Libya Turned Into Hell: Seven Years Without Gaddafi

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This October 23 marks the anniversary of the “end of the civil war” in Libya in 2011.

According Boris Dolgov, Senior Researcher at the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies, Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS, when NATO intervened in that internal military conflict, it led to the collapse of the Muammar Gaddafi rule and the collapse of the Libyan state.

“As a result Libya has collapsed as a state; and today there are various political forces, including Islamist ones, competing to become the only authority in the country,” the expert says.

At the moment there are two main political forces fighting for power in the country — the House of Representatives and the Government of National Accord, but there are other forces as well. In Libya there are various clans that have armed groups in their areas of influence. Some of the groups adhere to radical Islam.

Russia, like other members of the international community, is making great efforts to find a solution to the Libyan crisis, but so far no one has managed to obtain any tangible result in the process.Moscow is working with Libya’s most influential forces, like the armed forces of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar who is fighting radical Islamists and aims to rebuild the Libyan state.

Russia Making Maximum Effort to Resolve the Crisis

Russia is working together with various forces in Libya to reach a political consensus among them and make the political process a priority. The representatives and delegations of various political forces even went to Russia to take part in talks.

In the future, Russia will continue working to resolve the crisis.

“Russia hasn’t officially declared it will send military advisers or other Russian military personnel to Libya, but, in my opinion, it would be possible if the Libyan side, for instance the forces such as those led by Marshal Haftar, asked for it,” Dolgov explained.

Russia can help solve the Libyan crisis. It could help end the local conflict with the aid of Russian military advisors or instructors on the ground who can pass on their experience to the Libyans.

Khalifa Haftar is Libya’s most powerful military force. According to the Marshal, he is fighting against radical Islamic groups. This is really important for Russia as these groups pose a threat not only to Libya, but also to the region as a whole, and even to Russia itself.

We know that Islamists from Syria and Iraq have arrived in Libya; in one of the regions, they have even created a para-state that swore allegiance to Daesh (terrorist group banned in Russia). This poses a threat to Russia as Daesh terrorists and other affiliated groups have stated that their goal is to promote jihad in Russia, namely in the Caucasus and southern Russia.

“Haftar’s forces are helping to eliminate this threat, so that Moscow’s willingness to cooperate with these forces becomes clear,” the expert said.

What we are seeing in Libya today is a very complex process. An armed conflict can have repercussions; finding a compromise among a number of armed groups will take time. But perhaps the elections in Libya will somehow glue society together.

“The normalization won’t happen tomorrow or the day after; it won’t happen even in a year, but at least we’ve found the right path and hopefully Libyan society will follow it,” Dolgov concluded.

“Libya Turned into Hell”

“We can say that from a sovereign state, Libya has been divided between various forces, many of which are controlled by foreign intelligence services,” Usef Shakir, an expert on Libya, told Sputnik.

“Libya was stable and secure; the state apparatus worked well, the country was developing and growing steadily. And now chaos and fear has reigned for 8 years,” he added.

“Libyan ambassadors to European countries have become personae non gratae. In fact, the ambassadors serve as agents to the forces who have appointed them. They protect the interests of their patrons and seek support for them in the host countries,” Shakir said.

“Libya’s economy is almost nothing — hundreds of billions of dollars have come in from the sale of oil, but for 8 years not a single strategic development project has been implemented in the country. We see the constant waste of national wealth and bloody confrontations. Lots of people are armed and we constantly hear about victims and wounded. Libya has become hell.””Whose fault is it? It’s the elite, who betrayed everyone and let NATO into the country. The government was overthrown, but in the end nothing good came out of this. Regional and world players are interested in the Libyan crisis continuing. It is linked to oil and other natural resources: the country is fragmented, there is no dialogue between south, north, west and east, and no one contributes to getting out of the crisis. When Khashoggi was killed, all the media was talking about that. But in Libya lots of people, journalists and activists are constantly being killed. The DAESH and Al-Nusra extremists as well as the opposition from Sudan and Chad have found a home in the country.  Can you imagine what Libya has turned into? Can you imagine the current situation in the country?” the expert concluded.

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NATO Hypocrisy’s Twilight Zone

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What a week it’s been for trying to tolerate hypocrisy and hysteria from the United States and its NATO partners. The slanderous accusations against Russia and China, in particular, can hardly become more absurd, or unhinged.

US Vice President Mike Pence, speaking at the imperialist Hudson Institute, accused China of “interfering” in elections to oust Trump from the White House. Beijing hit back, slamming the claims as “ridiculous”.

Then we had Britain’s pipsqueak Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson denouncing Russia as a “pariah state” over allegations that the Kremlin has been conducting a “global computer-hacking campaign”.

Surely, the hypocrisy can’t get more superlative than this.

Pence’s diatribe against China over “interference” follows the barrage of humongous trade levies imposed on Chinese exports by the Trump administration, as well as the recent sale of billion-dollar weapons by the US to Taiwan, which China regards as a renegade province.

ust days before Pence uttered his unctuous words, a US warship was involved in a near-collision with a Chinese navy vessel after the Americans breached Beijing’s proclaimed territory in the South China Sea. The incident — which could have sparked a war — was but the latest in a series of provocative incursions by US forces into China’s maritime spaces, under the guise of “freedom of navigation” exercises.

As for Britain’s defense minister Williamson, his rhetoric about Russia being a pariah state reminds one of the admonition to not throw bricks in a glasshouse. After its spate of criminal wars in the Middle East, destroying millions of lives — and that’s just counting the most recent years — Britain is not in any position to indict others for pariah status.

Specifically though, Britain’s pious flourishes this week concerned allegations against Russia for conducting cyberattacks in various countries. The British claims were conveniently amplified by NATO allies, including the US, Canada and Netherlands, as well as partners Australia and New Zealand.

Again, the hypocrisy and hyper preciousness here are cringe-making. US and British state intelligence are known to run the biggest, most pervasive illegal hacking of telecommunications across the entire globe. American whistleblowers Edward Snowden, William Binney and other honorable people, have provided irrefutable evidence of the mass global hacking carried out by the CIA, NSA and Britain’s GCHQ.

Recall just one example: the Americans spying on personal phone calls by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

What’s particularly nauseating, however, is when the criminals who have been caught redhanded on numerous grave violations then turn around and accuse others of alleged misdemeanors. That is what we may call “hyper-precious hypocrisy”.

In the case of Mike Pence’s grandstanding on alleged Chinese attempts to oust Trump from the White House, what he was referring to was Beijing’s retaliatory trade sanctions on US exports from agricultural states. The corn-belt states of Iowa, Idaho and Illinois were crucial to electing Trump in the 2016 presidential race.

The Chinese government also paid for advertorials in an Iowa newspaper last month which criticized Trump’s policies for inciting a trade war, in which US farmers could suffer consequences from retaliatory measures. There was nothing underhand in what Beijing was doing. It was simply explaining to American voters the damaging impact of starting a trade war — an explanation that the US president has not been leveling to his rural supporters.

For the Trump administration to launch into shrill accusations against China of “interfering” in American democracy is a sign of how far Washington has become divorced from reality.

We can go way back to the Boxer Rebellion in the late 1800s, when American and British troops slaughtered Chinese civilians in order to prop up a corrupt regime so that they could sell narcotic opium to a lucrative oriental market.

Over the past century, the Americans and British have subverted more foreign governments and elections than any other foreign power. The American and British hacking into elections is off the charts, involving hundreds of occasions, which often resulted in bloody mayhem and failed states, wracked by poverty and sectarian violence.

If we can set aside the rank hypocrisy for a moment, what about the latest US, British and other NATO claims of Kremlin hacking operations around the world?

It was claimed this week that Russian military intelligence agents were involved in trying to hack into numerous entities. Those entities targeted by supposed Russian computer-espionage related to the Skripal poison affair in England; meddling in US elections; the downing of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine in 2014; the use of doping by Olympic athletes; and investigations into chemical weapons in Syria.

Western media reports came up with the imaginative theory that Russian state hackers were trying to “clean up” past illicit operations.

What’s really going on here is now a concerted effort by the NATO powers to consolidate all their desperate, bankrupt anti-Russia propaganda into a neatly fortified package. It’s called getting your stories straight.

Each one of the sensational stories impugning Russia, from the Malaysian airline disaster to the alleged poisoning of former Russian agent Sergei Skripal, have been failures. Failures, that is, to galvanize world public opinion against Russia’s so-called “malign activities”. People around the world just don’t buy the absurd, hollow accusations slated by NATO powers.

That’s why the NATO powers, especially the biggest liars America and Britain, are being forced into consolidating their voices and bizarre accusations against Russia. They are now being forced to use loudspeakers and chorused hymn sheets to try to win their failing information war.

But shouting lies ever louder does not make these lies more credible.

Perhaps Russian agents were trying to hack into various systems in NATO countries. We don’t know. But in the murky realm of all foreign powers being involved in information gathering and espionage, the alleged transgressions are relatively redundant. Again, look at the massive surveillance being carried out by the US and Britain.

Another possible factor is this: it would be reasonable for Russia to want to learn what NATO powers and their partners are concocting in the way of fabricated incriminations against Moscow. If that were the case, it still does not justify the hysterical claims made by the US, Britain and others this week of Russia running global cyberattacks.

Indeed, we have entered a sort of twilight zone of propaganda and hypocrisy.

The Trump administration itself accuses domestic political opponents of conducting witch-hunts, “fake news”, and contriving accusations.

Yet this administration, along with its NATO minions, shows the same reprehensible tendencies towards Russia and China.

Russia and China are right to be wary of the madness that has taken hold in the West’s political class. The madness is beyond reason and therefore highly dangerous. As Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov warned this week, the NATO powers are pushing the rest of the world down a dangerous path, at the end of which is the abyss of world war.

The Western public must get rid of their warmongering political class before it’s too late. Ironically, and absurdly, such observation coming from a Sputnik columnist will no doubt be construed as “evidence” that Russia is inciting revolution in Western states. Such is NATO hyper-hypocrisy in the twilight zone.

By Finian Cunningham

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NATO’s Takfiri Laundromat

It wasn’t at all long ago

✓ Turkey’s intelligence chief, Hakan Fidan, named as member of terror group linked to al-Qaeda and ISIS.
✓ Turkish intelligence directly supplied military aid to ISIS for years.
✓ Turkish government siphoned military supplies to ISIS through humanitarian relief agency.
✓ ISIS fighters, including al-Baghadi’s deputy, received free medical treatment in Turkey and “protection” from Turkish police.
✓ Head of ISIS in Turkey received “24/7 protection” under the personal order of President Erdogan.
✓ Turkish police investigations into ISIS are being systematically quashed.
✓ ISIS oil is sold with complicity of authorities in Turkey and Kurdish region of northern Iraq.
✓ NATO affirms Turkey’s role as ally in war on ISIS.

Well folks, if the President’s palace in Ankara can be compared to the administrative office of a regional Hell, Recep Erdogan and his intelligence chief, Hakan Fidan, a member of the Turkish branch of al-Qaida since the 1990s (according to a Turkish former counter-terrorism police chief) aptly fit the descriptions of Satan and Beelzebub respectively; but it wasn’t only Erdogan enriching his family by laundering ISIS & al-Qaida’s stolen oil and his intelligence chief Fidan arranging the shipments of weapons to ISIS & al-Qaida that laundered oil bought. Yeah, that’s what was going on with NATO’s Turkey [pun intended] through 2015, all as the complicit Western intelligence community has pretended the real problem is Assad. That is, that’s how it all went down until late 2015 when Russia stepped in shortly before the Syrian ‘regime’ would have collapsed to the takfiris. We can thank Orthodox Russia (and ‘Vlad’) Syria is not run by head-choppers with slave markets brought to you courtesy of NATO and ‘friends’ (including but not limited to Saudi money and Israeli weapons.)

But wait! It’s not ‘game over’ yet, ISIS leadership and core cadres seem to have found its way (as if by magic) to Afghanistan where they found ready logistics enough to become quickly established and I don’t think it was their arch-enemy Iran let them cross to relative safety let alone supports their new mission. How that happened is likely related to this next, where Erdogan is playing two sides (his habit of backstabbing), we begin with the preliminary circumstance:

According to the [Sochi/Idlib] agreement [between Russia, Iran, Turkey], all heavy weaponry operated by opposition [opposed to Assad] factions must be pulled out of the demilitarized zone by October 10 and “terrorist groups” should be cleared by October 15″

It is 3 October as I write this, and that’s not happening, yet.

“The sources said Moscow already informed Tehran, Damascus and Ankara that in case the above conditions were not fully implemented, Russia would therefore immediately launch a military operation and airstrikes against Idlib

According to the sources, Russia and Turkey disagree over the depth of the decentralized zone, as Moscow is seeking to annex Idlib and other main cities to it [out of opposition control], but Ankara has rejected the offer

“The second disagreement is related to the two main roads linking Aleppo to Latakia and Hama, which are considered the “main artery of the North.” Russia asked that the Syrian regime control the M4 from Aleppo to Latakia and the M5 from Aleppo to Hama before 2019. However, Ankara insists that the roads remain monitored by Russia and Turkey

Preceding, we see the Turkish side seeking to block Syria’s long term reassertion of sovereignty via access to the Idlib region.

“The third disagreement is related to the fate of extremists as Turkish officials want to transfer them to Kurdish-controlled areas while Russian officials insist on “terminating them””

This is the big disagreement in the near term, and the one we’ll be looking at a bit more closely.

“Also, the two sides disagree over the range of the Sochi agreement.

“Moscow wants it a temporary agreement similar to the ones implemented in the de-escalation areas of Daraa, Damascus Ghouta and Homs, while Ankara prefers to have it permanent, similar to the one implemented in the areas of Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations.

In plain words, Erdogan wants to keep Idlib province as a ‘moderate jihadi’ Turkish ‘protectorate.’

“Both countries hope that a Russian-Turkish-French-German summit planned for next month could contribute to solving the disputes over Idlib”

This last bit is disingenuous on the Turkish side, Erdogan is playing for time to consolidate Idlib Province in Syria as a laundered al-Qaida controlled district and the Russians have noticed:

“Terrorist organizations Jabhat al-Nusra and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham [both al-Qaida affiliates] have agreed, under pressure from Turkish intelligence, to disband and withdraw their forces from the demilitarized zone in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, Al Watan newspaper reported, citing sources with knowledge of the situation.

“Al-Watan newspaper reported, citing sources close to the Turkish Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front, that Turkish intelligence had held several meetings with the leadership of these two groups.

“The sources said that Turkish intelligence had put pressure on the groups’ leaders, while also pledging that the government would not carry out a military operation in Idlib.

“Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, in turn, pledged to change its structure and alter its jihadist ideology so that Ankara does not qualify it as a terror organization any longer, the newspaper added.

“For its part, al-Nusra promised to withdraw its troops and heavy weapons from the demilitarized zone, without any official announcement of the move, according to the media.

“Al-Nusra further promised to disband its so-called “rescue government” that manages the territories the group controls in Idlib. Part of this government will merge with the interim government created by the National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces”

So, Edogan’s intelligence people, whose boss is known to have held membership in al-Qaida, is rapidly changing al-Qaida’s label and reintegrating them to Idlib’s ‘moderate rebel’® governing structures. That sounds very far removed from Russia’s sensible determination to ‘terminate’ the takfiri terrorists even as Erdogan claims he is working with the Russians to eliminate the radicals. Meanwhile, as Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov had stated the task of isolating the radicals… “is not easy”and hoped that Turkey would “succeed”… it would appear it was easier than he could have imagined (far too easy, in fact.)

This analysts conclusion? Erdogan is in process of backstabbing Putin and it is not a wise choice, particularly considering Erdogan’s backstop is the Russophobic Trump administration’s desire to preserve and protect the bad players, doubtless so they may be employed to do the empire’s dirty deeds on another day:

“For the President, who is Commander in Chief, to act as the protective big brother of al-Qaeda and other jihadists must be condemned…”

Of course it should come as no surprise the USA’s so-called ‘efficient institution’ would work with American media to deny Americans this information; and go so far as to have the Department of Homeland Security warn Americans away from Russian media where these facts indeed ARE reported. No surprise, one might wonder? Well, no surprise if you’d had access to this bit of history:

“By the end of 1962 this nation had gone so far down the line following the Agency [CIA], the new Special Forces doctrine, the MAP [Military Assistance Plan]and the new U.S. philosophy as outlined in the President’s Committee report, that it was saying openly it was well on its way to carrying out as top national policy a major clandestine operation so big in fact that the entire government would be involved. Obviously, it could not be really clandestine in the sense that it would be kept secret from our enemies; on the contrary, it was a new kind of “clandestine”, so it would be kept secret from all Americans” –L. Fletcher Prouty, Pentagon liaison to the CIA

To carry this operation out, and see where we are today, it were only necessary for the CIA to establish a lap-dog American press. They’ve done it. The Russian press as alternative to American press most certainly isn’t a perfect vehicle but; the Russians will report the treason in DC whereas the Washington Post and New York Times will not.

By Ronald Thomas West
Source

 

US Could Launch Preemptive Military Strike Against Russia – Trump’s Ambassador to NATO

US Could Launch Preemptive Military Strike Against Russia – Trump’s Ambassador to NATO

The United States has threatened to launch a preemptive military strike against Russia if it does not halt developing a banned cruise missile system.

Washington claims Moscow is violating a Cold War treaty and developing a ground-launched cruise missile which could empower Russia to launch a nuclear strike on Europe at short notice. Russia has repeatedly denied any such violation.

“At that point, we would be looking at the capability to take out a (Russian) missile that could hit any of our countries,” US ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison said at a news conference on Tuesday in Brussels.

“Counter measures (by the United States) would be to take out the missiles that are in development by Russia in violation of the treaty,” she added. “They are on notice.”

Russia has not so far made any comment on the unprecedented threat issued by the top US official permanently stationed in the NATO headquarters.

In the past, Moscow has said it is ready for talks with Washington to preserve the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and would comply with its rules and regulations if the United States did.

In 2017, the US State Department accused Russia of violating its obligations “not to possess, produce, or flight-test” a ground-launched cruise missile with a range capability of 500 km to 5,500 km (310-3,417 miles).

A US official in the same year said that the United States would consider its own system if Russia continued its covert development of the banned system.

The three-decade-old arms control treaty bans the development of medium-range missiles capable of hitting Europe or Alaska.

“We have been trying to send a message to Russia for several years that we know they are violating the treaty, we have shown Russia the evidence that we have that they are violating the treaty,” Hutchison said.

“We are laying down the markers so that our allies will help us bring Russia to the table,” she added.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said he would raise the issue with his NATO counterparts in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday.

“I cannot forecast where it will go, it is a decision for the president, but I can tell you that both on Capitol Hill and in State Department, there is a lot of concern about this situation and I’ll return with the advice of our allies and engage in that discussion to determine the way ahead,” he told reporters in Paris on Tuesday following his meeting with French Defense Minister Florence Parly.


Source: PRESSTV

Thanks to the U.S. & Nato Half a million children face `immediate danger` in Libyan capital: UNICEF

Half a million children face `immediate danger` in Libyan capital: UNICEF

A fighter loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) fires during renewed clashes in the south of the Libyan capital Tripoli on September 22, 2018. (Photo by AFP)A fighter loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) fires during renewed clashes in the south of the Libyan capital Tripoli on September 22, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

The UN children’s agency (UNICEF) says intensified fighting in the Libyan capital Tripoli has put the lives of half a million children in “immediate danger,” warning that more than 2.6 million children are living in dire conditions across the conflict-ridden North African country.

Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, made the remarks in a statement published on Monday.

Citing Libya’s Health Ministry, local media said clashes that broke out last month between armed groups in Tripoli and those from another city over control of the capital had killed at least 115 people and wounded nearly 400 by Saturday night.

Clashes between the Seventh Brigade from Tarhouna, a town southeast of Tripoli where the Government of National Accord (GNA) is based, and the Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigades (TRB) have escalated since late August and the two rival groups have been vying to take control of the Libyan capital despite a truce declared earlier this month.

“Over 1,200 families have been displaced in the past 48 hours alone as clashes intensified in southern Tripoli, bringing the total number of displaced to over 25,000. UNICEF estimates half are children. Half a million children in immediate danger in Tripoli. More than 2.6 million children in need across the country,” Cappelaere said.

The shortage of food, water and electricity is among the daily challenges that children and families in Libya face, according to the UNICEF official.

“The country is facing an outbreak of measles, with over 500 cases reported – most of which are among children. A growing lack of fully functioning health services will only result in more cases of measles,” Cappelaere said.

The regional director also noted that schools are increasingly being used to shelter displaced families, which is likely to delay the start of the academic year planned for October 3.

“Hundreds of detained refugees and migrants, including children, were forced to move because of violence. Others are stranded in centers in dire conditions,” Cappelaere said.

“UNICEF calls on all parties to the conflict in Libya to protect children at all times,” the official added. “The way out of the recent fighting and the crisis in Libya is not through violence but through diplomacy and a political agreement, with the interest of children at the very center.”

Armed forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) patrol a street during renewed clashes in the south of the Libyan capital Tripoli on September 22, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Libya plunged into chaos in 2011, when the country’s long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in a NATO-backed uprising.

The North African country is currently split between two rival governments in the east and west, each backed by an array of rival militias.

The Tripoli-based GNA is recognized by the UN as the official government. The other government, known as the House of Representatives, is based in the eastern city of Tobruk and has the support of forces loyal to military strongman General Khalifa Haftar

A Message From the Libyan People’s Resistance

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Since 2011, NATO and the entire United Nations have failed all of the citizens of Libya. Libyans have lived in fear and were terrorized constantly by the various rebel militias.

The militias were armed up by foreign interests. Now, it appears that a swell of enthusiasm and pride has developed and is spreading throughout Libya. Yesterday, many of the tribes in Libya gathered in Tarhouna and final plans have been made to unify and retake Tripoli to free the country once and for all.

Today, many demonstrators have taken to the streets in Green Square, and by tomorrow many thousands will assemble there too in support of this growing movement of freedom-thirsty Libyans. By all accounts, Libya was doing well prior to the War of 2011, no debt and ambitious projects abound in that country. No homeless people existed and there were no poor people.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton failed at foreign policy development, so their solution was to arm up people alleged to be demonstrators in Benghazi that we now know to be untrue. The arming of extreme militants and Islamists has virtually destroyed an entire country and provided armed resources to the likes of Al Qaeda that has spread in the region and caused growing security issues.

There was no real Arab Spring, it was all a unilateral justification for illegally funneling weapons to terrorists that most nations were fighting against, yet Obama and Clinton have misled the United States and the Congress. Imagine all of the missing emails and the proof of all of their complicity in violating both U.S. laws and United Nations rules. The truth will come out soon and history will correct itself regardless of the concealment of evidence by Clinton and her pundits.

Citizens of Libya should rise up today and go to Green Square and demonstrate to the world that you are tired of living in hell because NATO and its allies made huge errors and then walked away, doing nothing to feed anyone or to get rid of the armed militias.

Tomorrow, thousands of Libyans should arrive into Green Square and show the militias that you are not afraid to stand up into the face of tyranny and terrorists, Libyans will fight!

On Tuesday, the tribes of Tarhouna will arrive and so will many thousands of Libyans seeking to free their country once and for all. Libyans should rise up and fight to get rid of these armed terrorists who have pillaged and raped Libya for the last time.

By VT Senior Editors
Source

Starving Off-Camera: In Yemen 20 Million Fuel the Saudi-US-NATO War Machine

Starving Off-Camera: In Yemen 20 Million Fuel the Saudi-US-NATO War Machine

Within days of starting the war, Saudi Arabia imposed a total land, air and sea blockade, along with targeting vital agriculture and food supply infrastructure that sustains life for the 29 million Yemenis — all of which constitute war crimes under international law.

The UN estimates that nearly 20 million Yemenis could die of starvation by the end of this year. That’s about 70 percent of the entire population.

That horrific number includes more than 2 million children who are already going hungry, including 500,000 who are suffering from severe malnutrition.

 

The people of Yemen have found themselves struggling not only for survival, but for a space in the Western media’s war coverage.

In the shadow of the conflict in Syria, the men, women and children of Yemen are being deliberately starved and targeted by strategic airstrikes and an illegal blockade in a war initiated by Saudi Arabia and aided, massively if not entirely, by the United States.

Since 2015, Saudi Arabia, backed by Washington with over $200 billion in weapons assistance and billions more worth of military training under both the Obama and Trump administrations, took the already poorest nation in the Middle East and manufactured the worst humanitarian crisis of the modern era.

Within days of starting the war, Saudi Arabia imposed a total land, air and sea blockade, along with targeting vital agriculture and food supply infrastructure that sustains life for the 29 million Yemenis — all of which constitute war crimes under international law.

Saudi Arabia opened its checkbook in response to a UN appeal for funds, contributing nearly $300 million to cover the most urgent humanitarian aid to Yemen. But that Saudi aid would come at a steep price, and with more than a few strings attached, considering this was the same nation bombing Yemen and creating the disaster to begin with.

While the UN accepted Saudi money, it also allowed Saudi Arabia to weaponize humanitarian aid by blocking all aid shipments from reaching the starving population.

This meant that medicine, food, water treatment supplies, and basic necessities for survival were prevented from entering Yemen, exacerbating the already dire situation.

According to data collected by local rights groups, Saudi Arabia has waged over 230,000 airstrikes on Yemen since 2015, with the intention of deliberately targeting Yemen’s lifeline for survival: its food supply.

Fishing boats, fishermen and fish markets became targets of the Saudi-U.S.-backed coalition warships and helicopters in the Red Sea, depleting Yemen’s access to it’s key food staples.

To make food-supply matters even worse, the U.S.-backed Saudi air raids intentionally targeted agricultural fields, marketplaces and food-storage sites from March 2015 to the end of June 2018, creating the perfect storm to ignite famine and starvation.

Yemen relies on maritime imports for more than 80 percent of its annual staple food supplies.

Although staples remain available, the Saudi import restrictions, combined with a rapidly depreciating currency, mean food prices have skyrocketed.

Millions of Yemenis can no longer afford to buy food, forcing more than 75 percent of the population to rely on humanitarian assistance — aid that is mostly controlled and blocked by Saudi Arabia.

As the crisis rages on with no accountability in sight, Yemen’s last remaining lifeline is under threat: Hodeida, relied upon by 18 million Yemenis, is home to the major port where virtually all aid and food must enter the impoverished and war-ravished nation currently importing 90 percent of its food.

According to UN estimates, a quarter-million men, women, and children could die from the military assault alone should the U.S.-backed coalition continue its invasion of Hodeida. In fact, Saudi warplanes have already bombed buses of refugees fleeing the airstrikes.

The goal of the deadly operation, dubbed “Golden Victory,” is to capture Hodeida: a bustling port city and home to over 600,000 Yemenis.

Although Saudi Arabia catches most of the heat for this humanitarian catastrophe and the countless war crimes, another U.S. Gulf coalition ally, the United Arab Emirates, is leading the assault on Hodeida port.

An Emirati-led occupation of Hodeida would put nearly a million people at risk for suffering not only famine but instances of rape and torture, as the UAE currently occupies Southern Yemen and has set up dozens of illegal torture prison sites known for sexual torture.

While creating a state of affairs that intensifies hunger for over 20 million people, Saudi Arabia has faced no accountability from the international community. Instead, it has enjoyed receiving billions worth of weapons from the U.S. and the U.K., training from the U.S. military, and a major position on a human-rights panel at the UN, only enabling what can best be described as genocide.

Perhaps Saudi impunity derives from the fact that this war is also the fuel that fires up the United States and NATO’s war machine, which allows for the continuation of resource exploitation, war on terror, military occupation and destabilization in the small but strategic and resource-rich nation.

This cynical agenda has forced Yemen to become the new face of skeletal children in the 21st century.

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