The Houthis Are Preparing for a Planned Israeli Attack on Yemen

By Ahmed Abdul Kareem

Source

SANA’A, YEMEN — As the war in Yemen nears the end of its fifth year, the situation in the country seems to be escalating. There are strong indications that Israel is planning to launch airstrikes against the country under the pretext of preventing an Iranian military presence from taking hold, a move that is likely to open the door for further escalation.

On Saturday, Ansar Allah, the political wing of Yemen’s Houthis, announced that Yemeni forces would not hesitate to “deal a stinging blow” to Israel in the case Tel Aviv decides to launch attacks in Yemen. The Houthis reaffirmed that their anti-Israel position is based on a principled, humanitarian, moral, and religious commitment. Historically, neither the Yemeni Army nor the Houthis themselves, have ever targeted Israel directly.

The threat from Israel is not without precedent. Israel has used claims of alleged Iranian military attachments in countries like Syria and Iraq as justification for airstrikes and bombings against those nations. Now, Israel appears to be using Iran’s alleged presence in Yemen, an allegation that both Tehran and the Houthis deny, as a pretext for military action in the country despite no evidence indicating that there are any Iranian forces present there.

Ansar Allah leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi said in televised speech marking the anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad,

“Our people will not hesitate to declare jihad (holy war) against the Israeli enemy, and to launch the most severe strikes against sensitive targets in the occupied territories if the enemy engages in any folly against our people.”

The occasion marks the largest festival held by the Houthis during which they reveal their domestic and foreign policies for the coming year.

The Houthis also called on the Saudi regime to stop the war and siege on Yemen, warning that there would be risks and consequences for the Kingdom should they continue their attacks. Al-Houthi also confirmed that Yemenis will continue to develop their military capability, adding that,

“Anyone who uses the war and siege to control us and subjugate us is seeking the impossible, and the consequence is failure.”

Al-Houthi also pointed to the ongoing mass protest movements in Lebanon and Iraq, advising nations in the Middle East to resolve their issues vigilantly. He asked those nations to exercise vigilance in the face of what he called Israeli plots to gain a political, military, and cultural foothold in their respective countries.

On Saturday, massive demonstrations took place across Yemen’s major cities to commemorate the Prophet Mohammed’s birth, an occasion known to Muslims as Maulud Nabi. While the occasion is a religious one, it is a public holiday in Yemen and is marked with the singing of the national anthem and the waving of green flags. Many protesters told MintPress News that any attack by Israeli would not cause the Yemeni people any more suffering than they have already endured, but would push them to join a “holy war” against Israel.

Yemen Houthi

According to three government officials in Sana’a that spoke to MintPress on the condition of anonymity, the Houthi’s warnings are both serious and well-placed. Those officials said that the government in Sana’a has already confirmed information that Israel is preparing to launch airstrikes on both military sites and civil targets in Yemen, especially on the country’s west coast and along the Saudi-Yemen border in coordination with the Saudi-led Coalition.

Ansar Allah’s announcement also comes in the wake of a number of recent statements made by a number of Israeli officials claiming that Yemen has become a threat to Israel. Speaking during a visit by U.S. Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin and White House aid Jared Kushner, Netanyahu claimed that Iran has supplied missiles to the Houthis that could hit Israel. The Houthis regard these statements as a justification and prelude to strikes on the country, similar to those that Israel unilaterally carried out against sites in Syria and Iraq.

In August, Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida released a report saying that Israel is planning on striking sensitive positions on the Bab al-Mandab strait which links the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, to target “Houthis” in the area. The newspaper, which cited an anonymous informed source, said Israeli intelligence agency Mossad has been monitoring activities in the Yemeni strait.

Israel’s entry into the Yemen war could indeed open the door for further escalation, a prospect made more likely by both the increased strength of Ansar Allah forces and by Israel’s increasingly cozy relationship with the Gulf Arab countries of the coalition. The fact that Saudi Arabia and the UAE recently sought negotiations with Houthis after they were unable to win the war militarily, despite their superior firepower and funding, only increases the likelihood of Israel’s entry into Yemen.

In fact, Israel is alleged to have already participated in the war against Yemen on behalf of the Saudi-led coalition as a part of a series of covert interventions involving mercenary forces, the reported launching of dozens of airstrikes in the country and even the dropping of a neutron bomb on Nuqm Mountain in the middle the capital Sana’a in May of 2015.

Kicking the hornet’s nest

Like Saudi Arabia and the UAE, there is a problem with the Israeli assessment of the situation in Yemen, as the Houthis have never threatened to hit an Israeli target and Houthi attacks on Saudi-led Coalition countries have always been retaliatory, not preemptive. There are no vital targets to be bombed in Yemen as the Saudi-led coalition has already nearly destroyed nearly every potential target, including civilian infrastructure. Moreover, any attack by Israel against Yemen will gain the Houthis even more popular support both inside of Yemen and across the Islamic and Arab world.

Furthermore, there is no evidence that Iran has any military sites or experts in Yemen, and Yemen’s Army, loyal to Ansar Allah, are not the “Iran proxy fighters” that international media so often claims them to be. Indeed, the U.S. State Department even admitted in leaked cables that the Houthis were not an Iran proxy and that they received neither funding nor weapons from Iran.

There are a convergence of interests between the Houthis and Iran, including opposition to Israel’s internationally-recognized theft of Palestinian land,  but if Israel involves itself directly in the conflict in Yemen, it is likely that the Houthi alliance with Iran will grow and may actually spur Tehran into providing precise and sophisticated weapons to Ansar Allah, turning the fears of Israel into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Meanwhile, many Israeli activists and media pundits are expressing concerns over what they consider serious threats from Yemen, pointing out that these threats “should not be underestimated by the Israelis.” The Israeli security parliament said that Israeli intelligence must strictly monitor Yemen and take necessary steps to secure Israeli ships sailing in the Bab Al-Mandab area, describing the statements made by Abdulmalik al-Houthi as serious.

A well-stocked arsenal

Indeed the threats of Ansar Allah, a group known to strike sensitive targets without hesitation, are not without precedent. On September 14, Ansar Allah hit two of Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais, an attack that led to a suspension of about 50 percent of the Arab Kingdom’s crude and gas production.

Prior to that, they targeted vital facilities deep inside of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, including the Barakah Nuclear Power Station in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, as well as the King Khalid International Airport near Riyadh, more than 800 km from Yemen’s northern border. Now, they have developed their arsenal of ballistic missiles and drones even further and experts say are likely capable of hitting vital targets inside of Israel. Yemen’s Army is ready to launch those missiles if Ansar Allah’s leader asks it to do, one high-ranking military officer told MintPress.

Yemen’s Army, loyal to the Houthis, is equipped with the Quds 1 winged missile which was used in an attack on the Barakah Nuclear Power Station in Abu Dhabi in December of 2017. This year, several generations of the Quds 1 were reworked to provide the “ability to hit its targets and to bypass enemy interceptor systems,” according to Ansar Allah.

Saudi Houthi attack

The Borkan 3 (Volcano 3), whose predecessors were used by the Houthis to strike targets inside of Saudi Arabia and the UAE,  is capable of traveling even further than the Borkan 1 and 2. The Borkan is a modified Scud missile and was used in a strike on the King Khalid International Airport near Riyadh, more than 800 km from Yemen’s northern border. The missile was able to evade U.S. Patriot missile air-defense systems.

Yemen’s Army also posses the Samad 3 reconnaissance drone and the Qasef 2K drone. Both were used in strikes against the Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports. The Samad 3 has an estimated range of 1,500 to 1,700 km. Moreover, the Yemen Army recently unveiled a new drone with a range exceeding 1,700 km and equipped with advanced technology that would render it difficult for air defense systems to detect.

One Ansar Allah military source told MintPress that mines would also be deployed against Israeli battleships and watercraft in the Red Sea if Israel decides to launch attacks against Yemen. Indeed, Yemen’s military recently revealed its domestically-manufactured marine mines dubbed the “Mersad,” and is reportedly “actively developing its naval forces and naval anti-ship missiles.”

Despite the well-established precedent, many still doubt that the Houthis are capable of carrying out attacks on the scale and range of the attack that struck an Aramco facility in Saudi Arabia earlier this year — instead, accusing Iran of orchestrating the attacks. Yet repeatedly underestimating the Houthis was one of the major mistakes made by the Saudi-led coalition, who has failed to defeat the group after nearly five years of fierce battles against them, despite being equipped with the latest U.S.-supplied weaponry — everything from M1A2 Abrams tanks and M2 Bradley fighting vehicles to AH-64D Apache helicopters, as well as having an air force equipped with a high-tech arsenal.

However, it would be difficult for the Yemeni Army to prevent aerial attacks by Israel. Yemeni airspace has been open to the coalition and to American drones since the war broke out in 2015. Any attack by the Yemen army would likely come in retaliation to an Israeli attack and would hit Israeli military bases in Eritrea, Israeli ships in the Red Sea as well as hit vital targets deep inside of Israel, according to Yemeni military sources.

An already dire situation

The war, which began in March 2015, has led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis resulting from the bombing and a blockade which has led to mass starvation and history’s largest cholera outbreak, among other dire consequences.

The coalition, backed by the United States, has killed tens of thousands of Yemeni civilians since the war began. Moreover, the coalition’s blockade of food and medicine has plagued the country with an unprecedented famine and has triggered a deadly outbreak of preventable diseases that have cost thousands of people their lives.

Last week, the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project revealed that Yemen’s death toll rose to a shocking 100,000 since 2015. The database shows approximately 20,000 people have been killed this year, already making 2019 the second-deadliest year on record after 2018, with 30,800 dead. Those numbers do not include those who have died in the humanitarian disasters caused by the war, particularly starvation.

Given the nature of  Israel’s recent wars against Gaza and Lebanon, it is unlikely that Israel would feel constrained by any moral dilemma should they chose to launch airstrikes against civilians in Yemen.

Israel’s Last War

 

Israel last days.jpg

by Gilad Atzmon

In my 2011 book, The Wandering Who, I elaborated on the possible disastrous scenario in which Israel is the nucleus of a global escalation over Iran’s emerging nuclear capabilities. I concluded that Israel’s PRE Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PRE-TSS) would be central to such a development.

“The Jewish state and the Jewish discourse in general are completely foreign to the notion of temporality. Israel is blinded to the consequences of its actions, it only thinks of its actions in terms of short-term pragmatism. Instead of temporality, Israel thinks in terms of an extended present.”

In  2011 Israel was still confident in its military might, certain that with the help of America or at least its support, it could deliver a mortal military blow to Iran. But this confidence has diminished, replaced by an existential anxiety that might well be warranted. For the last few months, Israeli military analysts have had to come to terms with Iran’s spectacular strategic and technological abilities. The recent attack on a Saudi oil facility delivered a clear message to the world, and in particular to Israel, that Iran is far ahead of Israel and the West. The sanctions were counter effective: Iran independently developed its own technology.

Former Israeli ambassador to the US, and prolific historian, Michael Oren, repeated my 2011 predictions this week in the Atlantic and described a horrific scenario for the next, and likely last, Israeli conflict.

Oren understands that a minor Israeli miscalculation could lead to total war, one in which missiles and drones of all types would rain down on Israel, overwhelm its defences and leave Israeli cities, its economy and its security in ruins.

Oren gives a detailed account of how a conflict between Israel and Iran could rapidly descend into a massive “conflagration” that would devastate Israel as well as its neighbours.

In Israel, the term “The War Between the Wars,”  refers to the targeted covert inter-war campaign waged by the Jewish State with the purpose of postponing, while still preparing for, the next confrontation, presumably with Iran. In the last few years Israel has carried out hundreds of  ‘war between the wars’ strikes against Iran-linked targets in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. Oren speculates that a single miscalculation could easily lead to retaliation by Iran. “Israel is girding for the worst and acting on the assumption that fighting could break out at any time. And it’s not hard to imagine how it might arrive. The conflagration, like so many in the Middle East, could be ignited by a single spark.”

Until now, Iran has restrained itself despite constant aggression from Israel, but this could easily change.

“The result could be a counterstrike by Iran, using cruise missiles that penetrate Israel’s air defenses and smash into targets like the Kiryah, Tel Aviv’s equivalent of the Pentagon. Israel would retaliate massively against Hezbollah’s headquarters in Beirut as well as dozens of its emplacements along the Lebanese border. And then, after a day of large-scale exchanges, the real war would begin…”

Oren predicts that rockets would  “rain on Israel” at a rate as high as 4,000 a day.  The Iron Dome system would be overwhelmed by the vast simultaneous attacks against civilian and military targets throughout the country. And, as if this weren’t devastating enough, Israel is totally unprepared to deal with precision-guided missiles that can accurately hit targets all across Israel from 1000 miles away.

Ben Gurion International Airport would be shut down and air traffic over Israel closed. The same could happen to Israel’s ports. Israelis that would seek refuge in far away lands would have to swim to safety

In this scenario, Palestinians and Lebanese militias might join the conflagration and attack Jewish border communities on the ground while long-range missiles from Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran land. Before long, Israel’s economy would cease to function, electrical grids severed  and damaged factories and refineries would spew toxic chemicals into the air.

In the Shoah scenario Oren describes,

“Millions of Israelis would huddle in bomb shelters. Hundreds of thousands would be evacuated from the border areas as terrorists attempt to infiltrate them. Restaurants and hotels would empty, along with the offices of the high-tech companies of the start-up nation. The hospitals, many of them resorting to underground facilities, would quickly be overwhelmed, even before the skies darken with the toxic fumes of blazing chemical factories and oil refineries.”

Oren predicts that Israel’s harsh response to attack, including a violent put down of likely West Bank and Gaza protests, would result in large scale civilian casualties and draw charges of war crimes.

As Oren states, he did not invent this prediction, it is one of the similar scenarios anticipated by Israeli military and government officials.

If such events occur, the US will be vital to the survival of the Jewish State by providing munitions, diplomatic, political, and legal support, and after the war, in negotiating truces, withdrawals, prisoner exchanges and presumably ‘peace agreements.’  However, the US under the Trump administration is somewhat unpredictable, especially in light of the current impeachment proceedings against Trump.

In 1973 the US helped save Israel by providing its military with the necessary munitions.  Will the US do so again? Do the Americans have the weapons capability to counter Iran’s ballistics, precision missiles and drones?  More crucially, what kind of support could America provide that would lift the spirits of humiliated and exhausted Israelis after they emerge from underground shelters having enduring four weeks without electricity or food and see their cities completely shattered?

This leads us to the essential issue. Zionism vowed to emancipate the Jews from their destiny by liberating the Jews from themselves. It vowed to bring an end to Jewish self-destruction by creating a Jewish safe haven. How is it that just seven decades after the founding of the Jewish state, the people who have suffered throughout their history have once again managed to create the potential for their own disaster?

In The Wandering Who I provide a possible answer: “Grasping the notion of temporality is the ability to accept that the past is shaped and revised in the light of a search for meaning. History, and historical thinking, are the capacity to rethink the past and the future.” Accordingly, revisionism is the true essence of historical thinking. It turns the past into a moral message, it turns the moral into an ethical act.  Sadly this is exactly where the Jewish State is severely lacking. Despite the Zionist promise to introduce introspection, morality and universal thinking to the emerging Hebrew culture,  the Jewish State has failed to break away from the Jewish past because it doesn’t really grasp the notion of the ‘past’ as a dynamic elastic ethical substance.

The ‘War’ for the Future of Middle East

Image result for The ‘War’ for the Future of Middle East

Alastair Crooke
November 4, 2019

Oh, oh, here we are again! In 1967, it was then the ‘threat’ of the standing Arab Armies (and the ensuing six-day war on Egypt and Syria); in 1980, it was Iran (and the ensuing Iraqi war on Iran); in 1996, it was David Wurmser with his Coping with Crumbling States (flowing on from the infamous Clean Break policy strategy paper) which at that time targeted secular-Arab nationalist states, excoriated both as “crumbling relics of the ‘evil’ USSR” and inherently hostile to Israel, too; and in the 2003 and 2006 wars, it was Saddam Hussein firstly; and then Hezbollah that threatened the safety of the West’s civilizational ‘outpost’ in the Middle East.

And here we are once more, Israel cannot safely ‘live’ in a region containing a militant Hezbollah.

Not surprisingly, the Russian Ambassador in Beirut, Alexander Zasypkin, quickly recognized this all too familiar pattern: Speaking with al-Akhbar on 9 October in Beirut (more than a week before the protests in Beirut erupted), the Ambassador dismissed the prospect of any easing of regional tensions; but rather identified the economic crisis that has been building for years in Lebanon as the ‘peg’ on which the US and its allies might sow chaos in Lebanon (and in Iraq’s parallel economic calamity), to strike at Hezbollah and the Hash’d A-Sha’abi — Israel’s and America’s adversaries in the region.

Why now? Because what happened to Aramco on 14 September has shocked both Israel and America: the former Commander of the Israeli Air Force wrote recently, “recent events are forcing Israel to recalculate its path as it navigates events. The technological abilities of Iran and its various proxies has reached a level at which they can now alter the balance of power around the world”. Not only could neither state identify the modus operando to the strikes (even now); but worse, neither had any answer to the technological feat the strikes plainly represented. In fact, the lack of any available ‘answer’ prompted one leading western defense analyst to suggest that Saudi should buy Russian Pantsir missiles rather than American air defenses.

And worse. For Israel, the Aramco shock arrived precisely at the moment that the US began its withdrawal of its ‘comfort security blanket’ from the region – leaving Israel (and Gulf States) on their own – and now vulnerable to technology they never expected their adversaries to possess. Israelis – and particularly its PM – though always conscious to the hypothetical possibility, never thought withdrawal actually would happen, and never during the term of the Trump Administration.

This has left Israel completely knocked, and at sixes-and sevens. It has turned strategy on its head, with the former Israeli Air Force Commander (mentioned above) speculating on Israel’s uncomfortable options – going forward – and even postulating whether Israel now needed to open a channel to Iran. This latter option, of course, would be culturally abhorrent to most Israelis. They would prefer a bold, out-of-the-blue, Israeli paradigm ‘game-changer’ (i.e. such as happened in 1967) to any outreach to Iran. This is the real danger.

It is unlikely that the stirring of protests in Lebanon and Iraq are somehow a direct response to the above: but rather, more likely, they lie with old plans (including the recently leaked strategy paper for countering Iran, presented by MbS to the White House), and with the regular strategic meetings held between Mossad and the US National Security Council, under the chairmanship of John Bolton.

Whatever the specific parentage, the ‘playbook’ is quite familiar: spark a popular ‘democratic’ dissent (based on genuine grievances); craft messaging and a press campaign that polarizes the population, and which turns their anger away from generalized discontent towards targeting specific enemies (in this case Hezbollah, President Aoun and FM Gebran Bassil (whose sympathies with Hezbollah and President Assad make him a prime target, especially as heir-apparent to the leadership of the majority of Christians). The aim – as always – is to drive a wedge between Hezbollah and the Army, and between Hezbollah and the Lebanese people.

It began when, during his meeting with President Aoun in March 2019, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo reportedly presented an ultimatum: Contain Hezbollah or expect unprecedented consequences, including sanctions and the loss of US aid. Leaked reports suggest that Pompeo subsequently brought ally, PM Hariri into the picture of the planned disturbances when Hariri and his wife hosted Secretary Pompeo and his wife for a lunch banquet at Hariri’s ranch near Washington at the end of the Lebanese premier’s August visit to the US.

As the Lebanese demonstrations began, reports of an ‘operations room’ in Beirut managing and analyzing the protests, and of large scale funding by Gulf states proliferated; but for reasons that are not clear, the protests faltered. The Army which originally stood curiously aloof, finally engaged in clearing the streets, and returning some semblance of normality – and the Central Bank governor’s strangely alarmist forecasts of imminent financial collapse were countered by other financial experts presenting a less frightening picture.

It seems that neither in Lebanon or in Iraq will US objectives finally be achieved (i.e. Hizbullah and Hash’d A-Sha’abi emasculated). In Iraq, this may be a less certain outcome however, and the potential risks the US is running in fomenting chaos much greater, should Iraq slip into anarchy. The loss of Iraq’s 5 million barrels/day of crude would crater the market for crude – and in these economically febrile times, this might be enough to tip the global economy into recession.

But that would be ‘small beer’ compared to the risk that the US is running in tempting ‘The Fates’ over a regional war that reaches Israel.

But is there a wider message connecting these Middle East protests with those erupting across Latin America? One analyst has coined the term for this era, as an Age of Anger disgorging from “serial geysers” of discontent across the globe from Equador to Chile to Egypt. His theme is that neoliberalism is everywhere – literally – burning.

We have noted before, how the US sought to leverage the unique consequences arising from two World Wars, and the debt burden that they bequeathed, to award itself dollar hegemony, as well the truly exceptional ability to issue fiat credit across the globe at no cost to the US (the US simply ‘printed’ its fiat credit). US financial institutions could splurge credit around the world, at virtually no cost – and live off the rent which those investments returned. But ultimately that came at a price: The limitation – to being the global rentier – has become evident through disparities of wealth, and through the incremental impoverishment of the American middle classes that the concomitant off-shoring brought about. Well-paid jobs evaporated, even as America’s financialised banking balance sheet ballooned across the globe.

But there was perhaps another aspect to this present Age of Anger. It is TINA: ‘There is no alternative’. Not because of an absence of potentiality – but because alternatives were crushed. At the end of two World Wars, there was an understanding of the need for a different way-of-being; an end to the earlier era of servitude; a new society; a new social contract. But it was short-lived.

And – long story, short – that post-war longing for ‘fairness’ (whatever that meant) has been squeezed dry; ‘other politics or economics’ of whatever colour, has been derided as ‘fake news’ – and in the wake of the 2008 great financial crisis, all sorts of safety-nets were sacrificed, and private wealth ‘appropriated’ for the purpose of the re-building of bank balance sheets, preserving the integrity of debt, and for keeping interest rates low. People became ‘individuals’ – on their own – to sort out their own austerity. Is it then, that people now are feeling both impoverished materially by that austerity, and impoverished humanly by their new era servitude?

The Middle East may pass through today’s present crises (or not), but be aware that, in their despair in Latin America, the ‘there is no alternative’ meme is becoming reason for protestors ‘to burn the system down’. That is what happens when alternatives are foreclosed (albeit in the interests of preserving ‘us’ from system collapse).

Bad News for Israel: Iran Has a New Missile

November 1, 2019

What can be done?

by Michael Peck

Key point: These new guided missiles could cause a lot of damage.

Iran has unveiled a kit that appears to convert unguided surface-to-surface rockets into guided weapons.

The Labeik kit “looked similar to the guidance units used with the Fateh-110 family of solid-propellent missiles, although its four triangular control surfaces were inverted,” according to Jane’s Defense Weekly, which based its analysis on Iranian television footage of a military parade earlier this month. “As with the Fateh-110 family, these would be attached between the rocket motor and warhead to steer the projectile. They appeared to be compatible with the 610-millimeter diameter of the Zelzal heavy artillery rocket.”

This development worries Israeli military experts, who note that Hezbollah – Iran’s proxy army in Lebanon – has an estimated arsenal of 150,000 rockets aimed at Israel. Currently, most are “dumb” weapons. “There is nothing new in the conversion itself, they have been doing it for years, and they already showed conversion kits for the Fateh-110 family of missiles,” missile defense expert Uzi Rubin told the Times of Israel.

“What’s new here are the aerodynamics of the winglets — very unique, unseen in Iran to date and unseen in any other country. Going to indigenous design rather than copying others indicates self-confidence. The purpose of the new and unique aerodynamics is probably to increase the maneuverability of the converted rockets.”

Unguided rockets have become a fixture of warfare since World War II, when Russia’s legendary Katyusha pulverized Nazi troops. Though capable of generating fearsome and impressive destruction with a fiery multi-rocket salvo from a single launcher, artillery rockets have been inaccurate weapons that rely on saturating a target with massed fires. Precision fire would be the job of the howitzers and mortars.

However, if Iran can convert an unguided rocket into a guided weapon, this would dramatically change the rocket’s effectiveness. Iran has a variety of rocket systems based heavily on old Soviet designs, such as the Falaq-1, which resembles the Soviet BM-24 240-millimeter multiple rocket launch system. Iran also has several types of guided ballistic missiles such as the Fateh-110, which has a range of more than 100 miles and inertial or GPS guidance.

That the Israelis are worried are no surprise. Already concerned about Hezbollah firing massive volleys across the Lebanese border into Israel, now the Israel Defense Forces must consider the possibility of massive salvoes of guided weapons aimed at strategic targets such as oil tanks, chemical refineries and military airfields. If these rockets are maneuverable, then they may be able to avoid interception by Israeli missile defenses such as Iron Dome.

But Saudi Arabia may be worried, too. Last month’s massive drone and cruise missile attack on Saudi oil facilities was claimed by Houthi rebels in Yemen, which are battling Saudi-backed forces. However, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia believe the weapons were fired from Iran, or were fired from Yemen or Iraq with Iranian help. Though Riyadh has spent billions on acquiring American-made Patriot air defense missiles and radar, Saudi defenses failed to detect or intercept the incoming drones and missiles. How will those defenses fare against a massive barrage of guided rockets?

However, Iran has often made suspect claims about developing new weapons, such as a stealth fighter. Until they have been used in combat, we can’t sure be sure of how effective the Labeik kit is at turning dumb rockets into smart ones.

Michael Peck is a contributing writer for the National Interest. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook. This first appeared earlier in October 2019.

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السعودية تُطأطئ رأسها أمام اليمنيين.. هل الحرب في نهايتها؟

د. حسن مرهج

أكتوبر 16, 2019
كثيرة هي المؤشرات التي تصبّ بمُجملها في بوتقة الانتصار اليمني، خاصة أنّ مروحة الانتصارات اليمنية في اتساع مضطرد. هذه الانتصارات ستُلقي بظلالها على كافة المسارات السياسية والعسكرية، في ما يتعلق بتفاصيل الحرب على اليمن، ومنظومة العدوان السعودي.

التحوّلات المفصلية في سياق الحرب على اليمن، فرضت نمطاً من التعاطي السياسي ومثله العسكري في تهيئة المناخات الإيجابية، والتي ستؤدّي حُكماً للتوصل إلى حلّ سياسي في اليمن، ولكن على قاعدة حفظ ماء وجه كلّ الأطراف الفاعلة في الحرب على اليمن.

باكورة الإنجازات الاستراتيجية تمثلت في الهجمات على أرامكو، حيث بات واضحاً أنه ما قبل الهجمات على «أرامكو» ليس كما بعدها. هذا الاستهداف قد حرك مياه المفاوضات السياسية الراكدة لإيجاد حلّ للأزمة اليمنية، وقد تعيد إدارة عجلة المفاوضات لإنهاء الحرب بما يحفظ للسعودية هيبتها التي استنزفت بعد الضربات العسكرية الموجعة التي تلقتها مؤخراً، ويحقق لحركة «أنصار الله»، في الوقت ذاته، ما تريده في السياسة.

السعودية أدركت أنّ التصعيد الكبير من قبل أنصار الله يأتي في إطار التجاهل السعودي لدعوات الحوار والتفاوض، بُغية إيجاد مخارج مُشرّفة للجميع، وبما يحقن دماء أبناء اليمن. فالسعودية وطوال سنوات الحرب على اليمن، قد تجاهلت تماماً أيّ دعوات للحوار، إلى أن جاءت التحوّلات الاستراتيجية التي صنعها «أنصار الله»، وأجبرت السعودية على الرضوخ، خشية تفاقم الأوضاع والوصول إلى العمق السعودي، وسط عجز تامّ عن التصدّي لهجمات أنصار الله وطائراتهم المُسيّرة.

ولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان قال في وقت سابق إنه سيستمرّ بالخيار العسكري حتى تنفيذ ما أسماه أهداف التحالف في اليمن، أما اليوم فبات يُطالب بإيجاد حلّ يُحقق السلام في اليمن. بين الخيارين يبدو أنّ ابن سلمان في مأزق حقيقي، وبصرف النظر عن رغباته بالبحث عن مخارج سياسية تُحقق السلام، فمن الواضح أنّ بنية التحالف السعودي قد أصابها الشرخ السياسي والعسكري، جراء ما أفرزته معادلة الردع التي حققها «أنصار الله»، فهذه الإمارات بدأت بتغيير مواقفها وإظهار نواياها بسحب قواتها من اليمن، وما تبع ذلك من مؤشرات حول عدم رضى السعوديين على فتح أيّ حوار مع إيران، إلا بالتنسيق معهم.

كلّ هذه المعُطيات، دفعت ابن سلمان إلى إحداث تغييرات جذرية في خطابه تجاه اليمن، ومن هنا باتت المؤشرات كثيرة على رغبته في إنهاء الحرب، خاصة بعدما تردّد أنّ بعض أفراد العائلة المالكة ونخبة رجال الأعمال في السعودية عبّروا عن إحباطهم منه، في أعقاب أكبر هجوم على «أرامكو».

في هذا الإطار، نقلت وكالة «رويترز»، عن دبلوماسي أجنبي رفيع المستوى وخمسة مصادر تربطها علاقات مع العائلة المالكة ونخبة رجال الأعمال، قولهم إنّ ما جرى أثار قلقاً وسط عدد من الفروع البارزة لعائلة آل سعود، بشأن قدرة ولي العهد على الدفاع عن البلاد.

وقال أحد المصادر «ثمة حالة استياء شديد من قيادة ولي العهد. كيف لم يتمكّنوا من رصد الهجوم؟»

وبالتالي فقد تسارعت المشاورات بين أطراف النزاع في اليمن، ولعلّ الدعوة التي حملها المبعوث الأممي إلى اليمن مارتن غريفيث، إلى زعيم «أنصار الله» السيد عبد الملك الحوثي، والتي تتضمّن دعوة إلى التهدئة مع السعودية، تُعدّ ترجمة واضحة لرغبات ابن سلمان بإيقاف الحرب والبحث عن حلول سياسية توافقية. «أنصار الله» قابلوا هذه الدعوة بإيجابية، شريطة أن تلتزم الرياض بما أبدته لجهة إيقاف الحرب. وبالإضافة إلى ذلك جاء الحراك الدولي الداعم لمبادرة صنعاء ليتزامن مع تغيير في اللهجة السعودية، ما يوحى بأنّ هناك جدية أكبر هذه المرة في التعامل مع الملف من كلّ الأطراف المعنية.

في المحصّلة، الواضح مما سبق انّ واشنطن ترغب أيضاً بإنهاء الحرب في اليمن، وفصل الملف اليمني عن الموضوع الإيراني. هذه الرؤية ربما دفعت واشنطن للضغط على ابن سلمان بُغية التفرّغ الكامل لإيران في المنطقة، وفي جانب آخر، يتمّ تبريد الملف اليمني وبالتالي يتمّ استثماره سياسياً من قبل ترامب في الانتخابات المقبلة.

وعليه، فإنّ حاجة واشنطن والرياض معاً، لتهدئة الملف اليمني وإيجاد مخارج من المستنقع اليمني، يُعدّ ورقة رابحة لواشنطن والرياض، لكن الحقيقة الواضحة، أنّ «أنصار الله» قد فرضوا معادلات سياسية وعسكرية لا يمكن كسرها، فالرياض أُرهقت عسكرياً وبشرياً، خاصة انّ عملية «نصر من الله» أحدثت فارقاً استراتيجياً في الكثير من المسارات، وأماطت اللثام عن تهاوي قدرة الجيش السعودي وتحالفه العربي. وكذلك ترامب الباحث عن أيّ ورقة سياسية رابحة في ظلّ فقدانه الأوراق تباعاً في الملف السوري. من هنا ستكون الأيام المقبلة مليئة بالتطورات السياسية والتي لن تخلوَ من عبث عسكري سعودي محدود، بُغية البقاء في مشهد الحلول اليمنية الآتية…

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محور المقاومة يُطبِق على الممرات والمضائق وأميركا مكتوفة الأيدي تحت النار…!

أكتوبر 12, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني

اقرأوهم بعناية وستكتشفون أنهم أعجز من أي وقت مضى، وأنهم قاب قوسين او أدنى من الخسران والخروج من مسرح العمليات في أكثر من ميدان..!

ان ما كتبه الصحافي الأميركي، ميخائيل موران Mechael Moran ، في مجلة فورين بوليسي الأميركية، يوم 30/9/2019، حول تآكل قدرات سلاح البحرية الأميركية، هو كلام غايةً في الأهمية. ولكن الأهم من إعلانه هذا هو الوقوف على اسباب فقدان هذا السلاح الأميركي، الذي كان يهدد دول العالم أجمع، وهي الأكثر أهمية مما نشرته فورين بوليسي.

خاصة أن ما نشر قد كتب في ظل تطورات ميدانية، عميقة التأثير في موازين القوى الاقليمية والدولية، والتي يمكن اختصارها بما يلي :

1. نجاح العديد من الدول في اقامة مناطق حظر، على البحرية الأميركية، والتي من بينها إيران التي اقامت منطقة ممنوعة على حاملات الطائرات الأميركية، بعمق مئتي ميل بحري. أي انها اخرجت طائرات البحرية الأميركية، التي تنطلق من الحاملات، من الميدان، وذلك لان معظم الاهداف الحيوية الإيرانية تقع خارج مدى تلك الطائرات، ولأن الحاملات لا تستطيع الاقتراب لمسافة أقرب الى السواحل الإيرانية، خشية من الصواريخ المضادة للسفن، والتي استخدم واحداً منها، نور 1 ومداه 130 كم، في ضرب البارجة الحربية الإسرائيلية

ساعر، قبالة سواحل بيروت، في تموز 2006، ثم البارجة الإماراتية في البحر الأحمر سنة 2016، ومن بعدها المدمرة الأميركية USS Mason.

علماً ان إيران تمتلك صواريخ عدة مضادة للسفن، اكثر حداثة وأبعد مدى من الصاروخ المذكور أعلاه، مثل صواريخ نور 4 وصاروخ /قادر/ وغيرها من الصواريخ غير المعلن عنها. إذ تؤكد معلومات خاصة أن إيران تمتلك حالياً صواريخ مضادة للسفن يصل مداها الى ما يزيد عن ألفي كيلومتر المصدر يتحدث عن ألف ميل بحري/ علماً ان الميل البحري يساوي الف وثمانمئة وأربعة وخمسين كيلومتراً .

2. النتائج الاستراتيجية الزلزالية، للعمليات الجوية/ الصاروخية / والعمليات البرية الواسعة النطاق، التي نفذتها القوات المسلحة اليمنية ضد منشآت النفط السعودية في ابقيق وخريص وضد القوات البرية السعودية في نجران، وما لتلك الإنجازات من نتائج غيّرت موازين القوى في الميدان، وحوّلت البحر الأحمر وخليج عدن الى بحار او مناطق محظورة على حاملات الطائرات الأميركية خوفاً من تعرّضها لصواريخ القوات اليمنية .

وهو ما يعني ان قوات حلف المقاومة هناك، اي إيران والجيش اليمني وانصار الله في اليمن أصبحت تسيطر على اهم مضيقين بحريين في العالم، هما مضيق هرمز ومضيق باب المندب وما تعنيه هذه السيطرة من تأثير على طرق الملاحة البحرية الدولية. خاصة من ناحية القدرة على المحافظة عليها مفتوحة وآمنة للحركة البحرية لدول صديقة لحلف المقاومة، كالصين وروسيا، بالنسبة لروسيا الحركة من افريقيا وأميركا اللاتينية باتجاه الموانئ الروسية على سواحل المحيط الهادئ مثل ميناء فلاديفوستوك .

كما يجب النظر الى التأثيرات الاستراتيجية، لهذه الانتصارات، على مشروع الصين المستقبلي طريق واحد حزام واحد. وهو المشروع الذي لا يمكن تحقيقه في ظل الهيمنة الأميركية على طرق الملاحة البحرية، من خلال سيطرتها على بحار العالم، منذ نهاية الحرب العالمية الثانية وحتى بداية العشرية الحاليّة.

ومن بين آخر التطورات الميدانية، في مسرح عمليات المواجهة بين حلف المقاومة والولايات المتحدة وأدواتها في المنطقة، هو :

3. افتتاح معبر القائم / البوكمال / الحدودي، بين سورية والعراق، وما يعنيه افتتاح هذا الشريان الحيوي، الذي يربط البلدين مع إيران وروسيا والصين شرقاً ومع لبنان وفلسطين المحررة غرباً، من الناحية الاستراتيجية. خاصة أن لفلسطين أهمية خاصة بالنسبة للمشروع الصيني طريق واحد حزام واحد. وذلك لكون فلسطين هي حلقة الوصل بين شرق العالم العربي وغربه، سواء على مستوى النقل بالعجلات او بالسكك الحديدية.

كما لا بد أن نستحضر الأهمية الاستراتيجية من الناحية العسكرية لإعادة فتح هذا المعبر، رغم القصف الجوي الأميركي والإسرائيلي المباشر لقطعات القوات المسلحة العراقية في غرب الأنبار بشكل خاص، وبهدف منع حدوث هذا التحول الهام.

اما عن ماهية عناصر هذا التحول فهي تتمثل، قبل كل شيء، في إحكام الحصار العسكري الاستراتيجي على الكيان الصهيوني رغم وجود جيب الأردن بين قوات حلف المقاومة وفلسطين المحتلة مؤقتاً، وما يعنيه ذلك من تحول هائل في موازين القوى العسكرية، خاصة اذا ما نظرنا الى هذا العنصر من منظار التخلي الأميركي عن الكيان والذي أصبح واضحاً، حسب معظم اهم المحللين الاسرائيليين، بعد الضربات اليمنية على اهداف أرامكو وفِي نجران السعودية. اذ انهم يجمعون المحللون الاسرائيليون على ان الولايات المتحدة، بعزوفها عن ضرب إيران عسكرياً، قد تركت اسرائيل وحيدة في مواجهة قوات حلف المقاومة وعلى رأسه إيران.

4. وإذا ما أضفنا لذلك الحصار البحري، الذي ستفرضه قوات حلف المقاومة، في لبنان وفلسطين، على السواحل الفلسطينية، عند صدور أمر العمليات الخاص بذلك، يصبح ما قاله سماحة السيد حسن نصر الله، في أحد خطاباته، موجهاً كلامه لسكان فلسطين المحتلة من اليهود، مفهوماً. وذلك عندما قال لهم أو نصحهم بالإسراع في مغادرة فلسطين المحتلة لأنه اذا نشبت الحرب فإنهم لن يجدوا لا متسعاً من الوقت للهرب ولا مكاناً يهربون إليه وإن أميركا وغيرها من الدول الاستعمارية لن تتمكن من التدخل لحمايتهم قبل إنهاء وجود كيانهم.

من هنا فان من المؤكد تماماً أن مسألة تحرير فلسطين كاملة ليست أكثر من مسألة وقت، لن يطول انتظار نهايتها، وان آخر مرحلة من مراحل الهجوم الاستراتيجي، لقوات حلف المقاومة، ستكون عبارة عن عملية عسكرية خاطفة، برية وبحرية وجوية، حابسة للأنفاس، تؤدي الى زوال بيت العنكبوت بأسرع ما يتصوّر الجميع.

وما ذلك على الله بعزيز.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله.

Aramco Operation Costs Saudi Arabia $2bn Worth Of Oil Output

Aramco Operation Costs Saudi Arabia $2bn Worth Of Oil Output

By Staff, Agencies

Saudi Arabia has lost $2 billion worth of its oil production after Yemen’s retaliatory operations on the kingdom’s vital energy infrastructure last month, according to a report by the Financial Times.

The kingdom’s output fell by nearly 1.3mn barrels a day in September, from the previous month, according to data submitted to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries [OPEC] by analysts and consultants, which is used by the cartel to set official production targets.

Saudi Arabia claimed to OPEC’s research arm that production was only hit by 660,000 bpd, according to a monthly oil market report published on Thursday.

Riyadh has sought to emphasize its ability to bring production back to normal levels and the resiliency of the state energy group Saudi Aramco, FT reported Thursday.

The country has tried to maintain its exports using oil in storage. However, energy consultants, analysts and industry executives have questioned the ability of the country’s production and exports to recover to above 9mn bpd within weeks.

It is also unclear how Saudi officials are going to stop such attacks from happening again.

The operation by Yemeni Ansarullah revolutionary movement last month shut down 5.7 million bpd of Saudi Arabia’s oil production, which represents more than half or five percent of the kingdom’s of global output.

Energy analysts have said the raid was akin to a massive heart attack for the oil market and global economy. It has already plunged OPEC’s oil production to the lowest level since 2011.

The attacks would also cause a decline in Saudi Arabia’s economic growth this year, the World Bank said in a report.

The report published on Thursday revised forecast about Saudi Arabia’s yearly growth of gross domestic product [GDP] from an earlier 1.7% announced in April to 0.8%, saying the decline was mainly due to oil production cuts caused by September 14 attacks as well as a worsening global outlook.

“The attacks on Saudi oil facilities in September led to a significant supply disruption which is also expected to impact 2019 growth,” said the report about the operation launched by Ansarullah who are targeting oil facilities run by state-run Aramco Company in eastern Saudi Arabia.

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