Khashoggi’s «Murder Kit» X-Ray PHOTOS Revealed by Turkish Media

Local Editor

Electroshock devices, scalpels and scissors were among the belongings of the Saudi “hitmen,” who left Turkey shortly after the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, Sabah newspaper reported, showing X-ray pictures of their luggage.

The 15-member Saudi team, suspected of Khashoggi’s murder, carried the most peculiar items in their luggage, the X-ray photos published on Monday show. Such findings suggest that the murder was actually well pre-planned and not an “accident” of sorts, despite such claims from Riyadh.

The bags belonging to the team contained surgical scissors, scalpel-like cutting instruments, several syringes and electroshock devices, which the newspaper describes as “crypto-weapons.” Apart from that, one of the bags contained three large stapler guns, which were likely needed to seal plastic bags containing the remains of the journalist.

The luggage also included various electronic devices, required to maintain contact between the members of the team. The X-ray pictures revealed ten mobile phones, three portable radios with walkie-talkies and a signal jammer.

Publication of the images came shortly after chief investigative journalist of the Sabah newspaper, Nazif Karaman, revealed that Khashoggi spent his last moments begging for a plastic bag to be removed from his head. “I’m suffocating…Take this bag off my head, I’m claustrophobic,” the slain journalist said, according to Karaman, who cited audio recordings of the murder.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the audio as “really appalling,” to such an extent that a Saudi intelligence officer who listened to it suggested that the perpetrator must have been doing hard drugs to commit such a heinous crime.

“The recordings are really appalling. Indeed when the Saudi intelligence officer listened to the recordings, he was so shocked he said: ‘This one must have taken heroin, only someone who takes heroin would do this,'” the Turkish leader said on Tuesday.

Turkey claimed to have audio recordings of the murder since the beginning of October, when Khashoggi disappeared in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Ankara had shared the recording with Saudi Arabia, the US, the UK, France and Germany, according to Erdogan.

While Saudi Arabia, initially in denial of slaying the journalist, acknowledged he did indeed die during an intelligence operation gone wrong, the whereabouts of his body are still unknown. The media, however, continues to speculate on the most gruesome details of Khashoggi’s murder.

Over the weekend, Turkish newspaper the Daily Sabah reported that forensics found traces of acid in the drains of the Saudi consulate. The report reinforces earlier theories that the remains of the journalist might have been dissolved in a potent acid and flushed down the drain.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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Leaked Pentagon Docs Expose US Hand in Yemen

Pentagon Inadvertently Reveals Secret Saudi Operation

Saudi Arabia Has Plans To Assasinate Senior Iranian Officials Including General Soleimani: NYT

 

Saudi Arabia Has Plans To Assasinate Senior Iranian Officials Including General Soleimani: NYT

13.11.2018

Saudi intelligence officials, close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed a plan to assassinate senior Iranian officials, including General Qassem Soleimani, according to a NYT report published on November 11th.

The outlet cited three unnamed sources familiar with the discussions. According to them, the discussions happened at a time when MbS was consolidating power and directing his advisers to escalate military and intelligence operations outside the kingdom. If the rumors are true that means that top Saudi officials have been considering assassinations ever since the Crown Prince’s ascended to power.

The sources claimed that in March 2017, during a meeting in Riyadh aides to top intelligence official Ahmad al-Assiri asked businessmen about the feasibility of hiring private operatives to kill “Iranian enemies of Saudi Arabia.”

“The Saudis asked the businessmen whether they also ‘conducted kinetics’ – lethal operations – saying they were interested in killing senior Iranian officials. The businessmen hesitated, saying they would need to consult their lawyer,” the NYT reported.

“The lawyer flatly rejected the plan, and the businessmen told the Saudis they would not take part in any assassinations,” it added.

The meeting was allegedly organized by George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman and convicted pedophile and close associate of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, arranged the meeting. He also reportedly pitched the plan to White House officials. Another participant in the meetings was Joel Zamel, an Israeli with deep ties to his country’s intelligence and security agencies.

The NYT further reported that both Nader and Zamel are witnesses in the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and prosecutors have allegedly asked them about their discussions with US and Saudi officials about the Iran proposal.

In 2016, a company owned by Mr. Zamel, Psy-Group, had pitched the Trump campaign on a social media manipulation plan as it became apparent from Rick Gates testimony.

Before he was ousted last month, General Assiri was considered one of Prince Mohammed’s closest advisers, a man whose sharp ascent tracked the rise of the young crown prince. He was released after the Kingdom acknowledged Khashoggi’s killing and said Assari had organized the operation. There is speculation that he was used as a scapegoat to take the blame for Khashoggi’s murder.

A man wears a mask of killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a commemoration event of Khashoggi's supporters on November 11, 2018 in Istanbul.

A man wears a mask of killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a commemoration event of Khashoggi’s supporters on November 11, 2018 in Istanbul.

According to the NYT:

“Mr. Nader’s and Mr. Zamel’s plan dates to the beginning of 2016, when they started discussing an ambitious campaign of economic warfare against Iran similar to one waged by Israel and the United States during the past decade aimed at coercing Iran to end its nuclear program.”

Nader is also an adviser of the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates, which also portrays Iran as the primary threat to stability in the Middle East.

Reportedly, Nader and Zamel’s idea was rejected because, according to Assiri it would be too provocative and destabilizing. The Saudi General also allegedly wanted to get approval from the Trump administration before the Kingdom paid for the campaign.

However, Assiri’s closeness to the Crown Prince would also make it difficult to distance the allegedly planned assassinations from MbS.

The NYT also cited emails that it had procured emails from a business associated of Nador. According to them, he sometimes referred to conversations with MbS about other projects he had discussed with Assiri.

“Had a truly magnificent meeting with M.B.S.,” Mr. Nader wrote in early 2017, discussing possible Saudi contracts. The crown prince, he said, had advised him to “review it and discuss it with General Ahmed.”

This is all a rumor, and nothing has been confirmed by any side in the story.

However, seeing how the Kingdom managed to come out completely unscathed from the Khashoggi debacle, killing several Iranian officials who are being portrayed as the enemy by the US and Israel would likely not even get Saudi Arabia in a scandal. What’s more they might even get increased weapons sales and praises.

South Front

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HOUTHIS: AL-HUDAYDAH BATTLE SHOWS YEMEN IS ‘GRAVEYARD’ FOR SAUDI-LED FORCES

 

Houthis: Al-Hudaydah Battle Shows Yemen Is 'Graveyard' For Saudi-led Forces

Source

10.11.2018

On November 9, a senior Houthi official, Mohammed Abdulsalam, said Yemen will be a “graveyard” for aggressors as Saudi-led coalition forces are developing their advance on the port city of al-Hudayah.

Our people, with their full-scale defense of Hudaydah, once again have proved that Yemen will be a graveyard for the aggressors,” the official announced via Twitter.

Abdulsalam also claiemd that the “agressors” had failed to achieve any of their objectives due to the “exemplary steadfastness” of the Yemeni people. He also accused the Saudi-led coalition of cooperating with ISIS and al-Qaeda.

The American-British-Israeli coalition, along with domestic and foreign mercenaries and terrorists groups, including Daesh [ISIS] and al-Qaeda … have failed to achieve any of their objectives after four years of aggression, due to the exemplary steadfastness of the nation,” he said.

Earlier on the same day, coalition forces made another attempt to develop their advance on al-Hudaydah. Pro-coalition sources claimed tha over 100 Houthi fighters had been killed and  coalition forces had advanced towards the northern and the western flanks of the port city.

Pro-Houthi sources denied these claims. Furthermore, according to their version of the events, Saudi-backed forces had already lost over 500 fihters since the start of their new push on al-Hudaydah.

However, sources on the ground and videos released show that coalition forces had indeed achieved some gains. If the Houthis are not able to prevent the encirclement of al-Hudaydah by coalition forces, they will face a real threat of losing the battle of al-Hudaydah. On the other hand, coalition forces positions are overstretched east of the city and the Houthis may exploit this for counter-attacks.

The situation is developing.

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Mecca or Las Vegas? Why Saudis destroyed Islam’s holiest sites – English Subtitles

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The Tragedy of Saudi Arabia’s War on Yemen

The Tragedy of Saudi Arabia’s War on Yemen

Declan Walsh

Chest heaving and eyes fluttering, the 3-year-old boy lay silently on a hospital bed in the highland town of Hajjah, a bag of bones fighting for breath.

His father, Ali al-Hajaji, stood anxiously over him. Mr. Hajaji had already lost one son three weeks earlier to the epidemic of hunger sweeping across Yemen. Now he feared that a second was slipping away.

It wasn’t for a lack of food in the area: The stores outside the hospital gate were filled with goods and the markets were bustling. But Mr. Hajaji couldn’t afford any of it because prices were rising too fast.

“I can barely buy a piece of stale bread,” he said. “That’s why my children are dying before my eyes.”

The devastating war in Yemen has gotten more attention recently as outrage over the killing of a Saudi dissident in Istanbul has turned a spotlight on Saudi actions elsewhere. The harshest criticism of the Saudi-led war has focused on the airstrikes that have killed thousands of civilians at weddings, funerals and on school buses, aided by American-supplied bombs and intelligence.

But aid experts and United Nations officials say a more insidious form of warfare is also being waged in Yemen, an economic war that is exacting a far greater toll on civilians and now risks tipping the country into a famine of catastrophic proportions.

Under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi-led coalition and its Yemeni allies have imposed a raft of punitive economic measures aimed at undercutting the Ansarullah revolutionaries. But these actions — including periodic blockades, stringent import restrictions and withholding the salaries of about a million civil servants — have landed on the backs of civilians, laying the economy to waste and driving millions deeper into poverty.

Those measures have inflicted a slow-burn toll: infrastructure destroyed, jobs lost, a weakening currency and soaring prices. But in recent weeks the economic collapse has gathered pace at alarming speed, causing top United Nations officials to revise their predictions of famine.

“There is now a clear and present danger of an imminent and great, big famine engulfing Yemen,” Mark Lowcock, the undersecretary for humanitarian affairs, told the Security Council on Tuesday. Eight million Yemenis already depend on emergency food aid to survive, he said, a figure that could soon rise to 14 million, or half Yemen’s population.

“People think famine is just a lack of food,” said Alex de Waal, author of “Mass Starvation” which analyzes recent man-made famines. “But in Yemen it’s about a war on the economy.”

The signs are everywhere, cutting across boundaries of class, tribe and region. Unpaid university professors issue desperate appeals for help on social media. Doctors and teachers are forced to sell their gold, land or cars to feed their families. On the streets of the capital, Sana, an elderly woman begs for alms with a loudspeaker.

“Help me,” the woman, Zahra Bajali, calls out. “I have a sick husband. I have a house for rent. Help.”

And in the hushed hunger wards, ailing infants hover between life and death. Of nearly two million malnourished children in Yemen, 400,000 are considered critically ill — a figure projected to rise by one quarter in the coming months.

“We are being crushed,” said Dr. Mekkia Mahdi at the health clinic in Aslam, an impoverished northwestern town that has been swamped with refugees fleeing the fighting in Hudaydah, an embattled port city 90 miles to the south.

Flitting between the beds at her spartan clinic, she cajoled mothers, dispensed orders to medics and spoon-fed milk to sickly infants. For some it was too late: the night before, an 11-month old boy had died. He weighed five and a half pounds.

Looking around her, Dr. Mahdi could not fathom the Western obsession with the Saudi killing of Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.

“We’re surprised the Khashoggi case is getting so much attention while millions of Yemeni children are suffering,” she said. “Nobody gives a damn about them.”

She tugged on the flaccid skin of a drowsy 7-year-old girl with stick-like arms. “Look,” she said. “No meat. Only bones.”

The embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington did not respond to questions about the country’s policies in Yemen. But Saudi officials have defended their actions, citing rockets fired across their border by the Ansarullah…

The Saudis point out that they, along with the United Arab Emirates, are among the most “generous donors” to Yemen’s humanitarian relief effort. Last spring, the two allies pledged $1 billion in aid to Yemen. In January, Saudi Arabia deposited $2 billion in Yemen’s central bank to prop up its currency.

But those efforts have been overshadowed by the coalition’s attacks on Yemen’s economy, including the denial of salaries to civil servants, a partial blockade that has driven up food prices, and the printing of vast amounts of bank notes, which caused the currency to plunge.

And the offensive to capture Hudaydah, which started in June, has endangered the main lifeline for imports to northern Yemen, displaced 570,000 people and edged many more closer to starvation.

A famine here, Mr. Lowcock warned, would be “much bigger than anything any professional in this field has seen during their working lives.”

When Ali Hajaji’s son fell ill with diarrhea and vomiting, the desperate father turned to extreme measures. Following the advice of village elders, he pushed the red-hot tip of a burning stick into Shaher’s chest, a folk remedy to drain the “black blood” from his son.

“People said burn him in the body and it will be OK,” Mr. Hajaji said. “When you have no money, and your son is sick, you’ll believe anything.”

The burns were a mark of the rudimentary nature of life in Juberia, a cluster of mud-walled houses perched on a rocky ridge. To reach it, you cross a landscape of sandy pastures, camels and beehives, strewn with giant, rust-colored boulders, where women in black cloaks and yellow straw boaters toil in the fields.

In the past, the men of the village worked as migrant laborers in Saudi Arabia, whose border is 80 miles away. They were often treated with disdain by their wealthy Saudi employers but they earned a wage. Mr. Hajaji worked on a suburban construction site in Mecca, the holy city visited by millions of Muslim pilgrims every year.

When the war broke out in 2015, the border closed.

The fighting never reached Juberia, but it still took a toll there.

Last year a young woman died of cholera, part of an epidemic that infected 1.1 million Yemenis. In April, a coalition airstrike hit a wedding party in the district, killing 33 people, including the bride. A local boy who went to fight for the Houthis was killed in an airstrike.

But for Mr. Hajaji, who had five sons under age 7, the deadliest blow was economic.

He watched in dismay as the riyal lost half its value in the past year, causing prices to soar. Suddenly, groceries cost twice as much as they had before the war. Other villagers sold their assets, such as camels or land, to get money for food.

But Mr. Hajaji, whose family lived in a one-room, mud-walled hut, had nothing to sell.

At first he relied on the generosity of neighbors. Then he pared back the family diet, until it consisted only of bread, tea and halas, a vine leaf that had always been a source of food but now occupied a central place in every meal.

Soon his first son to fall ill, Shaadi, was vomiting and had diarrhea, classic symptoms of malnutrition. Mr. Hajaji wanted to take the ailing 4-year-old to the hospital, but that was out of the question: fuel prices had risen by 50 percent over the previous year.

One morning in late September, Mr. Hajaji walked into his house to find Shaadi silent and immobile, with a yellow tinge to his skin. “I knew he was gone,” he said. He kissed his son on the forehead, bundled him up in his arms, and walked along a winding hill path to the village mosque.

That evening, after prayers, the village gathered to bury Shaadi. His grave, marked by a single broken rock, stood under a grove of Sidr trees that, in better times, were famous for their honey.

Shaadi was the first in the village to die from hunger.

A few weeks later, when Shaher took ill, Mr. Hajaji was determined to do something. When burning didn’t work, he carried his son down the stony path to a health clinic, which was ill-equipped for the task. Half of Yemen’s health facilities are closed because of the war.

So his family borrowed $16 for the journey to the hospital in Hajjah.

“All the big countries say they are fighting each other in Yemen,” Mr. Hajaji said. “But it feels to us like they are fighting the poor people.”

Yemen’s economic crisis was not some unfortunate but unavoidable side effect of the fighting…

At the Sabeen hospital in Sana, Dr. Huda Rajumi treats the country’s most severely malnourished children. But her own family is suffering, too, as she falls out of Yemen’s vanishing middle class.

In the past year, she has received only a single month’s salary. Her husband, a retired soldier, is no longer getting his pension, and Dr. Rajumi has started to skimp on everyday pleasures, like fruit, meat and taxi rides, to make ends meet.

“We get by because people help each other out,” she said. “But it’s getting hard.”

Economic warfare takes other forms, too. In a recent paper, Martha Mundy, a lecturer at the London School of Economics, analyzed coalition airstrikes in Yemen, finding that their attacks on bridges, factories, fishing boats and even fields suggested that they aimed to destroy food production and distribution in Ansarullah-controlled areas.

Saudi Arabia’s tight control over all air and sea movements into northern Yemen has effectively made the area a prison for those who live there. In September, the World Health Organization brokered the establishment of a humanitarian air bridge to allow the sickest Yemenis — cancer patients and others with life-threatening conditions — to fly to Egypt.

Among those on the waiting list is Maimoona Naji, a 16-year-old girl with a melon-size tumor on her left leg. At a hostel in Sana, her father, Ali Naji, said they had obtained visas and money to travel to India for emergency treatment. Their hopes soared in September when his daughter was told she would be on the first plane out of Sana once the airlift started.

But the agreement has stalled, blocked by the Yemeni government, according to the senior Western official. Maimoona and dozens of other patients have been left stranded, the clock ticking on their illnesses.

“First they told us ‘next week, next week,’” said Mr. Naji, shuffling through reams of documents as tears welled up in his eyes. “Then they said no. Where is the humanity in that? What did we do to deserve this?”

Only two famines have been officially declared by the United Nations in the past 20 years, in Somalia and South Sudan. A United Nations-led assessment due in mid-November will determine how close Yemen is to becoming the third.

To stave it off, aid workers are not appealing for shipments of relief aid but for urgent measures to rescue the battered economy.

“This is an income famine,” said Lise Grande, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen. “The key to stopping it is to ensure that people have enough money to buy what they need to survive.”

The priority should be to stabilize the falling currency, she said, and to ensure that traders and shipping companies can import the food that Yemenis need.

Above all, she added, “the fighting has to stop.”

One hope for Yemenis is that the international fallout from the death of the Saudi dissident, Jamal Khashoggi, which has damaged Prince Mohammed’s international standing, might force him to relent in his unyielding prosecution of the war.

Peter Salisbury, a Yemen specialist at Chatham House, said that was unlikely.

“I think the Saudis have learned what they can get away with in Yemen — that western tolerance for pretty bad behavior is quite high,” he said. “If the Khashoggi murder tells us anything, it’s just how reluctant people are to rein the Saudis in.”

Source: NYT, Edited by website team

 

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MBS Peace Versus Pieces

Image result for Saudi agreement with American President Roosevelt

October 29, 2018

by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

Ever since Saudi Arabia signed its agreement with American President Roosevelt in February 1945, it never ever considered, or even contemplated to be outside the American sphere of influence and protection.

In my previous article https://thesaker.is/the-price-of-bin-salmans-head/ I elaborated on some of the personal issues that define the nature of the relationship that Saudi royals have with American lawmakers as men, not as politicians, not as allies, but simply as men trying to understand and deal with each other.

With all the dirt, greed, blood and guts, when one looks into the American-Saudi relationship from the outside, it’s clear that they are very different to each other and couldn’t have worked together successfully whether on good or nefarious projects. Neither of them had any good intentions toward the other or to the rest of the world; they deserved each other.

The Saudi-American marriage “was” at best a marriage of convenience, in which both parties looked at each other with the view of a one-stop-shop convenience store.

To the Saudis, the American one-stop-shop meant a customer with great thirst for oil, wealth to buy it with, and military might and determination to protect its flow.

To the Americans, the Saudi one-stop-shop meant a supplier of virtually endless supplies of a crucial commodity, one that is unable to stand on its own feet and dictate its terms, and one that will bend over and backwards to ensure continuity of sales for and protection.

The marriage was perhaps an epitome of pragmatism, though it was not often perceived as such.

But think about it, just look at the irony; an anti-democratic fundamentalist Muslim nation that sees all non-Muslims as infidels, signing the deal of the century with a nation that is secular, predominantly Christian and allegedly the protector of democracy.

But back in early 1945, pre-Hiroshima America was not technically a superpower yet, and Saudi Arabia was an insignificant and, by-and-large, an unknown kingdom to the rest of the world. Back then, the paradox was not as pronounced as it is now.

And even though by 1945 the Zionist Lobby was well and truly preparing for the creation of Israel, the American-Saudi deal would have gone ahead with or without any Israeli presence and role. It goes without saying though, that the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 has, among other things, created geopolitical turmoil which made it more pertinent for the Saudi-American marriage to withstand the ravages of time.

The marriage has lasted, and it’s not time for divorce, at least not yet, but perhaps the time has come for a serious revision; from both ends of the bargain.

If MBS hasn’t yet realized that the Americans can drop him personally like a hot potato, then he must be stupid. Indications are he is ruthless, arrogant, ambitious, megalomaniac, hasty, but stupid he is not.

The manner in which the Khashoggi episode has been manipulated by the media and the whole West is partly to be blamed on the Saudi state, and partly on MBS personally. And when Saudi FM Al-Jubair tries on several occasions to distance MBS from the story, he is actually expressing the biggest Saudi fear and inadvertently putting MBS in the centre court and line of fire.

Saudi Arabia is therefore facing two Western “attacks”; one that is general and centered on the whole regime and another that is centered on MBS himself. It is most hypocritical of the EU nations to suddenly consider enforcing an arms sales embargo on Saudi Arabia. The Khashoggi story did not have any impact on the war on Yemen. The suffering of the Yemeni people has been going on ever since the needless criminal war started. And although the current EU stand can go a long way in isolating Saudi Arabia and perhaps weakening its military ability, it has come, if it comes, too little too late, and for all the wrong reasons.

For MBS, he now has many confrontations to contend with. His money-grabbing November 2017, Ritz Hotel house arrest of his cousins has left him with very few supporters from within the Royal Family. He is the Crown Prince to a throne that no longer has a formal lineage for succession and, it doesn’t even now have a second-in-line to MBS. In essence, every descendant of founding King Abdul Aziz is eligible and there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of grandchildren.

His biggest domestic, or rather home battle therefore, is to make sure that the current impasse with America does not generate a strong contender for the throne, one that he is unable to set aside. And given that he has already been blemished by brutality after the Khashoggi drama, any stifling of royal dissent, even revolt, can easily be manipulated by the West again in a manner that portrays him as a new Saddam.

I have used the term “new Saddam” before, and we may need to get used to hearing it.

MBS will then have to tread very carefully with his cousins to ensure his position as Crown Prince is stable and unchallenged. Will he be able to do this? No one knows, especially if one of the challenging contenders suddenly receives bottomless Western support.

The other battle that MBS has to contend with is his diplomatic one with America and the rest of the West. The events of the last few weeks would have proven to him that without the façade of Western impunity, he is finished. He now knows that he doesn’t have a safe haven on the top of the hill with the big boys. And once again, he will have to pay America a price for his survival. He does not seem to have better choices.

But this situation is persuading him to scale down his reliance on America. However, when Saudi officials try to alarm America by making statements to the effect that they can buy Russian weapons instead of American ones, the American position becomes more resolute. Such ploys backfire on the Saudis.

Saudi Arabia cannot replace America with Russia, and for many reasons. If the Saudi-American marriage had its own ideological contradictions which both parties managed to overlook, a prospective Saudi-Russian marriage would have many more obstacles that would make it impossible to come to fruition; especially if Saudi Arabia demands the kind of military protection from Russia as it has demanded from the USA.

Saudi Arabia and Russia can engage in trade, sales of military hardware, etc., but they cannot and will not have a relationship that is akin to the Saudi-American marriage.

For starters, the two nations have never trusted each other, and they are not about to start doing this now. The support of Saudi Arabia to Jihadi fighters in Afghanistan in the early 1980’s and their continued support to Chechen terrorists are still fresh in the minds of Russians. After all, it was only five years ago that Prince Bandar Bin Sultan threatened President Putin with restarting the Chechen war if Putin did not support him in Syria.

And unlike the hypocritical West, Russia would not tolerate Saudi-sponsored fundamentalist religious schools to be spawned all over the Russian landscape.

And let us not forget that Russia does not need Saudi oil like America did, and if anything, to this effect, the two nations are competitors.

Knowing that flagging snuggling up with Russia made MBS’s impasse with America even worse, he seems to be taking a slightly different interim approach based on creating a situation that reduces his immediate need for America’s support, without having to go to bed with its mortal enemies.

An “allegedly” Pakistani initiative has been launched in an attempt to end the war in Yemen https://timesofislamabad.com/27-Oct-2018/yemeni-houthi-rebels-responds-to-pakistan-offer-and-stance-over-yemen-peace-talks .Whilst any attempt to end the war on Yemen is welcome news, the timing of such an initiative now draws suspicion.

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have a special and strong relationship despite some serious hiccups in the past. It is alleged that Saudi Arabia has contributed largely towards the development costs of the Pakistani A-Bomb, and in return, it expected to be supplied with A-Bombs, but Pakistan refused. And even though Pakistan also later on reneged on its promise to support the Saudi war on Yemen, neither Pakistan nor Saudi Arabia make any public negative statements about each other. In more ways than one, Saudi Arabia does not want bad blood with the only predominantly Sunni Muslim nation with nuclear arms, and Pakistan does not want bad blood with the richest Sunni nation either.

It is possible, in fact highly likely, that MBS whispered into Pakistani PM, Imran Khan’s ear, to launch the initiative of peace with Yemen. Thus far, the Yemenis have welcomed it (see reference above), and they cannot be blamed. They are suffering a huge humanitarian catastrophe that the world does not want to know about. As yet, there hasn’t been an official Saudi comment, and this implies acceptance. Had this “initiative” been made at a time when the war was winnable or had MBS personally not been under such enormous pressure, the Saudis would have immediately rejected it outright.

If MBS manages to end the War on Yemen, he will be setting aside one huge problem, and without a battle raging, his need for Western weapons would not be as critical as it is right now. Such a move would also preclude his immediate need for Russian weapons to replace American weapons with.

It seems that MBS has finally come to the realization that he is trying to bite off more than he can chew. But ultimately, unless he de-escalates his stand against Iran, he will remain under American stranglehold. On the other hand, if he indeed manages to find a face-saving exit from Yemen and also finds a way to manage less hostile relationships with Iran, he would be putting himself in the cross fire of America and Israel which he is trying hard to normalize relationships with.

Whilst contemplating all options available, MBS must see himself in the position of a dead man walking; with the choice of method of his own execution.

If he holds his ground against America, America can tighten the noose and suspend the arms supplies that he desperately needs for his war in Yemen. His Kingdom of Sand is a country that has a military budget exceeding that of Russia’s, but is unable to manufacture even bullets. Everything is imported, and if the war runs out of ammunition, MBS will have to beg other nations to supply him. This carries the potential risk of having the Houthis encroaching on Riyadh itself. But America can choose another course. With many Saudi princes begrudging MBS and harbouring strong vendettas against him, America can sponsor and support a rival prince who can challenge MBS for the position of Crown Prince. America can even sponsor a number of would-be contenders to the throne instead of just one, and thereby creating a fertile ground for a civil war that lures in other rival factions and not only necessarily royals. This can generate a state of chaos similar to what we now see in Libya. A civil war of this nature can go on for years with no clear winners. Such chaos, however, will not necessarily disrupt the flow of oil because its geographical theater will be centered around the precincts of the royals and their palaces around Riyadh and Jeddah, far away from the oil fields in the Eastern Province.

Knowing Americans and, judging by their history, they may opt to incite strife and prince-vs-prince rivalry. And even if the instability expands to the Eastern Province, the USA can always find a way to enact some resolution or another to put its hands on the oil fields as a measure of “national security”.

Unless MBS magically and miraculously finds a way out, he may have to choose between peace with his cousins plus, much to his dismay, peace with his regional enemies and rivals, or face the prospect of seeing his kingdom sliced into pieces. On the other hand, if MBS gives in to America’s demands, he may be able to keep his head and throne, but he will end up with an empty wallet and oil fields with title deeds in the name of the US Federal Reserve. Painful as it may sound, it is perhaps his only way out of this mess.

It’s a tough one for MBS. He is in a damned-if-you-do-and-damned-if-you-don’t situation, but in reality, he only has himself to blame. He and his evil predecessors have a long history of cruelty, arrogance, criminality and creating mayhem. Karma is catching up with them, and they deserve what they get.

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