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MIDDLE EAST

Apr 22 06:24

Biden’s Yemen Envoy Claims He Doesn’t Know if the US Is Still Supporting Saudi Military Operations

Tim Lenderking was appointed by President Biden as a special envoy to find a diplomatic solution to the war in Yemen. But on Wednesday, Lenderking told Congress that he had no idea if the US was still providing military support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

“I’m not totally in that information loop, congressman, so I can’t really speak to that,” Lenderking said when asked by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) if the US is currently supporting Saudi military operations in Yemen. “I do think that we need to make sure that Saudi Arabia is able to defend itself … but my focus is driving toward a ceasefire, so we can get out of this whole question of offensive and defensive weapons,” Lenderking added.

Apr 21 05:53

Bin Salman backed Israeli plot to overthrow Jordan king: Report

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has reportedly backed an Israeli “scheme” to overthrow Jordanian King Abdullah II in exchange for the guardianship of al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds.

Lebanon's Al Akhbar newspaper, quoting a Jordanian security official, said in a report on Tuesday that the coup attempt against King Abdullah II was a "scheme" involving Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.

The Beirut-based daily said the Saudi crown prince had agreed to support the Israeli plot in return for the transfer of the guardianship over the holy sites in the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds from Jordan to Saudi Arabia.

According to the unnamed official, Israel planned the coup against the Jordanian king over Amman’s opposition to the so-called US deal of the century, which allows the Tel Aviv regime to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank and the Jordan Valley.

Apr 21 05:52

Yemen army hits ‘military site’ inside SW Saudi airport in new retaliation

The Yemeni army has carried out a successful drone attack against a “military site” within the Abha International Airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia, keeping up the impoverished country’s retaliation against a Riyadh-led war.

The reprisal against the terminal that lies in the kingdom’s Asir region took place on Tuesday, using one of the Yemeni armed forces’ indigenously-manufactured Qasef-2K UAVs, army spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Saree said in a brief statement.

“The hit was accurate,” Saree noted in the statement that was reported by Yemen’s al-Masirah television network. “This targeting comes in response to the escalation of aggression and the ongoing siege on our dear country.”

The Saudi kingdom and its allies have been waging the war for more than seven years in a futile attempt to restore Yemen’s former Riyadh-allied officials.

Apr 21 05:20

UN experts demand release of Dubai's Princess Latifa

UN human rights experts called on the United Arab Emirates to disclose the whereabouts of Princess Latifa two months after the BBC released a video showing the Dubai ruler's daughter saying she was being held hostage by her father.

A joint statement by UN human rights experts, including investigators on torture and violence against women, called for Latifa's immediate release, verification on her whereabouts and details on the conditions of where she is being held.

"We are alarmed that, following the public release in February of footage in which Sheikha Latifa reported being deprived of her liberty against her will, and the subsequent official request for further information on her situation, no concrete information has been provided by the authorities," the UN experts said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

"The statement issued by the Emirates authorities' merely indicating that she was being 'cared for at home' is not sufficient at this stage."

Apr 19 06:56

For Riyadh, the prize in Yemen is oil – for Houthis the prize is Yemen

The bloody conflict continues to rage in Yemen with a new flashpoint erupting between Houthi rebels and a Saudi-led coalition on Monday, after Houthi drones hit Aramco refineries at Jeddah and Jubail.

According to Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree, the attacks were part of a night raid of 10 drones that also struck “sensitive military areas” in the southern part of Saudi Arabia.

The Houthi attacks on Saudi oil facilities proceeded in parallel with a renewed Houthi offensive to take control of Yemen’s oil-rich Marib region, the last northern stronghold of Saudi occupiers, in their six-year war against the Houthis on behalf of deposed Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi.

Apr 19 06:27

At Least 70 Killed as Yemen Fighting Rages in Maarib, Taiz

Fighting continues to rage in Yemen, with the Houthi movement both trying to consolidate gains near Maarib, and trying to push for new opportunities around the contested city of Taiz, leading to major clashes.

Over the past few days, reports are that the Houthis made gains near Maarib, along the northwestern routes which they have been contesting. At least 42 more were killed in fighting over the weekend, but without any apparent new gains.

Meanwhile in Taiz, the Houthis are testing defenses in a city which is split between the two sides since the earliest days of the Saudi invasion. As usual, fighting was intense but little territory seems to have changed hands. At least 28 fighters were killed.

Taiz sees a lot of fighting, but rarely anything happens that suggests the stalemate might break. Maarib, on the other hand, represents the last Saudi holding in north Yemen, and the Houthis seem to be making gains in their approach. This could still be a city falling to them.

Apr 17 06:57

UN complicit in US-Saudi act of piracy against fuel tankers: Yemen

The Yemen Petroleum Company (YPC) has lashed out at US-backed invading Saudi coalition for impounding Yemeni fuel tankers, calling the United Nations "a partner in the maritime piracy."

“The US-Saudi coalition keeps confiscating ships carrying Yemeni fuel under the auspices of the United Nations,” YPC Executive Director Ammar al-Adhrai said.

Al-Adhrai made the remarks on Friday during a protest held outside the UN office in the Yemeni capital Sana'a under the slogan "Denying the siege is an additional crime."

"Since the beginning of 2021, only one ship carrying diesel has been able to enter Hudaydah,” he added, referring to the strategic port that is a lifeline for millions of Yemenis.

Adhrai warned that the lives of 26 million Yemenis will be at risk if the act of preventing Yemeni fuel vessels from entering Hudaydah continues.

Apr 17 05:33

At Least 96 Killed as Yemen’s Houthis Push Toward Maarib

Since February, fighting has raged over the northern Yemen city of Maarib, the last government-held possession in the north, as the Houthis and their allies try to contest control over it with a 3-pronged offensive.

In recent weeks, reports are that the Houthis are gaining some ground, and in the last two days they’ve gone deeper in, with heavy fighting killing 96 fighters, mostly Houthis. They are still, slowly but surely, advancing on the city.

Pro-Saudi forces say that the Houthis now pose a “very real threat” to both fronts on the city’s northwest. The third front to the south mostly appears unchanged, and under government control.

Maarib’s value is often overstated, as its wealth of oil and gas is only measurable by comparison to other desperately poor cities in Yemen. The city is small, and struggling with a large refugee problem from the surrounding area.

Apr 17 05:25

At Least 96 Killed as Yemen’s Houthis Push Toward Maarib

Since February, fighting has raged over the northern Yemen city of Maarib, the last government-held possession in the north, as the Houthis and their allies try to contest control over it with a 3-pronged offensive.

In recent weeks, reports are that the Houthis are gaining some ground, and in the last two days they’ve gone deeper in, with heavy fighting killing 96 fighters, mostly Houthis. They are still, slowly but surely, advancing on the city.

Pro-Saudi forces say that the Houthis now pose a “very real threat” to both fronts on the city’s northwest. The third front to the south mostly appears unchanged, and under government control.

Maarib’s value is often overstated, as its wealth of oil and gas is only measurable by comparison to other desperately poor cities in Yemen. The city is small, and struggling with a large refugee problem from the surrounding area.

Apr 16 13:41

Politicians Concerned about Violence Should Start by Ending Their Wars and Their Police State

It looks like the next EOs Biden aims at mandating are related to the topic of gun control: “Gun violence in this country is an epidemic. Let me say it again. Gun violence in this country is an epidemic.” This is ironic coming from the former vice president of the Obama administration, which started regime change wars in countries like Yemen, Libya, and Syria which in large part included supplying certain “moderate” rebel groups like al-Nusra and ISIS with weapons, cash, and intelligence support that was ultimately used to slaughter innocent men, women, and children.

Apr 16 10:19

US Claims Preventing Fuel Ships From Docking in Yemen Is ‘Not a Blockade’

The US State Department claimed in comments to Vox that Yemen is not under blockade even though the Saudis are actively preventing fuel ships from docking in the port of Hodeidah. Shipments are still being blocked despite UN warnings that 400,000 Yemeni children will starve to death this year if conditions don’t change.

“It is not a blockade,” a State Department spokesperson told Vox on Monday. “Food is getting through, commodities are getting through, so it is not a blockade.”

While data shows food has been entering Yemen, a CNN investigation from last month showed food trucks stranded on the side of the road due to a lack of fuel. Without fuel, food and medicine cannot be delivered to Yemen’s starving civilian population that has been subject to the vicious US-Saudi siege since March 2015.

Apr 14 04:49

Biden administration proceeding with $23 billion weapons sales to UAE

The administration of US President Joe Biden is moving forward with over $23 billion in weapons sales to the United Arab Emirates, which include advanced F-35 aircraft, armed drones and other equipment.

The Biden administration would proceed with the proposed sales to the UAE, “even as we continue reviewing details and consulting with Emirati officials” pertaining to the use of the weapons, a State Department spokesperson said on Tuesday.

The deals had been agreed to by former Republican president Donald Trump, but the Democratic president’s administration had paused them for review.

In November, the White House informed the Congress about the planned $23.37 billion package which contained products from General Atomics, Lockheed Martin Corp and Raytheon Technologies Corp, including 50 F-35 Lighting II aircraft, up to 18 MQ-9B Unmanned Aerial Systems and a package of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions.

Apr 12 06:17

At Least 123 Killed in Heavy Fighting Over Yemen’s Maarib

Fighting has continued to rage and even escalate in Yemen’s Maarib, a city that has been contested for months. Over the weekend, the Houthis have been trying to push into the city in an offensive on three different fronts.

The Houthis are pushing from two routes in the north, through Kassara and al-Mashjah, both of which are making progress, and Jabal Murad in the south. Officials say they’ve thwarted the offensive in the south.

In the past 48 hours, 123 fighters have been killed. 53 were killed in the past 24 hours. While Saudi officials conceded some ground was lost, they suggested that the city itself is not in any immediate risk of falling.

The months of fighting over Maarib have seen many hundreds killed on both sides. The city is considered key to the Houthis as the last northern city they don’t control, and the expectation is that if they did control it, it would inform the peace process.

Apr 12 06:08

Yemeni drones, missiles hit Aramco refineries, military sites in Saudi Arabia

Yemeni armed forces and allied Popular Committees fighters have launched fresh attacks on targets deep in Saudi Arabia in retaliation for the kingdom’s ongoing aggression on their country.

Spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree said that 17 drones and ballistic missiles were used in a operation against Saudi Arabia on Monday.

Aramco refineries in Jubail and Jeddah were hit with 10 drones of Samad-3 type as part of the operation, he said.

According to the spokesman, “sensitive military targets” in the Saudi cities of Khamis Mushait and Jizan were hit with five Qasef-2K UAVs as well as two ballistic missiles of Badr 1 type.

The operation, which took place on Sunday evening and continued until dawn, hit its targets “successfully”, he added.

Saree stressed that the retaliatory attacks will continue as long as the Saudi aggression and blockade persist.

Apr 10 07:13

Utah KC-135s Deploy to the Middle East

Utah Air National Guard KC-135s and Airmen deployed to the Middle East on April 5-6 to support combat operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

The four KC-135s and 120 Airmen from the 151st Air Refueling Wing will support Operation Inherent Resolve—the ongoing fight against the Islamic State group, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan, and Spartan Shield—the overall U.S. mission in Southwest Asia.

As part of a new KC-135 and C-130 deployment model, the 151st Maintenance Group is deploying as one overall group as opposed to a combined deployed group of Airmen from different units, according to a Utah Air National Guard release.

Air Mobility Command in 2019 adopted the deployment model of sending whole units to promote cohesion and ensure better predictability.

Apr 09 05:51

Congressional Democrats Call on Biden to Lift Yemen Blockade

A group of over 70 House Democrats sent a letter to President Biden urging him to pressure Saudi Arabia into lifting the blockade on Yemen as the UN is warning 400,000 Yemeni children under the age of five will starve to death if conditions don’t change.

The letter was led by Reps. Ro Khanna (D-CA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), and Debbie Dingell (D-MI). The lawmakers said the president should demand an end to the blockade “independently” of the ongoing negotiations between Saudi Arabia and Yemen’s Houthis, although ending the embargo would jump-start the peace talks since it is a key Houthi demand for a ceasefire.

Apr 08 06:16

Press review: Ukraine drags NATO into Donbass and Second Suez flop raises canal concerns

The Donbass negotiations are stuck in the mud. Neither the Normandy format, nor the Contact Group are able to agree on anything, Kommersant writes. Against this background, Kiev is betting on the West’s help, trying to persuade NATO to grant Ukraine membership in the alliance. According to the newspaper, the events that are now unfolding are beginning to look like the situation that had developed in 2008 before the war in another hot spot - South Ossetia.

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission’s latest report, dated April 3, shows a notable surge in ceasefire violations in Donbass. There were 594 breaches in the Donetsk region and 427 violations in Lugansk. Due to this exacerbation, on April 6, Kiev requested an emergency meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) to resolve the situation in eastern Ukraine. However, the chances that the negotiations initiated by Ukraine will take place are slim, Kommersant's sources say.

Apr 07 07:13

Jordan gov’t accuses ex-crown prince of ‘malicious plot’

Jordan’s former crown prince, Prince Hamzah, has been liaising with foreign parties over a “malicious plot” to destabilise the country, the Jordanian deputy prime minister said.

On Saturday the military said it had issued a warning to the prince over actions targeting “security and stability” in the kingdom. Prince Hamzah, King Abdullah II’s half-brother, later said he was under house arrest. Several high-profile figures were detained.

Apr 02 03:19

Senate seeks to enhance Arab-Israeli normalization at the expense of the Palestinians

A bipartisan group of Senators introduced a bill last week to advance the normalization of ties between Israel and Arab governments in a move to further politically isolate the Palestinian people and give Israel greater latitude to entrench its ongoing settler-colonialism against them.

S.1061, the Israel Relations Normalization Act of 2021, was introduced on March 25 by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Jim Risch (R-ID), Todd Young (R-IN), and Ben Cardin (D-MD), and cosponsored by 13 additional Senators, including some Democrats, such as Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and Tim Kaine (D-VA), who have previously spoken out in support of Palestinian human rights.

The bill was supported by AIPAC during its virtual lobbying conference earlier this month.

Apr 01 12:43

Biden Orders Pentagon to Remove Patriots, Forces Out of Persian Gulf Region, Reports Suggest

President Joe Biden has ordered the Pentagon to start removing Patriot anti-missile systems, other military hardware and forces from the Persian Gulf region and could deploy them elsewhere to counter Russia and China, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing officials.

The Pentagon has moved three Patriot systems out of the region, including one that was located in Saudi Arabia's Prince Sultan Air Base. It has also moved an aircraft carrier, surveillance systems and other military capabilities out of the Middle East, the report said.

Mar 31 06:36

In Yemen, 6 Years of Suffering and Death in an Ill-Fated War

On March 26, 2015, a coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates launched an ill-fated war on Houthi-led rebel forces in Yemen, inaugurating what the United Nations has described as the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe. Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS as he’s known, the architect of the Saudi war effort, asserted that it would be a short conflict, with a swift Saudi victory. The Obama administration, which apparently believed MBS’s claims, supported the war effort with tens of billions of dollars in arms sales and logistical support. Six years later, bin Salman’s prediction of a short war seems like a cruel joke, and the continued US role in supporting the Saudi/UAE coalition is unconscionable.

Mar 30 05:38

Mohammed bin Salman has lost the war in Yemen. It's time to end the humanitarian disaster

This week, Saudi Arabia announced an initiative to end the Yemen war and implement a nationwide ceasefire. The move was met with rejection by the Ansar Allah group, known as the Houthis, the main protagonists on the other side of this six-year-old conflict.

The proposal, according to the Houthis, didn’t promise the total lifting of the blockade imposed by the Saudis on Sanaa international airport and Hodeidah port, which, with Saleef port, handle about 80 percent of Yemen’s imports including staples and fuel.

The Houthis are now on the offensive and are unlikely to retreat or surrender. It is most likely that they will continue their offensive in Marib and sweep the shrinking territories and fragile authority of the Riyadh-based exiled President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

On Wednesday, Jawad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, said Iran backed a peace plan that would end the blockade and violence.

Mar 30 04:26

Bahrain police threaten detained children with rape

For the past decade February has become a holy month for the majority of the people in Bahrain and a horrible month for the throne in Manama.

For ten years, February has been the month of protest against systematic injustice, brutality and lack of freedom.

The nation has long been yearning for democratic reforms but what it has had so far are intensified state repression and increasing cases of human rights violations.

Many dissidents and opposition leaders have been imprisoned, executed or faced exile.

Bahrain's 2011 uprising was short-lived due to the military intervention of Saudi and Emirati forces that cracked down on the popular and peaceful protests.

Any objection is still responded to with iron-fist security strategies, carried out through the brutal police and dependent judiciary.

Adult protestors are treated like terrorists and minor protestors are treated like adults.

The way the Bahraini police treat protesting children is monstrous by any standard.

Mar 30 04:24

Photo gallery: Sufferings of Yemenis continue amid ongoing war

A photo gallery was organized in the Yemeni capital Sana'a to view examples of the difficulties facing Yemenis amid the continued siege imposed by the Saudi-led coalition.

The health sector is heavily affected by the ongoing Saudi siege. Recently, many health facilities have warned that the incubators may stop working completely within days due to the severe fuel shortage and lack of power, putting the lives of infants at risk.

Saudi Arabia, backed by Washington, launched a devastating war on Yemen in March 2015, killing tens of thousands of civilians, mostly women and children, and imposed an all-out blockade on the country, depriving millions of Yemenis of their basic needs.

Yemenis say the United Nations bears responsibility for the lives of millions of civilians, including infants, as it remains silent toward the Saudi crimes against the war-ravaged nation.

Mar 25 05:30

‘Death Falling From the Sky’: Report Spotlights Civilian Harm From US Drone Strikes in Yemen

A report published Tuesday by Yemeni human rights defenders examines dozens of casualties resulting from U.S. drone strikes and other attacks on civilians in the war-torn nation in recent years, incidents the publication says often occur without accountability, investigation, compensation – and sometimes even acknowledgment.

The report – entitled Death Falling From the Sky: Civilian Harm from the United States’ Use of Lethal Force in Yemen (pdf) – was published by Mwatana for Human Rights. It covers a dozen US military operations conducted between January 2017 and January 2019, a period during which then-President Donald Trump loosened the military’s rules of engagement that were meant to protect civilians.

Mar 23 06:57

Saudi Arabia Bombs Grain Port in Yemen

The US-backed Saudi-led coalition continues to launch airstrikes across Yemen. Over the past few days, Saudi bombs have hit the capital Sanaa, Maarib province, and the Red Sea port of Salif.

On Monday, the UN said the airstrikes in Salif targeted a grain port and hit a warehouse and the living quarters of a food production company. “Local authorities and company management stated that six injured workers were transferred to local medical facilities for treatment,” the UN mission in Hodeidah, Yemen, said in a statement.

According to the Houthis Al-Masirah, the bombing in Salif killed at least one of the grain company’s workers and injured six more. Salif lies to the northwest of Hodeidah and is inside the UN-brokered neutral zone as per a deal signed in Stockholm in 2018. But bombings around Hodeidah and violations of the Stockholm agreement are a regular occurrence.

Mar 23 05:57

The Six-Year Epic Failure: Riyadh’s Crusade On Yemen

Six years of the Saudi-led war have passed in Yemen, and it keeps going with no sign of a peaceful solution on the horizon. The “occasion” was “commemorated” with a briefing by Ansar Allah, or as they are popularly known – the Houthis. Some impressive numbers were shared.

Houthi spokesperson Yahya Sari said that the Saudi-led coalition carried out more than 266,150 airstrikes throughout these 6 years. The predominant number of those strikes targeted Yemeni citizens, homes, cities and other infrastructure.

On the side of the Houthis, at least 1,348 separate missile operations were launched, with nearly 500 being behind enemy lines on key military facilities of the Kingdom and the UAE. In total, the Houthi Air Force carried out 12,623 raids with drones. In 2021 alone, Ansar Allah has carried out 1,464 operations, including 124 attack operations, and the rest reconnaissance.

Mar 23 05:12

Jordan publicizes defense deal that allows US forces free entry into kingdom

Jordan on Sunday made public a defense agreement with the United States that allows free entry of US forces, aircraft, and vehicles onto the kingdom’s territory.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told parliament that the defense accord was “the fruit of long negotiations.”

The agreement was signed in January and the government approved it last month, but, in an exceptional move, it bypassed parliament. The royal decree was published in the official journal this week.

Mar 22 11:16

Joe Biden’s heartfelt illogic about Israel

Lawrence Davidson argues that in contrast to his domestic policies, US President Biden's foreign policy in the Middle East in general and towards Israel in particular is not only stale and worn out, but is also riddled with hypocrisy and contradictions. >>

Mar 22 07:31

Recruited, Arrested, On Trial: Yemeni Spies Tell of Their Reluctant Work for CIA, MI6

There is little dispute that the United States and the United Kingdom have been major benefactors to the Saudi Kingdom in its six-year-long attempt to use military might to bring Yemen to heel. Both countries have provided billions in hi-tech weapons, intelligence information, and training to what is arguably the Middle East’s most repressive monarchy. But according to the confessions of six men arrested last month amid the ongoing battle over Yemen’s strategic Marib province, Western support for the Saudi-led Coalition goes much farther than conventional military support.

Arrested Yemeni spies speak to MintPress

Mar 21 07:42

UAE angered over Netanyahu’s exploitation of normalization deal, cancels summit with Israel, US

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has canceled an event with Israel and the US, accusing Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu of exploiting the normalization deal and using Crown Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed’s commitment as an election ploy to boost his chances in upcoming Israeli general elections.

The UAE, the US, and Israel and leaders from Arab states that have normalised relations with Tel Aviv had planned to organize an April summit to celebrate Israel’s normalization agreement with Sudan. The event was canceled after the UAE officials expressed their frustration with Netanyahu's electioneering.

This is the first big crisis between the UAE and Israel since the two sides announced the normalization of relations last August.

Netanyahu had touted his role in Israel’s normalization deals as a key component of his campaign strategy, announcing that the UAE would invest $10 billion in Israel.

Mar 21 04:17

Uncertain of US intentions, four allies exercise their naval muscle

This month, France and Cyprus for the first time joined Israel and Greece in a combined naval exercise in the Eastern Mediterranean and Cretan Sea. French participation was notable in that it marked yet another step in its growing naval cooperation with Israel.

This month’s exercise, entitled “Noble Dina,” took place off Cyprus and involved not only counterterrorism, search and rescue and anti-submarine drills, but also a simulated sea battle. As the Israeli military spokesman confirmed, the focus was “not only on surface exercises, but also multi-threat exercise of air and underwater and surface threats.”

There is no mistaking which country is the source of those “challenges and threats.” Each of the four states involved in the exercise has clashed with Turkey in the recent past. In the case of Israel, Greece and Cyprus, friction with Ankara is a result of competing claims to gas deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Mar 20 06:49

Yemen’s Houthis Take Key Mountain, Advance on Maarib

Weeks of fighting over the north Yemen city of Maarib, the last government stronghold in North Yemen, was supposedly all but over. The military claimed to have reversed the momentum not so long ago, and were looking to move against the Houthis.

Instead, the Houthis have counterattacked, seizing Mount Hilan, overlooking Maarib, and are now making a substantial advance on the city. The UN is calling for an end, warning of humanitarian catastrophe.

Yemen, particularly in the north, just lurches from one humanitarian catastrophe to another, though it seems to be mentioned chiefly when it is the rebels on the advance, and not the Saudi-backed government.

Mar 19 08:28

Biden Must Pressure Saudi Arabia To End The War On Yemen

Give President Joe Biden some credit. He pulled the U.S. back from supporting Saudi Arabia’s six-plus year campaign of murder and mayhem against Yemen, one of the world’s poorest nations. The Obama and Trump administrations made Americans accomplices to Saudi aggression and war crimes. The Biden administration should end all military assistance in any form for Riyadh as long as the latter is involved in the conflict.

Modern Yemen has been convulsed by unrest and war for most of its six decades of existence. (Two states emerged in the 1960s and merged in 1990.) In the 2000s Ansar Allah, widely known as the Houthis, battled the government led by President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was backed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In 2012 he was overthrown during the Arab Spring and replaced by his vice president, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. Two years later Saleh and the Houthis joined to defenestrate Hadi, which prompted Saudi and Emirati military intervention.

Mar 19 06:45

Afghanistan: How Long Must This Go On?

The United States military and mercenary forces need to leave Afghanistan now.
Note: Does anyone remember why we are there in the first place!
The Cactus Moon is crying!

Mar 17 06:49

Six Years Later, Yemen Is Still Being Starved

The people of Yemen have been enduring a six-year siege ever since the beginning of the U.S.-backed Saudi coalition’s intervention. The coalition’s indiscriminate bombing campaign has claimed thousands of innocent Yemeni lives, but the more destructive and insidious side of the war has been the blockade and the economic warfare that has accompanied it. At least 130,000 Yemeni civilians have died as a result of starvation and disease since the intervention started. That is more than have been killed by shells and bombs, and that number is set to grow substantially as the country once again faces a famine created by the war and blockade. Tens of thousands already live in famine conditions, and hundreds of thousands more may join them unless the blockade is brought to an end.

Mar 16 07:25

The State Department Is Now Warning Of Impending Drone Attacks And How To Survive Them

Today the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh issued an alert that seemed ripped right from a dystopian action movie. A tweet from @TravelGov, an official U.S. State Department account that highlights travel and other alerts from diplomatic missions around the world, read "#SaudiArabia: The Embassy is tracking reports of possible missiles or drones that may be headed toward Riyadh today, October 28. Stay alert. If you hear a loud explosion or if sirens are activated, immediately seek cover."

Mar 16 06:50

Biden Can Trigger A Regional War By Reviving The Nuclear Deal

The Biden administration, deep down, unfortunately seems to wish to forge ahead with its agenda to revive the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -- also known as the Iran nuclear deal, which, incidentally, Iran never signed -- and subsequently to lift sanctions against Tehran.

Mar 16 05:59

Joe Biden Is Following a Blueprint for Forever War

Last week, the U.S. military bombed a site near al-Hurri, along the Iraqi border inside Syria, where Iranian-backed Iraqi militias were allegedly stationed. Although the U.S. launched its missiles across an international border (and without the approval of Congress), White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki framed the strike as a ?“defensive” response to a series of rocket attacks that have killed one and wounded several Americans over the past two weeks. The American bombing left ?“up to a handful dead,” according to one U.S. official who spoke with CNN, and Tehran condemned the assault as ?“illegal and a violation of Syria’s sovereignty”?—?a perception gap certain to complicate President Joe Biden’s pronounced plans to reverse Donald Trump’s antagonistic Iran policies and rejoin the nuclear deal.

Mar 12 07:36

UAE Ambassador Screamed at Member of Congress Pushing to End Yemen War

Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba was so angry about Rep. Ro Khanna’s push to end U.S. support for the war in Yemen that he shouted at him during a meeting, said Khanna.

Khanna, the lead sponsor of a war powers resolution aimed at ending U.S. involvement in the Yemen war, led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, said that he was startled by the diplomat’s approach. “I’ve never had an ambassador of another country come to my office and literally yell at me, but that’s what I had with the ambassador to UAE,” Khanna said during an interview for The Intercept’s podcast Deconstructed, referring to Otaiba.

“I was just taken away,” Khanna said. “It led me to think that there’s a real arrogance, a real sense of entitlement, a sense that he thought himself so powerful that he could act that way. And I’ve never really seen that before.”

Mar 10 11:38

U.S. AIRCRAFT CARRIER DEPLOYS IN MEDITERRANEAN AS DAMASCUS PREPARES TO PUSH ON THE NORTHWEST

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier and its Carrier Strike Group have entered the Mediterranean Sea.

This makes it, currently, the closest aircraft carrier to the Middle East. It has been quite a while since the US hasn’t had one of its super warships deployed in or near the Persian Gulf.

Starting in the spring of 2019, the U.S. Navy has been publicly ordered to keep a near-constant presence in the region, as if this were something new.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced that a global posture review is taking place, and it would be reconsidered whether a carrier was even needed in the region. Still, the Mediterranean Sea is quite nearby, and the removal of the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) from the Persian Gulf was a political move.

It’s Lloyd Austin’s dream to have a CSG in every hotspot in the world, but resources don’t allow for that.

Mar 10 10:41

Saturday Night Live joke versus Israeli behaviour

Lawrence Davidson explains the relationship between the tribal basis of Israel – artificially manipulated through incessant propaganda and organised miseducation – and the inability of Israelis and other Zionists to take a joke, as shown most recently on the US TV programme Saturday Night Live.>>

Mar 09 06:52

Winds of Change: Israel Joins the US Central Command Area

On the eve of a new administration in Washington, the Pentagon announced the transfer of Israel from the US European Command (EUCOM) to the Central Command (CENTCOM). Like the Abraham Accords, this decision brought to the surface deep, discreet, and longstanding relations between the parties, in this case the IDF and CENTCOM. It reflects a substantive change in the region, and will facilitate greater cooperation between Israel, the US, and other states in the Command. What significance is there to this development, and what are its implications?

Mar 03 08:47

U.N. Falls Short Of Yemen Aid Target As Governments Cut Donations

United Nations officials are calling on the international community to send aid to the thousands of people dying of starvation in Yemen.

The intergovernmental organization said that nearly 50,000 Yemenis have already starved to death while 16 million more are expected to go hungry this year.

The secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland, said that Yemen is expected to experience a massive famine not seen since Ethiopia in the 1980s.

The United Nations reportedly held an emergency meeting on Monday to raise funds for humanitarian aid missions to the Western Asian nation. The organization reportedly did not hit its target of $3.85 billion as most countries were forced to cut back on donations because of the pandemic.

Feb 28 09:11

More tribes strike non-aggression agreements with advancing army, allies in Yemen’s Ma’rib

More major Yemeni tribes have signed non-aggression agreements with advancing Yemeni army troops and allies in the strategic central province of Ma’rib.

Lebanese Arabic-language al-Akhbar newspaper, citing local sources, reported that elders from Ubaidah, Murad, Jahm and Jadaan tribes took the decision as the Yemeni armed forces and allied fighters from Popular Committees are pulling the plug on Saudi mercenaries loyal to Yemen's former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur in Ma’rib.

Accordingly, a number of senior sheikhs from Ma’rib, whose tribes have struck peace deals with Yemen’s Sana’a-based National Salvation Government, held a meeting in the capital and stressed the need for the liberation of the region.

Feb 28 07:06

60 Killed as Yemen Govt Tries to Push Into Northern Yemen City

Fighting continues to rage in northern Yemen’s Maarib Province, but while they were focusing on the last government-held outpost for weeks, the Maarib Dam, the shift has turned and now government forces are trying to attack the city of Hazm.

Escalation of Saudi airstrikes is the big game-changer here, first stalling the bloody fight in Maarib, and now trying to bolster the counter-offensive. At least 60 fighters were killed Friday, roughly double normal daily tolls in recent weeks.

As usual, the high death toll doesn’t mean anything tangible changed on the ground, at most some vague claims of changing momentum, and no territory actually changing hands.

Feb 26 13:12

Kamala Harris Is FURIOUS Because No One Informed Her Of Syrian Airstrike Plan

Vice President Kamala Harris was NOT informed prior to the Syrian airstrike and is reportedly “very upset about being left of of the loop,” per a White House official.

On Thursday, the U.S. has carried out an airstrike on a structure connected to an Iran-backed militia in Syria, following three separate rocket attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq.

Feb 26 10:47

Mystery explosion rips through Israeli ship in Gulf of Oman –hours after US attack on Iran

AN ISRAELI owned cargo ship has been hit by a mystery explosion just hours after the US targeted Iranian supported militia in Syria with airstrikes.

The Helios Bay was hit as it passed through the Gulf of Oman early on Friday.

No casualties have been reported and no nation or group has claimed responsibility.

The US accused Iran of responsibility after expositions hit a number of ships in the Gulf of Oman during 2019.

Feb 26 10:36

Beyond Oil: How UAE's HOPE Mars Mission Is Breaking The Arab World Out Of Its 'Crisis Of Scarcity'

The Emiratis understand that their economy, primarily based in oil revenue, though presently lucrative, is a short-term prosperity. A future that is dependent on oil is unstable and unkind, it is not a reliable resource for an advancing economy.

Something truly remarkable happened on Feb. 9th, 2021, which I fear has not been fully comprehended by most of the Western hemisphere in terms of its massive implications as a game-changer in geopolitics for the Middle East.

Here in the West, we have become accustomed to our jaded denigration of space exploration. It appears to many, that space exploration is just a charade or if of real consequence, is understood as an extension of geopolitics, the imperialistic conquest and militarisation of space.

It is for this very reason that the UAE’s story for why they decided to create their Hope (or Amal in Arabic) mission to Mars is so very striking against this politically cynical foreground.

Feb 26 08:39

6,500 ASIAN WORKERS DIED BUILDING FIFA WORLD CUP 2022 STADIUMS IN QATAR

Deaths of more than 6,500 South Asian workers has been reported in Qatar building stadiums for the FIFA World Cup 2022 from 2011 to 2020. An average of 12 migrant workers died each week in 2011 to 2020. The sources suggest slack safety protocols surrounding construction of stadiums and infrastructure in Qatar were the reason for these deaths.
Qatar was awarded the FIFA World Cup 2022 hosting in 2010 and death of migrant workers has been reported since then.

An average of 12 migrant workers died each week in 2011 to 2020. The sources suggest slack safety protocols surrounding construction of stadiums and infrastructure in Qatar were the reason for these deaths.

These migrant workers were from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and India. Government data from these countries reported 5,927 deaths and the Pakistan Embassy in Qatar further reported 824 deaths.

Feb 26 08:21

British Ship Hit by Explosion in Gulf of Oman, UKMTO Says

The incident occurred at 20:40 GMT on Thursday, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said without providing further details.

A ship was hit by an explosion in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, the UKMTO said on Friday.

"Investigations are ongoing. Vessel and crew are safe...Vessels transiting the area are advised to exercise caution," the notice reads.
The UKMTO did not give details on the possible cause of the explosion.

Feb 26 08:17

Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE Reportedly Mull Joint Defence Alliance

Recently, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would “do everything” to prevent Tehran from getting hold of nuclear weapons.

Israel is in talks with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to establish a four-nation defence alliance, i24NEWS reported.

Although Israel doesn’t have official diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia, it has had ties with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates since they signed the Abraham Accords normalisation deal.

Feb 26 08:06

Yemenis stage nationwide protests against Saudi blockade

Tens of thousands of people have staged rallies across Yemen in protest at the all-out Saudi blockade and closure of Sana’a International Airport, which have made it impossible for food and medical supplies to reach the poor in the war-torn country.

Protesters took to the streets in the Damt district of the southern Yemeni province of Dhale on Friday morning in a rally entitled “The Siege of the Coalition of Aggression is Killing Yemeni People.”

They chanted slogans against the United States and the Israeli regime for supporting the Saudi blockade of war-wracked Yemen.

Elsewhere in the southeastern province of Dhamar, Yemeni demonstrators marched on the United Nations office, urging the world body to intervene and lift the brutal siege.

People in Sha’ara area of the mountainous northwestern province of Sa’ada also censured the suffering of the Yemeni people as a result of the tight Saudi-led aerial and naval blockade.

Feb 26 07:42

US Brings Israel into CENTCOM, The US Military’s Command in the Middle East

he move formalizes regular military exercises among the US, Israel and Arab states, which is “crucial for developing effective theater missile defenses, as well as boosting readiness and interoperability in cyber, counterterrorism, special operations, and maritime security.”

Though the move will take some time to go into effect, the Pentagon’s recent decision to relocate Israel to the area of responsibility (AOR) of the US military’s Central Command (CENTCOM, which operates in the Middle East) is a direct operational reflection of the Abraham Accords, in which Israel normalized relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, with Saudi support.

The head of CENTCOM, General Kenneth F. McKenzie, recently told the Middle East Institute,

“We do a lot of business with Israel now just as a practical matter of fact because their threats generally emanate from the east. In a certain way, this is just a natural recognition of that at the operational level.”

Feb 25 08:50

Video: The Fight in Yemen, The Houthis Are Pushing Towards Marib City

The fighting in Yemen, similarly to other battlefields in the Middle East is heating up in 2021.

The Ansar Allah, or the Houthis, as they are colloquially known, have began pushing towards Marib city. The province and the settlement itself are the last Saudi-led coalition stronghold in the relatively calm central region. If Marib city is captured by the Houthis, they would be allowed to carry out even more attacks and operations in Saudi Arabia’s southern regions. These regions are largely depopulated because of the war that Riyadh and its allies began almost 6 years ago.

Feb 25 07:50

Ma’rib battle: Yemeni army close to retaking city from Saudi-led forces

Victory appears to be on the horizon in the heated battle for Yemen’s strategic central province of Ma’rib as army troops, backed by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have reportedly taken control of most areas there and dislodged Saudi-led coalition forces and Riyadh-backed militants from those regions.

A Yemeni military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Arabic service of Russia’s Sputnik news agency that Yemeni soldiers and their allies had encircled Ma’rib city, following weeks of fierce clashes with Saudi-led coalition forces and their mercenaries.

The source added that Yemeni forces had cut off the main supply route into the eastern flank of Ma’rib, which leads to the Arab country’s largest province of Hadhramaut.

Feb 25 07:20

BUTTERFLY EFFECT: THE MIDDLE EAST BOMB BIDEN MUST DEFUSE

The complexities of the Middle East have been knotty for decades. Dealing with them becomes even tougher when the characters involved are particularly naughty.

As President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take charge in January, he’s staring at a tinderbox in the Middle East with a fuse that’s shorter than ever before, and with sparks flying everywhere. It will present Biden with his most challenging foreign policy test — one that he cannot fail if an all-out conflict in the region is to be avoided.

Much of the focus in the Middle East in recent days has — understandably — been on the escalating tensions following the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, which Tehran has blamed on Israel. But look carefully and it’s just one symptom of a complex set of equations that Biden will inherit, and it’s more troublesome than anything his predecessors have had to deal with in decades.

Feb 24 09:17

British royals met with autocratic Arab monarchs 'over 200 times' since 2011

Members of Britain’s royal family have met with autocratic Middle East monarchies over 200 times since the suppression of the Arab Spring began a decade ago, a report has revealed.

New research by the website Declassified UK shows that there have been almost one encounter a fortnight over the last 10 years.

The Bahraini royal family has had the greatest number of meetings, according to the news website, followed by the House of Saud.

All official meetings are undertaken at the request of the British government, and often overlap with ministerial engagements.

Feb 24 09:15

Outcry in Kuwait over suicide of stateless Bidoon child

Reports of a 12-year-old child’s suicide from Kuwait’s stateless population, known as Bidoon, has prompted outcry online.

The child, who has been identified as Ali Khaled from the Sulaibiya region, reportedly hung himself in his room. The exact reasons behind his suicide are not yet confirmed.

In a tweet, Mubarak Saleh Alnajdah, who says he knows the child’s family personally, said that he woke up in shock at the news of the suicide.

Feb 23 11:35

New symbolic role for the Israeli flag: A standard for white nationalists, Christian nationalists and nationalist thugs in suits

Lawrence Davidson: Israel "has attracted the rising wave of today’s rightist fringe like bears to honey. Whether they are white nationalists, Christian nationalists or just nationalist thugs in suits, they all sense something laudable in Israel.">>

Feb 23 08:09

Hundreds Killed on Each Side; Yemen’s Maarib a ‘Blood Bath’

The UN is pushing both sides to abandon the ongoing escalation of the fighting over Yemen’s Maarib, the last government-held outpost in northern Yemen, warning that the toll is rising and that risks a civilian exodus from the area.

Weeks of fighting so far have accomplished little, with sources describing a “blood bath” and both sides having lost hundreds of fighters. The outpost is still in government hands, though the Houthis have high ground in the vicinity now.

The deadliest single fight since 2018, the Maarib battle reflects something common in Yemen, that it’s easy to get into a deadly fight, but hard to make any territory change hands in a meaningful way.

The Houthis insist Maarib is part of the “national liberation battle,” though in practice it may be about improving their bargaining position by holding the entire north when peace talks inevitably resume.

Feb 23 07:57

Government expresses ‘regret,’ will compensate for disappeared Yemenite children

The government on Monday approved a NIS 162 million (almost $50 million) compensation plan for the families of immigrants to Israel during the state’s formative years who say their children and siblings were taken from them by the authorities when they arrived in the country in the 1950s and then disappeared.

Known as the Yemenite children affair, the issue involves over 1,000 families — mostly immigrants from Yemen, but also dozens from the Balkans, North Africa, and other Middle Eastern countries — who have alleged their children were kidnapped from Israeli hospitals and put up for adoption, sometimes abroad.

Feb 22 11:22

Neo-Ottoman Turkey signals sweeping regional ambitions

James Dorsey analyses the significance of a recent broadcast by a Turkish TV station with close ties to President Erdogan depicting Turkey's sphere of influence in 2050 as stretching from southeastern Europe, through Libya, the Gulf and the Levant, and to the Caucasus and Central Asia.>>

Feb 22 09:23

UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia prolonging war in Yemen, says Oxfam

Global charity Oxfam has accused the UK government of prolonging the war in Yemen by permitting the sale of air-to-air refuelling equipment to the Saudi state, thus allowing air assets to bomb Yemeni targets for longer.

“As the US has called for an end to the conflict in Yemen, the UK is heading in the opposite direction, ramping up its support for the brutal Saudi-led war by increasing arms sales and refuelling equipment that facilitate airstrikes,” Sam Nadel, head of policy and advocacy at Oxfam, said on Monday.

Nadel was referring to the British government’s decision to licence the sale of air-to-air refuelling equipment, as well as £1.4bn ($1.96bn) of other exports, to the Saudi government last summer.

Feb 21 07:43

Joe Biden is already breaking his promise to end the US’ ‘forever wars’ in the Middle East

Prior to his inauguration, President Joe Biden had proclaimed that he wished to end the “forever wars” the US is fighting, just as former president Trump had claimed he would. But once you’re in office, it’s a different story.

NATO has decided to expand its footprint in Iraq, following a rocket attack in the city of Erbil that killed one American contractor and injured six more people. This, as the US State Department has threatened consequences for all those involved.

Feb 21 07:42

Jordanian journalist dies after years of imprisonment, torture in UAE

Jordanian journalist and poet Tayseer al-Najjar has died after his health conditions deteriorated as he suffered from effects of torture and mistreatment while serving prison in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The 46-year-old intellectual, who had been jailed between 2016 and 2019 in the UAE due to his online criticism of the Abu Dhabi regime’s human rights record, its role in the devastating Israeli military onslaught on the Gaza Strip in 2014 as well as the Israeli and Egyptian military occupation in and around the impoverished Palestinian enclave, died on Thursday night.

Najjar was arrested at Abu Dhabi International Airport on December 13, 2015, while preparing to travel to the Jordanian capital city of Amman. He was held in a secret detention center for over a year.

In March 2017, the UAE's Supreme Court prosecuted Najjar for what it described as breaching a state law against “information technology crimes.”

Feb 19 21:44

Neocon Robert Kagan: Americans Opposing Forever Wars Is An 'Example Of Their Intolerance'

Americans who don't support "forever wars" in the Middle East in service of the "liberal world order" are simply showing their "intolerance," so says PNAC co-founder Robert Kagan in Foreign Affairs magazine.

Feb 17 07:48

Yemen 'welcomes political process but after end to Saudi war, siege'

Yemen's Ansarullah movement says the country would positively receive any attempt to end the Saudi-led war only after the coalition attacking Yemen stops its aggression and blockade against the impoverished Arab country.

Mohammed Abdul-Salam, the movement's spokesman, who is also the head of the Yemeni National Salvation Government's negotiating team, made the remarks in a tweet on Tuesday, after the US administration called on the Yemeni forces and allied fighters from Popular Committees to stop their push to take control of the northern city of Ma'rib.

Turning a blind eye to the continuation of the Saudi-led aggression and the brutal siege on the Yemeni people that has been going on for nearly six years, the US State Department said the army and popular defense forces must stop all military operations and return to the negotiating table.

Feb 16 09:36

The Suffering Underclass of War-Torn Yemen

Last week, President Biden pledged to end United States support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. He also reversed a Trump-era terrorist designation of an Iran-allied rebel group known as the Houthis whom the Saudis are fighting. Both moves were heralded by human rights groups as a good first start in trying to bring peace to this shattered country, which is in its sixth year of war.

Much more, however, needs to be done in order to end the violence and the suffering that has come with it: More than 233,000 people have died as a result of the war; some 16 million Yemenis currently live in situations that are food insecure; and some parts of the country are slipping into famine, the United Nations recently warned.

Feb 16 09:33

The Arab Spring Failed But Rage Against Misery and Injustice Continues

Ten years ago, people across the Middle East and North Africa rose up in protest against their rulers, demanding freedom and democracy. Despotic rulers were toppled or feared that power was being torn from their grasp in countries across the region, as millions of demonstrators surged through the streets, chanting that “the people demand the fall of the regime”.

There was nothing phoney about this mass yearning for liberty and social justice. Vast numbers of disenfranchised people briefly believed that they could overthrow dictatorships, both republican and monarchical. “We are the people who will kill humiliation and assassinate misery,” recited the 20-year-old poet Ayat al-Gormezi, speaking to thousands of cheering protesters in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. “We are the people who will destroy the foundations of injustice.”

Feb 16 09:32

Feature: Yemen's starving children have to cross battlefields, spend days to receive treatment

Ahmed Fakin spent days traveling, with his acutely malnourished son Amir, from Yemen's northern Hajjah province to the capital of Sanaa to find medical treatment for Amir.

"It used to take about three hours. But the war changed everything," said Fakin.

The mountainous Hajjah province is a frontline between the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi militia, which is now controlling Sanaa. When Amir's situation quickly deteriorated and doctors in Hajjah couldn't help him, his father decided to embark on a perilous journey to Sanaa, where a shimmering ray of hope awaited.

So, with the help of a charity group, Fakin went through checkpoints, battlefields, and even landmine fields to reach here with his ailing son, who is six-year-old but still looks like a toddler.

Feb 16 09:14

Feud between Congressman and UAE ambassador to US escalates online

US Congressman Ro Khanna has called on the UAE to help secure the release of a journalist held in southern Yemen after trading barbs online with the UAE ambassador to the US.

Khanna's call for Adel al-Hasani's release came after the congressman publicly turned down an invitation to speak on Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba's podcast, Podbridge.

'Given... the UAE's involvement in al-Hasani's continued detention, I will not be able to join your podcast'

- Ro Khanna, US Representative

Instead, Khanna appeared on a podcast for The Intercept during which he spoke about incredulous behaviour allegedly exhibited by Otaiba during a meeting last year.

Feb 16 06:39

Bahrain religious discrimination violates numerous international laws: Analyst

Bahraini regime’s brutal crackdown on dissent and its systematic abuse of the Shia population and discrimination against them violate numerous international laws, an American human rights expert and peace activist says.

Daniel Kovalik, who teaches international human rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in the state of Pennsylvania, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Monday.

“Since the 2011 uprising in Bahrain, the government has brutally cracked down on dissent and on the Shia population of the country. Human Rights groups have reported on numerous cases of Shia being subjected to wrongful detention and torture and of being fired from their jobs en masse. This type of religious discrimination violates numerous international law instruments and would not be tolerated by the West in other situations,” the academic said.

Feb 15 08:04

Dozens Killed as Fighting Continues to Rage in North Yemen

Sixteen government troops were killed and dozens of Houthis were also slain in northern Yemen in the past 24 hours, continuing a solid week of fighting over the last government-controlled stronghold in Maarib Province, which is to say the last government holding in northern Yemen.

With fewer and fewer pieces of territory legitimately up for grabs in increasingly stalemated Yemen, the Houthis have centered in on Maarib, pouring in reinforcements. So far, it has not changed hands.

The Houthis did cut government supply lines into the area, however, and are emphasizing that it is “oil rich.” That term is relative, however, and the most oil-rich parts of the poorest nation in the Middle East are still not worth that much.

Feb 14 08:04

UAE releases first image of Mars shot by its weather orbiter Amal (PHOTO) 

A picture of Mars taken by the United Arab Emirates-contracted surveillance probe Amal, from some 25,000 km above the planet, has been published by the Arab state's government. The probe was launched last July.

The image of the Red Planet represents "a defining moment in our history and marks the UAE joining advanced nations involved in space exploration," Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the powerful Emirati crown prince, said, commenting on the news. The picture was taken on Wednesday, just after the robotic spacecraft reached its Mars orbit.

Feb 14 07:32

Bahrain uprising anniversary: Protesters rally against Al Khalifah regime

Bahrainis have taken to the streets across the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom to mark the tenth anniversary of a popular uprising against the ruling monarchy.

The rallies took place on Saturday night, on the eve of the 2011 uprising’s anniversary, with the participants chanting slogans against the Al Khalifah regime and King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah.

The demonstrators also carried pictures of the uprising’s leaders and martyrs as well as placards vowing resistance until victory.

Feb 13 07:09

Yemen rocked by heavy clashes amid stark UN starvation warning

Fighting in Yemen's north has left dozens dead and wounded, a government source said Friday, as UN agencies issued stark warnings that 400,000 children risk death this year from lack of food.

Yemen's Iran-backed Huthis rebels have resumed an offensive to seize strategic oil-rich Marib, the government's last northern stronghold, the loss of which would be disastrous for the beleaguered leadership.

"Dozens of people have been killed and wounded on both sides," a government source told AFP, reporting a Huthi missile fired into Marib's suburbs and air strikes from the Saudi-backed military coalition pounding rebel positions.

Feb 12 12:58

THE WRATH OF THE HOUTHIS

Feb 11 10:46

How Biden's Posturing In The Middle East Could Hurt America

The new Biden Administration has largely been focused on fulfilling its election promises in its first month in power. After reversing an extensive list of Trump policies via executive orders, Biden is now focusing on the Middle East. In stark contrast to his predecessor, Joe Biden’s administration is taking a reserved and diplomatic approach towards the ongoing crisis in the Middle East region.

While the new administration is yet to fully address Iranian Sanctions or the JCPOA-agreement, it has stepped up the pressure on some Arab countries by temporarily blocking U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Feb 11 08:08

US-Israel ‘deterrence’ doctrine causes more instability in Middle East

The Midrash Rabbah, the five books of the Torah written over 1,000 years ago, is claimed to have encouraged its followers to strike first: "He who rises to kill you, preempt and kill him." This dictum is based on biblical precedents running back 3,000 years. Since then, it has been picked up and adopted by both the US and Israel under their national security policy but with another title: "preemptive strikes," or "targeted killings." This theory was also revived and embraced by David Ben-Gurion as a strategic military doctrine under another name — deterrence. A biblical sentence and other definitions and doctrines lead to one outcome: unlawful acts to justify murder and international law violation.

Feb 11 08:07

Raeisi: US has no regard for interests of regional states, can’t be trusted

Iran’s Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raeisi has warned against putting trust in the US, saying Washington only cares about its own interests in the region, not those of the people of Iran, Iraq or the Arab country’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

He made the remarks in a meeting on Thursday with former Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari, who was representing senior Kurdish political leader Masoud Barzani.

As the Americans have officially declared, their presence in the region is for the sake of their own benefits, thus they can never be trusted, Raeisi said.

“History has shown that it is wrong to trust the Americans because they do not…feel concerned about the people of Iraq, the Kurdistan region or Iran,” he added, noting that the US presence only disrupts regional security.

Feb 09 08:13

Biden’s Bolt From Yemen?: Symbolic Step, Systemic Limits, and Linguistic Gymnastics

The Intercept labeled it a "dramatic policy shift.” And here’s hoping it’s that. Still, President Joe Biden’s announcement – during his first major foreign policy address – that he would end American support for Saudi and United Arab Emirates-led "offensive operations" in Yemen, needs more nuance. In the second month of 2021, it seems all but fated that the specter of Donald Trump – and tribal, loyalty oath-like partisan divides over his contested legacy – shall haunt and poison all discussions of each and every Biden foreign policy move for at least next 47 months more. Lost in this reflexive race to familiar factional battle stations will be nearly any coherent analysis of the systemic structures designed to ensure America’s war-show must go on.

Feb 09 07:24

US Warns Yemen’s Houthis Against Attacks Inside Saudi Arabia

The US State Department released a statement on Sunday warning Yemen’s Houthis against attacks inside Saudi Arabia and further offensives against the Saudi-backed government inside Yemen.

“As the President is taking steps to end the war in Yemen and Saudi Arabia has endorsed a negotiated settlement, the United States is deeply troubled by continued Houthi attacks,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

The statement comes a few days after President Biden announced he is cutting off support for Saudi Arabia’s “offensive” operations in Yemen. “We call on the Houthis to immediately cease attacks impacting civilian areas inside Saudi Arabia and to halt any new military offensives inside Yemen, which only bring more suffering to the Yemeni people,” Price said.

Feb 08 08:21

US ending aid to Saudi-led forces in Yemen, but questions persist

United States President Joe Biden last week announced plans to end US support for Saudi Arabia’s “offensive operations” in war-torn Yemen, including ceasing relevant arms sales to the government in Riyadh.

The move signalled a distinct shift in Washington’s approach to the conflict and a renewed emphasis on reaching a diplomatic solution to the years-long war, which has caused what the United Nations describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Feb 05 07:52

Biden Says He Will End ‘Offensive Support’ For Saudi War in Yemen

President Biden delivered a foreign policy speech on Thursday and vowed to end US support for Saudi Arabia’s “offensive” operations in Yemen.

“We are ending all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales,” Biden said. Last week, the administration paused planned arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, although US officials framed the pause as a standard procedure for a new administration.

While Biden vowed to end “offensive” support, he promised to keep supporting the Saudis militarily in other ways. “At the same time, Saudi Arabia faces missile attacks, UAV strikes, and other threats from Iranian-supplied forces in multiple countries. We’re going to continue to support and help Saudi Arabia defend its sovereignty.”

Feb 05 07:51

Biden Says He’s Ending the Yemen War—But It's Too Soon to Celebrate

The February 4 announcement by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan that President Biden would end U.S. support for ?“offensive operations” in Yemen was understandably met with celebration by those opposed to the war. Almost six years of the U.S.-Saudi?U.A.E. onslaught on Yemen have left the country devastated by humanitarian disaster and famine. Anti-war activists have spent these years?—?first during the Obama-Biden administration, then the Trump-Pence administration, and now the Biden-Harris administration?—?agitating to end U.S. participation in the onslaught. It has been an organizing effort that often seemed like shouting into the wind, as the bombings of hospitals, factories and weddings piled up. The countless people who have been toiling in obscurity to end this war, and the people in Yemen who have joined in this effort even while surrounded by hardship and death, certainly deserve praise and gratitude.

Feb 03 08:44

Nimitz Carrier Departs Mideast For Home As Iran Releases S.Korean Tanker Crew

Reflecting the expected shift in Biden administration foreign policy priorities away from the Middle East and toward southeast Asia, especially China, the Pentagon has announced Tuesday afternoon that the USS Nimitz has departed its Mideast region of operation.

It had been sent there at the tail-end of the Trump presidency amid ratcheting tensions with Iran, and as the former president reportedly mulled military action to prevent Iran from taking steps to achieve nuclear weapons.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby issued a statement confirming the "USS Nimitz has left Arabian Sea and 5th Fleet after being deployed for over 270 days amid tensions with Iran." The aircraft carrier is now "currently in the Indo-Pacific."

Feb 03 08:10

Saying ‘Peace Not Going to Break Out… Anytime Soon,’ Raytheon CEO Sees ‘Solid Growth’ in Middle East

Sixty years to the month after President Dwight D. Eisenhower prophetically warned against the “unwarranted influence” of the “military-industrial complex” in his farewell address, the chief executive of one of the world’s biggest weapons makers affirmed that ongoing war in the Middle East is good for business.

During a Tuesday earnings call, Raytheon Technologies CEO Greg Hayes told investors he anticipated the Biden administration would temporarily block the sale of 7,500 of his company’s Paveway bombs to Saudi Arabia, a nearly $500 million deal sealed during the final months of former President Donald Trump’s tenure. Hayes quasi-cryptically said that a certain “offensive weapons system” to a certain “customer in the Middle East [who] we can’t talk about” was coming off the company’s books.

Feb 03 06:52

Saudis, allies dropped over 3,000 cluster bombs on Yemen since 2015: Official

The director-general of the Yemen Executive Mine Action Center (YEMAC) has said the Saudi-led coalition has dropped 3,179 cluster bombs on Yemen since the beginning of its aggression against the defenseless Yemeni people in 2015.

Ali Sofra said the civilian casualties of the bombardments, mostly women and children, have exceeded 1,000, and most of them were in agricultural and grazing areas, Iraq’s al-Maloumeh news website reported on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia, accompanied by its allies including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has been leading a war against Yemen since March 2015 with the aim of bringing the former pro-Riyadh government back to power.

Feb 02 14:11

Why Israel is joining the Pentagon’s 'Arab Nato'

With none of the usual fanfare associated with such a momentous decision, the Pentagon announced last month a major reorganisation to bring Israel - for the first time - inside its military command in the Middle East alongside the Arab states.

Until now, Israel has belonged to the US military’s European command, or Eucom, rather than the Middle Eastern one, known as Central Command, or Centcom. The decision effectively jettisoned the traditional wisdom that Israel’s inclusion in Centcom would increase friction between the US and Arab states, and would make the latter more reluctant to share intelligence or cooperate with the Pentagon.

Those concerns were felt especially keenly when the US had large numbers of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Back in 2010, David Petraeus, then Centcom’s commander, expressed fears that the price of too-overt military collusion with Israel could be exacted on US forces stationed in the region.

Feb 02 14:10

UAE confident F-35 jets sale will go through despite Biden review, says ambassador

The United Arab Emirates is confident that a deal to purchase F-35 fighter jets from the US will proceed despite the administration of President Joe Biden issuing a review of the Trump-era sale, the country's ambassador to Washington has said.

Yousef al-Otaiba described the review as routine and expected, and said the Emirates' purchase of 50 F-35 jets, 18 armed drones, and other defence equipment - a deal valued at $23bn - will go ahead as planned.

"Should they review it? They absolutely should, but they're going to find what we already know. It was done through a very straightforward negotiating process," Otaiba said on Monday during a virtual panel hosted by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Feb 01 11:13

Ansarullah condemns America's terrorist crimes

American crimes in Yemen are still the most pressing topic for discussion in Yemen. The Ansarullah Political Bureau and the Anti-Aggression Party Bloc held an intellectual and political symposium to discuss US crimes in Yemen.

The participants affirmed that America is a key partner in the war on Yemen with the military and logistical support of the Saudi-led coalition, and it is also behind the support of terrorist groups such as Daesh and Al Qaeda, not only in Yemen but in the region.

After it has established and sent terrorist groups to the Arab region, the US still stands accused of providing financial and military support to these groups in violation of international law.

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