Graphic pictures: Yemeni troops annihilate entire Sudanese contingent paid by Saudi Arabia

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (1:00 A.M.) – Saudi Arabia has unleashed a wave of inexperienced African mercenaries upon war-torn Yemen in a bid to defeat the Houthi-led government based in Sanaa.

On Monday, the Popular Committees wiped out over a hundred Saudi-backed militants, mostly Sudanese foreign fighters, amid clashes in the coastal province of Midi which borders Saudi Arabia.

According to a military source, tens of military vehicles were destroyed and tons of weaponry captured in an attack said to be one of the most succesful operations this year.

Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News

With Saudi-backed forces falling like flies on the battlefield, the Houthi-led troops are on the verge of fully recapturing Midi province. Nevertheless, clashes are still ongoing in the provincial capital while Saudi Arabia controls Midi port.Saudi Arabia is reportedly weary of deploying too many of its own troops across the border after Houthi contingents have killed some 130 Royal Saudi Land Forces (KSA) in 2017 alone.

Effectively, the Gulf Kingdom is relying increasingly on paid foreign fighters to do their dirty work in Yemen.

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Al-Saud’s Only Gamble Option

May 22, 2017

by Ghassan Kadi

A lot has been said and speculated on about the “real” objectives of Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia. Seasoned veteran British journalist/analyst and Middle East expert Robert Fisk sees it as an attempt to create a Sunni-style NATO to curb the Iranian expansion, and his speculation is on the money, but in realistic terms, what can this visit and its “aftermath” achieve?

Despite the slump on crude oil prices over the last 2-3 years, the Saudis are not short on cash, despite the huge and growing deficit they are running. Their reserve cash is estimated to be a whopping three quarters of a trillion American dollars, and the unit “trillion” has been chosen here because it is the millions of the 21st Century and billions have become too small to consider.

That said, the Saudis have recently pledged nearly a third of their stash on “investments” with the USA. The first allotment came in the form of an undertaking to invest over 100 billion dollars in the American housing sector less than a fortnight ago, and upon Trump’s historic Riyadh visit, the Saudis signed an excess of 100 billion dollar arms deal contract. This is a total of an excess of 200 billion American dollars to be injected into the American economy. But on the scale of trillions again, this huge figure amounts to only a mere 1% of America’s staggering official 20 trillion dollar debt.

A drop in the ocean perhaps if taken into the context of the American economy and debt, but there is little doubt that this Saudi money will create jobs in the USA, and if President Trump is still sticking by the promise of creating jobs, he’s on the money with this one too.

Thus far, and nearly four months after his inauguration, it can safely be said that the most predictable thing about President Trump thus far has been his unpredictability. But with all of his eccentricities and swings, what was it that made him swing in favour of Al-Saud? It may not be very difficult to solve this puzzle if we look at the chain of events.

Surely, the USA has a lot of strategic interests in the area, and these interests are multi-faceted. Among other things, the USA wants to protect the long-term wellbeing of Israel, curb the influence of Russia and Iran in the region, have a share in the decision making of the “War on Syria”, and last be not least, keep a tight control on Saudi oil and cash wealth.

One of Trump’s election promises was to get America’s allies to pay their way, and he was very vocal about the Saudis saying on a number of occasions that protecting Saudi Arabia was costing the USA more than it should be paying for. Those subtle “threats” sent a wave of shivers down the spines of Saudi royals, especially that they were already in deep trouble financially and also bogged down in a protracted and highly expensive war in Yemen that seems unwinnable.

Given that the Saudis believed that former President Obama has let them down and did not invade Syria after the alleged East Ghouta chemical attack of August 2013, the unknown and rather unstable Trump looked like a wild card and they braced for the worst.

Knowing that they are in deep trouble and need America more than ever, feeling extremely nervous about the Iran nuclear deal, the Saudis realized that the only option they have with Trump was to appease him; “but how?”, they wondered. But when they put two and two together, and listened to Trump’s statements about Saudi Arabia, the Saudis realized that they can and will appease him with money; a quarter of a trillion dollars and counting.

Taking the big fat cheque book out is not a modus operandi that is alien to the Saudi psyche, because the Saudis have learned to solve their problems with money. And now, they believe that they are forging a new era of military and strategic alliance with the United States, and paying for this privilege with hard cash.

What they do not know is that whilst they were dreaming big, thinking that they are on the verge of becoming a regional superpower to be reckoned with signing an alliance with America, Donald Trump was signing a business deal, a sales contract; nothing more and nothing less.

The way Trump sees this is a win-win situation. If the Saudis do manage to get the upper military hand and curb the Iranians, he would have reached this zenith not only without having to fight Iran, but also whilst being paid for it. On the other hand, if the Saudis take a gamble to go to war with Iran and lose, he would have received his quarter trillion in advance. So for Saudi Arabia to win or lose, the deal makes America a quarter of a trillion dollar richer; or rather a quarter of a trillion less in debt.

In reality however, what are the odds of Saudi Arabia winning an open war with Iran? Or will this war eventuate in the first place? Back to this question later on.

In a part of the world that is highly volatile, supplying a huge arsenal of highly lethal weapons to a regime that is known for its atrocities, war crimes, inciting regional tension and creating conflict is pouring oil on an already raging fire. Trump’s arms deal with the Saudis probably marks one of the lowest points in America’s history. If anything, after the historic American-Iranian nuclear deal, America was in a position to play the role of an arbitrator and try to get the Saudis and the Iranians to reconcile; coerce them if needed. Instead, Trump turned his attack on Jihadi terrorism by supplying more support to the core and centre of terrorism (Saudi Arabia) and signed a huge arms deal that will only lead to further and much deadlier escalations.

With seemingly very powerful Sunni/Shiite animosities resurfacing after many centuries of dormancy, the pro-American axis happens to be predominantly Sunni and the pro-Russian resistance axis is seen to be Shiite; though it is not as such in reality. That said, the strongest Sunni army in the region is undoubtedly Turkey’s, and Turkey could potentially play a key role in bolstering Fisk’s Sunni-”NATO”. However, the Kurdish issue is a bigger threat to Turkey than Iran has ever been, and Turkey will walk away from its Sunni brothers and “NATO” allies if they were to support Kurdish separatists and arm them; and the irony is that they are.

Without Turkey, a Sunni-”NATO” will be a toothless tiger, unless perhaps it receives enough support from Israel; a support America will not be prepared to offer. But apart from some possible airstrikes and intelligence sharing, how much support will Israel give if any at all? And how much will Putin will be able to weigh in with his clout to keep Netanyahu’s nose out of it? Last but not least, how will the leaders of a so-called Sunni-”NATO” be able to “sell” the idea of getting into an alliance with Israel with its Sunni populace base?

There is little doubt that the Saudis now feel that Trump has given them a carte blanche to attack Iran, and if they swallow the bait fully, they may be foolish enough to take the gamble. But first, they have to finish off Yemen, and then look back and think how they miscalculated when they planned the so-called “Operation Decisive Storm”, and which was meant to be a swift and successful operation. More than two years later, victory seems further than ever predicted all the while the Yemenis have been improving their missile manufacturing capabilities and have been able to hit targets in the capital Riyadh.

Whilst the Saudis were begging the Americans to sell them more advanced weapons to win the war in Yemen, the Yemenis were developing their own. But given that Saudis believe that all problems can be solved provided one is prepared to spend as much as needed, the bottom line for them will always be, “how much?”

The Saudis will not only have to re-evaluate the short-sighted military gamble they took in Yemen, but also the financial one. No one knows for certain what has thus far been the dollar cost that the Saudis had to cough up, but it is in the tens of billions of dollars. With a country that is currently running a near 90 billion dollar budget deficit and diminishing returns, to gamble one third of the national savings on a new war aimed at Iran is tantamount to both, military and financial suicide.

If a war against Iran is at all winnable by the Saudis, what will be the dollar cost?

If the budget ceiling was broken, just like that of Operation Decisive Storm, and if the Saudis realize that the over 100 billion odd dollars they “invested” to buy state-of-the-art weaponry from the USA was not enough, by how much will they be prepared to lift the cost ceiling? They will only need to break the ceiling 3-4 fold before they actually run out of cash reserves. Such a budget overblow is not unusual in wars, and Yemen and Syria are living proof for the Saudis to learn from; if they are capable of learning.

A war against Iran will perhaps be Al-Saud’s final gamble option, but unless the Saudi royals change their rhetoric and seek reconciliation with their Shiite neighbours, this war could well be Al-Saud’s only gamble option.

But the bottom line to any military action is military pragmatism. How can the Saudis think that they can invade and subdue Iran when they haven’t been able to subdue a starved and besieged Yemen? In the unlikely event that they will be able to serve Iran with a swift “shock-and-awe” strike and achieve prompt victory, what will add to their woes is Iran’s ability to close the Strait of Hormuz and to also hit oil production areas and ports. In simple terms, the Saudi war on Yemen is expensive enough, but a war with Iran will be much more expensive, and one that will cut off Saudi life-line; its income.

Do the Saudis believe that expensive imported hardware is going to give the military edge they need? “Knowing” Trump, he will likely wait till the Saudis are down on their knees begging and then extort them by hiking the price of an elusive “super weapon”, perhaps even an A-Bomb, that will tip the war in Saudi favour. But “knowing” the Saudis and Iranians, if the Saudis attack and start an all-out war on Iran, then this may indeed earn the name of decisive storm, but not on Saudi terms. Will Iran virtually walk into Saudi Arabia? Such a scenario cannot be overruled. More than likely however, America will continue to feed the fire for as long as the Saudi cow (female camel in this instance) can be milked and for as long as there is money to be had. For as long as the infamous Al-Saud are on the throne, the kingdom will continue to be run by the same old rules of arrogance that will not stop until that evil legacy is down and vanquished.

 

Yemeni Villagers Dying of Starvation

[ Ed. note – It would appear that all the horrible war crimes US officials and the mainstream media have been alleging against Russia and the Syrian government are in reality being perpetrated by the Saudis–and, from the looks of it, maybe even far worse. Where’s Obama? Where’s John Kerry? Where are all the neocons who have been theatrically voicing their anguish over the people of Aleppo? How come we’re not hearing from them on the horrible situation in this Yemeni town? How come the Saudis are allowed to fire upon Yemeni fishermen when they try to take their boats to sea to catch fish, and Samantha Power has nothing to say about it at the UN? I guess, come to think of it, for the same reason she doesn’t say anything when Israelis fire upon Gaza fishermen. ]

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No Food, No Medicine, No money: Yemeni Town Faces Mass Death by Starvation

RT
Nearly 19 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian aid, according to the UN, but the worst of the civilian impact of the two-year civil war in the country has fallen on the coastal fishing area around the Red Sea coastal district of Tuhayat.

As RT’s Arabic-language crew visited the area, they witnessed scenes of chaos – as locals scrambled to gain food – and quiet desperation, with many residents swollen with hunger, waiting for outside help, or resigned to their fate.

Continued here

UK Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

Designed by: Nour Fakih

UK Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

Ansarullah Rejects Saudi “Hallucinations” regarding Holy Mecca Target

Published on Oct 27, 2016

Yemen’s Ansarullah fighters and allied army units have launched a retaliatory attack against Saudi Arabia.

A Yemeni TV station says the forces have launched a ballistic missile at an airport in the Saudi city of Jeddah. So far, there has been no report of casualties. Saudi Arabia says its defense system has intercepted a missile fired from the Yemeni province of Sa’ada. But some reports say the missile has hit the airport and a state of emergency has been announced in Jeddah. The attacks by the Yemeni forces are in response to Saudi Arabia’s aggression against the war-torn country. Saudi war on Yemen has claimed the lives of more than 10100 people, most of them civilians, since March 2015.

Ansarullah Rejects Saudi “Hallucinations” regarding Holy Mecca Target

October 28, 2016

Ansarullah Spokesman Mohammad Abdol Salam

The spokesman of Yemen’s Ansarullah movement Mohammad Abdol Salam considered that the Saudi claims of intercepting a Yemeni ballistic missile 65 km away from the holy city of Mecca reflect KSA’s failure throughout its bloody war on the Yemenis.

“The Saudis, who aim to hide their atrocities in Yemen, expressed mere hallucinations which can never be believed by sane people.”

Abdol Salam added that the Yemenis’ commitment to their Islam and Arabism is uncontroversial, noting that despite all the Saudi Massacres, the Yemeni forces have not targeted civilian installations as well as holy sites.

For his part the spokesman of the Yemeni army, General Sharaf Ghaleb Lokman, asserted that firing the ballistic missile onto King Abdulaziz International Airport was successful and achieved its goals.

Rocketry force in the Yemeni army and the Popular Committees fired late on Thursday a ballistic missile, “Burkan-1”, at Saudi airport in Jeddah.

Source: Al-Manar Website

10 Ways «Israel» is Just like Saudi Arabia [Info-graphics]

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Saudi Arabia ‘Deliberately Targeting Impoverished Yemen’s Farms

Increasing evidence suggests Kingdom is not merely bombing civilians in neighbouring country, but systematically targeting infrastructure survivors will need to avoid starvation when the war is over

By Robert Fisk

October 27, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – ” The Independent” –  The Yemen war uniquely combines tragedy, hypocrisy and farce. First come the casualties: around 10,000, almost 4,000 of them civilians. Then come those anonymous British and American advisers who seem quite content to go on “helping” the Saudi onslaughts on funerals, markets and other obviously (to the Brits, I suppose) military targets.

Then come the Saudi costs: more than $250m (£200m) a month, according to Standard Chartered Bank – and this for a country that cannot pay its debts to construction companies. But now comes the dark comedy bit: the Saudis have included in their bombing targets cows, farms and sorghum – which can be used for bread or animal fodder – as well as numerous agricultural facilities.

In fact, there is substantial evidence emerging that the Saudis and their “coalition” allies – and, I suppose, those horrid British “advisers” – are deliberately targeting Yemen’s tiny agricultural sector in a campaign which, if successful, would lead a post-war Yemeni nation not just into starvation but total reliance on food imports for survival. Much of this would no doubt come from the Gulf states which are currently bombing the poor country to bits.

Mundy points out that a conservative report from the ministry of agriculture and irrigation in the Yemeni capital Sana’a, gathered from its officers across the country, details 357 bombing targets in the country’s 20 provinces, including farms, animals, water infrastructure, food stores, agricultural banks, markets and food trucks.

These include the destruction of farms in Yasnim, the Baqim district of Saadah province and in Marran. Mundy has compared these attacks with figures in the Yemen Data Project, which was published some weeks ago. Her verdict is a most unhappy one.

“According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, 2.8 per cent of Yemen’s land is cultivated,” Mundy says. “To hit that small amount of agricultural land, you have to target it.” Saudi Arabia has already been accused of war crimes, but striking at the agriculture fields and food products of Yemen in so crude a way adds merely another grim broken promise by the Saudis.

The kingdom signed up to the additional protocol of the August 1949 Geneva Conventions which specifically states that “it is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops, livestock…for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population…whatever the motive…”

The fact that Yemen has long been part of Saudi Arabia’s proxy war against Shiites and especially Iran – which has been accused, without evidence, of furnishing weapons to the Shia Houthi in Yemen – is now meekly accepted as part of the Middle East’s current sectarian “narrative” (like the “good” rebels in eastern Aleppo and the “very bad” rebels in Mosul). So, alas, have the outrageous bombings of civilians. But agricultural targets are something altogether different.

Academics have been amassing data from Yemen which strongly suggests that the Saudis’ Yemen campaign contains a programme for the destruction of rural livelihood.

Martha Mundy, emeritus professor at the London School of Economics, who is currently working in Lebanon with her colleague Cynthia Gharios, has been researching through Yemeni agriculture ministry statistics and says that the data “is beginning to show that in some regions, the Saudis are deliberately striking at agricultural infrastructure in order to destroy the civil society”.

In a lecture in Beirut, Mundy has outlined the grievous consequences of earlier economic policies in Yemen – cheap American wheat from the 1970s and the influx of food from other countries which discouraged farmers from maintaining rural life (terracing of farms, for example, or water husbandry) – and the effect of Saudi Arabia’s war on the land. “The armies and above all air forces of the ‘oil-dollar’,” she said, have “…come to destroy physically those products of Yemeni labour working with land and animals that survived the earlier economic devastation.”

There are photographs aplenty of destroyed farms, factories and dead animals lying in fields strewn with munitions – effectively preventing farmers returning to work for many months or years. Poultry and beehive farms have been destroyed.

Even today, more than half the population of Yemen relies in part – or wholly – on agriculture and rural husbandry. Mundy’s research through the files of other ministries suggests that technical support administration buildings for agriculture were also attacked. The major Tihama Development Authority on the Red Sea coastal plain, which was established in the 1970s – and houses, as Mundy says, “the written memory of years of ‘development’ interventions” – is responsible for a series of irrigation structures. It has been heavily bombed twice.

But I guess that one war – or two – in the Middle East is as much as the world can take right now. Or as much as the media are prepared to advertise. Aleppo and Mosul are quite enough. Yemen is too much. And Libya. And “Palestine”…

A Picture And Its Story: Severe Malnutrition In Yemen

By Abduljabbar Zeyad | HODAIDA, Yemen

October 27, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – Reuters” –  The emaciated frame of 18-year-old Saida Ahmad Baghili lies on a hospital bed in the red sea port city of Hodaida, her suffering stark evidence of the malnutrition spread by Yemen’s 19-month civil war.

Baghili arrived at the Al Thawra hospital on Saturday. She is bed-ridden and unable to eat, surviving on a diet of juice, milk and tea, medical staff and a relative said.

“The problem is malnutrition due to (her) financial situation and the current (war) situation at this time,” Asma Al Bhaiji, a nurse at the hospital, told Reuters on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old is one of more than 14 million people, over half of Yemen’s population, who are short of food, with much of the country on the brink of famine, according to the United Nations.

Her picture is a reminder of the humanitarian crisis in the Arabian Peninsula’s poorest country where at least 10,000 people have been killed in fighting between Saudi-led Arab coalition and the Iran-allied Houthi movement.

Baghili is from the small village of Shajn, about 100 km (60 miles) southwest of the city of Hodaida, and used to work with sheep before developing signs of malnutrition five years ago, according to her aunt, Saida Ali Baghili.

“She was fine. She was in good health. There was nothing wrong with her. And then she got sick,” Ali Baghili told Reuters.

“She has been sick for five years. She can’t eat. She says her throat hurts.”

After the war began, Baghili’s condition deteriorated with her family lacking the money for treatment.

She lost more weight and in the last two months developed diarrhoea.

“Her father couldn’t (afford to) send her anywhere (for treatment) but some charitable people helped out,” Ali Baghili said, without elaborating who the donors were.

(Writing by Patrick Johnston in LONDON Editing by Alison Williams)

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Saudi Commits Crimes on Global Scale with US Green Light: Sayyed Houthi

October 26, 2016

The leader of Yemen’s Ansarullah movement Sayyed Abdul-Malik al-Houthi

The leader of Yemen’s Ansarullah movement says Saudi Arabia commits crimes across the globe with the US green light.

Sayyed Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said on Wednesday that the Al Saud family has adopted a hypocritical approach in the Muslim world, the proof of which is Takfiri violence gripping the region.

“When Washington gives the Riyadh regime the green light, sedition sparks in all countries, with the Saudi offensive being in line with such a trend,” he added.

The Houthi leader also warned that Saudi Arabia is seeking to damage security in some Arab countries such as Egypt, Yemen, Syria and Iraq through petrodollars and deceptive propaganda works.

Instead of countering the enemies of Islam, including the US and Israel, the kingdom has been engaged in spreading Takfiri ideology and arming terrorists, Houthi noted.

‘Saudi has Yemenis’ blood on its hands’

On October 8, in one of the deadliest attacks Yemen, Saudi warplanes bombarded a funeral hall packed with mourners in Sana’a, killing over 140 people and injuring at least 525 others.

Human Rights Watch, a New York-based rights group, said that the Sana’a bombing constitutes an apparent war crime, while Amnesty International said the attack is a reminder of the need for the suspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia committed crimes by the Sana’a attack, but it tried to acquit itself of the assault, Sayyed Houthi said, adding that there was no clear sign suggesting an end to the Saudi offensive.

He also stressed that Yemenis cannot rely on the United Nations as the world body has not adopted a position regarding the Saudi attack in Sana’a.

Sayyed Houthi further wished victory for the Palestinian nation and the resistance front in Lebanon and Syria as well as the Iraqi people in their anti-terror operation in the city of Mosul.

The Riyadh regime resumed its deadly airstrikes on Yemen on Sunday hours after a three-day truce in the conflict-ridden country expired.

Yemen has seen almost daily military attacks by Saudi Arabia since late March 2015, with the UN putting the toll from the aggression at more than 10,000.

The offensive was launched to crush the Houthi Ansarullah movement and its allies and reinstate the former Yemeni government. The US has been providing logistic and surveillance support to the kingdom in the bloody military campaign.

Source: Press TV

Picture of Today

 

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