with the sound of...

Why ISIS Exists: The Double Game

The western press laments the near impossibility of defeating an organization that didn’t even exist a couple of short years ago. Brand ISIS, the unconquerable, may actually become a truism if the people of the western nations continue to listen to the lies and propaganda of their own governments. You’ve...

Yemen’s War Is Redrawing the Middle East’s Fault Lines

Saudi Arabia's ongoing war in Yemen does more to highlight the kingdom's isolation than its power. Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab world, bereft of resources, fractured by tribal divisions and religious sectarianism, and plagued by civil war. And yet this small country tucked into the bottom of the...

The Iran Deal and Its Consequences

Mixing shrewd diplomacy with defiance of U.N. resolutions, Iran has turned the negotiation on its head. The announced framework for an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program has the potential to generate a seminal national debate. Advocates exult over the nuclear constraints it would impose on Iran. Critics question the verifiability...

How The West Created ISIS

OUR TERRORISTS “This is an organisation that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision which will eventually have to be defeated,” Gen Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon press conference in August. Military action is necessary to halt the spread of the ISIS/IS “cancer,” said...

Saudi Arabia’s Airstrikes in Yemen Are Fuelling the Gulf’s Fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis. Foreign states that go to war in Yemen usually come to regret it. The Saudi-led military intervention so far involves only air strikes, but a ground assault may follow. The code name for the action is...

WikiLeaks Publishes More Documents Revealing Saudi Connection Against Syria And United States

According to documents leaked by WikiLeaks, a secret treaty among Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia shows they intended to overthrow the Syrian government. The revelation came from Julian Assange, the founder of the controversial website. Assange claimed to a Russian TV channel Sunday that the secret deal had been signed...

Why Iraqi-Saudi ties are backsliding yet again

Iraq is facing a new crisis with Saudi Arabia as a result of their differing points of view regarding regional issues, most notably those related to Lebanon-based Hezbollah, which was recently classified by the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as a terrorist organization. The crisis started March...

Yemen Beware as it Threatens US-backed Order

The crisis in Yemen is the latest manifestation of the old order desperately trying to cling on to a dwindling power base. That old order has been backed by the United States and its allies among the Persian Gulf Arab dictatorships as a bulwark against a popular uprising that...

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