Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Death Toll in Yemen Is So High the Red Cross Has Started Donating...

Almost a year and a half into Saudi Arabia’s U.S.-backed bombing campaign in Yemen, the humanitarian toll has become so extensive that the International Committee of the Red Cross has taken the unusual step of donating entire morgue units to Yemeni hospitals. “The hospitals were not able to cope,” said...

The Money Trail: How the US Fostered Yemen’s Separatist Movement

As Saudi Arabia and its allies have begun the bombing campaign against Yemen, in the south, a separatist movement calling for a "State of South Arabia" is emerging. Fostered by the US, it will leave the Houthis with two hostile states at their borders and locked access to the...

Turkey demands role in Mosul battle, but coalition unconvinced

With US-led operations against the Islamic State’s strongholds of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq looming, Ankara and Washington are engaged in intense talks to determine Turkey's involvement in them. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has indicated that Turkey wants in on both operations, declaring that US President Barack Obama called for...

U.S. Goal Is to Make Syrian Rebels Viable

REYHANLI, Turkey — In a secret office near the Syrian border here, intelligence agents from the United States and its allies are laying the groundwork for what they hope will become an effective force of Syrian rebels to serve as ground troops in the international battle against the extremist...

Syrian rebels increasingly joining ISIS: Coalition ambassador

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—Moderate Syrian opposition fighters are increasingly joining the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) for financial reasons, Syrian National Coalition representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Adib Al-Shishakli has warned. In comments to Asharq Al-Awsat, Shishakli said that international funding cuts to moderate Syrian fighters wages...

British and US military in command room for Saudi strikes on Yemen

Saudi Arabian foreign minister also reveals UK and American officials have access to lists of targets, but do not choose them. British and American military officials are in the command and control centre for Saudi airstrikes on Yemen, and have access to lists of targets, although they do not play...

Has the US found a new friend in Iraq’s Shiite militias?

On March 12, US Consul General Steve Walker visited Al-Sadr Teaching Hospital in Basra to pay his respects to wounded members of the Popular Mobilization Units. The visit marked the first time a US official has publicly met these troops. This is particularly remarkable as until now, the official US position toward the Popular Mobilization...

Saudi Arabia Pour Oil on the Mideast Fire

Saudi Arabia, now in alliance with Israel and with tacit U.S. approval, is dragging the Middle East into a nightmare of sectarian conflict, pitting its own warplanes and Sunni terrorists against Shiites, Christians and other minorities as part of a misguided competition with Iran, as Anthony F. Shaker describes. While...

Syrian Kurds Risk Their Gains With New Federalization Demands

Everyone seems to agree that the recent Russian surprise move in Syria is to its advantage. The Russian government declared that it had achieved most of its aims in Syria and decided to continue its operations there with a smaller forces. As the current ceasefire seem to hold the...

What Donald Rumsfeld Knew We Didn’t Know About Iraq

The document reveals gaps of intelligence on WMD. Why didn’t the Pentagon chief share it? On September 9, 2002, as the George W. Bush administration was launching its campaign to invade Iraq, a classified report landed on the desk of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It came...

Russia opens way to missile deliveries to Iran, starts oil-for-goods swap

(Reuters) - Russia paved the way on Monday for missile system deliveries to Iran and started an oil-for-goods swap, signaling that Moscow may have a head-start in the race to benefit from an eventual lifting of sanctions on Tehran. The moves come after world powers, including Russia, reached an interim...

The US and Russia Have Less Influence in Syria Than They Think

At about 5pm on Saturday, two US F-16 fighter bombers and two A-10 specialised ground attack aircraft bombed what they believed was a concentration of Isis fighters besieging pro-government forces in the city of Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria. Whoever it was in the US Air Force who had misidentified...

US delivers 50 tons of ammunition to Syria rebel groups

(CNN) - U.S. military cargo planes gave 50 tons of ammunition to rebel groups overnight in northern Syria, using an air drop of 112 pallets as the first step in the Obama Administration's urgent effort to find new ways to support those groups. Details of the air mission over Syria...

U.S. Discloses Saudi Holdings of Treasuries for First Time

The Treasury Department released a breakdown of Saudi Arabia's holdings of U.S. debt, after keeping the figures secret for more than four decades. The stockpile of the world’s biggest oil exporter stood at $116.8 billion as of March, down almost 6 percent from a record in January, according to data...

Saudi Arabia has little to worry about – no state has the moral authority...

We have to remember that on the UN Council we can find such vigorous defenders of human rights as China and Russia. When Saudi Arabia was elected to the UN Human Rights Council in 2013 – with Dave Cameron’s help – we all regarded it as farce. Now, only hours...

Classified U.S report into the Fallujah assult

Leak: Complex Environments: Battle of Fallujah I, April 2004 Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld launched the failed April 2004 assault on the Iraqi town of Fallujah before marines were ready because it had become "a symbol of resistance that dominated international headlines" and similar considerations eventually destroyed the...

U.S. has secretly provided arms training to Syria rebels since 2012

CIA agents and special operations troops have trained the rebels in anti-tank and antiaircraft weaponry in Jordan and Turkey. WASHINGTON — CIA operatives and U.S. special operations troops have been secretly training Syrian rebels with anti-tank and antiaircraft weapons since late last year, months before President Obama approved plans to...

Military Success in Syria Gives Putin Upper Hand in U.S. Proxy War

WASHINGTON — The Syrian military was foundering last year, with thousands of rebel fighters pushing into areas of the country long considered to be government strongholds. The rebel offensive was aided by powerful tank-destroying missiles supplied by the Central Intelligence Agency and Saudi Arabia. Intelligence assessments circulated in Washington that...

Saudi’s star prince keeps rising, visits Putin in St. Petersburg

Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman visited St. Petersburg this week, and signed several agreements with the Russians concerning oil cooperation, space cooperation, peaceful nuclear energy cooperation, and nuclear technology sharing. It is another high-profile mission for the 29-year-old son of King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz...

Jordanians worry over new Syria front

Jordan's pundits reacted swiftly to statements made by US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on July 26 that the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State (IS) is planning to open a new front in southern Syria in addition to its ongoing offensive in the north of the war-torn country. Most...

Qatar runs covert desert training camp for Syrian rebels

At a desert base, Gulf state Qatar is covertly training moderate Syrian rebels with U.S. help to fight both President Bashar al-Assad and Islamic State and may include more overtly Islamist insurgent groups, sources close to the matter say. The camp, south of the capital between Saudi Arabia's border and...

Is Turkey crushing Kurdish self-rule in Syria?

Looking back at Turkey's failed peace process with the Kurds now that it has devolved into a bloody conflict also affecting Syria, the position of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan is perhaps best summarized through something he conveyed to lawmakers from the Kurdish-dominated Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) during a March...

It’s Time to Seriously Consider Partitioning Syria

No one wants to break up a country. But, really, what’s left of it? There may be a tentative cease-fire at present, but let’s not get carried away. The war in Syria is going nowhere fast. It staggers along, with daily violations and a rising body count — another vicious...

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...

End of an era as Prince Bandar departs Saudi intelligence post

Prince's exit could signal shift in kingdom's policy towards Syria, with looming leadership transition complicating picture. Prince Bandar bin Sultan's departure as head of Saudi intelligence, confirmed this week, marks the end of an era for a flamboyant and powerful character on the Middle Eastern stage. The big question is...

France Deploys Special Forces in Syria as IS Loses Ground

ROME, ITALY - French special forces in northern Syria are assisting Kurdish-led militias in a drive to retake a pocket of territory west of the Euphrates River from the Islamic State terror group, according to French officials. The French news agency, AFP, reports the commandos are not participating in combat...

US army denies coalition jets hit Assad forces in Syria

Syrian government accuses US-led coalition of striking its army for first time, killing three soldiers. A series of air strikes killed three Syrian soldiers in the country's east, Syria's government said on Monday, accusing the US-led coalition of responsibility for the attack. The US military denied any involvement. If confirmed, it would...

Why the Obama Administration Is Favoring al-Qaeda’s Main Syrian Ally

In yet another a dangerous US political-diplomatic move in Syria, the Obama administration is going out of its way to protect the interests of al-Qaeda's closest and most powerful ally in Syria, Ahrar al-Sham. The administration's decision to shield the Islamist organization from the consequences of collaborating closely with al-Qaeda's...

How Saudi Arabia Turned Its Greatest Weapon on Itself

For the past half-century, the world economy has been held hostage by just one country: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Vast petroleum reserves and untapped production allowed the kingdom to play an outsize role as swing producer, filling or draining the global system at will. The 1973-74 oil embargo was...

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...

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