Facing Defeat in Syria, ISIS Inexplicably Expands Globally

August 11, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – Throughout human history, when a military force and its economic center has been defeated, it contracts, then collapses. For the first time in human history, the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS), has managed to reverse this fundamental aspect of reality – but not without help.

Facing defeat in Syria as government forces backed by its Russian and Iranian allies close in on the terrorist organization, stripping it of territory it seized, it has managed to spread far beyond Syria’s borders, establishing itself in Libya, Afghanistan, and even as far as Southeast Asia where it has seized an entire city in the Philippines’ south, and carried out attacks and conducting activities everywhere from Indonesia and Malaysia to allegedly Thailand’s deep south.

It should be remembered, according to Western governments and their media, the territory ISIS holds in Syria is allegedly providing it with the summation of its financial resources and thus the source of its fighting capacity. According to official statements, the US and its European allies allege that ISIS fuels its fighting capacity with “taxes” and extortion as well as black market oil sales – all of which are derived from territory it holds in Syria.

The Washington Post in a 2015 article titled, “How the Islamic State makes its money,” would note:

Weapons, vehicles, employee salaries, propaganda videos, international travel — all of these things cost money. The recent terrorism attacks in Paris, which the Islamic State has claimed as its own work, suggest the terrorist organization hasn’t been hurting for funding. David Cohen, the Treasury Department’s Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, described the Islamic State last October as “probably the best-funded terrorist organization we have confronted” — deep pockets that have allowed the group to carry out deadly campaigns in Iraq, Syria and other countries. 

To explain where ISIS actually makes its money, the Washington Post claims:

Unlike many terrorist groups, which finance themselves mainly through wealthy donors, the Islamic State has used its control over a territory that is roughly the size of the U.K. and home to millions of people to develop diversified revenue channels that make it more resilient to U.S. offensives.

The Washington Post would also claim:

 Its main methods of generating money appear to be the sale of oil and antiquities, as well as taxation and extortion. And the group’s financial resources have grown quickly as it has captured more territory and resources: According to estimates by the Rand Corporation, the Islamic State’s total revenue rose from a little less than $1 million per month in late 2008 and early 2009 to perhaps $1 million to $3 million per day in 2014.

With this territory quickly shrinking and the intensity of fighting against what remains of ISIS in Syria and Iraq expanding, it is seemingly inexplicable as to how ISIS is expanding globally, instead of contracting and collapsing.

The Washington Post’s already implausible thesis regarding ISIS finances – based on official statements from the US Treasury Department and US corporate-funded policy think tanks like Rand – appears to be the only thing contracting and collapsing.

ISIS Enjoys Global Reach Many Nation-States Lack 

Regarding just how expansive ISIS’ global activities are, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson himself would claim in an August 1, 2017 statement that:

I think our next steps on the global war to defeat ISIS are to recognize ISIS is a global issue. We already see elements of ISIS in the Philippines, as you’re aware, gaining a foothold. Some of these fighters have gone to the Philippines from Syria and Iraq. We are in conversations with the Philippine Government, with Indonesia, with Malaysia, with Singapore, with Australia, as partners to recognize this threat, try to get ahead of this threat, and help them with training – training their own law enforcement capabilities, sharing of intelligence, and provide them wherewithal to anticipate what may be coming their direction.

Tillerson made these remarks after noting ISIS’ shrinking holdings in both Syria and Iraq. He claimed in regards to Iraq:

More than 70 percent of Iraqi territory that was once held by ISIS has been liberated and recovered. ISIS has been unable to retake any territory that it has been – that has been liberated, and almost 2 million Iraqis have returned home. And this is really the measure of success, I think, is when conditions are such that people feel like they can return to their homes. 

Regarding Syria, Tillerson would claim:

Similarly, over in Syria, we’re assisting with the liberation of Raqqa, which is moving at a faster pace than we originally anticipated.

The steps outlined by Tillerson to combat ISIS sidestep strategic fundamentals like identifying, isolating, and eliminating the economic and financial source of the organization’s fighting capacity, and instead focus on an indefinite justification for global US military operations – particularly across Southeast Asia at a time when the region is incrementally uprooting American influence and replacing it with Eurasian alliances, networks, as well as military and economic blocs.

For ISIS – fueled by resources found only within the boundaries of its meager and shrinking territorial holdings in Syria and Iraq – to be simultaneously fighting the national armies of Syria and Iraq, backed by Iran, Russia, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and allegedly a US-led coalition including dozens of countries, all while expanding its reach worldwide, including full-scale military operations in Southeast Asia, begs belief.

ISIS doing all of this with multi-billion dollar multinational state sponsorship, not only makes much more sense, it is the only explanation.

ISIS is State Sponsored 

Until recently, ISIS territory butted directly against the borders of NATO-member Turkey. In fact, looking at any map of the Syrian-Iraqi conflict with ISIS revealed what appeared to be logistical trails leading directly out of Turkey and to a lesser extent, Jordan.

A 2014 report from Germany’s public broadcaster Deutsche Welle, revealed a torrent of supplies, men, and weapons flowing daily over the Turkish-Syrian border, headed directly toward ISIS territory, directly under the nose and with the complicity of Turkish officials.

The report titled, “‘IS’ supply channels through Turkey,” would note:

Every day, trucks laden with food, clothing, and other supplies cross the border from Turkey to Syria. It is unclear who is picking up the goods. The haulers believe most of the cargo is going to the “Islamic State” militia. Oil, weapons, and soldiers are also being smuggled over the border, and Kurdish volunteers are now patrolling the area in a bid to stem the supplies.

So obvious was the logistical support for ISIS flowing from Turkey, that ISIS flags were clearly visible from the Turkish border throughout DW’s footage.

It was only until Russia’s military intervention in Syria upon Damascus’ request, that these logistical routes were targeted and significant pressure could be placed on ISIS inside Syria, rolling back its fighting capacity.

There is also the fact that ISIS and Al Qaeda along with their various affiliates and allies have swept alleged “moderate rebels” from the battlefield. These are alleged “rebel groups” that have supposedly received hundreds of billions of dollars of support from the US and its allies in the form of weapons, vehicles, training, logistical support, and even covert military support.
ISIS and Al Qaeda’s ability to sweep these forces from the battlefield indicates a fighting capacity driven by even greater financial support. But if ISIS has greater financial support than multi-billion dollar multinational state sponsorship, where is it getting it?
This question, coupled with the obvious fact that ISIS is indeed fueling its fighting capacity from well beyond the borders of territory it occupies, indicates that the US and its allies, including NATO-member Turkey, never were backing “moderate rebels,” and for the entire duration of the Syrian conflict – and even beforehand – were arming and supporting extremists, including Al Qaeda and those affiliates that would later form ISIS itself.
ISIS enjoys a global reach few nation-states could achieve because it is financially, politically, and militarily backed by nations with the resources to obtain that global reach. This includes the US itself, NATO, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which in turn includes nations like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Qatar.
ISIS is America’s Foot in the Door in Southeast Asia 
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s comments regarding ISIS’ spread into Southeast Asia implied long-term US involvement in the region, including closer involvement with regional police and even military forces. In the Philippines, where US-Philippine relations were spiraling downward, the sudden appearance of ISIS there and the organization’s ability to seize an entire city led directly to justification for not only a continued US military presence in the country, but its expansion.
Other nations across Southeast Asia – including Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand – have been incrementally pushing US influence out of the region in favor of stronger and more stable ties with each other and with neighboring China.
Thailand for instance, has begun replacing aging US military hardware with weapon systems from Russia, China, and Europe. Thailand has also begun joint military exercises with China, ending America’s post-Vietnam War monopoly. Thailand and Indonesia have also begun striking a series of economic and infrastructure deals with China, including immense expansions of their respective national railways.
As each nation has taken steps to move the US out of Asia, the US has increased pressure on each respective nation. It has done this through US-funded fronts posing as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and US-backed opposition movements. It also appears to be doing this through the introduction and expansion of ISIS activity in the region.
It should be remembered that it was the US itself that created Al Qaeda in the mountains of Afghanistan to fight the Soviets in the 1980s.
It was also the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), in a leaked 2012 memo, that noted the US and its allies sought the creation of a “Salafist” (Islamic) “principality” (State) in eastern Syria precisely where the Islamic State currently resides. The purpose of creating this terrorist organization was to “isolate the Syrian regime.” Thus, it is all but admitted that ISIS is a tool of US geopolitical manipulation. If it created and used ISIS in Syria to “isolate the Syrian regime,” why would it hesitate to likewise use it in Southeast Asia to reverse its waning fortunes?

The 2012 report (.pdf) states (emphasis added):

If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).

Tillerson’s comments regarding ISIS are in essence, a veiled threat – a threat of long-term chaos sown by ISIS that will continue without expansive capitulation to US interests, including an expanding US military footprint in the region, conveniently in a region the US has long designated as essential toward the geopolitical, military, and economic encirclement and isolation of a rising China.
However, such a ploy cannot unfold if the nations of Southeast Asia both expose this reality, and align themselves with nations truly invested in the defeat of ISIS, including Russia and China – the ultimate targets of America’s geopolitical ambitions and the final destination for America’s global terrorist proxies.
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

The US Is Complicit in the Destruction of Yemen

Jonah Shepp

The United States has had a dismal track record managing conflicts in the Middle East in recent years, but in Yemen, it is currently abetting a humanitarian disaster that could ultimately rival Syria and Iraq in its destabilizing impact on the region and the world.

War in Yemen


More than 10,000 people have been killed in the intractable war over the past three years…

Over the weekend, international aid agencies warned that some 20 million people were imminently at risk of dying of starvation or poverty-related diseases in Yemen and a number of African countries, all of which are facing critical food shortages.

In Yemen alone, Save the Children counts 20.7 million people, half of them children, in dire need of aid. Meanwhile, a cholera epidemic is raging through the parts of Yemen hit hardest by the war, with at least 360,000 suspected cases and perhaps as many as 425,000. Some 2,000 people have already died in the epidemic, and the number of cases is rising by some 7,000 a day.

The famine in Yemen is not a consequence of drought or crop failure… Rather, the famine is the intentional result of a two-year blockade imposed on the country by Saudi Arabia, with the help of its allies, including the US, in a deliberate effort to starve Yemeni areas into submission. The ruthless siege tactics of the Saudi-led coalition are also directly to blame for the cholera outbreak. Saudi Arabia has targeted civilian areas with its bombs, destroying vital infrastructure like hospitals and water systems. Dr. Homer Venters, director of programs at Physicians for Human Rights, says we are witnessing the “weaponization of disease” in Yemen, as well as in Syria.

The US cannot sidestep its own complicity in this carnage. After belatedly realizing that the Saudis were bombing Yemeni civilians with American-made weapons, the Obama administration blocked sales of cluster bombs and precision munitions to Riyadh last year. The Trump administration, however, sought to resume precision weapons sales back in March, and the Senate signed off on a new $500 million deal by a narrow margin in June. Since March, the administration has been considering expanding US involvement in the Yemen conflict – which the Saudis surely encouraged during Trump’s visit there in May.

Meanwhile, the general US foreign policy is: As long as the Saudis buy their guns and bombs from us, we’re not too concerned about how they end up using them, whether it’s to besiege Yemen, threaten Qatar, brutally suppress protests in Bahrain, or intimidate their own citizens into quiescence. Given Trump’s single-minded obsession with making deals and goosing US manufacturing jobs, as well as his susceptibility to Saudi flattery, his administration is unlikely to stand up to our most troublesome ally anytime soon.

Part of what allows the United States to be an accessory to these atrocities is the fact that though Yemen bleeds, it doesn’t lead. Coverage of Yemen in the Western media, where it exists at all, tends to be one-dimensional “parachute journalism,” produced by non-expert reporters and focusing solely on the Sunni-Shiite war dimension of the conflict.

What really makes the war in Yemen frightening is that the country was already in a fragile state: The poorest country in the Arab region, overpopulated and heavily dependent on imports, the country’s biggest problem is that it is drying up. A population boom and the rise of a cash crop economy has led to overexploitation of scarce resources, exacerbated by the effects of climate change, and Yemen is now one of the most water-stressed countries in the world. Some experts believe Sanaa could become the world’s first capital city to run out of water entirely – not decades from now, but by 2025 – and what little water the city has left is now contaminated with cholera.

If nothing is done to alleviate Yemen’s water crisis, and especially if war continues to degrade infrastructure and make repairs impossible, Yemen is a strong candidate for the world’s first major climate refugee crisis. Between war, famine, disease, climate change, and the indifference of the world, the land known to the Greeks and Romans as “Happy Arabia” is well on its way to becoming ungovernable, if not uninhabitable.

Source: New York Magazine, Edited by website team

09-08-2017 | 15:35

HOUTHIS ATTACK PRO-HADI FORCES IN SANA’A AND AL-JAWF

South Front

Houthis Attack Pro-Hadi Forces In Sana'a and Al-Jawf

Newly recruited Houthi fighters ride on the back of a pick-up truck as they parade before heading to the frontline to fight against government forces, in Sanaa, Yemen January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah – RTX2YMO3

Several fighters loyal to the Saudi-backed Mansur Hadi government were killed and wounded in two attacks of -the Houthis in Sana’a and Al-Jawf provinces, according to Yemeni sources.

The Houthis repotedly attacked Al-Safina position southwest of Nahm in Sana’a province and Al-Sallan camp in Al-Maslob in Al-Jawf province. Furthermore, Houthi fighters damaged two vehicles of pro-Hadi forces in Sorouh in Marib, according to the Houthi media wing.

Meanwhile, the Houthi artillery targeted gatherings of Saudi soldiers in Al-Makhroq al-Kabir, Al-Shabaka and Tabbat al-Khashba in Najran at the Yemeni-Saudi border. Yemeni sources also claimed that Houthi snipers killed a Saudi soldier in Slatah in Najran, and another soldier at Qais position in Jizan near the Yemeni-Saudi border.

In another development, the Ministry of Transport and the General Authority for Aviation declared at a news conference that the continued closure of the Sana’a International Airport without any justification is a violation of the international treaties and humanitarian laws.

The Ministry of Transport revealed that 95 thousand patients need to travel abroad for treatment, and also revealed that 13194 Yemenis died due to the inability to transfer them for proper treatment abroad. It’s worth to mention that the Saudi Alliance has imposed a No-Fly zone over the Yemeni capital Sana’a since the start of its military intervention in 2015, although the Yemeni Air Force has been destroyed since the first month of the war.

Houthi forces inflict heavy losses on Gulf-led forces in western Yemen

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:25 P.M.) – The Houthi forces were relentless on Wednesday, carrying out a large number of attacks against the Gulf-led forces in the Ta’iz Governorate of Yemen.

According to the official media wing of the Houthi forces, their fighters scored several direct hits on the units of the UAE-backed Southern Resistance, killing and wounding many combatants in the process.

The Houthi forces primarily concentrated their attack on the Yakhtal area of Ta’iz, where they share a front-line with the Gulf-backed forces.

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Trump’s Knowledge of Lebanese Situation Is Non-Existent

Trump’s Knowledge of Lebanese Situation Is Non-Existent

WAYNE MADSEN | 08.08.2017 | OPINION

Trump’s Knowledge of Lebanese Situation Is Non-Existent

US President Donald Trump, hobbled by a two-minute attention span, demonstrated his utter lack of knowledge about the political situation in Lebanon during a recent visit to the White House of Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri. During a press conference outside the White House, Trump opened his remarks by stating to an astonished Hariri and the viewing Lebanese television audience, «Lebanon is on the front lines in the fight against ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Hezbollah».

Trump was correct that Lebanon is battling the Islamic State and Al Qaeda but is doing so with the assistance of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shi’a movement with which Hariri’s government maintains a fragile but maturing political accommodation. Trump followed his opening remarks by stating, «Hezbollah is a menace to the Lebanese state, the Lebanese people, and the entire region. The group continues to increase its military arsenal, which threatens to start yet another conflict with Israel, constantly fighting them back. With the support of Iran, the organization is also fueling the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. Hezbollah likes to portray itself as a defender of Lebanese interests, but it’s very clear that its true interests are those of itself and its sponsor – Iran».

Following his meeting and news conference with Trump, Hariri was forced to correct the record in order not to face a government collapse back in Beirut. Hariri said,

«We fight ISIS and al-Qaida. Hezbollah is in the government and part of parliament and we have an understanding with it».

There is little doubt that Trump, under the influence of Israeli agents-of-influence like his son-in-law Jared Kushner, was not briefed on Hezbollah’s critical role in supporting the Hariri government, to bring about a Lebanese political crisis. Fortunately, Hezbollah did not fall for the Israeli subterfuge and gimmickry carried out by the White House.

Kushner obviously had help in briefing Trump on the need to attack Hezbollah. Just after Trump’s misguided comments on Hezbollah, US National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster fired an unwanted staff member, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a leftover from retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s regime at the National Security Council. After Flynn was fired by Trump in February 2017, McMaster attempted to oust Cohen-Watnick, who was attempting to use sectors of the Central Intelligence Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency, where the staffer once worked, to overthrow the government of Iran. Israel’s propaganda network within the United States and abroad began beating the tired old «anti-Semite» canard to criticize McMaster and call for his firing by Trump. Immediately, «rumors» began circulating from the White House, most of them originating with the Kushner circle, that Trump was considering relieving McMaster as National Security Adviser and sending him to command US troops in Afghanistan, a move like Adolf Hitler sending rebellious German generals off to the «Russian front».

The Kushner crowd also suggested that Trump was misled about the situation in Lebanon by Hariri, who was accused of colluding with Hezbollah, Lebanese president Michel Aoun – a political ally of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Armed Forces, Directorate of General Security (Lebanese Intelligence) General Abbas Ibrahim, and unnamed Lebanese lobbying organizations in Washington, DC of trying to «sell» a «pro-Iran order» in Lebanon and Syria. Only seasoned cabalists who make up the Israel Lobby, itself possessing a rich history of advancing actual conspiracies, could concoct such an intricate fictional conspiracy theory to complement their hysterical rhetoric concerning Lebanon.

With Cohen-Watnick out at the National Security Council and Trump’s new chief of staff, retired Marine General John Kelly, attempting to limit Kushner’s access to the Oval Office and involvement with crucial Middle East policy decisions, perhaps Trump can be educated about Israel’s documented military, logistical, and intelligence support for the Sunni jihadist groups in Syria that have been battling against the Syrian Army and volunteers from Hezbollah and Iran. However, Trump has been found loathe to listen to advice from anyone who commands more knowledge of international affairs than himself, which may be anyone possessing a Bachelor’s degree in political science or history.

Trump’s siding with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in a sanctions showdown with Qatar, engineered by Abu Dhabi’s computer hacking of the Qatar News Agency, is a case in point. The entire Qatar episode appears to have been engineered by Kushner, who was miffed after Qatar rejected his request for a $500 million investment in the failing Kushner office building at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, and the UAE’s pro-Israel and anti-Qatar ambassador in Washington, Yousef Al Otaiba. Trump found it preferable to heed the advice of Kushner and the Saudis and Emiratis over that provided by McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Trump was obviously operating from an outdated neo-conservative playbook when he met with Hariri. True, Hariri has long been considered a Sunni pro-Saudi political power in Beirut. But, Hariri is prime minister as the result of a carefully-negotiated power sharing agreement that saw Aoun become president, Hariri become prime minister, and Hezbollah backing the national unity arrangement. While Trump fails to meet the most minimum degree of a working knowledge of international politics, the same does not hold true for operatives like Kushner and his allies in the White House. It is likely that these pro-Israeli elements were trying to engineer a political crisis in Lebanon, an event that would have worked in Israel’s favor.

Hezbollah, which has scored impressive military successes against Israeli military forces and which has managed to harden its telecommunications systems from Israeli eavesdropping, did not take Kushner’s bait. Hariri has publicly recognized and lauded Hezbollah’s role in militarily defeating Al Qaeda and Islamic State jihadist forces on Lebanon’s northern border, calling it a «big achievement». Hariri stated,

«We have our opinion and Hezbollah has its opinion, but in the end, we met on a consensus that concerns the Lebanese people for the [welfare of the] Lebanese economy, security and stability».

Hezbollah leader Nasrallah also held back from falling into the Israeli and Wahhabist trap. Rather than denounce Trump for his ill-informed comments on Hezbollah, Nasrallah merely said he would withhold comment to not embarrass Hariri and his entourage. The words of Hariri and the «no comment» by Nasrallah were irritants to the Israelis and their Wahhabist allies in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, who were hoping to upset the political apple cart in Beirut.

For years, the Israelis and Saudis have attempted to force a Sunni radical government on Lebanon. Both countries’ intelligence services had their fingerprints on the November 2005 car bombing assassination in Beirut of Hariri’s father, former prime minister Rafik Hariri.

This was borne out by a United Nations panel headed by former Canadian prosecutor Daniel Bellemare, which concluded that Rafik Hariri was assassinated by a «criminal network», not by Syrian intelligence or Hezbollah as proffered by the neo-conservative propaganda mill operating out of Washington, DC and Jerusalem.

In fact, Lebanese intelligence ascertained that the assassination of Hariri and twenty-two other persons was carried out by rogue Syrian, Druze, and Palestinian intelligence operatives in Lebanon who were in the pay of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service.

The entire operation was designed to besmirch Hezbollah and Syria and their Lebanese Christian allies. The Israelis were fishing for a casus belli to justify a Western military attack on Syria. War with Syria would be put off until the Barack Obama administration’s ill-fated decision to support «Arab Spring» uprisings throughout the secular Arab world. Mr. Trump, knowingly or unknowingly, attempted to set off a political time bomb in Lebanon with his comments about Hezbollah. Lebanese politics has matured greatly since 2005 and neither Hezbollah, Hariri, Aoun, or other legitimate Lebanese political voices will fall again for the gimmickry engineered in Jerusalem, Riyadh, and the Israeli-directed think tanks in Washington.

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Ansarullah Warns Against Support for Saudi Crimes

Local Editor

As the death toll from the Saudi-led war on the impoverished country increases by the day, the Yemeni Ansarullah movement cautioned the international community against providing a cover for Saudi Arabia’s atrocities in Yemen.

Ansarullah spokesman Mohammad Abdulsalam

Ansarullah spokesman Mohammad Abdulsalam wrote on his Facebook page on Friday that more Saudi crimes would only lead to greater steadfastness on the part of the Yemenis in support of their dignity and the sovereignty of their homeland.

Abdulsalam further called on the Popular Committees and allied army soldiers to step up their operations against the Saudi military and mercenaries.

The remarks came hours after three women and six children from the same family were killed and three others injured in a Saudi-led airstrike on the Mahda district of northwestern Yemeni city of Saada.

Abdel-Ilah al-Azzi, the head of the local health department, said, “We are recording all the crimes of the enemy and we will not forget them. All the criminals will be put on trial soon, God willing.”

The deadly air raid took place at dawn on Friday while the family was asleep.

Saudi Arabia has been leading a brutal military campaign against Yemen for more than two years to reinstall a Riyadh-friendly former president. The Saudi military campaign, however, has failed to achieve its goal.

The protracted war had already martyred over 12,000 Yemenis, with the US and the UK providing the bulk of weapons used by Saudi forces and giving coordinates for the airstrikes, which have killed many civilians.

The Saudi-led offensive has also taken a heavy toll on Yemen’s infrastructure and led to a humanitarian crisis and a cholera epidemic.

The number of suspected cholera cases in Yemen has exceeded 419,800 while almost 2,000 people have died since the outbreak of the epidemic in April, according to the latest figures provided by the World Health Organization [WHO].

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

05-08-2017 | 13:31

In pictures: Saudi Army offensive takes disastrous turn in northern Yemen

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (9:20 P.M.) – On Sunday, the Saudi Arabian Army and aligned forces began attacking Houthi-held positions around the Anbarah Mountain in Al-Jouf province after which heavy clashes broke out between the warring parties.

With clashes raging on throughout the day, the Houthi-led Popular Committees finally managed to repel the assault, leaving many dead Saudi troops dead in the wake of the brief offensive.

Houthi soldier also captured ammunition and light weaponry following the failed attack which the Sanaa-based government claimed to be a carefully planned ambush.

Anbarah Mountain overlooks much of Saudi border and is regularly used as a launching pad to strike behind enemy lines in Saudi Arabia. As such, the hill top is frequently attacked although it remains under Yemeni control for now.
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Horrific footage showing the aftermath from the Saudi massacre in northern Yemen

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:30 P.M.) – People were seen rummaging through the rubble of a Saudi-led airstrike, in Saada, on Friday.

The strike reportedly killed nine members of the same family, at least three women and six children, local officials reported.

BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:00 P.M.) – The Houthi forces launched a powerful assault in the JIzan Region of Saudi Arabia on Friday night, following the Saudi-led Coalition’s massacre of civilians in Yemen’s Sa’ada Governorate.

Using their plethora of ATGMs, the Houthi forces rained missiles on several Saudi military posts in the Jizan Region, scoring a multitude of direct hits in the process.

In response to the Houthi attack, the Saudi-led Coalition launched several airstrikes over the Jizan Region and northern Yemen, targeting any potential threat near the border.

The Saudi Coalition began the day by carrying out a massacre in the Sa’ada Governorate of Yemen, killing at least nine civilians, including six children and three women.

The official media wing of the Houthi forces has issued a statement condemning the Coalition’s massacre.

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خونة وعملاء… وإرهابيون أيضاً

خونة وعملاء… وإرهابيون أيضاً

ابراهيم الأمين

 

ليهدأ خصوم المقاومة وكارهوها من الخونة والعملاء (وبعض المُضلَّلين). فعملهم لم ينته بعد. فأمامهم مهمات إضافية، وسيحتاج إليهم المشغل المحلي أو الإقليمي أو الدولي، ولا سيما منهم، المتحدرون من سلالة «شيعة السفارة» أو ما يعادلها من «كارهي أصولهم وطالبي الانتساب الى بيئة أخرى». وما هو مطلوب منهم، سيلزمهم البقاء في ذواتهم الحالية، أي أن قبول طلبات انتسابهم الى النادي الجديد سيظل قيد الدرس لوقت إضافي.

طبعاً، ليس لدينا من تفسير علمي لغضب هؤلا، سوى شعورهم الحقيقي بالخسارة مرة جديدة. وإذا كان هناك من يرتبك في تفسير ظاهرة «لبنانيون يناصرون إرهابيين»، فالصورة تبدو أكثر وضوحاً عند معرفة أن هؤلاء الخونة والعملاء ــ الذين يستحقون فعلاً عقوبة الإعدام ــ إنما يعيشون فقط على دخل مصدره من يريد القضاء على المقاومة. صحيح أن الاستخبارات الأميركية رفعت صوتها ضد هدر الأموال مع مجموعات لا تنفع في شيء، لكن السعودية والإمارات العربية المتحدة لا تجدان ضرراً في صرف حفنة قليلة، وقليلة جداً، من الدولارات، مقابل سماع هذه الأصوات، مع العلم بأن الرياض وأبو ظبي تسألان كثيراً في الآونة الأخيرة عن سبب عدم تحول هؤلاء الخونة والعملاء إلى أبطال شعبيين!

أما لماذا يغضب هؤلاء عندما يصار إلى تذكير الناس بأن عقوبة الخونة والعملاء هي الإعدام، فلأنهم يشعرون بأن الكلام يطالهم هم بالتحديد، فيشرعون بالصراخ والاستغاثة وطلب العون، ويخرجون من جحورهم دفعة واحدة، ويتداعون الى التشاور في ما يجب القيام به. ثم يرفعون الصوت كمن يكسر خوفه بالغناء. أما احتجاجهم على عدم قيام فريقهم السياسي بخطوات لحمايتهم (ممَّ؟!) فهو احتجاج يظل صداه داخل المنزل فقط.

على أي حال، فإن لهؤلاء مهمات إضافية منتظرة. ذلك أن المعركة مع الإرهاب لم تنته بعد. وبرغم الأهمية غير العادية لإسقاط القواعد العسكرية المباشرة لهذه المجموعات، فإن مجالين للعمل سيستمران، واحد له بعده الأمني، حيث تنشط الخلايا الإرهابية بقصد توجيه ضربات في أكثر من مكان، وآخر سياسي ــ إعلامي، حيث يفترض العمل على الترويج الإضافي للإرهابيين، ولو من باب حقوق الإنسان والحريات.

وهذا يعني ببساطة أن على الجمهور الانتباه إلى كون المرحلة الجديدة من المواجهة مع الإرهابيين وداعميهم تتطلب درجة أعلى من اليقظة والاستنفار وعدم المهادنة. وستكون المؤسسات الأمنية والعسكرية اللبنانية تحت أعين المراقبة والتقييم، لأن أسلوب العمل في المرحلة السابقة يجب أن يوضع له حد، لجهة التباين الكبير في النشاط والنتائج. فحماسة وإنتاجية استخبارات الجيش والأمن العام، قابلتهما في السنوات الماضية برودة من جانب فرع المعلومات في قوى الأمن الداخلي، قياساً إلى قدراته، وخطوات هامشية لجهاز أمن الدولة.

لكن الجميع يعرف أن لهذه الفروقات أسبابها. فأمن الدولة كان خارج العمل الأمني فعلياً. وهو باشر حديثاً نشاطه، وهناك مؤشرات على إمكانية تحقيقه قفزات في هذا العمل، ويمكن القيام بالكثير، في حال نجاحه في إقفال «خدمة الخَدَم» التي يطلبها منه كبار القوم.

أما الجيش والأمن العام، فالأمر واضح عندهما، لناحية أن قيادتَي هاتين المؤسستين على اقتناع تام، وطوعي، بأن الإرهاب حقيقي، وأنه يستهدف جميع اللبنانيين، وأن العمل الاستباقي ضروري لمواجهته، بما في ذلك ما يقوم به حزب الله. وأن المواجهة مع هذه المجموعات تتطلب التنسيق مع كل من يقاتلها بجدية، من الحكومتين السورية والعراقية، الى روسيا وإيران، الى الأجهزة الأمنية في بعض الدول العربية والاوروبية.

أما فرع المعلومات، فمشكلته ليست في ضباطه أو أفراده. المشكلة الأساسية تكمن في موقف جهة الوصاية على الجهاز، أي تيار المستقبل ومن خلفه قوى محلية وإقليمية ودولية، لا تنظر الى هذه المجموعات الإرهابية على أنها شر كامل، بل ترى في بعض أعمالها ما هو مناسب، وخصوصاً إذا كانت هذه الأعمال موجهة الى سوريا وإيران وحزب الله. وهو موقف أثّر سلباً على هذا الجهاز، القادر، بقوة، على تحقيق إنتاج كبير جداً، وهو ما سيكون محل نقاش ومتابعة في المرحلة المقبلة.

وفي هذا السياق، سيجد الخونة والعملاء عملاً لهم، إذ إنهم سيتولّون التشكيك بالعمل الأمني الهادف الى استئصال المجموعات الإرهابية، من مفكريها، الى مديريها، الى أفرادها، الى حاضنيها، الى مموليها، وسيطلب إليهم قول الكثير عن التمييز العنصري وعن الاستنساب السياسي وعن التعرض لكرامات الناس وحقوق هذا أو ذاك.

لكن هؤلاء سيكتشفون أن قرار إطاحة الإرهابيين لا يحتمل المزاح، وسيسمعون من الأقربين قبل الأبعدين النصح بالتعقل، لأن من يبرر الإرهاب ويحمي القائمين عليه، أو يسهل لهم عملهم، يعدّ شريكاً كاملاً… فهل يشرحون لنا، ما هي عقوبة الخائن والعميل قبل أن يصير إرهابياً؟

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US Intel: UAE Orchestrated Qatari Gov’t Sites Hacking

Local Editor

US intelligence officials said the United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of Qatari government news and social media sites in order to post incendiary false quotes attributed to Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, in late May that sparked the ongoing upheaval between Qatar and its neighbors.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets with the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani

Officials became aware last week that newly analyzed information gathered by US intelligence agencies confirmed that on May 23, senior members of the UAE government discussed the plan and its implementation. The officials said it remains unclear whether the UAE carried out the hacks itself or contracted to have them done. The false reports said that the emir, among other things, had called Iran an “Islamic power” and praised Hamas.

The hacks and posting took place on May 24, shortly after US President Trump completed a lengthy counterterrorism meeting with Gulf leaders in neighboring Saudi Arabia and declared them unified.

Citing the emir’s reported comments, the Saudis, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt immediately banned all Qatari media. They then broke relations with Qatar and declared a trade and diplomatic boycott, sending the region into a political and diplomatic tailspin that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned could undermine US counterterrorism efforts against the Daesh.

In a statement released in Washington by its ambassador, Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE said the Post article was “false.”

“The UAE had no role whatsoever in the alleged hacking described in the article,” the statement said. “What is true is Qatar’s behavior. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists … Inciting violence, encouraging radicalization, and undermining the stability of its neighbors.”

The revelations come as emails purportedly hacked from Otaiba’s private account had circulated to journalists over the past several months. That hack has been claimed by an apparently pro-Qatari organization calling itself GlobalLeaks. Many of the emails highlight the UAE’s determination over the years to rally Washington thinkers and policymakers to its side on the issues at the center of its dispute with Qatar.

The ongoing crisis threatened to complicate the US-led coalition’s fight against the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] as all participants are US allies and members of the anti-Daesh coalition. Qatar is home to more than 10,000 US troops and the regional headquarters of the US Central Command while Bahrain is the home of the US Navy’s 5th Fleet.

President Donald Trump had sided strongly with Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the dispute, publicly backing their contention that Doha is a supporter of extremist militant groups and a destabilizing force in the Middle East. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently concluded several days of shuttle diplomacy in the Gulf, but he departed the region without any public signs of a resolution.

Qatar had repeatedly charged that its sites were hacked, but it has not released the results of its investigation. Intelligence officials said their working theory since the Qatar hacks has been that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt or some combination of those countries were involved. It remains unclear whether the others also participated in the plan.

US intelligence and other officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment, as did the CIA. The FBI, which Qatar has said was helping in its investigation, also declined to comment.

Source: WP, Edited by website team

17-07-2017 | 10:31

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