Abdi Latif Dahir
A tropical cyclone has wrecked havoc across the Horn of Africa, leaving at least 15 people dead and tens of thousands displaced.
Tropical cyclone Sagar, which means “the sea” in Hindi, formed in the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and northern Somalia late last week. Since landing over the weekend, the cyclone system has caused heavy rains in both the Puntland and Somaliland regions of Somalia, and moved along the coast to strike the tiny nation of Djibouti.
With top sustained winds of 60 miles per hour, Sagar made landfall further west than any tropical cyclone in 52 years of record-keeping for the North Indian Basin. The cyclone, which is being called the strongest ever recorded in Somalia, left a trail of destruction including loss of livestock and crops and destruction of homes, as well as massive damage to infrastructure.
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.
Colin Dwyer – December 21, 2017
It has been roughly eight months since cholera first took hold in war-torn Yemen. In that brief span, the waterborne disease has exacted a staggering toll on the country’s population — and that toll only continues to rise by the day.
The number of suspected cases of cholera has crossed one million, the International Committee of the Red Cross announced Thursday. Of those who have contracted the disease since April, the World Health Organization believes more than 2,200 people have died of it — almost a third of whom are children.
In its announcement on Twitter, the ICRC was left nearly speechless, elaborating on its confirmation with just three words: “This is devastating.”
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.
RT – December 14, 2017
Under the current administration the US attitude towards Iran has hardened. Earlier this year, President Donald Trump claimed that a 2015 financial deal intended to limit Iran’s nuclear program has helped the nation fund terrorism.
Speaking about the new strategy on Iran, ambassador Nikki Haley indicated US agencies and their international partners are currently scrutinizing Iran’s ballistic missiles program, arms exports and “its support for terrorists, proxy fighters and dictators.”
Under the 2015 UN resolution on Iran’s nuclear program, the supply, sale or transfer of ballistic missiles from the country must be approved by the UN security council on a case-by-case basis.
Standing in front of a partially incinerated missile shell purported to have been fired into Saudi Arabia from Yemen, Haley told reporters at a Washington military base that illegal Iranian weapons are spreading throughout the Middle East.
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.
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.
Michael Snyder – November 9, 2017
People better start waking up and paying attention to what is happening in the Middle East, because the situation is becoming quite serious. If things go badly, we could be facing a major regional war which would involve not only Saudi Arabia and Iran, but also potentially the United States and Israel. Yesterday, I quoted an article in The New York Times that warned that tensions between the Saudis and the Iranians were raising “the threat of a direct military clash between the two regional heavyweights”. And now Jake Novak of CNBC is saying that a “direct conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, as opposed to the proxy war they’re fighting in Yemen, looks inevitable.”
In fact, Novak is warning that the Saudis “are marching ever closer towards a wider regional war.” Novak understands the dynamics of the Middle East, and he realizes where things could be headed if cooler heads do not prevail.
Saudi Arabia and Iran have already been fighting proxy wars against one another in Syria and Iran for quite a while, but a direct military conflict between the two could literally be a nightmare scenario.
RT – November 6, 2017
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir on Monday, Nov. 6 accused Iran of an “act of war” in reference to the Iranian-backed Yemeni Houthi missile attack on Riyadh airport Saturday.
On Sunday, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei secretly ordered a significant reshuffle in the high commands of the Iranian army and navy. Brig. Gen. Mohammad Hossein Dadras was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, with orders to boost the intelligence and operational preparedness of the Army. He came from the post of commander of ground forces.
In a separate notice, Khamenei promoted Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi to commander of the Navy, replacing Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, who was elevated to Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for operational coordination.
DEBKAfile’s military sources add: Sayari spent the last ten years developing the combat doctrine practiced by the Iranian Navy and Revolutionary Guards in the Gulf, which hinges on special forces, especially marines, for naval and ground warfare. He was responsible for the tactics and harassment that Iranian forces directed at US warships and warplanes operating in the Gulf.
Sayari hands these functions over to Rear Admiral Khanzadi, while himself joining the Army’s General Staff as head of operations of Iran’s armed forces.