AYA BATRAWY – April 15, 2018
DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia used its perch as host of an annual gathering of Arab leaders on Sunday to push for a unified stance against rival Iran as the regional powerhouses vie for the upper hand in wars in Syria and Yemen.
Saudi King Salman told leaders from across the 22-member Arab League that Iran was to blame for instability and meddling in the region. He said Yemeni rebel Houthis, backed by Iran, had fired 116 missiles at the kingdom since Saudi Arabia went to war in Yemen three years ago to try and roll back Houthi gains there.
The summit took place in the oil-rich eastern Saudi city of Dhahran, a location that may have been selected by the kingdom to avoid cross-border Houthi missile strikes that have targeted the capital, Riyadh, and southern border cities.
While locked in proxy conflicts in Yemen and Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran also back opposing groups in Lebanon, Bahrain and Iraq.
Will Racke – March 15, 2018
Saudi Arabia will work to build its own nuclear weapons if Iran acquires them, according to the kingdom’s heir apparent.
Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, popularly known as MBS, says his country would have no choice but to match Tehran’s nuclear capability.
“Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible,” MBS told CBS in an interview that will air on Sunday.
MBS’ interview, his first for American television, comes in advance of his much-hyped visit to Washington, D.C., next week. The crown prince has sought to strengthen Saudi Arabia’s already deep ties to Washington by backing the Trump administration’s hawkish approach to Iran, the kingdom’s historical Mideast rival.
IBT – December 31, 2017
Iran has blamed “foreign agents” for the death of two activists who took part in anti-government protests.
Hundreds of people began demonstrating against high living costs, unemployment and the country’s stagnant economy on Thursday, 28 December. However, rallies soon turned into calls for the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to step down. People were heard chanting slogans such as “death to dictator” and “death to Khamenei”.
Two activists were reportedly shot dead in the city of Dorud on 31 December. Officials confirmed the deaths, but said that “foreign agents” were behind them, and not security forces as some have claimed on social media.
Officials also claimed that most of the social media reports came from Saudi Arabia, its regional rival, and exile groups based in Europe.
Sam Webb – December 19, 2017
A MISSILE fired at Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh was shot down moments before it hit a royal palace today.
Saudi air defences intercepted a ballistic missile fired towards the city, Saudi-owned channel al-Arabiya reported in a news flash quoting a Saudi-led military coalition official.
A ballistic missile was launched at the Saudi capital, a Houthi spokesman said.
Mohammed Abdussalam said on Twitter that a Volcano 2-H ballistic missile was fired towards al-Yamama royal palace.
Bloomberg reporter Vivian Nereim tweeted: “Loud boom heard in central Riyadh – big enough that we felt it shake our tower.”
The Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information tweeted: “Coalition forces confirm intercepting an Iranian-Houthi missile targeting south of Riyadh.
Suraj Sharma – December 13, 2017
ISTANBUL, Turkey – The biggest grouping of Islamic nations put aside differences and recognised East Jerusalem as the capital of occupied Palestine, the most concrete response yet to the American move of recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The surprise announcement came despite Saudi Arabia and its allies sending low-level officials to the heads of state Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Istanbul on Wednesday, suggesting an unwillingness to adopt a strong position.
The final communique declared “East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine” and invited “all countries to recognise the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital”.
It stated it rejected and condemned “in the strongest terms the unilateral decision by the President of the United States America recognising Al-Quds [Jerusalem] as the so-called capital of Israel, the occupying power.”
Zeke Miller – December 6, 2017
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday called on Saudi Arabia to end its Yemen blockade immediately, citing humanitarian concerns.
“I have directed officials in my Administration to call the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to request that they completely allow food, fuel, water, and medicine to reach the Yemeni people who desperately need it,” Trump said in a statement.
A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting to defeat the Iran-backed Houthis — at one point allied with ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s forces in Yemen — since March 2015. The coalition has imposed a blockade on the country, with the aim of reinstating the internationally recognized government of Saleh’s successor, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
Saleh was killed Monday by his former Houthi allies after moving to switch allegiances in the bloody conflict.
Laura Moway – November 23, 2017
The regions of Qatar, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon are also embroiled in the bitter conflict.
Relations between the Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia and the Shia-dominated Iran have deteriorated recently due to the ongoing civil war in Yemen and the political crisis in Lebanon.
Tensions increased a few weeks ago between the two countries when Saudi Arabia accused Iran of being behind a ballistic missile attack on a Riyadh airport.
The missiles were intercepted and Saudi Arabia said they perceived the attack as a “declaration of war”.
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said: “The kingdom will not stand by and will not hesitate to defend its security.
RT – November 20, 2017
Two-and-a-half years of a lethal blockade and bombardment have produced almost nothing regarding territorial gains in the West’s Saudi-executed war against the Yemeni nation. The tightening of the blockade is an obscene, desperate attempt to put off its inevitable defeat.
The war against Yemen, sponsored by the West and executed by their ever-loyal Saudi fall guys, is going badly. Very badly.
When the Saudis began their bombardment of the Arab world’s poorest country, named ‘Decisive Storm,’ in March 2015, they promised a ‘limited’ mission. In reality, it has proved to be seemingly limitless and completely indecisive. A Harvard study estimates the Saudis are spending $200 million per day on this war, driving their military budget up to $63,7 billion, the fourth highest in the world. But they remain nowhere near achieving their stated goal of defeating the Houthi-led resistance and recapturing the capital, Sanaa. Indeed, Hadi, the ‘President’ the Saudis are supposedly supporting, is still holed up in Riyadh, apparently unable to set foot in his own country, such shows the depth of popular animosity toward him.
Meanwhile, the ‘coalition’ which Saudi Arabia purports to lead is falling apart. Qatar, the world’s richest country in terms of per capita income, who was supposed to bankroll a large chunk of the war – pulled out long ago; while the Pakistani parliament, whose allotted role was to provide the ground troops, unanimously vetoed the proposal last year.
Debkafiles – November 15, 2017
The next Saudi King Crown Prince Muhammad and Israel agree that Iran is the biggest threat to the region, but Israel’s top soldier rules out initiating an attack on Hizballah.
Two London publications on the same day, Thursday, Nov. 17, shed unusual light on the next chapter in Saudi royal history, as well as on the hitherto semi-clandestine ties between Riyadh and Jerusalem.
The London Daily Mail, quoting “a source close to the Saudi royal family” reported that King Salman, 91, intends to give up the throne next week and name his son, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, 32 as his successor. The king will reportedly confine himself to ceremonial duties like “the queen of England,” retaining only the title of “Custodian of the Holy Shrines.”
Near two weeks ago, Prince Muhammad ordered 500 notables, including princes, former ministers and business leaders detained on charges of corruption. The British newspaper carried the first photos of the distinguished detainees sleeping on mattresses on the floor of the five-star Carlton Ritz Riyadh.
After he is crowned king, the prince will focus on Iran, according the Daily Mail. His plan is “to start the fire in Lebanon, in the hope of Israeli military backing.”
Tyler Durden – 11, 2017
It’s easy to get lost in all things Middle East, especially concerning the chaotic events that unfolded over the weekend in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.
Three days after the most stunning purge in recent Saudi history – which was really a countercoup, that led to the arrest of dozen of Saudi Arabian royals, ministers and businessmen to further the control of the Kingdom – Saudi Arabia called Yemen’s missile launch on Riyadh an ‘act of war’ by Iran, and also played victim by saying Lebanon has declared war against the Kingdom.
How to make sense of this all?
An author on twitter by the handle beautifully outlines today’s events in an easy to understand video titled: PAX AMERICANA, PetroDollar & the Coming CRISIS in the GULF…
The author of the video focuses on the Middle East and says a perfect storm is gathering upon the horizon, as the whole world is changing and the only way to change it for the better is to understand the world around you.