التحالف السعودي يطوي عامه السادس منهاراً.. وصنعاء حارسة دمشق وبيروت

الكاتب: عباس الزين

المصدر: الميادين نت

24 آذار 18:26

فشل العدوان السعودي على اليمن بات أمراً مفروغاً منه، والحديث لم يعد يتعلق بما تخطط له الرياض عسكرياً لحسم المعركة لصالحها، بل حول الطريقة التي يجب أن تخرج بها من الحرب.

ينتهي العام السادس من العدوان، والسعودية غير قادرة على منع القوات اليمنية من استهداف منشآتها الحيوية
ينتهي العام السادس من العدوان، والسعودية غير قادرة على منع القوات اليمنية من استهداف منشآتها الحيوية

في تاريخ 21 نيسان/أبريل عام 2015 أي بعد حوالى شهر من بداية العدوان السعودي على اليمن، خرج المتحدث باسم “التحالف” حينها أحمد العسيري، ليعلن في مؤتمر صحفي أن “عاصفة الحزم” حققت جميع أهدافها الموضوعة.

وبمعزل عن أن الهدف الرئيسي والذي كان إعادة ما تصفها الرياض بـ”الشرعية” إلى العاصمة صنعاء لم يتحقق حينها ولا يزال، فإن “التحالف” أشار أيضاً إلى أن منع حكومة صنعاء من تهديد “دول الجوار وعلى رأسها السعودية” قد تحقق.. وها هي القوات اليمنية تختتم العام السادس من العدوان باستهداف ميناء “راس تنورة” ضمن عملية “توازن الردع السادسة”، وهو أكبر ميناء نفطي في العالم، تصدّر من خلاله السعودية ما يزيد عن 80% من صادراتها النفطية.

وبالعودة إلى الهدف الرئيسي لإعلان الحرب والمتعلق بإعادة حكومة عبد ربه منصور هادي إلى صنعاء وإسقاط “حكومة الإنقاذ”، فإن العام السادس ينطوي في الوقت الذي تخسر فيه حكومة هادي وحلفاؤها وقوى التحالف آخر معاقلها في شمال اليمن، باقتراب القوات اليمنية من حسم معركة محافظة مأرب لصالحها، مع الأخذ بعين الاعتبار أهمية هذه المحافظة من النواحي الاستراتيجية والأمنية والاقتصادية، إلى جانب كونها الثقل العسكري لقوى التحالف في اليمن.

فشل العدوان السعودي على اليمن في تحقيق أهدافه بات أمراً مفروغاً منه، لأعداء السعودية وحلفائها، والحديث لم يعد يتعلق بما تخطط له الرياض عسكرياً لحسم المعركة لصالحها، بل يتركز حول الطريقة التي يجب أن تخرج بها من هذه الحرب، بعد استنفاد جميع الطرق والوسائل التي يمكن لأي طرف استخدامها في أي حربٍ يخوضها. فالسعودية حشدت برياً وحاصرت من البحر والجو، وشنت عشرات آلاف الغارات واستخدمت مختلف أنواع الأسلحة والصواريخ والآليات، ولم تستطع ليس فقط التقدم في مشروعها، بل خسرت معظم مكتسبات حلفائها بفعل التوسع الجغرافي للقوات اليمنية واللجان الشعبية.

تحرير مأرب مقدمة لتحرير محافظات أخرى

وبعد انقضاء العام الخامس من الحرب بـ”صنعاء آمنة” على إثر صد القوات اليمنية واللجان الشعبية لأوسع هجوم على العاصمة نهاية العام الماضي، دخل التحالف السعودي العام السادس مثقلاً بالإخفاقات، وها هو يدخل عامه السابع من الحرب منهاراً في مختلف جبهات القتال لا سيما في مأرب، فيما تؤكد “حكومة الإنقاذ” أنها مستمرة في عملية تحريرها لمختلف المحافظات اليمنية، محددةً وجهات جديدة كـ شبوة وحضرموت، كما جاء على لسان عضو المجلس السياسي في اليمن سلطان السامعي، خلال حديثه للميادين منذ أيام.

وأمام هذا المشهد، خرجت السعودية مؤخراً بما وصفته “مبادرة سلام”، واللافت أن الأخيرة طرحت مبادرتها وكأن ما يحصل هو حرب في اليمن، لا حرب على اليمن تقودها هي، بمعنى أن الرياض وضعت نفسها في مكانة الدولة “الراعية للسلام” في اليمن، بينما هي طرف أساسي في الحرب.

وسريعاً، سحبت حكومة صنعاء البساط من تحت المبادرة السعودية بهدف تعريتها وإظهارها كما هي، من خلال ما قاله رئيس وفد صنعاء المفاوض محمد عبد السلام، بإن “السعودية جزء من الحرب ومبادرتها لا تتضمن شيئاً جديداً”، لا سيما وأن وزير الخارجية السعودي فيصل بن فرحان آل سعود، تحدث عن فتح مطار صنعاء لبعض الوجهات، وعن تخفيف الحصار عن ميناء الحديدة، مقابل إقدام حكومة صنعاء على تنازلات سياسية، أي أن السعودية تريد مقايضة الملف الإنساني الذي تُمسِك به جرّاء حصارها المستمر، مقابل أهداف سياسية، ومن دون أي ضمانات حتى، وهذا بحد ذاته ينفي صفة “السلام” عن أي مبادرة.

الخلافات بين الحلفاء

بانتقال الحرب إلى الداخل السعودي، وتحول المرافق الحيوية من منشآت نفطية وعسكرية وأمنية لأهداف لدى القوات اليمنية، وتوسع تلك الأهداف مع مرور سنوات الحرب والتطور الذي رافق استهدافها من الناحيتين اللوجستية والعسكرية، تكون الرياض قد فقدت عامل المبادرة كطرف قادر على لعب دور بين الأطراف اليمنية، وباتت الطرف الملزم بتقديم تنازلات لا بفرضها على الآخرين، إذ أن معادلات الردع اليمنية لم تكن موجهة ضد حلفاء التحالف في الداخل اليمني، بل ضد قيادة التحالف وتحديداً السعودية.

وبالحديث عن حلفاء السعودية في الداخل اليمني، لا بد من التطرق إلى الهشاشة والتضعضع الذي لا يزال التحالف السعودي يعانيه بعد معارك دامية، ومع استمرار الخلافات، بين سلطة هادي وحزب الإصلاح من جهة، والمجلس الانتقالي المدعوم إماراتياً من جهةٍ أخرى.

فرغم تشكيل حكومة جديدة موالية للتحالف في كانون الأول/ديسمبر تضم “الانتقالي” ضمن ائتلاف جديد انبثق عن “اتفاق الرياض”، إلا أن التباينات والصراعات بين المكونات اليمنية التابعة للتحالف لا تزال مستمرة، والتي كان آخرها اقتحام متظاهرين موالين للانتقالي قصر “المعاشيق” الرئاسي في عدن، من دون أي مواجهة مع القوات الموكل إليها حماية المجمع الرئاسي، وهي قوات “الحزام الأمني” التابعة للانتقالي، والتي سهلت بدورها عملية الاقتحام.

صنعاء والأهمية الجيوسياسية

ينتهي العام السادس من العدوان، والسعودية غير قادرة على منع القوات اليمنية من استهداف منشآتها الحيوية، وعلى منعها من التقدم الجغرافي على الأرض وتحرير المحافظات، وغير قادرةٍ أيضاً على إعادة التماسك لحلفها المتضعضع بين فريقين أحدهما مدعوم من شريكها الإماراتي. هي حقائق تظهرها الوقائع الميدانية والسياسية، بعد أن كان ولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان يسعى لفرض نفسه زعيماً إقليمياً من بوابة الحرب على اليمن.

وهنا، نعود إلى مجموعة من المقالات والتقارير، ومن ضمنها مقال نشر في صحيفة “الحياة” السعودية في 22 نيسان/أبريل عام 2015 تحت عنوان “وجاء دور دمشق”، تحدثت جميعها عن مرحلة ما بعد “عاصفة الحزم”. هذا المقال المذكور تحديداً، أوضح بطريقة غير مباشرة الأهمية الجيوسياسية لصنعاء في العالم العربي بمرور سنوات الحرب، لما يكشفه من مخططات كانت مرسومة، باعتبار أن الإعلام السعودي الناطق بلسان النظام، والذي كان يعد العدة لـ”عاصفة الحزم 2″ في دمشق وبيروت، بعد صنعاء، بدأ الترويج لهذه السردية بكثافة وفحواها أن “عاصفة الحزم” تتعدى صنعاء لتطال عواصم عربية أخرى. لكن، وبعد سنوات ست، لا يزال الإعلام السعودي ومعه “التحالف”، عاجزاً عن تجاوز “المستنقع اليمني”.

لم تدافع صنعاء عن نفسها ومكانتها العربية فقط، بل كانت العمق الاستراتيجي لعواصم عربية أخرى وضعت ضمن دائرة الاستهداف السعودي بسبب تموضعها في المواجهة الإقليمية. بناءً عليه، فإن صمود اليمن وانتصاره لا يقرَأ كما تحاول السعودية إظهاره على أنه صراع داخلي وحرب أهلية، بل يتعدى ذلك إلى كونه يفتح مرحلة جديدة على صعيد الإقليم، تحولت خلالها اليمن إلى لاعبٍ أساسي ومؤثر في الصراع الدائر.. وهكذا، كانت صنعاء حارسة دمشق وبيروت!

مقالات متعلقة

Biden’s ‘Greater Middle East’ Peace Push Lacks Any Meaningful Progress

By Andrew Korybko

Source

Biden

The reason for this is that the US refuses to learn from its mistakes contrary to its post-Trump rhetoric, which has resulted in scant progress being made in Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya.

The Biden Administration isn’t serious about bringing peace to the four countries in the so-called “Greater Middle East” whose suffering the US is responsible for. Whether it’s his over-hyped policy pivot in Yemen, the stalled peace processes in Afghanistan and Syria, or the seemingly forgotten war in Libya, the new American leader appears to be all talk and no real action, at least for the time being. The reason for this is that the US refuses to learn from its mistakes contrary to its post-Trump rhetoric, which has resulted in scant progress being made on any of those four fronts. What follows is a brief review of the current situation in each of those countries, after which some policy suggestions will be shared for jump-starting those peace processes.

Yemen

Biden’s decision to suspend all US military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen was a positive move, but his subsequent ceasefire proposal failed to live up to expectations. It doesn’t fully lift the blockade that’s responsible for what the United Nations previously described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. This suggests that his administration is playing a Machiavellian game with the Ansarullah (“Houthi”) rebels whereby the threat of famine is being weaponized as a means of politically pressuring them into unilateral concessions. Instead of being treated as an equally legitimate party to the peace process like the Biden Administration officially regards them as after lifting their prior terrorist designation, they’re treated as a junior one.

Afghanistan

US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad appeared to follow in the diplomatic footsteps of his Russian counterpart, Zamir Kabulov, by recently suggesting the creation of an interim government that includes the Taliban. Despite being officially designated as a terrorist organization, world powers have pragmatically engaged with the group over the years in an effort to support the country’s fledgling peace process. No political solution is possible without the Taliban’s participation. The problem, however, is that the Biden Administration is under internal pressure not to complete former President Trump’s previously promised military withdrawal by this May, which risks undermining last year’s peace accord with the Taliban and thus prolonging the war.

Syria

Out of the four examined conflicts, the US is the least serious about bringing peace to Syria, which it no longer even tries to hide. It bombed the country last month on the pretext of targeting allegedly Iranian-affiliated militias that it blamed for attacking American forces in Iraq. The US also continues to tighten its brutal sanctions regime against Syria with the intent of forcing its democratically elected and legitimate leadership into submission. There are also credible reports from official Syrian, Russian, and Iranian sources that the US’ illegal occupation forces support terrorists. The US hasn’t learned anything despite the disastrous war that it’s waged there through hybrid means over the past decade. Its present policy is therefore doomed to fail.

Libya

Most of the world seems to have forgotten about this conflict, but a ceasefire was surprisingly agreed to late last year between its main warring sides: the UN-recognized government in Tripoli and the rebellious Tobruk-based administration in the east most prominently represented by General Khalifa Haftar of the Libyan National Army. This in turn led to the creation of an interim government that’ll preside over the country until elections this December. All of this sounds good on paper, but the problem is that Libya has already been down a similar path before but with no success. That’s because its internal divisions are exacerbated through the involvement of foreign forces, but such external actors aren’t negotiating between themselves to pursuit of peace.

Policy Suggestions

In the order that they were mentioned, here’s what the Biden Administration must do in order to jump-start the peace processes in Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya:

* Demand the full and immediate lifting of the Saudi-led blockade on Yemen without any preconditions in order to satisfy the Yemeni people’s humanitarian needs and influence the Ansarullah to agree to a ceasefire;

* Respect last year’s peace agreement by withdrawing all US forces from Afghanistan by this May in parallel with accelerating the creation of an interim government with the Taliban to facilitate a forthcoming ceasefire;

* Respect the outcome of this spring’s presidential elections that will likely lead to President Assad’s re-election and use that as the long-overdue pretext for entering into talks with Damascus without preconditions;

* and convene international talks between the US, France, Russia, Turkey, Egypt, and the UAE with the intent of coordinating each major external party’s post-war vision ahead of meaningful intra-Libyan peace talks.

Recruited, Arrested, On Trial: Yemeni Spies Tell of Their Reluctant Work for CIA, MI6

Yemen spies Feature photo

By Ahmed Abdulkareem

Source

The CIA and MI6 have recruited hundreds of Yemenis to work as mercenaries and spies gathering intelligence and coordinates of Yemeni military positions, promising them money and even passports for the dangerous work.

SANA’A, YEMEN — There is little dispute that the United States and the United Kingdom have been major benefactors to the Saudi Kingdom in its six-year-long attempt to use military might to bring Yemen to heel. Both countries have provided billions in hi-tech weapons, intelligence information, and training to what is arguably the Middle East’s most repressive monarchy. But according to the confessions of six men arrested last month amid the ongoing battle over Yemen’s strategic Marib province, Western support for the Saudi-led Coalition goes much farther than conventional military support.

Arrested Yemeni spies speak to MintPress

The CIA and MI6, its British counterpart, have recruited hundreds of Yemenis to work as mercenaries and spies gathering intelligence and coordinates of Yemeni military positions in Marib, al-Mahrah, Sana’a and Sadaa, and providing that information to their handlers, according to confessions given to the Yemeni Security Intelligence Service (YSIS) by at least six Yemeni nationals currently on trial in Sana’a for violating Article 130 of Yemen’s Penal Code.

The six men, who are being held in a detention facility in Sana’a, agreed to speak to MintPress about their experiences. They insist that abject poverty as a result of the ongoing war drove them to participate in the operation, which they said came with the promise of a $300 payout.

According to the men, the operation was carried out primarily at the Ghaydah Airport in eastern al-Mahrah. There, they joined dozens of young Yemenis recruited by the CIA for training by  American and British officers on how to properly identify and describe; the use of cameras, sophisticated software programs and devices used to share coordinates; information gathering; and how to find and identify military leaders and headquarters, workshops, factories, laboratories, warehouses, checkpoints and launching sites for missiles and drones. Even the locations of the personal homes and vehicles of Ansar Allah members and other vocal opponents of the Saudi intervention were sought, according to the men.

A careful recruitment process

Their recruitment process was long and delicate, beginning when the men were approached by Yemeni officers working for the Aden-based National Security Agency. After agreeing to travel to al-Mahrah to learn more, the men were housed in hotels before being brought to special cottages at the Ghaydah Airport where they were interviewed by American and British intelligence officers. Muhammad Har, one of the six charged, told MintPress that he was initially approached by Fayez Muhammad Ismail Al-Muntaser, a former officer of the National Security Agency and commander of the Saudi-led Coalition’s Special Missions Battalion.

“When it was my turn, I entered the [unintelligible] and was surprised that members of the committee were Americans. One was asking the questions, the second was writing data, the third was taking fingerprints, while the fourth black-skinned one was translating,” Ali Mohammed Abdullah al-Jomani, a 34-year-old detainee from Haddah recalled. Al-Jomani, who says he used to earn the equivalent of about $10 per day, was put up in the Taj Al-Arab Hotel for three months during the initiation process. “When we went back to conduct the second interview, we did not find the Americans, but rather British officers. They repeated the previous questions about our ability to use maps, drive cars, and use computers.” This tracks with allegations by the Yemeni Security Intelligence Service that the CIA was recruiting young Yemenis and handing them over to British officers for training and further handling.

According to the men, there were two separate camps at the airport, one American and the other Saudi. “After we were accepted, we were trained on how to describe people, cars, and homes and how to share data and photos through WhatsApp,” recalled Basem Ali Ahmed al-Kharouga, a 29-year-old detainee from Sana’a. “The training included field exercises inside and outside of the airport.” Al-Kharouga had long dreamed of traveling abroad and thought that he had finally found his way to flee the violence when he was promised a foreign passport in exchange for the work.

Few options for young Yemenis

In addition to poverty and unemployment, there are other reasons that Yemen’s youth would risk life and freedom to work with foreign intelligence services, perhaps the most prominent being the blockade levied against the country by the Saudi Coalition since 2015. Before the war, Yemenis would regularly leave the country for business, pleasure and to seek medical care. Now — with seaports and airports, especially the once-bustling Sana’a International Airport, effectively shuttered by the Saudi Coalition — Yemenis are no longer able to flee the violence in their country or travel abroad, leaving many desperate young Yemenis with few options.

Hospitals, schools, office buildings, and infrastructure like water wells and sewage networks have been destroyed in the wake of Saudi bombing campaigns, which are often carried out with U.S. and British targeting information gleaned from their network of recruited spies. Funerals, weddings, homes, and other civilian facilities have been targeted, leading to the death and wounding of thousands of civilians and making American and British intelligence services complicit, at best, in the wanton violence.

“We were sent to Marib, me and another guy who went by the name of ‘Akram Amer,’ on one mission that lasted for four days. We were assigned by [a man named] ‘George’ to spy on the home of Ali Salem al-Huraizy near al-Rawda Park,” Aymen Mujahid Qaid Muhammad Harish, one of the six detainees, told MintPress. Among Harish’s tasks was to monitor sites in the city of Arhab, north of Sana’a, where the Saudi Coalition would later target a home where a funeral was taking place. The double-tap airstrike left a child and nine women dead and, according to Harish, his Western handlers, who were responsible for providing the Saudis with targeting data, are to blame for the attack.

Trade-Off looming on Syria and Yemen:

Trade-Off looming on Syria and Yemen:

March 16, 2021

By Ghassan Kadi for the Saker Blog

In the past few weeks much has happened in the area of diplomacy on the part of Russia. Russia is forging ahead after stepping up its presence in the Middle East in the past decade, taking a strong pro-active political role. Moscow during this period has been intent on consolidating its efforts in re-establishing itself as the key player in any political settlements in the Middle East. Ever since Kissinger in the late 1970’s pulled the rug out from underneath the feet of the USSR, striking a deal between Israel and Egypt, excluding the USSR and the rest of the Arab World, the political influence of Russia in the Middle East significantly waned until it came back with deciding force when Russia responded to the Syrian Government’s request for help in September 2015.

Lately, the economic crisis has deepened in Syria following the drastic Western sanctions. And specifically after the implementation of the Caesar’s Act, the Syrian currency took a huge tumble and the cost of living has soared to unprecedented levels. This left many cynics wondering and pondering what was Russia going to do in the face of the collapsed Syrian economy after having achieved an impressive military victory, taking its troops outside its former USSR borders for the first time and heralding the end of the single super power status of the USA.

To this effect, and on the diplomatic side, Russian FM Lavrov has recently visited Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE for talks pertaining to an array of issues. The agenda issues that transpired to the media include trade, the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, as well as issues of global and regional security, albeit vague in details as what ‘security issues’ mean.

It appears that in these meetings, discussions included the return of Syria to the Arab League and the cost of reconstruction of Syria after ten years of war, a bill touted to exceed $Bn200. Expectations have existed for some time that the Arab Gulf states will fork out a huge chunk of this cost. As mentioned above, the bottom line here is that Russia’s military success in its operation in Syria needs to be followed by political success. Partly, this is achieved within the Astana talks which include Turkey and Iran. However, the very same Arab States instrumental in the ‘War on Syria’ are also instrumental in facilitating the return of Syria to the Arab League, the reconstruction efforts in Syria and the easing of sanctions. The Gulf states have always reiterated that there will no return of Syria to the Arab League for as long as Iranian forces remain on the ground. The UAE seemed more open than Saudi Arabia to the prospects of Syria’s return to the Arab League and financing the reconstruction process.

But why would the Gulf States, the same states that spent tens of billions of dollars in order to destroy Syria, be suddenly now interested in the reversal of the process? This is a fair question to ask.

Quite unexpectantly, and almost immediately after the return of Lavrov to Moscow, a top delegation of Hezbollah, headed by Mohamad Raad, was invited to Moscow for talks. Apparently, the visit was cloaked in a veil of secrecy in Russia and was not at all covered in Western media, even though it made news in Arabic mainstream media. It would be politically naïve to imagine that Lavrov’s visit to the Gulf has no relation to this. All issues in the Middle East are related to each other, including the war in Yemen.

To put it succinctly, the UAE had already stepped away from the Yemen war. However, Saudi Arabia remains bogged down in this travesty and seven years on, must have come to the humiliating and painful realization that it is a war it cannot win. This is where Iran and Hezbollah can have leverage in any direct or indirect negotiations with the Saudis, and Russia is the only arbitrator who is able to communicate with all parties involved.

All parties in the Middle East are looking for face-saving tradeoffs; at least partial and interim ones. The Saudis in particular are tired and exhausted,

In an interview given to Sputnik Arabic, one not widely reported in other media, not even Sputnik English, Raad praised the cooperation between Hezbollah and Russia, stating that ‘the invitation we received aims to reopen the dialogue about the next phase after having reached the achievements that serve the interests of the people of the region in the recent past’ .

This is Raad’s first visit to Moscow since 2011. Of that visit, I am not trying to speculate in hindsight of the purpose of it and the achievements of it. Furthermore, Hezbollah has not ever been party to any international dis-engagement or peace negotiations in the past, except for ones relating to exchange of prisoners. The economic demise of Syria and Lebanon, as well as the Saudi-Yemeni impasse, may well have placed Hezbollah in a position of participating in peace-deals negotiations this time.

I am neither referring to peace deals with Israel here, nor any deal involving disarmament. Hezbollah will not be prepared to negotiate disarming itself under any political settlement either today or in the foreseeable future, and Moscow is totally aware of this.

According to my analysis, the deal that Moscow is most likely to suggest is a mutual withdrawal of Iran and Hezbollah from Syria on one hand, and an end of the Saudi war on Yemen. It is simple, Saudi Arabia to leave Yemen and Iran/Hezbollah to leave Syria. I believe that Lavrov has already secured the Saudi acceptance of those terms, terms that will not only end the war in Yemen, but also the return of Syria to the Arab League and a possible easing of the Western economic sanctions on Syria. Had Lavrov not secured the Saudi assurance, he would not have invited Hezbollah for talks.

A deal of this nature can potentially end the criminal human tragedy in Yemen in a manner that will portray the Saudis as the real losers in the war, and this is where they need a face-saving trade-off in Syria. In Syria, they will be perceived as winners by securing an Iranian/Hezbollah exit. But most importantly perhaps for the Saudis, this will put an end to a very costly and humiliating war in Yemen, one which is beginning to draw criticism from some quarters of the international community, including alleged talk of America considering placing arms deal embargos on Saudi Arabia.

On the other hand, if Iran and Hezbollah end their presence in Syria, many sanctions are likely to be lifted and the severe economic pressure in Syria will be eased. Such a deal will be a humanitarian win for Syria and Yemen, a strategic win for Saudi Arabia and Iran, and a diplomatic win for Russia.

What will be in it for Hezbollah will largely depend on what Lavrov has put on the table, and it seems obvious that it is Hezbollah that will need more convincing than Iran, and this is why the talks are now with Hezbollah; not with Iranian officials. Perhaps the deal already has the tacit approval of Iranian officials.

It goes without saying; Israel will be watching these developments with keen interest. Israel wants Iran and Hezbollah out of Syria. But the trade-off deal I am talking about is not one in which Israel is a direct party.

What is known at this stage is that a meeting has already taken place between the Hezbollah delegation and Russian officials. As I write this, I am not aware if other meetings are to follow and or whether or not the Hezbollah delegation is back in Lebanon.

Was the 2011 Moscow visit of Raad a prelude for Hezbollah to enter Syria? Will the 2021 visit be prelude for Hezbollah to leave Syria? We don’t know. We may never find out the actual detailed outcome of the mysterious-but-not-so-mysterious current Hezbollah visit. It may not even end up with a press release, but in the next coming days, we will find out if a Syria-Yemen trade-off is indeed looming.

The Arab yacht summit plotters have fallen out

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George Nader (fourth from left) organised a secret summit of Arab leaders on a yacht in the Red Sea in late 2015
David HearstDavid Hearst is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Middle East Eye. He is a commentator and speaker on the region and analyst on Saudi Arabia. He was The Guardian’s foreign leader writer, and was correspondent in Russia, Europe, and Belfast. He joined the Guardian from The Scotsman, where he was education correspondent.

David Hearst

15 March 2021 15:09 UTC 

An alliance of regional rulers that put so much effort into suppressing democracy is weakening now as its participants bear substantial grudges against each other

For the past decade, an alliance of rulers has bent every sinew to halt the onward, and irreversible, fight for human rights in the Arab world.

To preserve their own decaying regimes, this alliance has laid waste to once proud and civilised nations. It has waged wars in Yemen, Libya and Syria, reducing much of them to rubble. It has funded coups in Egypt, and attempted them in Tunisia and Turkey. The blood of hundreds of thousands has been shed in these interventions.

They were fought in the name of defending the region from Islamism and extremism. In this, they attracted the credulous, or cynical, support of former colonial powers France and Britain. But in reality their “jihad” had nothing to do with defending liberalism or secularism.

These regimes had no qualms about enlisting religious forces for political ends. Their quest was for hegemony, or how to transfer autocracy from one generation to another. For them, power was part of the family silver.

Late in 2015 – two years after their first major success, that being the military coup in Egypt, the leaders of this alliance – crown princes and rulers of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan – met secretly on a yacht to plot their plans for the region. To summon the same cast of characters on a yacht in the Red Sea today, six years on, would, however, be more difficult. 

For one thing, the fixer of this secret summit is in prison. George Nader is serving ten years on child sex charges. For another, the participants today bear substantial grudges against each other.

Money like rice?

Relations between Saudi Arabia and Egypt have cooled fastest. The Saudis no longer have “money like rice” as the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi once bragged to his chief of staff Abbas Kamel. And any way King Salman is not as generous as his late brother Abdullah was, even if he had the money, which he doesn’t.

Sisi has no interest in following Mohammed bin Salman into the camp of pariah dictators

Sisi tried to get a new line of funding from Riyadh by giving it two uninhabited but strategically placed Red Sea islands, Tiran and Sanafir, to much protest at home. But the Saudis are no longer interested in such baubles like the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aqaba.  

Their eyes light up when contemplating cheaper and faster ways to the Mediterranean – through Israel. Egypt is not saying it, but it is getting increasingly irritated by plans to bypass the Suez Canal, which it enlarged to the tune of $8.2bn.

Whether it is reversing a once-secret desert pipeline that ran from Iran to Israel during the time of the Shah, or the development of ports and free zones in Israel, or Blue Raman, a new fibre optic cable for the Middle East, it’s all pointing in one direction for Cairo – a huge loss of money and regional influence. 

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (AFP)
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (AFP)

It is not as if there have not been past divergences between banker and client state. Egypt’s refusal to send troops to fight in Saudi Arabia’s disastrous war in Yemen was one. It has refused to be as hostile to Iran and its allies in Lebanon. But two new factors are persuading Egypt that its national interests are not always best served by its regional allies. 

The Biden factor

The first is the arrival of US President Joe Biden and his obvious antipathy to the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – even though he refuses to sanction him. Sisi has no interest in following bin Salman into the camp of pariah dictators. Rather, he has a strong motive to distance himself from that clan.For Trump’s Middle East allies, Joe Biden is a new nightmareRead More »

Bin Salman’s international reputation has been tarnished by the release of the US intelligence report into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. When it was released, Mohammed bin Salman expected that every member of his club, and even those that were not, like Qatar, to send a message of support. 

Most did. King Abdullah II of Jordan; Sudan’s prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, flew to Riyadh. Others like Bahrain and the UAE issued statements. The only country to fall silent was Egypt.

The second factor was the military defeat of the Libyan general Khalifa Haftar, when his forces were repulsed from Tripoli and retreated to Sirte. The Turkish intervention, and the effectiveness of its drones, came as a shock to Egypt, whose agenda in Libya was driven by the Emirates. Egypt, however, invested considerably in training, arming and supplying Haftar’s forces.

When both the UAE and Egypt discovered that they were on the losing side – and this was sometime before Haftar pushed Sisi to invade – some in the Egyptian media began to question publicly why Egypt was in this position. Libya is important to its neighbour, not least because of the millions of Egyptians who – in times of peace – work there. When Libya prospers, so does Egypt. Haftar’s defeat opened the way for direct talks with the government in Tripoli, and covert talks with Turkish intelligence chiefs. 

As a result, the candidates of the list which lost the election to the post of prime minister had been agreed beforehand by both Turkey and Egypt. When the Libyans rejected those candidates, it did not disturb the tacit understanding between Ankara and Cairo. Nor are things as close between Cairo and Abu Dhabi. The froideur started over a question of money. But it rapidly went much further over Abu Dhabi’s recognition of Israel

The second wave

The second wave of normalisation with Israel displaced the first. Both Egypt and Jordan lost influence as the gatekeepers of the Arab world to Israel, in the same degree to which the UAE gained it.

It’s no coincidence that two of the nations that attended that yacht summit are in the process of softening their hostility to Ankara

When Abu Dhabi announced it would invest $10bn in Israeli energy, manufacturing, water, space, healthcare and agri-tech, it was no coincidence that Jordan at first refused permission for Benjamin Netanyahu’s jet to use its airspace, and he had to cancel his trip to pick up the prize money in person. Netanyahu’s office said the dispute with Amman stemmed from Israel’s decision to cancel the Jordanian crown prince’s plans to visit the Al-Aqsa mosque the day before.  

Much of the legitimacy of the Hashemite dynasty rests on its role as custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem, a role that is now being overtly threatened by its Saudi cousin with Israel’s encouragement. Bin Salman is playing a zero-sum game. By advancing his own relationship with Israel, he is weakening the stability of Israel’s safest border. 

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attends the closing session of an African summit meeting (AFP)
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (AFP)

The yacht summit was convened to counter Turkey and Iran’s resistance to their schemes. So it’s also no coincidence that two of the nations that attended that summit are in the process of softening their hostility to Ankara.

Enters Turkey

Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia are being pushed into each other arms by a US president who is hostile to the Saudi crown prince and the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mohammed bin Salman was told by his advisers that if Biden won, he would have to open relations with Turkey. 

Where foreign relations are based on secret pacts between leaders each of whom have good reason to fear their own people, they are built on sand

Bin Salman is not convinced, and can’t overcome the feeling that Erdogan was out to get him for having ordered Khashoggi’s murder. But the relationship between his father, King Salman, and Erdogan was never ruptured and so halting attempts are being made.

Qatar has offered to mediate, which is ironic, because when the boycott of the Gulf peninsula states started, the Turks offered to mediate. Turkey maintains strong relations with Oman and Kuwait and both Ankara and Riyadh have an interest in showing Washington they are regional players.

But is more going on under the table? Recently the Houthis claimed to have shot down a drone that “had proven its worth in Azerbaijan”, an oblique reference to Turkey. It was a Turkish drone, but not one used in Azerbaijan. Last year the Saudi government signed a deal with a local company to supply armed drones after getting a technology transfer from a Turkish defence firm, Vestel Karayel. Six drones were delivered. 

Turkey denies there was anything official about this technology transfer. A Turkish source familiar with the defence industry said Vestel did not seek government authorisation to make such a tech transfer to Riyadh. Still, the incident raised eyebrows. Janes defence news said the Karayel has not been previously known to be in service with the Saudi military.

In any case the Saudi boycott of Turkish goods still continues.

Repairing ties with Egypt

Last week’s flurry of statements from the Turkish foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, chief counsellor to the president Ibrahim Kalin and the president himself about turning the page with Egypt have been downplayed by Cairo.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, confirming contacts with Cavusoglu, said that Turkey must “align with Egypt’s principles” before relations could return to normal. And the editor in chief of Egypt’s al Watan newspaper published ten conditions before relations could be restored.

This will have the same effect on Ankara as the 13 demands the blockading countries laid on Qatar.

The optimism in Ankara started when Egypt announced an oil and gas exploration bid in the Eastern Mediterranean which acknowledged the coordinates of the continental shelf declared by Ankara. The Greek foreign minister, Nikos Dendias, claims to have since “adjusted” those coordinates after a trip to Cairo.Turkey-Egypt relations: What’s behind their new diplomatic push?Read More »

Turkish intelligence chiefs have, however, met their Egyptian counterparts several times. Apart from Libya, Turkey is offering the Egyptians help in their dispute with Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. UAE is doing the opposite by offering help to the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmet. 

Mohammed Dahlan, the Abu Dhabi-based former Fatah security chief, visited Addis in an announced visit. What was not announced was that his boss Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed went with him, according to one informed source. Egypt is baulking at the Turkish charm offensive and there has been no breakthrough.

“Egypt wants Ankara to take at least a symbolic step on the presence of Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey,” an official told MEE. 

If that is what is needed, it will not materialise. The Muslim Brotherhood does not have a physical presence like a regional office in Turkey. So there is nothing to close down. To go against individual members of the large expatriate Egyptian community in Istanbul would mean extraditing individuals, which Turkey is not going to do. Nor is there any discernible Turkish pressure on the Egyptian opposition media in Istanbul. Cairo would particularly like Al Sharq television off air.

“The Turkish authorities have nothing to offer nor withdraw when it comes to Al Sharq Channel because we are not funded by Turkey or Qatar,” its owner Dr Ayman Nour, the Egyptian opposition politician, told MEE. “We have not sensed any change on the Turkish side with regard to Al Sharq.”

But the axis itself is weakening and the lessons for everyone in the region are clear. Where foreign relations are based on secret pacts between leaders, each of whom have good reason to fear their own people, they are built on sand. Where they are based on the strategic interests of their peoples, they are more durable. The more national interests are based on the interests of their peoples rather than the rulers, the greater the stability of the region

Thus far it has been warm embraces one day, and stabs in the back the next.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

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Saudi Crackdown: 521 Families Threatened With Displacement, Razing Houses in Qatif

Saudi Crackdown: 521 Families Threatened With Displacement, Razing Houses in Qatif

By Staff, Agencies

In the course of the ongoing crackdown against the kingdom’s Shia minority, the Saudi regime plans to displace hundreds of families in the Shia-majority eastern province of Qatif and raze their houses.

Nashet Qatifi, a renowned Saudi human rights activist, said in a post on his Twitter account that the Riyadh government had announced plans for the eviction of more than 521 families from Qatif within 90 days as well as the destruction of their houses in retaliation for their children’s participation in a 2011 anti-regime uprising.

Qatifi said the families had been offered a fee but did not intend to sell or move out of the area as the sum offered was not enough to buy a house.

Local sources in the Shia-majority region confirmed the Saudi plan and said the regime intended to displace hundreds of families from al-Thawra [Revolution] Street in the city center.

Reports said the goal of the Saudi regime was to erase any signs and memories of the demonstrations in 2011, especially al-Thawra Street, which had become a symbol of the revolution and protests in Qatif.

A similar incident took place in the al-Musawara neighborhood of Qatif in 2017, and many houses were destroyed by bulldozers. In November last year, Saudi officials also leveled to the ground a Shia Muslim mosque south of al-Awamia Town in Qatif.

Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-rich region.

The protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime, whose forces have ramped up measures across the province.

Ever since Mohammed bin Salman became Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader in 2017, the kingdom has ramped up arrests of activists, bloggers, intellectuals, and others perceived as political opponents, showing almost zero tolerance for dissent even in the face of international condemnations of the crackdown.

Muslim scholars have been executed, women’s rights campaigners have been put behind bars and tortured, and freedom of expression, association, and belief continue to be denied.

Hezbollah delegation holds ‘open, friendly’ talks with Russia FM in Moscow

By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor -March 17, 202103

Source

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets with Lebanon’s Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc head Mohamed Raad in Moscow on March 15, 2021. (AFP)

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and a visiting Lebanese lawmaker from the Hezbollah resistance movement and his accompanying delegation have held “open and friendly” talks.

Press TV: Lavrov met with Mohammad Raad, the president of the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc, Hezbollah’s political wing at Lebanon’s Parliament, in Moscow on Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said without giving details.

The visit by the four-member Hezbollah delegation to Russia comes at a time when Lebanon is mired in its worst economic crisis in decades as well as a political stalemate over the formation of a new government.

Speaking after the 40-minute meeting, Raad said the discussions were “open and friendly.”

“We discussed the latest developments in Lebanon and the region, as well as means to maintain stability and bolstering achievements secured in the field of counter-terrorism in both Syria and Lebanon,” al-Manar TV quoted the Lebanese MP as saying.

He added that “Russia’s support for friendly countries in the region, especially Lebanon” was also reviewed at the meeting.

Raad further stressed the importance of speeding up the formation of a new government in Lebanon “in a way that represents the people’s will,” noting that such a step is key to restoring stability and solving crises in the country.

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He had earlier told Russia’s Sputnik news agency that the relationship between Hezbollah and Moscow is built on “common interests and a single or very close view regarding the situation in the region and the need for its stability.”

Lavrov also met with Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri on the sidelines of his visit to the United Arab Emirates last week.

Hezbollah was established following the 1982 Israeli invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon. Since then, the popular resistance movement has grown into a powerful military force.

During the 2000 and 2006 Israeli wars on Lebanon, battleground contribution by Hezbollah proved an indispensable asset, forcing the Israeli military into a retreat and shattering the myth of the occupying entity’s invincibility.

Unlike the Western countries, Russia does not consider Hezbollah a terrorist organization.

“Some say Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. We maintain contacts and relations with them because we do not consider them a terrorist organization,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov was quoted by Interfax as saying on Sunday.

“They have never committed any terrorist acts on Russian territory. Hezbollah was elected by people to the Lebanese parliament. They are cabinet members and ministers who are from Hezbollah in Lebanon. It’s a legitimate socio-political force,” he added.

The Russian ambassador also referred to the tunnels under Lebanon’s border with the occupied territories, which Israel claims to have been dug by the Hezbollah resistance movement, saying there was “no proof Hezbollah created the tunnels.”

Protests continue in Lebanon as crisis lingers on

Prime Minister-designate Hariri has so far failed to form a cabinet to lift the country out of crisis.

Analysts say the main problem is the interference of Saudi Arabia, the United States and France in the country’s internal affairs and the adherence of some Lebanese groups to the Zionist-Takfiri axis. https://if-cdn.com/8DRizG9?v=1&app=1

On Monday, the local currency hit a new record low, with the dollar selling for 13,200 pounds, triggering fresh protests in Beirut and Tripoli.

The Lebanese protesters gathered at Beirut’s Martyrs Square on Monday night and torched tires.

The demonstrators in Tripoli set fire to trash bins and stormed into the electricity office while chanting slogans against corruption.

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A delegation of lawmakers from Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement arrived in Russia’s capital, Moscow, for talks.

Led by Mohammad Raad, the head of the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc – the political wing of Hezbollah – the delegation arrived in Moscow on Sunday on the invitation of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The three-day visit will include meetings at the foreign ministry and the Federation Council, the upper house of the parliament, and the State Duma, the lower house, Lebanon’s al-Manar TV station reported.

Raad told Sputnik that the three-day visit aims to exchange views on the latest developments in Lebanon and the region.

He noted that the relationship between Hezbollah and Moscow is built on “common interests and a single or very close view regarding the situation in the region and the need for its stability”.

Both Russia and Hezbollah back the Syrian government in its fight against foreign-backed Takfiri militants, who have been wreaking havoc in the country since March 2011.

The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding the Takfiri terrorist groups.

Syrian government forces have taken back many areas once controlled by the terrorist groups. The government and allied forces are currently fighting the last bastions of militants in the northwestern province of Idlib and areas in the neighboring Aleppo province.

Before his visit, Raad had said that the formation of a new government in Lebanon may also be discussed during the trip, “but in the context of our assessment of the situation in Lebanon and the necessity of its stability and the efforts to accelerate the formation of the government”.

Since the Lebanese government formally resigned after a massive explosion in Beirut port last August, domestic political divisions and pressure by some Western states, mainly France, have so far hindered the formation of a formal cabinet.

BIOGRAPHY

Gordon Duff, Senior Editor

Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. He is a disabled veteran and has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.

Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than “several” countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.

Gordon’s Archives – 2008-2014gpduf@aol.com

Bibi Avoided 1st Official Trip to UAE over Fears of Yemeni Missiles

Bibi Avoided 1st Official Trip to UAE over Fears of Yemeni Missiles

By Staff, Agencies

“Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he called off his first visit to the United Arab Emirates [UAE] through Saudi Arabian airspace at the last minute because he feared Yemeni missiles; the fourth time the visit was canceled.

In an interview with the “Israeli” entity’s Channel 13 on Saturday, Netanyahu said he canceled his first official visit to Gulf state of the UAE last week because there were “problems a week ago in the skies of Saudi Arabia”, referring to recent retaliatory missile attacks by the Yemeni forces against targets inside Saudi Arabia, the Associated Press reported on Sunday.

Netanyahu did not elaborate, nor did he say whether his plane was targeted by Yemeni forces.

Last week, neighboring Jordan temporarily closed its airspace to Netanyahu’s flight over a spat between Tel Aviv and Amman. Thus, the Israeli premier had no choice but to take a more southerly route across Saudi skies after bypassing Jordanian airspace, meaning that his plane could fall within the reach of the Yemeni missiles.

On Thursday, officials in Netanyahu’s office claimed that the premier had been forced to call off his visit to the UAE after Jordan delayed approving his flight path over the kingdom, implying that this was the only reason behind the cancellation.

Jordan and the “Israeli” entity share strong security ties, but political relations have soured recently over the “Israeli” regime’s policies toward the occupied al-Quds [Jerusalem].

Using domestically-developed missiles, the Yemeni forces have so far launched numerous retaliatory missile strikes against targets deep inside Saudi Arabia, including the facilities of Saudi Aramco Oil Company.

Yemeni ballistic missiles have become a nightmare for the Arab kingdom, which leads a devastating war, in cahoots with its allies, against impoverished Yemen since March 2015.

Last week, the Yemeni missiles and combat drones hit one of the world’s largest oil shipping ports and suspended air traffic toward the international airport in the Saudi port city of Jeddah.

Netanyahu had been scheduled to meet the UAE Prime Minister and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed in his first official visit to the Persian Gulf state since Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi forged diplomatic ties last year in a US-brokered deal amid strong opposition from all Palestinian factions.

Reports on Wednesday also suggested the “Israeli” prime minister would likely meet Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, and/or Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok during the trip as well.

Netanyahu, who is in hot water in Tel Aviv over his corruption cases, had hoped to use the audience with the Emirati crown prince to boost his reelection campaign days before the regime’s March 23 parliamentary elections.

HOUTHI DRONES ONCE AGAIN POUND TARGETS IN SOUTH OF SAUDI ARABIA

South Front

Houthi Drones Once Again Pound Targets In South Of Saudi Arabia
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On March 15, the Yemeni Houthis (formally known as Ansar Allah) launched another strike in its long series of attacks on military targets in Saudi Arabia.

A Houthi military spokesperson said that three explosive-laden drones hit King Khalid Air Base in the Khamis Mushait province and the International Abha Airport targeted.

“The strike was accurate,” Yahya Sarei said adding that the attack came in response to Saudi Arabia’s continued blockade and attacks on Yemen.

The Saudi-led coalition confirmed the attack claiming that it had destroyed a booby-trapped drone fired by the Houthis towards Khamis Mushait, according to the Saudi SPA News Agency.

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The Yemeni Houthis released a video showing their recent raid on positions of Saudi-backed forces in the area Rashah Al-Gharbia in Najran province.

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بعد أستانة وسوتشي.. لماذا الدوحة؟

حسني محلي

حسني محلي

المصدر: الميادين نت

13 آذار 19:27

السؤال يتمحور حول السبب الذي دفع موسكو إلى أن تسلك هذا الطريق وتتفق مع الدوحة وأنقرة على آلية جديدة قد تتناقض مستقبلاً مع مساري أستانة وسوتشي، فيما تستبعد الآلية الجديدة طهران، اللاعب الأهم في سوريا.

التقى سيرغي لافروف في الدوحة نظيريه القطري محمد عبدالرحمن آل ثاني، والتركي مولود جاويش أوغلو.
التقى سيرغي لافروف في الدوحة نظيريه القطري محمد عبدالرحمن آل ثاني، والتركي مولود جاويش أوغلو.

بعد أربع سنوات من مباحثات أستانة التي انطلقت في كانون الثاني/يناير 2017 وبعد مضي ثلاثين شهراً على اتفاق سوتشي في أيلول/سبتمبر وجدت موسكو نفسها مضطرة للبحث عن آلية جديدة تساعدها على معالجة ما فشلت في تحقيقه خلال السنوات الماضية. 

خلال جولة وزير الخارجية الروسي الخليجية الأخيرة، والتي شملت أبو ظبي والرياض اللتين أطلقتا تصريحات “إيجابية” حول سوريا، التقى سيرغي لافروف في الدوحة نظيريه القطري محمد عبدالرحمن آل ثاني، والتركي مولود جاويش أوغلو. الوزيران أكدا في مؤتمر صحافي مشترك “على ضرورة الحل السياسي في سوريا”، الأمر الذي سمعناه من كل الأطراف أكثر من مرة خلال السنوات العشر الماضية من تاريخ هذه الأزمة، وكانت قطر وتركيا لاعبان أساسيان فيها. هذا ما اعترف به رئيس الوزراء القطري السابق حمد بن جاسم في 27 تشرين الأول/أكتوبر عام 2017 عندما تحدث إلى التلفزيون القطري قائلاً إن الدوحة “أمسكت بملف الأزمة السورية بتفويض رسمي من السعودية وإن الدعم العسكري الذي قدمته بلاده للجماعات المسلحة كان يذهب إلى تركيا بالتنسيق مع الولايات المتحدة وإن كل شيء أُرسل إلى سوريا كان يتم توزيعه عن طريق القوات الأميركية إضافة إلى الأتراك والسعوديين”.

كما كان حمد بن جاسم اللاعب الأساسي في القرار الذي اتخذته الجامعة العربية في 12 تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر عام 2011 والمتعلق بتعليق عضوية سوريا في الجامعة، وحضر الاجتماع آنذاك وزير الخارجية التركي أحمد دَاوُد أوغلو.

الوزير القطري عبدالرحمن آل ثاني لم ينس الخميس الماضي التذكير بهذا الموضوع حينما قال “إن أسباب تعليق عضوية سوريا في الجامعة العربية ما زالت قائمة”، في إشارة منه إلى استمرار التنسيق والتعاون مع تركيا في سوريا كما كان عليه الأمر منذ البداية. وكان الأمير القطري حمد آل ثاني الزعيم العربي الوحيد الذي شارك في حفل إعلان دمشق عاصمة الثقافة العربية في 19 كانون الثاني/يناير 2008 وجلس إلى جانبه الرئيس التركي آنذاك عبدالله غول، الزعيم الأوروبي الوحيد الذي حضر الحفل متجاهلاً تهديدات الرئيس الأميركي السابق جورج بوش.

بعد استلام حزب العدالة والتنمية السلطة في تركيا نهاية 2002، انتهجت تركيا وقطر منذ بداية العلاقات التركية مع دمشق نهجاً مشتركاً، بل واحداً، في ما يتعلق بكل الأمور الخاصة بسوريا قبل الأزمة السورية وبعدها، ولولا هاتان الدولتان لما وصلت الأزمة السورية إلى ما وصلت إليه الآن بكل تعقيداتها. 

يفسر ذلك القمة الرباعية التي شارك فيها رجب طيب إردوغان وأمير قطر حمد آل ثاني والرئيس الفرنسي السابق نيكولا ساركوزي في دمشق مع الرئيس بشار الأسد في أيلول/سبتمبر 2009، حيث اقترحت الدول الثلاث على الرئيس الأسد نقل الغاز القطري والخليجي إلى تركيا عبر الأراضي السورية لكسر الاحتكار الروسي والإيراني، وهو ما رفضه الأسد آنذاك. واعتبر البعض هذا الرفض من أهم الأسباب التي كانت وراء الحماس التركي- القطري- الفرنسي في الأزمة السورية منذ بدايتها. 

ولم يمنع انقلاب عبدالفتاح السيسي في تموز/يونيو 2013 ضد جماعة الإخوان المسلمين في مصر الرئيس إردوغان وحليفه القطري الشاب الأمير تميم (استلم السلطة قبل انقلاب السيسي بأسبوع واحد فقط!) من الاستمرار في سياساتهما المعروفة في سوريا وتقديم الدعم المطلق والشامل لكل الفصائل الإسلامية، وهو ما اعترف به حمد بن جاسم. 

ويفسر ذلك أيضاً الدور الذي لعبته قطر مع تركيا خلال القمة العربية التي انعقدت في الدوحة في 27 آذار/مارس 2013 حيث جلس أحمد معاذ الخطيب الرئيس المستقيل لما يسمى بـ”الائتلاف السوري لقوى الثورة والمعارضة السورية” في المقعد المخصص للرئيس الأسد. 

وسبق ذلك، الدور الذي لعبته قطر وتركيا معاً خلال اجتماع الدوحة بتاريخ 11 تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر 2012، في إقناع الفصائل المسلحة وأطرافها السياسية لتوحيد صفوفها في كيان جديد سمي بـ”الائتلاف الوطني لقوى الثورة والمعارضة السورية” وترأسه أحمد معاذ الخطيب المقرب من إردوغان. كما لعبت أنقرة والدوحة دوراً أساسياً في إقناع خالد مشعل بإغلاق مكاتب ومخيمات حماس في سوريا والقتال ضد الدولة السورية التي لولاها لما كانت حماس موجودة أساساً.  

هذا عن ذكريات الماضي التي على ما يبدو لم تنساها أنقرة والدوحة، وهو ما أكد عليه الوزيران جاويش أوغلو وآل ثاني عندما تحدثا عن استمرار موقفهما المعروف في ما يتعلق بالوضع الراهن للأزمة السورية وآفاق الحل المحتمل لهده الأزمة، وهما السبب في تأخر هذا الحل. هذا ما أكدت عليه موسكو أكثر من مرة وعلى لسان الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين ووزير خارجيته وكلاهما فشل في إقناع إردوغان بضرورة وقف الدعم للفصائل السورية المختلفة بما فيها جبهة النصرة في إدلب. 

وقد رفض إردوغان، وما زال يرفض، أي تدخل سوري وروسي في إدلب على الرغم من تعهداته للرئيس بوتين في اتفاق سوتشي وبعد ذلك في اتفاق موسكو بتاريخ 5 آذار/مارس العام الماضي بالتخلص من جبهة النصرة. وكان هذا الرفض التركي المدعوم من الدوحة سبباً كافياً لتأزم الوضع في الشمال السوري، غرب الفرات وشرقه، وهو ما دفع أنقرة إلى إرسال ما لا يقل عن 10 آلاف مقاتل من قواتها إلى الشمال السوري بكامل معداتهم القتالية براً وجواً. ترافق ذلك مع استمرار تمويل أنقرة ودعمها مع الدوحة لما يسمى بـ”الجيش الوطني السوري” المعارض الذي يقاتل ضد الدولة السورية، رغم تأكيد لقاء الدوحة الأخير “على سيادتها المطلقة على كامل ترابها”. 

ويعرف الجميع بِما فيهم الرئيس بوتين أن هذا التأكيد كان وسيبقى حبراً على ورق مع استمرار الموقف التركي والقطري الذي كان مبرراً للوجود العسكري الأميركي في شرق الفرات. وهذا الوجود يمثل الخطر الأكبر الذي يهدد استقلال وسيادة ووحدة سوريا أرضاً وشعباً ودولة، ومن دون أن تفكر أنقرة في تحقيق أي خطوة عملية من أجل مواجهة هذا الخطر الذي يهددها ربما أكثر من سوريا، باعتبار أن وحدات حماية الشعب الكردية السورية تشكل امتداداً لحزب العمال الكردستاني التركي.

أما عن الواقع الحالي فالسؤال يتمحور حول السبب الذي دفع موسكو إلى أن تسلك هذا الطريق وتتفق مع الدوحة وأنقرة على آلية جديدة قد تتناقض مستقبلاً مع مساري أستانة وسوتشي، فيما تستبعد الآلية الجديدة  طهران (اللاعب الأهم في سوريا) على الرغم من تضامنها مع الدوحة خلال أزمتها مع دول الخليج في حزيران/يوليو 2017.

والسؤال الآخر هو: لماذا تجاهلت موسكو إيران؟ حتى لو كان ذلك بناء على طلب من تركيا وقطر وهي تعرف جيداً أن هاتين الدولتين لا ولن تساهما في الحل النهائي للأزمة السورية إلا وفق حسابات إردوغان العقائدية، حتى لو تخلى عن ورقة الإخوان المسلمين تكتيكياً خلال مصالحته مع عدوه اللدود الرئيس عبدالفتاح السيسي. ويبدو أن الأخير ليس متحمساً حتى الآن لمثل هذه المصالحة التي قال عنها بيان الخارجية المصرية إنها “يجب أن تراعي الأطر القانونية والدبلوماسية التي تحكم العلاقات بين الدول على أساس احترام مبدأ السيادة ومقتضيات الأمن القومي العربي، كما على أنقرة أن تلتزم بقواعد القانون الدولي ومبادئ حسن الجوار وأن تكف عن محاولات التدخل في الشؤون الداخلية لدول المنطقة”.

والسؤال الثالث: ماذا ستفعل الرياض وأبو ظبي حيال هذا التحرك التركي- القطري التقليدي مع استمرار التواجد العسكري التركي  في قطر جنباً إلى جنب مع القواعد الأميركية الاستراتيجية؟ يبقى السؤال مطروحاً حتى بعد المصالحة السعودية- القطرية- الإماراتية “والتضامن” التركي مع الرياض ضد جماعة “أنصار الله” الحوثية.

وأياً كانت حسابات إردوغان، وشريكه الصغير الأمير تميم، عربياً وإقليمياً ودولياً، يبدو واضحاً أن هذه الحسابات وفق المعطيات السابقة قد تكون لمواجهة “الدور الإيراني المحتمل في المنطقة” بعد الاتفاق النووي مع واشنطن والعواصم الغربية.

وليس واضحاً إن كانت موسكو التي سمحت للجيش التركي بدخول سوريا في آب/أغسطس 2016 ستواجه مثل هذا الاحتمال إن وجد وكيف؟ وهل هي مستعدة لإغلاق ملفي أستانة وسوتشي على حساب إيران وسوريا؟ أم أن كل ما نراه الآن لا يندرج إلا في إطار التحرك الروسي المصلحي لمواجهة الحملة أو الحملات الأميركية المتوقعة في المنطقة؟ هذا إذا تجاهلنا احتمالات التنسيق الروسي- الأميركي في كل هذه السيناريوهات. 

ويعرف الجميع أن الرئيس إردوغان ما زال ينتظر مكالمة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن من دون أن يفكر بالمبادرة إلى أي خطوة عملية على طريق المصالحة مع الرئيس الأسد، على غرار ما سيفعله مع الرئيس السيسي، ليطوي بذلك راية الخلافة التي عاد بها السلطان سليم من القاهرة في 11 كانون الثاني/يناير 1517. كما سيجد نفسه مضطراً إلى نسيان كل ما قاله خلال الفترة الماضية بحق العاهل السعودي ونجله ولي العهد ورئيس الإمارات، بل وحتى رئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي بنيامين نتنياهو. 

فالمصالحة مع الأسد ستعني بالنسبة لإردوغان العودة إلى ما قبل عام 2011 والقبول بالهزيمة وطي صفحة الخلافة والسلطنة العثمانية إقليمياً ودولياً، وهو ما يعني التخلي عن النهج العقائدي الإخواني المدعوم من دون أي مبرر منطقي من “الدولة الصغيرة” قطر.

خلاصة الكلام أن مصالحة إردوغان مع كل هذه الأطراف سيحتاج إلى أكثر من معجزة لأن ذلك سيعني أن يعود إردوغان “ديمقراطياً وعلمانياً” ويتخلى عن كل المكاسب الشخصية التي حققها بعد أن سيطر على جميع مؤسسات ومرافق وأجهزة الدولة التركية، ليساعده ذلك في تحقيق هدفه الأكبر وهو أسلمة الدولة والأمة التركيين مع ضمان حكمه إلى الأبد.

ويرى الكثيرون ممن يعرفون شخصية إردوغان أن مثل هذا الاحتمال من المستحيلات السبعة، هذا بالطبع إن لم يكن كل ما رأيناه كابوساً دفع ثمنه الشعب السوري غالياً بدمائه ودمار بلاده إشباعاً لغرائز الآخرين من الإخوة والأشقاء والأصدقاء، والرئيس بوتين يعرفهم جميعاً أكثر من الآخرين!

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Congress May Have to Act to Punish Saudi Arabia

Congress May Have to Act to Punish Saudi Arabia

By David M. Wight, Washington Post

While President Biden enjoyed widespread praise for releasing an intelligence report concluding that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, he also received criticism for not sanctioning Mohammed. On March 1, Rep. Tom Malinowski [D-N.J.] introduced a bill denying the prince entry into the United States and conditioning any future US arms sales to Saudi Arabia upon the White House certifying that the kingdom was no longer intimidating its critics in the United States.

That fits with a recent trend: Both Biden and members of Congress have vocally supported curbing arms sales to Saudi Arabia, in part because of the killing of Khashoggi. Their willingness to follow through, however, will face the same challenges that confronted, and ultimately torpedoed, President Jimmy Carter’s resolve to reduce arms sales to the Saudis. In fact, several key developments in US-Saudi relations transformed Carter and members of Congress from advocates of arms-sales restrictions to promoters of expanding sales.

From the 1940s through the 1960s, the United States, Saudi Arabia’s primary arms provider, limited the size and scope of the weapons it sold to the Saudis so as to conserve its limited budget and restrain potential arms races in the Middle East.

During the 1970s, however, oil prices skyrocketed, and Saudi Arabia, at that point the largest oil exporter in the world, enjoyed a windfall. Suddenly, the kingdom had unparalleled influence over the global oil market and enormous revenue with which to buy imports, including weapons. Conversely, the United States experienced rapidly rising energy import costs and fuel shortages. These problems compounded when Saudi Arabia led an Arab oil embargo against the United States in retaliation for its massive arms resupply to “Israel” during the 1973 Arab-“Israeli” War.

The administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford worked strenuously to repair Washington’s tattered alliance with the Saudi monarchy and obtain its help in restraining oil prices, in large part by offering the sale of advanced US weapons. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger offered Saudi King Faisal the US government’s “cooperation in the military field … to strengthen our friendship on a long-term basis.” Faisal and his successors responded positively, ending the Arab oil embargo in 1974 and subduing demands within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries for even higher oil prices. In exchange, US arms and military construction sales to Saudi Arabia soared from $300 million in 1972 to $7.1 billion in 1976.

Yet this provoked increasing opposition within the United States, including in Congress. An array of factors drove this opposition, including a desire to protect “Israel’s” military superiority, to curb costly arms races, to reduce the potential for war and to prevent powerful weapons technology from falling into hostile hands through theft or a coup. Accordingly, in 1974, Congress passed a law empowering itself to veto major arms sales approved by the president. In 1976, a bipartisan coalition used that new tool to compel Ford to reduce missile sales to Saudi Arabia.

That year, Carter, as a presidential candidate, declared that the rise in US arms sales to the Arab world constituted “a deviation from idealism … from a commitment to [‘Israel’]” and “a yielding to economic pressure … on the oil issue.” Once president, while seeking to preserve Saudi-US cooperation, Carter worked to steadily reduce weapons and military construction sales to Saudi Arabia. In 1977, during his first year in office, they dropped by more than two-thirds.

But Saudi leaders relentlessly pressed for more US weapons, saying they needed to defend themselves against Soviet-armed countries such as Iraq and what was then South Yemen. They especially desired to purchase advanced F-15 jet fighters. Saudi Crown Prince Fahd, for example, told the US ambassador that “the F-15 issue was a basic, crucial test of our relationship” and threatened to obtain comparable weapons from France, Britain or even the Soviet Union, countries that had ignored Carter’s entreaties for shared restraint in global arms transfers.

To preserve the Saudi-US relationship and obtain Saudi cooperation on oil and the Arab-“Israeli” ‘peace’ process, Carter shifted course and agreed to the F-15 sales in 1978. Activists and members of Congress mobilized to block the deal, however, including a young Sen. Joe Biden. Carter, along with Saudi-hired PR firms and corporations doing business in the kingdom, spent significant political and monetary capital in making the case to the American public and Congress that the sale served US interests. In a concession to Congress, Carter provided written assurance that the Saudis would not be given certain missile capabilities for their F-15s. Even then, Carter barely won — the House voted to block the sale, and the Senate fell short of a veto only by six votes after an acrimonious debate.

Two events the following year shook Saudi and US leaders. The 1979 Iranian revolution ousted the US-aligned Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and replaced him with the hostile Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Iran’s massive stockpile of US-made weapons now threatened Saudi Arabia. The Soviet Union subsequently invaded Afghanistan, further inflaming the fears of Saudi royals that the Soviets aimed to encircle and conquer them. These two events generated new urgent pleas from Saudi Arabia for additional US arms.

For Carter and many members of Congress, these events made the Saudi kingdom appear even more vital to US interests. In response, they approved $10.2 billion in arms and military construction sales to Saudi Arabia to reassure its leaders of Washington’s commitment to their security. This decision ended presidential efforts to meaningfully restrain Saudi arms purchases for four decades — until now-President Biden entered office.

In the first weeks of his presidency, Biden declared an end to US support for the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen, where the use of US weapons has inflamed anti-American sentiment and exacerbated a conflict that has killed more than 200,000 Yemenis. He likewise ordered a halt and review of last-minute arms agreements for Saudi Arabia authorized by predecessor Donald Trump. This has raised the hopes of some activists and politicians that Biden might continue to restrict arms to Saudi Arabia so long as its rulers endanger US interests and human rights. But the experience of the Carter administration cautions against assuming this is inevitable, as does Biden’s refusal to sanction Mohammed.

Some of today’s circumstances are quite different from those of the 1970s. Saudi Arabia’s influence over US oil supplies and prices is significantly less now than it was during the Carter years, lessening the pressure on Washington to satisfy arms requests. Conversely, however, the contemporary alliance between “Israel” and Saudi Arabia against Iran means pro-“Israel” lobbyists, a major force against arms sales to Saudi Arabia in the 1970s, now present, at most, a diminished hurdle.

But the basic bargain established by Nixon and Faisal, and ultimately retained by Carter, remains on the table: The United States sells arms to Saudi Arabia in exchange for Saudi cooperation on issues prioritized by Washington. Whether this arrangement persists depends on the calculations of leaders in both countries.

Saudi Arabia will continue to argue that the threat from Iran necessitates increased weapons imports and threaten to acquire arms elsewhere if US offers are not forthcoming. That would be costly for the Saudis, because their armed forces are heavily reliant on US weapons technology and training, and it would inevitably weaken the Saudi-US relationship. Yet Saudi leaders may reluctantly attempt such an undertaking if they determine Washington has abandoned the alliance or attached too many strings to it.

The Biden administration seeks to maintain the Saudi-US partnership but expects greater Saudi cooperation on human rights and US strategic concerns in exchange for more US weapons. How demanding Biden will be on these points remains to be seen. But just as for Carter, the more Biden believes vital US interests in the Middle East are threatened by Iran or another power, the more likely he is to abandon other objectives and turn to arms sales to secure the Saudi-US alliance.

Congress could prove to be a wild card: It will weigh the same issues as the White House, but historically it has shown more appetite for restricting arms sales to Saudi Arabia. This raises the possibility that it could step in if the administration proves too acquiescent.

Ansarullah Ballistic Missiles Saudi Arabia’s Nightmare

Source

Ansarullah Ballistic Missiles Saudi Arabia’s Nightmare

Member of the Political Bureau of the Yemeni Ansarullah revolutionary movement, Ali al-Qahoum, said that the capabilities of the military Armed Forces are amplified by our own ability.

In comments to al-Mayadeen network, al-Qahhoum asserted that after 6 years of aggression against Yemen, “the Al Saud plan failed due to the steadfastness of the Yemeni people.”

He also stressed that the armed forces have proven “they have multiple options on the field and can reach strategic ranges,” noting that “Yemeni ballistic missiles have become a nightmare for the enemies.”

Al-Qahhoum went on to say that the Saudi regime “will not be able to break the will of the Yemeni people, and Yemen now has many options and surprises.”

“If Saudi Arabia continues its aggression and tyranny, our blood is not cheap, and our response will be of equal force.”

It is noteworthy that the Yemeni Armed Forces have targeted, during the past few days, military and oil sites in the Saudi depth, the most recent of which was the targeting of Abha International Airport and the port of “Ras Tanura

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A Houthi Spring Of Unseen Activity

South Front

March 2021 began with a mix indiscriminate air strikes by Saudi Arabia, of incredible Houthi activity, and calls for them to halt their attacks, which testifies to their efficacy.

This new round of hostilities is a kind of common occurrence in the Middle East, as the standoff between Iran and the U.S. and its allies appears to be ramping up.

Starting from March 2nd, Ansar Allah, or as they are more colloquially known – the Houthis have been launching steadily increasing waves of suicides drones and missiles on various locations in eastern and southern Saudi Arabia.

It all began with a single Qasef 2K drone being used to target the Abha Airport. On the very next day, to claim that no damage had been done, Riyadh released a video showing that the drone had been intercepted.

There was a short lull in activity, with the intensity of attacks increasing again on March 5th. Several attacks happened all in the same day. Initially, the Houthis targeted the Abha Airport and the King Khalid Airbase with 3 Sammad-3 drones and a Qasef 2k drone. Then, again, Ansar Allah targeted the King Khalid Airbase with 5 Qasef 2k drones.

On the next day the attacks continued, with the Houthis targeting the King Khalid Airbase with a Sammad-3 drone.

On March 7th, the Houthis went even further and targeted the Jeddah Airport with several drones.

Later on the same day, Houthi spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Sari said that a total of 14 suicide drones and six missiles were used in the operation codenamed “Deterrent Balance 6.”

Ten Samad-3 suicide drones and a Zulfiqar ballistic missile were launched at one of Saudi Arabia’s major oil ports, Ras Tanura, on the Persian Gulf.

The Houthis also launched 4 Qasef-2K suicide drones and six Badir artillery rockets at targets in the southern Saudi provinces of ‘Asir and Jizan.

The Saudi-led coalition announced the interception of only two missiles, meaning that the Houthis could consider the operation as a success.

This level of activity from the Houthis has been unseen in recent months, and the group appears to be making progress. In response, Saudi Arabia also began carrying out airstrikes with an intensity that has been absent for a while.

Saudi-led coalition warplanes carried out a series of powerful airstrikes on the Yemeni capital, of Sanaa, and other areas held by the Houthis. Despite the attempt at a Saudi counter-offensive, the Houthis seem undeterred and the attacks are ramping up.

Riyadh, a typical US ally, and an enemy of the Iran-led Axis of Resistance is struggling in the fight, and Houthi raids are likely to increase in the upcoming days and weeks.

Yemeni Resistance Publishes Aerial Images Showing Damage in Saudi King Khalid Airbase

Yemeni Resistance Publishes Aerial Images Showing Damage in Saudi King Khalid Airbase

By Staff

Aerial images published on Tuesday showed the extent of damage inflicted to one important Saudi military King Khalid Airbase in Khamis Mushait after being targeted by the Yemeni resistance in the past days.

The before and after images displayed the massive destruction in the site that was almost completely damaged and razed.

According to observers, the images revealed the preciseness and power of the Yemeni Forces’ monitoring of their targets, not to mention the coalition of aggression’s false claims that the Yemeni forces are targeting residential neighborhoods.

The Yemeni resistance has stepped up its retaliatory operations against Saudi Arabia as the Saudi-led war on Yemen enters its sixth year this month.

The Yemeni Armed Forces vow in every statement to keep up progress in their military actions as long as the Saudi bombing and siege against their nation continue.

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Blinken Talks the Talk, but Will He Walk the Walk?

During his 24 years as a senior foreign correspondent for The Washington Times and United Press International, Martin Sieff reported from more than 70 nations and covered 12 wars. He has specialized in US and global economic issues.

Martin Sieff

March 8, 2021

Biden has so far made no move whatsoever to rein in the continued bold and potentially very dangerous US military exercises with allies right up to the very borders of Russia.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s March 3 speech at the US State Department should be warmly welcomed around the world, especially in Caracas and Tehran: It does indeed mark a highly significant shift in US foreign policy and deserves to be taken at face value: But it does not address fundamental policy conflicts with Russia and China that Biden inherited from his predecessors – and not just Donald Trump. And it is these far bigger, unaddressed issues that may very well yet propel the world into a nightmarish thermonuclear war.

Blinken in his speech made an acknowledgement that his predecessors Mike Pompeo, Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton would never have been capable of – and that John Kerry was never allowed to admit.

Blinken openly admitted that there had been US efforts to topple governments by force that Washington was critical of. He further openly acknowledged that some of those efforts had failed and that they had badly discredited the cause of democracy and the United States itself around the world.

“We will incentivize democratic behavior, but we will not promote democracy through costly military interventions or by attempting to overthrow authoritarian regimes by force. We tried these tactics in the past. …they haven’t worked. They have given democracy promotion a bad name and they have lost the confidence of the American people. We will do things differently,” Blinken said.

There is every reason to believe that Blinken was sincere in his commitment to forswear efforts at regime change in both Iran and Venezuela.

First, the very day before his important speech, Blinken held a telephone conversation with Venezuelan opposition politician Juan Guaido, whom Trump, Pompeo and then National Security Adviser John Bolton farcically tried to promote as the legitimate president of Venezuela. US allies around the world, especially in Europe and Latin America have been humiliatingly led by the nose to publicly support this absurd contention, akin to incredibility to claiming that Venezuela’s great Angel Falls flow up not down, or that the World is Flat.

No details of what Blinken discussed with Guaido have yet emerged at this time of writing but it is very clear what the secretary of state’s message was: Like so many previous corrupt and vanity-filled dupes eager to grab the coattails of America’s imagined New Rome global imperium, Guaido was told he was going to be thrown under the bus.

This move is clearly demanded by US pragmatic interests. If there is one lesson that Wall Street and its US government servants have followed for the past 150 years since the rise of John D. Rockefeller and J. P Morgan: It is to back Winners and throw Hopeless Losers to the wolves.

Guaido certainly counts as a Hopeless Loser: He has gained no discernible political, popular or military support within Venezuela, despite the continuing suffering caused by the ongoing US economic war launched against Caracas by President Joe Biden’s old boss and close friend Barack Obama in 2014 and then enthusiastically intensified by Trump and Pompeo.

Does that mean the economic war against Venezuela will end? Certainly not. Blinken himself, like his master, President Biden supported it 100 percent during the Obama administration. And the new administration, already the source of Republican wrath for its domestic economic and social policies, will not casually open up a new front where it can be attacked as wimps.

Like brutalized children, liberal Democrats have been terrified of such accusations ever since Senator Joe McCarthy accused them of “losing China ” (China was never theirs to lose) and being soft on communism back in 1950.

Also, ending the economic war on Venezuela would require decisive and original action and Blinken, like Biden and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, has owed his long, slow, steady rise precisely to following the golden rule of liberal Democrats since the days of party presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson in the 1950s: Never take a strong, sustained position on anything , good or bad. Even when you see a policy is leading you off the edge of a cliff, just slow it down a bit and still tumble over the cliff to your political doom. Never dare to actually stop, or reverse any disastrous course of action.

These simple principles determined the endless foreign policy fiascos of Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama and even to some degree Bill Clinton.

Clinton was led by the nose, though reluctantly, to bomb Serbia and risk needless confrontation with Russia by his secretary of state Madeleine Albright and her lifelong mentor, Russia-phobic former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Blinken’s foreswearing of any effort at direct regime change therefore appears to be part of a policy that while initially appearing moderate will never lead to anything truly constructive.

Blinken, like Biden and Sullivan, wants to restore US participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran for no better reason than that they all supported it and helped negotiate it in the first place for Obama.

However, the new administration has already made clear it does not dare risk driving Saudi Arabia into China or Russia’s arms. Blinken’s speech may indeed lead to the return of US participation in the JCPOA, something America ‘s European allies and the Iranians would both welcome. But it looks unlikely so far to lead to anything else.

Also, so far, Biden has so far made no move whatsoever to rein in the continued bold and potentially very dangerous US military exercises with allies right up to the very borders of Russia. Yet if these moves had been carried out by the Russian Air Force and Navy off the shores or close to the territories of the United States, they would provoke complete outrage.

Similarly, the US armed forces are plunging ahead, secure in both administration and bipartisan congressional support, to step up military deployments in the Western Pacific openly proclaimed as containing China within the two Island Chains of the great ocean.

Blinken’s speech should indeed be welcomed as a positive first step towards reducing global tensions: But it is far too early to celebrate whether he will continue to walk the walk even while he talks the talk.

اختبار القوة الحاسم يمنيّ

ناصر قنديل

يترافق إعلان النيات الأميركي بالخروج من سياسات المراحل السابقة لعقدين ماضيين، التي توزعت بين الحروب المباشرة في عهد الرئيس السابق جورج بوش، والحروب بالوكالة في عهد الرئيس الأسبق باراك أوباما، والعقوبات القاتلة في عهد الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب، مع محاولات تلمّس خريطة طريق لاستراتيجية بديلة تسعى لصناعة تفاهمات دولية إقليمية بأقل قدر ممكن من التنازلات التي تمسّ بهيبة ومكانة واشنطن العالمية، وتأمين ما يلزم لاستراتيجيتها القائمة على أولويّة المواجهة مع الصين وروسيا، من بوابة ما وصفه الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن باستبدال مثال القوة بقوة المثال، بعناوين حقوق الإنسان وحماية البيئة ومكافحة الفساد، لأن واشنطن تدرك أن التخفف من أعباء المراحل السابقة بتسويات سيُبنى على موازين قوى أظهرتها مراحل المواجهة، كما تدرك أن الترسمل لمرحلة قوة المثال تستدعي تقليم أظافر وتحجيم حلفاء رئيسيين يترتب على إضعافهم تراجع النفوذ الأميركي لحساب الخصوم الإقليميين، ولذلك تختبر واشنطن بالتتابع سقوف التفاهمات التي تحاول تحقيقها، وكلما اكتشفت فشل تسويق سقف مرتفع تستبدله بسقف أدنى، وهي محكومة بالخشية من دفع أثمان يصعب ترميم التوازنات ما بعدها، أو الفشل بصناعة التفاهمات بسبب الأثمان المكلفة لها، أو تزعزع كيانات حليفة وتراجعها بسبب الترسمل على حسابها للمهمة المقبلة، أو ضياع فرص الترسمل بسبب الحرص على حماية هذه الكيانات وأدوارها الحليفة.

في الملف النووي الإيراني يتحكّم عامل الوقت الداهم على القرار الأميركي الذي لم يُخفِ الخشية من أن ينجم عن طول أمد التفاوض قبل العودة إلى الاتفاق النوويّ، نجاح إيران ببلوغ العتبة الخطرة، أي عتبة امتلاك إيران مقدرات كافية لإنتاج سلاح نووي. وهذا ما يشكل أولويّة أميركيّة عالميّة تختلف عن الأولويات الإقليمية المتمثلة بملفات تفرضها ساحات الاشتباك وتعقيداتها، حيث لا خارطة طريق أميركية واضحة بعد لكيفية التعامل معها، وفيما يبدو أن سورية تمثل أعقد الملفات، لتداخلها مع الأجوبة الصعبة على الأسئلة الصعبة، من نوع كيف سيكون أي تصوّر لسورية واقعياً من دون أن يضع في الاعتبار أن ميزان القوى لم يعد يسمح بفرض شروط على الدولة السورية التي تجاوزت مرحلة الخطر، وحيث روسيا وإيران وقوى المقاومة شركاء في الإنجاز، وكيف سيكون تأثير اي تصور واقعي على مستقبل أوزان وأحجام روسيا وإيران والمقاومة، التي لا يريد لها الأميركي أن تتعزّز، وكيف سيكون تأثير أيّ تصور واقعيّ لسورية على كل من «إسرائيل» وتركيا، ولكل منهما ملف خاص وحساس في رؤية الأمن والدور ضمن أي استراتيجية أميركية للمنطقة؟

يبدو أن الملف اليمني هو الملف المتقدم والأشد قدرة على رسم توازنات يمكن التأسيس عليها لملفات أخرى في الرؤية الأميركية، وفقاً للاختيار الأميركي الذي بدأ مقاربة أوضاع المنطقة بمقاربة الملف اليمني من زوايا عدة، واحد يتصل بإعلان واضح بالدعوة لوقف الحرب وتوصيفها ككارثة إنسانية يجب ان تتوقف وتحميل السعودية والإمارات مسؤولية استمرارها، وترجمة ذلك بإعلان وقف صفقات السلاح الأميركي إلى حكومتي البلدين، وثانٍ يتصل بالتقرب من أنصار الله عبر إلغاء تصنيفهم على لوائح الإرهاب، وثالث بإرسال وفد أميركي إلى عُمان لحوار أنصار الله. وهذه المقاربات الأميركية رغم وضوحها تبدو اختبارات تجريبية لما يمكن أن ترسو عليه التوازنات التي ستكون ذات تأثير موضوعي ومعنوي على سائر ساحات الاشتباكات، بحيث يبدو حجم المسافة الأميركية من الحليف السعودي مؤشراً يراقبه سائر الحلفاء في تل أبيب وأنقرة، وصولاً إلى منظمة قسد، ومشروع الدويلة الكردية شمال شرق سورية. وبالمقابل يمثل حدود ما يمكن قبوله في العلاقة مع أنصار الله مؤشراً يمكن القياس عليه لما سيكون ممكناً قبوله من خصوم واشنطن في ساحات أخرى كسورية ولبنان وسواهما، والفشل في التوصل لتفاهمات تنهي الحرب في اليمن كما النجاح مؤشرات لمستقبل المقاربة الأميركية في سائر الساحات.

يشهد الملف اليمني سخونة غير مسبوقة، واستثمار الحد الأقصى لأوراق القوة من الطرفين السعودي واليمني. والأكيد أن التوازنات التي سيرسو عليها مستقبل المواجهة، على جبهة مأرب من جهة، وتوازن الردع الصاروخي من جهة مقابلة، سيكتب تاريخ اليمن والخليج وربما المنطقة بأسرها.

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Ansar Allah’s “Concerning” Success In Operations Against Riyadh

South Front

You can read this article in German. LINK

Yemen’s Ansar Allah are on the offensive on Marib city, once again. The Saudi-led coalition is struggling.

The Houthis, as Ansar Allah, are colloquially known, reportedly captured 10 out of 14 districts of the region in their latest push on March 4th.

The Houthi government deputy foreign minister, Hussein al-Ezzi said that apart from the significant central district of Marib city, every other significant location was under their control. A key strategic location, home to one of the largest oil infrastructures in Yemen, Marib has seen intensified fighting and a renewed military offensive. It is also the last Saudi stronghold in the relatively calm area of Central Yemen. If entirely lost by the Saudi-led coalition, the city would allow the Houthis to carry out even more attacks on targets within the Kingdom’s borders.

Saudi-led coalition airstrikes have continued bombarding Houthi positions, according to Houthi media. These manage to impede the swift movement of forces, but haven’t deterred the offensive. As it usually happens when the Houthis get the upper hand anywhere in Yemen, the so-called Western world begins yelling “foul”.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres immediately said that widespread fighting could lead to the displacement of thousands. He called on Ansar Allah to halt their offensive on every front, and primarily on Marib. No calls for the Saudi-led coalition to stop their airstrikes or continuous ceasefire violations in al-Hudaydah were made.

In addition to Marib City, the Houthis struck behind enemy lines. This included two attacks.

The first one targeted the King Khalid Air Base in the southern Saudi province with a Qasef-2K suicide drone. It was reportedly successful. Ansar Allah claimed to have had fired a cross-border missile and struck a Saudi Aramco facility in the Read Sea city of Jeddah.

According to the Houthi military spokesman, Yahya Sarea, the attack took place at dawn on March 4th, and was carried out with a Quds-2 winged missile. It reportedly struck its target.

Riyadh has not admitted either of the attacks, and there are no other details. The UN also said it has received unconfirmed reports.

The Axis of Resistance appears to be really pushing its enemies back, with 4 US convoys being targeted in the same day in Iraq, and Israel having a lull in its activity in recent days.

Tel Aviv accused Iran of carrying out an “eco-terrorism” attack by spilling oil in the Mediterranean Sea. There are concerns that a large-scale, heavy retaliation is coming. Time will only show if a response will really come and in what form it will be.

Currently, the Houthis are pushing successfully and the US is suffering for its attack on the Iraqi-Syriain border, and Israel is plotting its next move.

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الفرنسيّون استأنفوا اتّصالاتهم: باريس «مصدومة» و”بي السنة” الحريري يفقد صوابه!

ما أثاره الرئيس سعد الحريري في مؤتمره... - ♥ Saad Al-Hariri Lovers ♥ |  Facebook

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الفرنسيّون استأنفوا اتّصالاتهم: باريس «مصدومة» والحريري يفقد صوابه!

تقرير ميسم رزق

الجمعة 5 آذار 2021

الفرنسيّون استأنفوا اتّصالاتهم: باريس «مصدومة» والحريري يفقد صوابه!

فقد الرئيس سعد الحريري صوابَه بعدما انكشف أمام الجميع بأنه غير قادِر على تأليف حكومة من دون موافقة السعودية. فردّ ببيان اشتباك طاول حتى حزب الله، بينما لا تزال باريس مصدومة من رفضه مبادرة الرئيس ميشال عون

ساء الرئيسَ سعد الحريري انكشافُ «ملعوبه» في ملف تأليف الحكومة. خرج أمس للردّ على ما نشرته «الأخبار» عن رفضه مبادرة رئيس الجمهورية العماد ميشال عون التخلّي عن الثلث المعطّل، إذ أبلغ المدير العام للأمن العام اللواء عباس إبراهيم أنه سيكتفي بتسمية خمسة وزراء، إضافة إلى وزير لحزب الطاشناق، في حكومة من 18 وزيراً (راجع «الأخبار»، أمس). فهذا الخبر، بحدّ ذاتِه، يُشكّل إحراجاً كبيراً للرئيس المكلف الذي ظهر أخيراً بأنه غير مستعدّ للقبول بأي صيغة وزارية قبل أن تُعطيه المملكة العربية السعودية الضوء الأخضر لزيارتها، أو تومئ إليه بإشارة قبول بالتأليف. فحتى لو قبِل عون بكل شروطه المعروفة، سيخترِع الحريري شروطاً إضافية للعرقلة. هذا ما تؤكّده «كمالة» القصة التي بدأها اللواء إبراهيم منذ أسبوعين، ربطاً بالجهود التي يقوم بها على خط الحكومة، لتقريب وجهات النظر بين بعبدا ووادي أبو جميل. فقد علمت «الأخبار» أن الفرنسيين دخلوا بعدها على خط الوساطة، معتبرين أن إظهار الرئيس عون بعض الليونة في ملف الحكومة لاستعجال التأليف يُبنى عليه، وذلك بعدما تحدث اللواء إبراهيم معهم عن أن العقدة الوحيدة التي لا تزال تشكّل عائقاً أمام ولادة الحكومة هي وزارة «الداخلية» التي يُطالِب عون بأن تكون من حصته، بينما يرفض الحريري ذلك. حينها تولّى مستشار الرئيس الفرنسي باتريك دوريل الاتصال بالحريري في محاولة لإقناعه بالتراجع عن تمسكه بهذه الوزارة إلى جانب وزارة العدل. فقال المسؤول الفرنسي ما معناه: «حلّينا عقدة الثلث المعطّل، والآن لم يعُد هناك ذرائع»، لكن الحريري قال بأنه «لم يتبلّغ رسمياً من عون هذا الأمر»، مع أن اللواء إبراهيم زاره مرتين وأبلغه بذلك.

اتصال الفرنسيين أزعج الحريري، فتواصل مع إبراهيم معبّراً عن استياء شديد، إذ اعتبر بأن هناك من يتدخّل لدى الفرنسيين للضغط عليه. وليس ذلك وحسب، فمن بين «مواويل» الحريري لنسف أي جهود، أنه رداً على موقف الوزير باسيل عدم المشاركة في الحكومة أو إعطائها الثقة، قال الرئيس المكلّف إن «عدم مشاركة التيار الوطني الحر في الحكومة يعني أن رئيس الجمهورية لا يحقّ له الحصول على خمسة وزراء، إضافة إلى وزير الطاشناق، وأنه سبق أن وافق على هذا العدد على اعتبار أنهم وزراء يمثّلون الرئيس والتيار معاً، أما وقد رفض باسيل المشاركة في الحكومة، فهذا يعني أن حصة الرئيس عون ستكون أقل».

الفرنسيّون دخلوا على خطّ الوساطة بعدما أبدى عون استعداده للتخلّي عن الثلث المعطل


قبل فترة، أجاب أحد المقرّبين من الحريري عن سؤال عن قرب التأليف فأجاب: «انسَ… الآن ما في حكومة». ولعلّ كلامه لا يرتبِط بالعراقيل الداخلية من حصص وأسماء وحقائب، بقدر ما هو تعبير عن عجز الحريري الذي أقرّ سابقاً أمام من تحدثوا إليه «بصعوبة تجاوز السعوديين» (راجع «الأخبار»، 19 شباط 2021). وإلى أن تحدّد المملكة «الموعِد المنتظر» سيخترع الحريري المعضلة تلو الأخرى ويحتجِز التشكيل في جيبه، كما أشار مكتب باسيل في بيان له أمس.

وبينما جزمت مصادر قريبة من الجوّ السعودي منذُ أسابيع بأن «زيارة الحريري للمملكة أكيدة، وربما قريبة جداً»، غادر الرجل إلى الإمارات في زيارة هي الثالثة له منذ تكليفه، من دون أن يظهر بعد ما إذا كانت هناك نتيجة سياسية لهذه الزيارات، بما أنه يعوّل على الإماراتيين والفرنسيين لتمهيد الطريق له، فيما اقتصرت المكاسب منها على بعض اللقاحات ضدّ كورونا أعطيت للحريري على دفعتين، وجرى توزيعها على المقربين منه، ومشروع مستشفى ميداني وعدت الإمارات بتقديمه للمساعدة في مواجهة الجائحة ليس إلا.

إلا أن الكلام الذي صدر عن الحريري أمس رداً على ما كُتِب، كان لافتاً لجهة أنه للمرة الأولى منذُ تكليفه يفتح الهجوم باتجاه حزب الله، الذي «ينتظر قراره من إيران، فيما لا ننتظر رضى أيّ طرف خارجي لتشكيل الحكومة»، على حدّ قول الحريري.

هذا الكلام جاء تعليقاً على ما قاله نائب الأمين العام لحزب الله الشيخ نعيم قاسم في مقابلته على قناة «الميادين» أول من أمس بأن «المطلوب سعودياً لا يتحمّله الحريري وهو مواجهة حزب الله». وبينما رأى البعض موقف الحريري «طبيعياً» لأن عقدة الأسماء الشيعية في الحكومة لم تُحلّ بعد، إلا أن مشكلة الحريري ــــ باسيل طغت عليها، قال آخرون إنه بيان «مواجهة» قد يكون إما رسالة إلى المملكة أو استباقاً لزيارة قريبة جداً!

“بكامل حريته

لكن هل بإمكان السعوديين الذين يستولي عليهم شعور القلق من سياسة الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة، وخاصة بعد الكشف عن تقرير جريمة قتل الصحافي جمال خاشقجي أن يُخصّصوا وقتاً للحريري ما داموا غير متأكدين من قدرته على تزعّم مشروع مواجهة حزب الله؟

بكل الأحوال، وضع الحريري نفسه في موقف محرج، ولا سيما مع طرف أساسي تمسّك بتكليفه، أي حزب الله. وإذا لم تأتِ زيارة الرياض، فقد يُصبِح الرئيس المكلف أضعف من أي وقت مضى. فلا هو قادر على زيارة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية التي تتجاهل إدارتها تحديد موعد له، ولا مستشاره للشؤون الروسية جورج شعبان أمّن له المواعيد لزيارة موسكو. وبين انشغال الخارج عنه والاستياء الداخلي منه، هل يُدفع الحريري الى الاعتذار؟ المعلومات المؤكدة إلى الآن هي أن الفرنسيين أجروا اتصالات يوم أمس بعدد من القوى، من بينهم عون وياسيل والحريري وجنبلاط، وعبّروا عن استغراب كبير وغضب من تعامل القوى السياسية مع ملف الحكومة، فيما البلد ذاهب الى الانفجار، بينما أكدت مصادر مطّلعة أن «باريس لم تُصدق ما فعله الحريري، وأنه هرب من التشكيل رغم تراجع الرئيس عون»!

U.S. Targets Russia, Iran with Eyes on China الأميركيّون يستهدفون روسيا وإيران وعيونهم على الصين

**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

U.S. Targets Russia, Iran with Eyes on China

Dr.. Wafiq Ibrahim

The Americans have finally chosen the international party they must compete with because it is the main party that causes them economic declines. . What matters to them is to maintain the world’s first economic rank and Russia and others do not seem to be able to compete, as Russia is militarily empowered but economically weak. . Also, some countries in Europe, such as Germany, have an economic power, but without military power, it is enough that American forces are still stationed in Germany since its defeat in World War II, while the rest of Europe, especially France and England, are middle countries with arms and economy and are going after the Americans waiting for opportunities in Iran and the Gulf. .

China is the real competitor to the Americans, especially since it is able to overtake the Americans in the middle of the next decade..

For further clarification, the Yellow Dragon lacks a little weapon to become a global star in the U.S. competition..

It should first be noted that the new U.S. measures in Saudi Arabia have a relationship with China, because any Sino-Saudi rapprochement immediately means a decline in U.S. hegemony in the world because it immediately entails the transfer of Relations of Bahrain and the UAE from the Americans to China, in addition to the possibility of change in many countries of the Muslim world linked to the Saudi leadership..

These are the deep reasons that imposed on the Americans to work diligently to hold Saudi Arabia and since Mohammed bin Salman was the pillar who was working to build a Saudi Arabia that has regional and perhaps international weight, so he was dramatically overthrown. This does not mean that he is a murderer, though he may have killed dozens in order to to pave the way for an easy rule. This is always the case in Gulf-style countries.

It is noticeable then that the United States wants to overcome all the obstacles to avoid the loss of the Gulf and Europe in the battle with China, as well as for Southeast Asia, major consumers in Australia, Canada and the underdeveloped part of the European continent. That’s why they’ve been ahead of China for decades, away from Europe for generations, and they don’t see Russia as a serious competitor for at least a few centuries. .

What is important for Americans is to maintain their unipolarity to have true control over Europe and the Gulf, and it seems that these two matters are close to the logic of the need for these two regions. The Gulf always feels an Iraqi-Yemeni threat, in addition to the Syrian situation and Iran, which causes the Gulf many problems not only in their common maritime borders, but also in Iranian spheres of influence in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and other areas..

It seems, then, that what the Americans need in their war of unipolarity is the Gulf and Europe, and Southeast Asia, Canada, Australia. This confirms unipolarity stability for a long time. Is this possible?

On the other hand, China works silently and moves from one city to another to promote cheap goods in an era of extreme poverty. It is enough that the countries of the earth tend to poverty, which means that they need cheap goods that are no longer present except in China.

Therefore, there is an sharp US-Chinese conflict amid Russian-European observation awaiting results to determine its roles. The problem here is related to production capacity, which only exists in China, America, and Europe, where quality and minimum wages exceed wages in the entire world.

The conflict continues to develop as China focuses on penetrating vulnerable countries, third world countries, the poor part of Europe and most of South-East Asia.. This may take a long time, but it won’t be out of reach because the world is heading for more poverty, and need Chinese cheap commodity..

Thus, the economic conflict in the world is concentrated between America, China and Europe, so Russia is absent, and with it most other countries, but it maintains its military superiority that may exceed the US military advantage.

Thus, the world’s economic conflict between America, China and Europe is concentrated, with Russia and most other countries absent, and Russia maintaining its military superiority that may exceed U.S. military superiority..

Here it is important to note, that Russia, just like the Americans, will not allow China to possess quality weapons, and this is not surprising because Russia is interested in the Sino-American economic conflict, but it does not accept the transformation of China into a military economic power that can jump over the Americans, and and therefore the Russian..

The world, then, is facing a great continuation of the Chinese-American conflict, China without a qualitative destructive weapon, so should it go towards making a qualitative weapon?

It’s hard to go this way, because sinking into the arms industry means a complete blow to the acceptable economic levels and may smash the middle classes struggling with the levels of the European classes, and why they go towards the arms industry and the difference between them and the Americans in this area is very large and needs a great Chinese effort to realize.

The conclusion is that Russia is not the U.S. main target. China, being the actual competitor in the next two decades. is the actual Americans target.

الأميركيّون يستهدفون روسيا وإيران وعيونهم على الصين

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د. وفيق إبراهيم

اختار الأميركيّون أخيراً الطرف الدولي الذي يجب عليهم أن ينافسوه لأنه الجهة الأساسية التي تتسبب لهم بتراجعات اقتصادية. فما يهمّهم هو المحافظة على المرتبة الاقتصادية الأولى في العالم ولا يبدو ان روسيا وغيرها بوسعها المنافسة، فروسيا متمكّنة عسكرياً لكنها ضعيفة اقتصادياً. كذلك فإن بعض بلدان أوروبا كألمانيا تمتلك قوة اقتصادية انما من دون قوة عسكرية، يكفي أن قوات أميركيّة لا تزال ترابط في المانيا منذ هزيمتها في الحرب العالمية الثانية، أما ما تبقى من اوروبا وخصوصاً فرنسا وانجلترا فهي من الدول المتوسطة بامتلاك السلاح والاقتصاد وتسير خلف الأميركيّين انتظاراً لفرص في إيران والخليج.

يتبين بذلك أن الصين هي المنافس الفعلي للأميركيّين لا سيما أنها قادرة على تجاوز الأميركيّين في منتصف العقد المقبل.

لمزيد من الإيضاح فإن التنين الأصفر ينقصه القليل من السلاح ليصبح نجماً عالمياً على مستوى منافسة الولايات المتحدة.

لا بدّ أولاً من الإشارة الى ان التدابير الأميركيّة الجديدة في السعودية على علاقة بالصين، لأن اي تقارب صيني – سعودي يعني فوراً تراجع الهيمنة الأميركيّة في العالم لأنه يستتبع فوراً انتقال علاقات البحرين والإمارات من الأميركيّين الى الصين، هذا بالإضافة الى إمكان حدوث تغيير في الكثير من بلدان العالم الإسلامي ربطاً بزعامة السعودية له.

هذه هي الأسباب العميقة التي فرضت على الأميركيّين العمل الدؤوب على الإمساك بالسعودية وبما أن محمد بن سلمان هو الركن الذي كان يعمل على بناء سعودية لها وزن إقليميّ وربما دولي، لذلك أطيح به بشكل دراماتيكيّ. وهذا لا يعني أنه قاتل ولربما قتل العشرات في مسيرته في الحكم لتمهيد حكم سهل له. وهذا ما يحدث دائماً في بلدان على النمط الخليجيّ.

الملاحظ إذاً أن الولايات المتحدة تريد ضرب كل العقبات التي تؤدي الى خسارة الخليج وأوروبا في المعركة مع الصين، كذلك بالنسبة لجنوب شرق آسيا وكبار المستهلكين في استراليا وكندا والجزء غير المتطور من القارة الأوروبية. وهذا ما يجعلهم متفوقين على الصين لعقود عدة ومبتعدين عن أوروبا لأجيال ولا يرون في روسيا منافساً جدياً لقرون عدة على الاقل.

المهم بالنسبة للأميركيّين أن يحتفظوا بأحاديتهم القطبية. هذا لا يستقيم إلا بسيطرتهم على أوروبا والخليج ويبدو أن هذين الأمرين قريبان من المنطق لحاجة هاتين المنطقتين اليهما. فالخليج يستشعر دائماً بخطر عراقي – يمني ويحاذر الوضع السوريّ متعاملاً مع إيران كخوافة تتسبب لها بالكثير من الإشكالات ليس فقط في حدودهما البحرية المشتركة بل في مناطق النفوذ الإيراني في لبنان والعراق وسورية ومناطق أخرى.

يبدو اذاً أن ما يحتاج اليه الأميركيّون في حربهم للأحادية القطبية هو الخليج واوروبا. مع مدى اقتصادي لتصريف البضائع موجود في جنوب شرق آسيا وكندا وأستراليا والخليج واوروبا. وهذا يؤكد ان الاحادية القطبية مستقرة الى زمن طويل، فهل هذا ممكن؟

تعمل الصين بصمت، وتنتقل من مدينة الى اخرى لتروج لسلع رخيصة الثمن في عصر يسوده فقر شديد، يكفي أن دول الأرض تنحو الى الفقر، ما يعني حاجتها الى سلع رخيصة لم تعد موجودة إلا في الصين.

هناك اذاً صراع حاد أميركيّ صيني وسط مراقبة روسية أوروبية تنتظر النتائج لتحديد أدوارها، لكن المشكلة أن هذا الأمر مرتبط بالقدرة على الإنتاج، غير الموجود إلا في أميركا والصين وأوروبا انما من ذوي الجودة العالمية باعتبار أن الحد الأدنى للأجور فيها يفوق الأجور في العالم بأسره.

هناك صراع إذاً حاد أميركيّ – صيني لا ينفك يتطور وقد يبلغ أشده مع تركيز الصين على اختراق البلدان الضعيفة.

فهل بإمكانها تحقيق هذا الإنجاز؟ نعم بإمكان الصين اختراق بلدان العالم الثالث والقسم الفقير من أوروبا ومعظم بلدان جنوب شرق آسيا. وهذا امر قد يحتاج الى مدة طويلة من الزمن لكنه لن يكون بعيد المنال لأن العالم يتّجه الى مزيد من الفقر فيما السلعة الصينيّة جديرة بالاختراق والسيطرة.

بذلك يتركز الصراع الاقتصادي في العالم بين أميركا والصين وأوروبا فتغيب روسيا ومعها معظم البلدان الأخرى، لكنها تحافظ على تفوّقها العسكري الذي قد يزيد عن التفوّق العسكريّ الأميركيّ.

هناك ملاحظة هامة وهي أن روسيا تماماً كالأميركيّين لا تسمح للصين بامتلاك أسلحة نوعيّة، وهذه ليست مفاجأة لأن روسيا مهتمة بالصراع الاقتصادي الصيني الأميركيّ لكنها لا تقبل بتحول الصين قوة اقتصادية عسكرية يصبح بوسعها القفز فوق الأميركيّ، وبالتالي الروسي.

العالم اذاً أمام استمرار كبير للصراع الصيني الأميركيّ وميزته أنه من دون سلاح نوعي تدميري، فالصين تمتلك سلاحاً معتدلاً فهل تذهب نحو صناعة سلاح نوعيّ؟

من الصعوبة أن تذهب نحو هذه الطريقة، لأن غرقها في صناعة السلاح يعني ضرباً كاملاً للمستويات الاقتصادية التي أصبحت مقبولة لديها وتحطيماً للطبقات المتوسطة التي أصبحت تصارع مستويات الطبقات الأوروبية، ولماذا تذهب نحو صناعة السلاح والفارق بينها وبين الأميركيّين في هذا المجال كبير جداً ويحتاج الى بذل جهود صينيّة جبارة لإدراك التعادل.

يتبين بالاستنتاج ان روسيا ليست هدفاً أميركيّاً كاملاً، وان الصين هي الهدف الفعلي الذي يريد الأميركيّون قصّ رأسه لما يسببه لهم من منافسات فعلية في العقدين المقبلين.

Ansarullah Releases Footage of Ballistic Missile at Targets in Saudi Capital

Ansarullah Releases Footage of Ballistic Missile at Targets in Saudi Capital

By Staff, Agencies

The Yemeni Ansarullah revolutionary movement’s Military Media released footage of a large-scale ballistic missile strike against the Saudi capital in retaliation for the devastating military campaign that the Riyadh regime and its allies are waging on the country.

The video shows Yemeni armed forces and allied fighters from Popular Committees firing a domestically-developed Zolfiqar ballistic missile that struck King Khalid International Airport, located 35 kilometers north of Riyadh, on Saturday.

The spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces Brigadier General Yehya Saree said in a press conference on Sunday that Yemeni army troops and allied popular fighters had targeted the Saudi soil with 15 unmanned aerial vehicles and a ballistic missile as part of “Operation Balance of Deterrence 5.”

He said sensitive positions and places in the Saudi capital Riyadh were struck with a Zolfaqar ballistic missile and nine Sammad-3 [Invincible-3] combat drones.

Saree noted that six Qasef-2K [Striker-2K] combat drones had also hit designated military targets inside Abha and Khamis Mushait cities in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern province of Asir.

“As long as the attacks and siege on our country [Yemen] continue, our operations will continue and will be more extensive,” he added.

The United Nations said Yemen has the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, with 80 percent of the country’s 30 million people needing some form of aid or protection. About 13.5 million Yemenis currently face acute food insecurity, UN data showed.

Last week, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said some 16 million people in Yemen were going hungry and five million of those people were “just one step away from famine.”

Some 400,000 children under the age of five are severely malnourished, he said.

“Those children are in their last weeks and months,” he warned. “They are starving to death.”

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of fugitive president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, back to power and crushing the Ansarullah.

The Yemeni armed forces and allied popular groups have gone from strength to strength against the Saudi-led invaders, and successfully defended Yemen against the aggression, leaving Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.

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A Saudi-American fiasco

Yemeni forces advance toward Marib despite U.S.-backed Saudi brutal campaign

March 1, 2021 – 21:29

TEHRAN – Yemen’s government forces have launched a liberation campaign to capture the strategic province of Marib while initiating a new operation against Saudi Arabia, a move that indicates the growing capabilities of the Sanaa government despite the Saudi-led war on Yemen.

The Saudis began a war on Yemen in 2015 in the hope of eradicating Yemen’s Asarallah movement, which they accused of being backed by Iran. 

But after more than five years of nonstop aggression, the Saudis not only failed to defeat Ansarallah, but they also helped the movement become even stronger than ever by continuing their aggression.

This fact was on full display in February when the Ansarallah-led forces launched to separate operations against Saudi Arabia and its allied groups inside Yemen.

On Sunday, Brigadier General Yahya Sare’e announced in a statement that Yemen’s Air Force along with the Missile Force successfully carried out a large and joint offensive operation deep inside Saudi Arabia.

The operation, formally called “5th Operation of Balanced Deterrence,” targeted sensitive sites in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

“The 5th Operation of Balanced Deterrence came in retaliation for the kingdom’s ongoing escalating aggression and siege on our dear people,” Sare’e said.

He explained that the operation was carried out with a Zolfaghar ballistic missile and 15 drones, including 9 Sammad-3 drones, targeting sensitive sites in the enemy’s capital, Riyadh, according to Al-Masirah TV.

The spokesman pointed out that 6 Qasef-2K drones targeted military sites in Abha and Khamis Mushait, stressing that the hit was accurate.

Sare’e stated that the 5th Operation of Balanced Deterrence continued from Saturday evening until Sunday morning.

He confirmed that “our retaliatory attacks are continuing and will expand more and more as long as the aggression and siege on our country continues,” renewing caution to residents of these areas to stay away from all military sites and airports or places that may be used for military purposes.

The fact that the Yemeni forces were able to launch the fifth operation against Saudi Arabia while fighting with Saudi-backed forces inside Yemen is in itself a telling indication. The government in Sanaa has been under Saudi bombardment right from the start. It not only survived, but also managed to become strong enough to fight on various fronts.

The first Yemeni operation that targeted the oil-rich country was launched in mid-August in 2019 when ten drones targeted the Shaybah oil field in eastern Saudi Arabia.

The Yemeni Air Force launched one of its most consequential operations against Saudi Arabia in mid-September 2019, targeting Saudi Arabia’s eastern oil processing facilities of Abqaiq and Khurais, and cutting off half of the country’s oil production – nearly five percent of global oil supplies – for a few days.

Five months later, the Yemeni forces launched another operation in which they hit Saudi Aramco’s oil facilities in Yanbu with 12 drones, three medium-range and long-range missiles.

Last year in June, the Yemeni forces launched their fourth operation in which the Saudi capital of Riyadh was hit with a large number of ballistic and winged missiles as well as drones. 

The fifth operation carried a long-term strategic message at the regional level, especially with the ongoing battles between the Yemeni army and the coalition forces in Marib, according to Al-Masirah TV. 

Citing observers, the channel network said the operation proves once again the increase in Yemeni military capabilities and the failure of Saudi Arabia at the tactical and strategic level despite the capabilities it possesses.

The observers emphasized that the strike at this time is a warning message to stop the mobilization of takfiri and terrorist organizations to Marib. And also, that the Saudi regime may pay a lot for the consequences of not responding to it, in the event that the Yemeni forces are forced to carry out a Sixth Operation of Balanced Deterrence.

Marib has become a battleground that would determine the fate of the Yemen war. Over the past few days, the Sanaa-based government forces have increased their military activities in a bid to liberate Marib from the Saudi-backed forces who appeared to endure a series of defeats on various fronts. A military source close to the Saudi-backed forces told the AFP news agency that more than 20 members of the Saudi-backed forces were killed in the last 24 hours in the fighting. 

Marib is the last bastion of the Saudi-baked forces in northern Yemen. “Fighting continues unabated on all fronts in Marib province,” the source said.

In an attempt to prevent Marib city from falling in the hands of the Yemen forces, Saudi Arabia has launched an air campaign against the Yemeni forces in a number of provinces.

However, Saudi Arabia failed to stop the march of the Sanaa forces toward Marib. This debacle is the latest in a series of failures that Saudi Arabia has faced in Yemen in recent weeks despite enjoying overwhelming international support, including from the United States.

Of course, the U.S. has most recently sought to distance itself from the Saudi fiasco in Yemen by taking a series of measures that seemingly restrict American support for the Saudi war on Yemen.

The Biden administration has ended Washington’s support for offensive operations in Yemen. 

“This war has to end. And to underscore our commitment, we’re ending all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arm sales,” President Biden said in a recent speech at the State Department while underling the U.S. commitment to ensuring Saudi Arabia’s security and territorial integrity.

The Biden administration also removed Yemen’s Ansarullah movement from the U.S. government’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

But these measures were taken only after the new U.S. administration took office with a clear understanding that the Saudi war on Yemen is bound to end in failure and thus American support for this war will make no difference in the fate of the war.

The U.S. threw its weight behind Saudi Arabia over the years of the Yemen war, selling it state-of-the-art offensive weapons. But this all-out earned the U.S. nothing but a heinous reputation as complicit in the worst humanitarian disaster of the world.

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