Yemeni Naval Forces Target Saudi-led Warship

Yemeni naval forces have reportedly targeted a Saudi military vessel in a missile attack off the coast of Yemen’s southwestern province of Ta’izz.

A military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Arabic-language al-Masirah television network that the warship was targeted with a sophisticated guided-missile in waters near the port city of Mukha, situated 346 kilometers south of the capital Sana’a.

The source added that the vessel had been carrying out acts of aggression within the territorial waters of Yemen.

On January 30, Yemeni army forces, backed by fighters from allied Popular Committees, fired a guided missile at al-Madinah warship in waters near the city of Hudaydah.

The Saudi-led coalition waging war on Yemen later confirmed the incident but claimed only five people had lost lives in the attack.

Yet, footage of the raid, provided by Yemeni forces, showed the enormity of the explosion and subsequent fire on the deck of the Saudi vessel.

On January 21, the Yemeni coast guard warned enemies’ battleships against using the strategic Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, to bomb civilian targets, emphasizing that such a practice poses grave threats to international maritime navigation in the area.

In October 2016, Yemeni forces and Popular Committees fighters destroyed an Emirati HSV-2 Swift hybrid catamaran off the shores of Mukha.

Yemeni army forces had destroyed a Saudi warship in a missile attack in the southwestern coast of Yemen, in Bab el-Mandeb in October 2015.

Saudi Arabia has been incessantly pounding Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to bring back Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, to power and to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement. The Riyadh regime has, however, failed to reach its goals despite suffering great expense.

The military aggression has reportedly claimed the lives of more than 12,000 people, most of them civilians.

Military Situation In Moсha Area In Western Yemen (Map Update)

25.06.2017

In January 2017,  Saudi-led forces launched the operation “Golden Spear” aiming to capture the entire western Yemeni coast from the Houthi-Saleh alliance.

So far Saudi-led forces have manged to capture the strategic port of Mocha  but failed to advance further to the north. They have repeatedly tried to capture the Khaled military camp but also failed to do this. The Khaled military camp is a strategic military base located on the road between Taiz city and Mocha.

Recently, Houthi-Saleh forces have repelled a Saudi-backed attack in the al Kadha area.

قدرُنا الانتصار وقدرُكم الزوال محاصَرون أنتم ولا خيار إلا الرحيل

يونيو 24, 2017

محمد صادق الحسيني

إنه الفرز الكبير ما قبل المنازلة الكبرى، إنه التحشيد الأهم بين مَن يعلنون صراحة انتماءهم للمقاومة، وبين مَن يعلنون صراحة انتماءهم للاستسلام…

في يوم القدس العالمي لم يعد خافياً على أحد أن المواجهة الشاملة بيننا كمحور مقاومة وبين محور الشر الأميركي السعودي وملحقاته المتوسطة والصغيرة قد وصل الى أوجه على بوابات فلسطين المتعددة من باب المندب الى مضيق هرمز الى جنوب لبنان وسورية…

في هذه الأثناء يحاول العدو الأميركي «الإسرائيلي» السعودي العمل على ما يلي:

– تعريض إيران كداعم أساسي لفلسطين والمقاومة في المنطقة لمزيد من العقوبات والضغوط والمؤامرات لعزلها وتحويلها عدواً…!

– إصدار أمر عمليات للنظام السعودي للتحشيد ضد إيران في محاولة للإيحاء بقرب اندلاع حرب عربية إيرانية، لكن من يعرف موازين القوى جيداً يعرف ان النظام السعودي أضعف وأعجز وأجبن من أن يشن حرباً على الجمهورية الاسلامية في إيران.

– في هذه الأثناء فإن سبع سنوات من الحرب العالمية المستمرة على سورية، ورغم ذلك كله ستبقى سورية عقبة أمام أي تسوية عربية شاملة مع «إسرائيل» بل ونستطيع التحديد بالقول مرة أخرى: ألم غلبت الروم فأصبح بقاء سورية الأسد محتوم…!

– محاولة منع العراق من الالتحام بمحور المقاومة، وهو ما تعرّض لفشل ذريع من خلال التموضع المشرّف للحشد الشعبي العراقي المقدس على الحدود العراقية السورية واقتراب نهاية داعش مرة واحدة، والى الأبد، ما ادى الى إظهار إرادة سياسية واضحة بأن العراق قد أفلت من الحصار الأميركي ولم يعد جزءاً من عملية تصفية القضية الفلسطينية…

وهذا ما أكد عليه بوضوح سيد المقاومة، وهو يصارح جمهور الأمة بهذه المناسبة العظيمة بكل شفافية…

وأما العاصفة الرعدية القطرية التي أطلقت أخيراً بأمر عمليات أميركي في محاولة لتعزيز كلب الحراسة الأميركي الداعشي الجديد المتمثل بالجيل الرابع للأسرة السعودية ممثلاً بالمراهق محمد بن سلمان، فإننا نؤكد لمن أطلق هذه الأوامر بأن مَن أراد محاصرة مشروعنا لتحرير فلسطين بات عملياً هو المحاصَر بوعينا وانتشار ثقافة المقاومة، كما بقدراتنا الكبرى التي ستطيح حتى بالجديد من القواعد الأميركية..

وتعقيباً على ما جرى أخيراً من تحرّكات على هامش ما بات يُسمّى بأزمة قطر نقول:

أولاً: إن إقامة قاعدة تركية في قطر ليس إلا جزءاً من الحشد الاستراتيجي الأميركي ولحلف الناتو في مواجهة الصين وروسيا على المدى البعيد ولمواجهة إيران على المدى القصير والمتوسط بات في محاصرة محورنا..

ذلك أن معلوماتنا تؤكد بوصول طلائع القوات التركية إلى قاعدة العديد الأميركية في قطر المحاصرة أصلاً بصواريخ ذو الفقار وقيام وغيرها…

ثانياً: ولكن ما يغيب عن بال المخططين الأميركيين أن قواتهم، ومهما تعاظمت في دول الخليج، ستبقى دون أي وزن استراتيجي في التأثير على مجريات الصراع في المنطقه. ذلك أنهم يغفلون أن هذا الوجود سيبقى محاصراً بالاقتدار الإيراني من الشرق وبالتصاعد الكبير لقوة الشعب اليمني من الغرب وبحقيقة القوة العسكرية العراقية المتنامية في الشمال والتي أصبحت خارج السيطرة الأميركية مهما حاولوا تطويقها أو إضعافها.

ثالثاً: سيفهم جنرالات الناتو والولايات المتحدة أكثر فأكثر بأن القدرات الصاروخية الهائلة التي يملكها حلف المقاومة قادرة على ضرب كل قواعدهم ونقاط تواجدهم فيما يُسمّى بـ«الشرق الأوسط»، كما أنها قادرة على إنهاء وجود قاعدتهم الأساسية فيه ألا وهي الكيان الصهيوني، رغم كل حشدهم وقواعدهم…

رابعاً: نقول لهم في الختام أنتم محاصرون في كل مكان وليس لكم إلا طريق واحد للخروج من المأزق الاستراتيجي الذي أنتم فيه…

إنه طريق الخروج الآمن الوحيد.

أبدأوا بالتفاوض مع مَن يعنيه الأمر لتأمين خروج آمن لقواتكم من الأرض العربية جمعاء، ومعكم جموع مستوطنيكم على أرض فلسطين العربية، وإلا فمآلكم الانقراض والفناء عاجلاً أو آجلاً…!

ولا تنظروا منا تراجعاً عن فلسطين قيد أنملة لأن فلسطين جزء من أجزاء ديننا…

إذ إن دين الواحد منا لا يكتمل ما لم يضع تحرير فلسطين بوصلة له…

ولا يكتمل ديننا إلا بيوم البراءة من الشيطان الأكبر، أميركا…

لان أميركا أم الإرهاب، أميركا أم الكيان الصهيوني ومرضعته…

أميركا هي أم القاعدة وداعش وأخواتهما اذرعة الصهيونية…

أميركا أم آل سعود وكل القوى الإقليمية المتهودة والمتصهينة التي فرضت الحرب الخبيثة علينا في سورية والعراق وليبيا واليمن والبحرين…

أميركا هي «إسرائيل» الأولى التي اغتصبت أرض الأمم اللاتينية التي سمّتهم فيما بعد بالهنود الحمر…

أميركا هي مرضعة الإرهاب العالمي في مختلف بقاع الأرض وبالتالي لا يصح إحياء الدين ويوم القدس العالمي إلا بإعلاء الصوت عالياً:

الموت لأميركا الموت لـ«إسرائيل»

رحم الله الإمام الخميني العظيم

صاحب هذا اليوم العظيم..

بهذه العقيدة قاتلناكم ونقاتلكم..

والصواريخ التي انطلقت قبل أيام لتدك معاقل داعش الصغيرة في دير الزور، ستنطلق حتماً لتدك داعش الإقليمية في الرياض لو قرّر الغلام الجديد ارتكاب أي حماقة، وجاهزة لدكّ معاقل مرضعة الإرهابيين من الناقورة حتى إيلات، وواشنطن تعرف ذلك، وقد تسلمت الرسائل الحازمة بكل وضوح…

إنها السنن الكونية التي لا تبديل لها.

بعدنا طيّبين قرلوا الله.

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Yemen Images Saudi Arabia Doesn’t Want You To See

Batool Ali is six years old, though you would never guess that from her huge, haunted eyes and emaciated frame. Ribs jutting out over her distended belly, Batool weighs less than 16 kilograms (35 pounds). She is one of nearly half a million children in Yemen suffering from severe malnutrition.

Posted June 24, 2017

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

Click for Spanish, German, Dutch, Danish, French, translation- Note- Translation may take a moment to load.

They Were ‘Grilled Alive’: US Government Exposed Running Nazi-Like Torture Program in Yemen

The US is once again facing allegations of torture, this time during the interrogation of detainees in more than a dozen secret prisons in Yemen.

Global Research, June 24, 2017
Free Thought Project 22 June 2017

An unprecedented report from the corporate press claims U.S. forces have participated in extreme torture and abuse of detainees accused of affiliation with Al Qaeda in Yemen — including “the ‘grill,’ in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire,” the Associated Press finds.

A network of secretive prisons in southern Yemen provide the backdrop for the alleged barbaric acts allegedly carried out by forces from the U.S. and United Arab Emirates — many of those detention facilities remain hidden in plain sight.

That some of the covert prisons sit inside military bases might not be much of a shock, but others are located in ports, an airport, private villas, and even a nightclub — and all, according to the AP, remain untouchable by the embattled Yemeni government.

Whistleblower Edward Snowden weighed in on the new revelations, tweeting,

American officials unsurprisingly balked at the accusation troops have participated in the astonishingly heinous behavior described in the AP’s report.

Reports the AP:

“Senior American defense officials acknowledged Wednesday that U.S. forces have been involved in interrogations of detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in or knowledge of human rights abuses. Interrogating detainees who have been abused could violate international law, which prohibits complicity in torture.

“The AP documented at least 18 clandestine lockups across southern Yemen run by the United Arab Emirates or by Yemeni forces created and trained by the Gulf nation, drawing on accounts from former detainees, families of prisoners, civil rights lawyers and Yemeni military officials. All are either hidden or off limits to Yemen’s government, which has been getting Emirati help in its civil war with rebels over the last two years.”

Notably, this is the first ‘official’ acknowledgment the United States participates in interrogations inside the borders of Yemen.

Forces transported some detainees to an Emirati base in Eritrea, according to Yemen Interior Minister Hussein Arab.

Unnamed and unverifiable U.S. defense officials told the Associated Press ‘senior U.S. military leaders’ have been aware of alleged torture taking place in Yemen for some time — but have investigated the charges, and apparently found nothing amiss, as U.S. troops, they claim, were never present during detainee torture.

Perhaps beyond tellingly, neither the AP nor the anonymous officials elucidated on whether the lack of U.S. troop presence during the alleged grilling alive of detainees meant senior military leaders indeed discovered forces from other nations roasting people alive and said nothing, or that the torture allegations were completely baseless.

Those defense officials further

“told AP that American forces do participate in interrogations of detainees at locations in Yemen, provide questions for others to ask, and receive transcripts of interrogations from Emirati allies.”

Torture this horrific, if proven true, harkens immediately back to Bush-era implementation of barbaric human rights violations by the CIA — which included waterboarding and other acts the agency, itself, knew to be utterly inefficacious — which temporarily halted adherence to the law and all semblance of ethics under the premise of extracting information from detainees following the attacks of 9/11.

“We always adhere to the highest standards of personal and professional conduct,” chief Defense Department spokeswoman, Dana White, told the AP on perusal of its report. “We would not turn a blind eye, because we are obligated to report any violations of human rights.”

In a statement, the UAE government also balked, insisting,

“There are no secret detention centers and no torture of prisoners is done during interrogations.”

“The UAE was one of the countries involved in the CIA’s torture and rendition program,” reminds New York University Professor of Law Ryan Goodman. “These reports are hauntingly familiar and potentially devastating in their legal and policy implications.”

To repeat, the U.S. Department of Defense must report violations of human rights — yet the vagueness of the claim senior military brass investigated allegations of excruciating torture, but would only offer that U.S. troops had not been present. Without further explanation, that detail could indicate a troubling sin of omission — in short, a failure to report violations of human rights.

UAE runs ‘secret torture prisons’ in Yemen as US Interrogating

Source: Middle East Press

Not one of the dozens interviewed by the AP accused U.S. troops of witnessing torture, but the malicious, degrading, deplorable, torturous abuses described by former inmates of the secret prisons would seem impossible to have taken place without their cognizance.

AP continues:

“At one main detention complex at Riyan airport in the southern city of Mukalla, former inmates described being crammed into shipping containers smeared with feces and blindfolded for weeks on end. They said they were beaten, trussed up on the ‘grill,’ and sexually assaulted. According to a member of the Hadramawt Elite, a Yemeni security force set up by the UAE, American forces were at times only yards away. He requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.

“‘We could hear the screams,’ said a former detainee held for six months at Riyan airport. ‘The entire place is gripped by fear. Almost everyone is sick, the rest are near death. Anyone who complains heads directly to the torture chamber.’ He was flogged with wires, part of the frequent beatings inflicted by guards against all the detainees. He also said he was inside a metal shipping container when the guards lit a fire underneath to fill it with smoke.”

As in the first revelations on the renewed use of the gross physical and psychological abuses comprising torture, human rights advocates admonished such practices cannot be carried out without the broad knowledge of military and intelligence officials at the scene — particularly not for the duration described.

“It would be a stretch to believe the US did not know or could not have known that there was a real risk of torture,” Amnesty International Director of Research in the Middle East, Lynn Maalouf, told the Associated Press. Amnesty called for a swift investigation by the United Nations into the torture allegations against the UAE and other possible participants or knowledgeable parties.

Torture has been championed as acceptable by the president and other U.S. officials, despite its illegality internationally — almost exclusively as a tool of the War on Terror to extract information from prisoners — but torture has been proven repeatedly to be ineffective for that very purpose.

At least 2,000 people have vanished in Yemen — their families left agonizing over their fate, tragically wondering whether a torturous interrogation took their lives.

“Wives, mothers, and daughters in the north and south of Yemen want to know whether their husbands, sons, and brothers are all right, if they are even alive,” noted Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, after issuance of a similar report on torture in Yemen by her organization, on Thursday.

“Yemen, the UAE, Houthi-Saleh forces, and any other party disappearing people should immediately inform families of where their loved ones are and release those held arbitrarily.”

Despite denial of allegations by the United States military and government of the United Arab Emirates, the report from the Associated Press most likely will be remembered as the beginning of yet another torture scandal embroiling perpetually-ethicless entities during a complex and violent conflict — one, again, involving the U.S., which fights for freedom and against terror by, apparently, eviscerating freedom and waging terror.

Featured image: Free Thought Project

Bin Salman as A Crown Prince: Adventurer in A Chaotic Kingdom!

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman
Mohammad  Bin Salman has become deputy King of his father Salman after the ousting of Mohammad Bin Nayef, and stripping him of all his positions and deposing him out of power.
The major development in Saudi internal politics is hardly internal. It is an established fact in the kingdom that a king to be, should first take the blessings of the White House, and after that comes the consent of the royal  family. As such goes also the story of MBS.
It was during the March visit to Washington and with the heavy lobbying، grooming and mediation of Emirates strongman Mohammad Bin Zayid that Bin Salman has had the opportunity to finalize a strategic deal with the White House to become the acting King of Saudi Arabia after his sick father Salman.
Bin Salman has emerged to be the strongest man in Saudi Arabia due  his father sickness though he is only 31 years old.
All the levers of power are now in the hands of a young, inexperienced and risk-taking man, who in his short time in power as defense minister has established a reputation for recklessness and irresponsibility.
He launched a war against Yemen and went in a tourist visit to the Maldives. When the White House wanted him it took days to find him.
Each file bin Salman has handled found its way into total failure.
The war against Yemen reached a deadlock, Riyadh is engulfed in a vicious cycle and cannot make any breakthrough and has turned to be a war of attrition.
The war against Syria, which Saudi Arabia took part in, has equally come to a failure as the Syrian government and its allies have been able to stand steadfast and gain major successes in battlefields and politics.
The Saudi-backed war against Iraq has failed completely to achieve any of its goals and the Iraqis have been able to liberate most of the territories controlled by Daesh (Arabic acronym for ISIL Takfiri group).
Even his last siege and crackdown against Qatar has turned to the latter’s favor and presented Doha as a victim of Bin Salman’s childish and reactionary policies.
On the economic level,  the results he yielded are no better. He made drastic pay cuts to government employees, warning the country would be bankrupt in five years. Then he reversed the cuts, claiming financial stability had been created. Then he committed himself to up to $500bn of military purchases from America. This all came at a time when the oil prices have come to its lowest  level in years.
The vision 2030 of Bin Salman has proved so far to be an amateurish short- sighted one. It is not anticipated at all that his economic plans would do his country any good.
The young crown prince is playing all  his cards at one time, counting on the American help to sustain his power. History lessons would not last long or fall on hearing ears when it comes to dynasties. Counting on USA did not help Iran’s shah to stay in power when the Islamic revolution erupted back in 1979. Iran was then the number one US-backed state in the Gulf. Would the US care more for the Saudi sinking ship under Bin Salman? Only the future would answer such question. Most probably the answer is not going to be a good one for Riyadh.

Source: Al-Manar

Sayyed Nasrallah: Al-Quds Is Too Sacred to Be Liberated by Traitors, Hypocrites! (To be updated)

Sayyed Nasrallah: Al-Quds Is Too Sacred to Be Liberated by Traitors, Hypocrites!

June 23, 2017 Marwa Haidar

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah lashed out at Saudi Arabia over its relation with the Zionist entity and its stance towards Palestine, stressing that “Al-Quds is too sacred to be liberated by traitors and hypocrites.”

On the occasion of Al-Quds International Day, Sayyed Nasrallah was recalling the words of the spiritual leader of resistance in Lebanon, the disappeared Imam Moussa Sadr who had said that “the honor of Al-Quds disdains any liberation unless it is at the hands of true believers.”

During a ceremony held by Hezbollah on this occasion, which falls on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan, Sayyed Nasrallah threatened that in case of any Israeli war on Lebanon or Syria, “our space will be open to hundreds of thousands of fighters from across the Arab and Muslim countries.

Sayyed Nasrallah warned that the aim of unrest taking place in the region is to divert attention from the Palestinian cause. However, the resistance leader stressed that such goal won’t be reached, noting that the axis of resistance is getting stronger nowadays.

“We are heading for the imminent victory thanks to our martyrs’ blood and steadfastness f our people,” his eminence addressed crowds at Sayyed Shuhada Complex, in Beirut’s southern suburb (Dahiyeh), via a video link.

Al-Quds Day

Talking about the occasion itself, Sayyed Nasrallah said that following victory of Islamic revolution in Iran, late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam (Rouhullah Mousavi) Khomeini assigned the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan as Quds International Day.

In this context, the resistance leader noted that the entire humanity bears responsibility of standing by the Palestinian cause and not only Muslims.

Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out that Al-Quds day coincides this year with the 50th anniversary of occupation of Al-Quds by Zionists.

Sayyed Nasrallah said that the West and especially the United States have exploited the unrest which took place in the recent years in a bid to divert the attention of the people of the Muslim nation from the Palestinian cause. However, he noted that the Arab spring which has ended up being unrest was first a result of popular movements.

“We believe that the Arab spring was first a result of popular movements across many Arab countries; however the West, especially US managed to contain these movements in a bid to wipe out the Palestinian cause.”

“One of the major aims of unrest and wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya is to pave the way for a settlement in favor of the Zionist enemy.”

Challenges

Sayyed Nasrallah saluted the Palestinian people who are now subjected to all means of Israeli oppression including blockade, electricity shortage, settlements and Judaization plots, and razing homes, in a bid to force them to accept the Israeli conditions of the so-called settlement.

Iran as a major supporter of Palestine and resistance movements in the region is being slapped by economic sanction and politically pressured, Sayyed Nasrallah said.

There are conspiracies to isolate Iran and to change it to an enemy for countries in the region instead of “Israel”, Hezbollah S.G. said, noting that there has been plots to move the battle against Takfiris to Iran.

Reminding of a threat made by Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammad Bin Salman to move the battle to Iran, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the “Saudi regime is weaker than being able to launch a war on Iran.”

The Resistance Leader meanwhile, said that Syria is “a central member of the axis of resistance and a major supporter of resistance movements in the region.”

“For that it was targeted by schemes to destroy its army and topple its government to replace it with another regimes that serve the interests of the US and Zionist entity.”

On the other hand, Sayyed Nasrallah noted that the resistance movements have been also targeted by war threats, assassination attempts of its figures and accusations of terrorism in a bid to tarnish its image.

“An Iraq, after it demonstrated a clear policy that refuses to be part of the US-Israeli scheme to abandon Palestine, they sent ISIL in a bid to destroy this country,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

In this context, his eminence stressed that ISIL was made by US, funded by Saudi Arabia and its operations were facilitated by Turkey.

Talking about the war on Yemen, Sayyed Nasrallah said that the real reason of this war is a Saudi intention to control this Arab country. Hezbollah S.G. praised the Yemeni people for its legendry steadfastness against the Saudi-led aggression and hailed their firm stance towards Palestine.

“Despite all challenges of airstrikes, blockade, cholera, poverty and destruction, tens of thousands took to streets to voice solidarity with Palestine and Al-Quds.”

“Yemen proved that it will never be part of a scheme to sell Palestine, neither for a throne, nor for Trump and it is still fighting.”

Sayyed Nasrallah meanwhile, cited reports confirming that the Zionist warplanes are taking part in the aggression on Yemen.

Next War

As in his major speeches, Sayyed Nasrallah tacked the military status of the resistance against the Zionist enemy. His eminence quoted remarks by Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman who said that the Zionist entity has not won a war since 1967.

“We have no intention to launch a war neither in the summer and nor in the winter, neither in the north and nor in the south,” Sayyed Nasrallah quoting the Israeli DM as saying, noting that such situation is thanks to victories achieved by the resistance against the Zionist entity.

His eminence though warned that in case of any war on Lebanon or Syria “our space will be open to hundreds of thousands of fighters who will join resistance ranks from across Arab and Muslim countries.”

“Palestine is in our conscience and the axis of resistance is getting stronger,” the resistance leader said, calling on Palestinians not to lose hope despite all difficulties.

 

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Saudi Hijinks, US Policy Stinks

June 22, 2017

US President Donald Trump - Saudi King Salman

Finian Cunningham

The whimsical Saudi rulers are playing musical chairs again, with the king’s favorite son jumping the succession queue in what some observers have called a “soft coup” to become heir to the oil kingdom throne.

The medieval-like House of Saud has always been a lynchpin in US foreign policy for the Middle East. More so under President Donald Trump who has struck up a chummy relationship with the young Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. This relationship is like the blind leading the blind. No wonder US policy is fast becoming a disaster for the restive region.

America’s deepening and reckless military involvement in Syria is a result of Trump cozying up with the Saudi despots. That, in turn, is leading to the US brazenly flying air force cover for Saudi-sponsored terrorists in Syria at the risk of going to war with Russia and Iran. Russia has warned that any more US shoot-downs of Syrian jets will not be tolerated.

This week the obscurantist Saudi rulers decided to shake up their bizarre rules of succession in the kingdom. The ailing King Salman (81) decreed, overnight, that his heir Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef would no longer be the heir. Bin Nayef was pushed aside, to be replaced by the king’s own son, Mohammed bin Salman.

At age 31, the new Crown Prince could soon become the future Saudi ruler who will govern the country for the next half century. On one hand, the shake-up is aimed at giving the impression of stability in a strategic American ally, given that, potentially, Mohammed bin Salman could rule for several decades to come, owing to his youthful age.

On the other hand, however, the upending of Saudi succession rules is fraught with risk that the Arab state could become even more unstable from internal power rivalries and social discontent. Not to mention that the country has already become more embroiled in regional problems with neighbors Yemen, Qatar and Iran. All of which stems from the rapid elevation of the young prince to a position of immense autocratic power.

The United States’ decades-long “special relationship” with Saudi Arabia has always carried major downsides. Yes, the Saudis are a pillar in maintaining the American petrodollar system to prevent the collapse of the US economy; and, yes, the Saudi rulers are lavish spenders on US weapons, which props up the Pentagon military-industrial complex – another lifeline for American capitalism.

However, the Saudi rulers are also longtime sponsors of Wahhabi fundamentalism which has injected deadly sectarian poison into the Middle East region and beyond. Washington is complicit in fomenting sectarianism through its relationship with Saudi Arabia, and the price for that Faustian pact is a world in turmoil from terrorism.

Donald Trump’s presidency is an unfortunate marriage of interests with Saudi Arabia. Trump is capricious, ignorant and impetuous. His understanding of international relations and history seems woefully inadequate. He also appears to be unscrupulous and reckless. It’s all about making money that matters to him.

From the earliest opportunity, the Saudi prince wheedled his way into Trump’s court. He was greeted in the White House back in March, one of the first foreign leaders to do so. Then two months later, Trump ventured on his maiden foreign trip as president in which he made Saudi Arabia his first stop. Trump was royally received by the House of Saud with sword-waving ceremony. And then the Saudis signed record arms deal with the US worth up to $350 billion – the biggest ever in history.

It was during Trump’s Saudi visit that the policy of increased hostility towards Iran and isolation of erstwhile Saudi and American ally Qatar was hatched. This reckless, clueless embrace of Saudi Arabia by Trump has led to a dangerous escalation in tensions across the Middle East, which are seen playing out in Syria and towards Iran and Russia.

Trump the tycoon and the Saudi upstart-prince are a duo who are plunging the world into danger of all-out war. The pair are a match made in hell, both being rash and irresponsible in their behavior.

Nobody outside Saudi Arabia had heard of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman until his father become king in January 2015 on the death of King Abdullah. In the space of two years, the young prince has been made defense minister and de facto chief of Saudi’s oil economy. Now, this week he has been shunted into becoming heir to the throne, sidelining his elder cousin and nephew to the king.

The precocious prince has only enjoyed this meteoric rise in the House of Saud because of his father’s favoritism. Other more senior royals feel ousted and see the new Crown Prince as undeserving of his assigned authority. In short, he is out of his depth.

In the Saudi succession rules, the royal line is supposed to pass from brother to brother. There are still surviving brothers of the Saudi founding king, Ibn Saud, who have been removed from the succession. The present King Salman first broke the rules when he made his nephew Mohammed bin Nayef the Crown Prince back in April 2015. Now he has broken the rules again by making his own son the heir and unceremoniously pushing bin Nayef to the side. Such are the hijinks of despots.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the architect behind the disastrous war in Yemen, which is turning into a Vietnam-style quagmire for Saudi Arabia, costing the kingdom billions of dollars every month. He is also reportedly the architect behind the policy of renewed hostility towards Iran. In an interview before Trump’s Saudi trip, Mohammed bin Salman said he would never talk to Iran and even threatened to unleash violence on Iranian territory. That threat was followed by the deadly terror attack in Tehran on June 7 in which up to 17 people were killed by Daesh suicide squads.

The hiked-up hostile policy towards Iran has, in turn, led to Saudi Arabia blockading Qatar and causing a bitter rift in the Persian Gulf because Qatar is perceived as being too soft on Iran.

The power-struggle antics among the absolute rulers of the House of Saud have promoted a prince who has a reckless outsized ego and lust for dominance. President Donald Trump seems cut from the same cloth. Courting the young Saudi heir may be lucrative for American weapons-dealing and no doubt the Trump business brand in the oil-rich region. But the consequences of such capricious and clueless “leadership” are throwing the region and the world into increasing conflict.

This week the US State Department flatly contradicted Trump’s policy of supporting the Saudi-led blockade on Qatar. It said it was mystified that the Saudis had not presented any evidence to justify the blockade. This is just one example where Trump is being made to look a total fool by following stupid Saudi policy – policy that is made by a prince who has gathered a record for disaster in several other spheres.

What a double act. Saudi despotism marries Trump cluelessness. And the world is reaping the calamity of clowns.

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Source: Sputnik

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