Archive

15.09.2018 - 07:30 [ New York Times ]

Yemen Civilians Keep Dying, but Pompeo Says Saudis Are Doing Enough

The certification, announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, was legally required to allow American military aircraft to continue refueling warplanes belonging to the two Gulf nations, the dominant members of an Arab coalition fighting a brutal war in Yemen that has helped create the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

04.09.2018 - 01:18 [ Press TV ]

Spain cancels €9.2mn deal to sell Saudis 400 precision bombs

The Spanish Ministry of Defense announced on Monday that it will return the 9.2 million euros already paid by Saudi Arabia to buy 400 Spanish-made precision bombs amid fears that they could be used to target the innocent people of Yemen, the El Mundo reported.

The arms deal had been negotiated and finalized by former Spanish defense ministers Pedro Morenés Eulate and Maria Dolores de Cospedal.

04.09.2018 - 01:15 [ The Local Spain ]

Smiles all round: Saudi crown prince visits Spain to sign €2.2 billion arms deal

(12.4.2018) Spain’s King Felipe VI met with Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who serves as defence minister and also controls economic policy for the world’s top oil exporter, at the Zarzuela Palace on the outskirts of Madrid, before hosting a luncheon in his honour attended by senior Spanish officials and businessmen. The Saudi prince then held talks behind closed doors with Defence Minister Maria Dolores Cospedal and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

03.09.2018 - 23:55 [ Press TV ]

Yemen’s former president Hadi to head to US for ‘treatment

Hadi has been in exile in Saudi Arabia since 2015. Before fleeing to the kingdom, he and his government had resigned as the impoverished country was in the grip of political turmoil.
Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement took state matters into their own hands after the mass resignation and Hadi’s escape threw the country into a state of uncertainty.
He has invariably proven a staunch Saudi ally, prompting criticism that his closeness to Riyadh made the country vulnerable to interference in its internal affairs.

30.08.2018 - 23:46 [ Common Dreams ]

Plan to Train Saudi Pilots on US Soil Undermines Pentagon Denial of Complicity in Yemen Carnage

„Federal procurement documents reviewed by TYT show that the U.S. Air Force is actively soliciting private contractors for training of Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) personnel to be ‚conducted in the U.S. at contractor’s facility,'“ Klippenstein reported.

Klippenstein noted that if the training of Saudi pilots to fly F-15 fighter jets takes place, it would appear to be the first such activity on American soil since the U.S.-Saudi coalition intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015.

30.08.2018 - 15:16 [ WSWS ]

UN panel cites massive war crimes in US-backed war on Yemen

A draft report prepared by a United Nations human rights panel has spelled out in detail the massive and savage war crimes that have been carried out against the people of Yemen in the three-year-old war waged by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with indispensable military and political backing from Washington.

25.08.2018 - 11:32 [ Intercept ]

Military Brass Tells Congress It Has No Idea What Saudi Arabia Is Doing With U.S. Bombs in Yemen

(14.3.2018) Warren followed up by describing an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition that struck civilians in February. The attack, in the northern Yemen town of Saada, killed five civilians. Medical staff who rushed in to help survivors were hit in a follow-up attack, Warren noted. (This is known as a “double-tap” airstrike.)

“General Votel, when you receive reports like this from credible media organizations or outside observers, is CENTCOM able to tell if U.S. fuel or U.S. munitions were used in that strike?”

“No, senator, I don’t believe we are,” he replied.

25.08.2018 - 11:28 [ Washington Post ]

End U.S. support for this misbegotten and unwinnable war

ON AUG. 9, an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen struck a bus packed with young boys in the northern village of Dahyan, killing at least 51 people, including 40 children, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross. As Saudi spokesmen defend this horrific massacre — one called the bus a “legitimate military target” — Trump administration officials are being pressed by members of Congress …

24.08.2018 - 15:16 [ Botschaft des Königreichs Saudi Arabien in Washington, D.C. ]

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Contributes $100 Million for Syria’s Stabilization Efforts: Raqqa and Areas of Northeast Syria Liberated from ISIS

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in its continued commitment to serve as stabilizing force in the region, has contributed $100 million dollars for Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS-supported stabilization projects in areas liberated from ISIS in northeast Syria. This is the largest Coalition contribution to date for these liberated areas, and follows the pledge made by Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir during the July 12, 2018 Global Coalition Ministerial Conference in Brussels, hosted by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

21.08.2018 - 11:09 [ arabnews.com ]

Russia rejects Canada’s ‘authoritative tone’ toward Saudi Arabia

(8.8.18) DUBAI: Russia sided with Saudi Arabia in the ongoing diplomatic rift with Canada on Wednesday, issuing a statement accusing the latter of attempting to “politicize human rights issues.”

The statement said Russia rejected the “authoritative tone” of Canada toward Saudi Arabia, adding that the Kingdom had the full sovereign right to manage its own affairs.

21.08.2018 - 11:03 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

‚They are the world’s worst oppressor of women‘: Saudi Arabia ramps up bizarre propaganda campaign against Canada that’s included the threat of a 9/11-style attack and allegations of widespread gender inequality

(13.8.2018)
– The dispute began August 6 when a Canadian government-linked account tweeted criticizing Saudi government for imprisoning women’s rights activists
– Two tweets mentioned imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi and his sister Samar
– Saudi Arabia responded with a full-force attack on Canada’s civil rights record
– A Saudi TV station has called Canada ‚the world’s worst oppressor of women‘
– The Middle Eastern country is known for its poor track record on women’s issues
– Saudi pundits have also claimed University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson is being held as a political prisoner by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
– Numerous Saudi social media accounts have been sharing similar smears
– One government-affiliated account tweeted an apparent threat to carry out a 9/11-style attack on Toronto last week

21.08.2018 - 10:12 [ theGuardian.com ]

‘We don’t have a single friend’: Canada’s Saudi spat reveals country is alone

(11.8.2018) Several countries expressed support for Saudi Arabia, including Egypt and Russia. But Canada continued to stand alone, even as state-run media in the kingdom reported the beheading and “crucifixion” of a man convicted of killing a woman and carrying out other crimes.

21.08.2018 - 10:00 [ nationalpost.com ]

With echoes of 9/11, pro-government Saudi Twitter account posts image of plane flying towards Toronto skyline

(6.8.2018) The image, shared by the account @infographic_ksa, was accompanied by a message in English that contained the saying “He who interferes with what doesn’t concern him finds what doesn’t please him.” The text “sticking one’s nose where it doesn’t belong!” was also superimposed over the image.

21.08.2018 - 09:58 [ thesun.co.uk ]

EYE FOR AN EYE: Paralysis, eye gouging and crucifixion – the Medieval and grotesque punishments faced by criminals in Saudi Arabia

Trials are reported to have lasted a day and confessions extracted under torture.

The country has no written penal code and no code of criminal procedure and judicial procedure.

That allows courts wide powers to determine what constitutes a criminal offence and what sentences crimes deserve.

The only means of appeal is directly to the King, who decides whether the condemned lives or dies.

The list of punishments makes for grim reading.

21.08.2018 - 09:30 [ Bloomberg.com ]

JPMorgan, HSBC Among Banks to Help Manage Saudi Dollar Bond

(5.3.2018) The world’s biggest oil exporter plans to borrow the equivalent of $31 billion this year to bridge an expected budget deficit of $52 billion and fund growth plans after its economy shrank last year. The kingdom on Friday said it’s increasing a $10 billion syndicated loan by $6 billion after existing lenders and new banks showed “an exceptional response.”

12.08.2018 - 13:48 [ Tulsi Gabbard, Abgeordnete des U.S. Repräsentantenhauses ]

VIDEO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Legislation to Stop Arming Terrorists

(8.12.2016) Under U.S. law it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups. If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the U.S. government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.

The CIA has also been funneling weapons and money through Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others who provide direct and indirect support to groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda. This support has allowed al-Qaeda and their fellow terrorist organizations to establish strongholds throughout Syria, including in Aleppo.

09.08.2018 - 18:36 [ memri.org ]

Qatar’s Opposition To Trump’s Forthcoming Middle East Peace Plan As Reflected In Qatari Cartoons

(2.8.2018) In recent weeks, the Qatari media has been slamming the Trump administration’s efforts to advance a regional peace plan that has come to be known as the „Deal of the Century.“ Qatari media reports and articles about this plan have described it as serving Israel’s interests while eliminating the Palestinian cause. Furthermore, following reports in the non-Arab media that Saudi Arabia has been involved in formulating this plan, and against the backdrop of the growing crisis between Qatar and the „Arab Quartet“ – i.e. the four countries, led by Saudi Arabia, which have been boycotting Qatar for the last year – the Qatari media has been accusing Saudi Arabia and other Arab regimes of collaborating with the Trump administration and betraying the Palestinians.

09.08.2018 - 18:26 [ Financial Times ]

Trump’s hopes for Middle East peace deal falter

(6.8.2018) Arab officials have said any peace proposal has to wait until tensions between Israel and Hamas — the Islamist movement that controls Gaza — ease and Palestinian fury over the US’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital dissipates. A US diplomat said this message had been relayed to the plan’s architects, Jared Kushner, Mr Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, and Jason Greenblatt, the Middle East peace envoy.

09.08.2018 - 18:22 [ Al-Monitor ]

US game plan on Iran written in Tel Aviv, claim Israeli insiders

An anonymous high-level Israel intel source was quoted in the Israeli media Aug. 7 as saying that the renewed US sanctions imposed this week on Iran “will bring Iran to its knees.’’ The source also argued that chances are good that the country will be forced to return to the negotiating table with the six world powers that cut the nuclear agreement and agree to a modification and to limitations on its continued expansion in the Middle East.

09.08.2018 - 18:19 [ Haaretz ]

U.S. Official: Trump’s Peace Plan Will Cause Discomfort to Both Israel and Palestinians

Sources outside the administration who are involved in the discussions over the plan told Haaretz that the Trump peace team believes their plan could be the first one ever to receive a positive answer from both Israel and major Arab countries, regardless of the Palestinian position.

08.08.2018 - 21:09 [ AOL.com ]

Saudi Arabia crucified a man in Mecca while aggressively calling out Canada over human rights

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia executed a man by crucifixion in the holy city of Mecca on Wednesday, while it was trying to attack Canada on its human rights record.
Saudi Arabia frequently uses capital punishment, which can be issued for crimes like homosexuality or anti-government activities, though crucifixions are rare.

05.08.2018 - 18:22 [ Press TV ]

Saudi Arabia agrees to admit Iranian diplomat to head interests section

Following the approval by Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry, head of the Oman and Yemen Department at Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Alibek, has been appointed as the caretaker of the Islamic Republic’s interests section in the city of Jeddah, the official Iranian news agency further said.

04.08.2018 - 16:33 [ Reuters ]

China chides Iran over threat to block oil exports through Strait of Hormuz

(6.7.2018) “Especially as it is a country on the Gulf, it should dedicate itself to being a good neighbor and co-existing peacefully,” he added. “China will continue to play our positive, constructive role.”

Ministers from 21 Arab countries are attending the summit, as well as Kuwait’s elderly ruler, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber al-Sabah.

01.08.2018 - 16:33 [ Amnesty International ]

Amnesty International staff targeted with malicious spyware

In early June 2018, an Amnesty International staff member received a suspicious WhatsApp message in Arabic. The text contained details about an alleged protest outside the Saudi embassy in Washington D.C., followed by a link to a website. Investigations by Amnesty International’s technology team revealed that clicking the link would have, according to prior knowledge, installed “Pegasus”, a sophisticated surveillance tool developed by the Israel-based company NSO Group.

01.08.2018 - 16:31 [ Haaretz ]

Amnesty: We Were Targeted With Israeli NSO Cyberweapons

Like many other Israeli startups in the security field, NSO was founded in 2010 by three veterans of the army’s premier signals intelligence unit, 8200: Niv Carmi, Omri Lavie and Shalev Hulio. They started work on Pegasus, which remains NSO’s only product, immediately after founding the company.

01.08.2018 - 16:11 [ PressTV.ir ]

Trump ‘taken hostage’ by Saudis on Iran oil sanctions: Official

„It seems President Trump has been taken hostage by Saudi Arabia and a few producers when they claimed they can replace 2.5 million barrels per day of Iranian exports, encouraging him to take action against Iran,“ Hossein Kazempour Ardebili was quoted as saying.

The Trump administration has been pushing countries to cut all imports of Iranian oil from November 4 when the United States re-imposes sanctions against the Islamic Republic’s banking and petroleum sectors.

22.07.2018 - 14:02 [ presstv.com ]

Saudi Arabia: S-400 sale talks with Russia ‘advancing well’

(1.6.2018) Speaking to Sputnik on Thursday, the kingdom’s Ambassador to Moscow Rayed Krimly said the two sides were working out the technical details of the contract.

„We signed the contract during the King’s visit. What is now happening is the implementation requires technical details of technology transfers, other technical details between experts of both sides,“ he said.

„Experts need to finish their discussions, we cannot put a date for the end of discussions, but it is proceeding in a very positive manner,“ Krimly added.

20.07.2018 - 07:06 [ Al-Manar TV ]

Saudi Arabia Signs Deal for Five Warships with Spain’s Navantia

Saudi Arabia’s state-owned defense company has forged a deal with Spanish shipbuilder Navantia for a joint venture to build five warships, state media said Thursday.
The agreement was signed between the state-owned Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) and Spain’s shipbuilder, Navantia, on Thursday, paving the way for the two sides to set up a joint venture in the kingdom for constructing the five battleships, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

03.07.2018 - 07:40 [ MintPress News ]

Saudi-Led Coalition Ministers of Information Meeting Probes Ways to Block Critical Coverage of Yemen War

Aside from a coalition-imposed moratorium on foreign journalists entering Yemen, a recent report by the Yemeni Media Union highlights a great deal of coalition activity aimed at controlling the narrative surrounding the unpopular war, including: “five cases of cloning ‘tv’ channels, 22 cases of destruction of ‘media’ facilities, 30 cases of targeting radio and television broadcasting centers, seven cases of suspension from broadcasting on Arabsat and Nilesat, and seven cases of blocking and disturbing channels.”

06.06.2018 - 12:11 [ ZeroHedge ]

Russia Building The Trans-Arabian Railway Will Make The Saudis More Multipolar

The concept is for the GCC states to tighten their non-energy economic integration with one another through a coastal railway that hugs the southern edge of the Persian Gulf and would run from Kuwait to Oman, but this vision hasn’t yet been prioritized. That might change in the coming future, however, as a result of trilateral cooperation between Russia, Saudi Arabia, and China.

25.05.2018 - 13:09 [ Jason Ditz / antiwar.com ]

Pentagon Uses ‘New Authority’ to Speed Up Arms Exports to Saudis, Others

In 2017’s military spending bill, the Pentagon was given increased authority to directly write up arms exports abroad as “domestic” sales contracts with an export component to them. This was intended to allow the Pentagon to rush certain deliveries.

22.05.2018 - 07:18 [ Middle East Monitor ]

NGOs: Saudi Arabia must be held to account for human rights violations in Yemen

The Mwatana Organization for Human Rights and Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Clinic have submitted a new report to the United Nations that is highly critical of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.
Radhya Almutawakel, Chairperson of Mwatana Organization for Human Rights said: “No one has been spared in the war in Yemen—for more than three years, Saudi-led coalition airstrikes have killed and injured thousands of civilians, destroying homes, schools, hospitals, and even hitting weddings and funerals.”

07.05.2018 - 14:29 [ Press TV ]

Rights groups to bring legal action against France over arms sales to Saudi, UAE

France, the world’s third-biggest arms exporter, counts Saudi Arabia and the UAE among its major purchasers, and France’s biggest defense firms, including Dassault and Thales, have major contracts in the Persian Gulf.

The European country has sold Caesar artillery guns and ammunition, sniper rifles and armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

07.05.2018 - 03:19 [ Press TV ]

Former Jaish al-Islam leader stole millions, launches businesses in Turkey & Saudi Arabia: Report

The Arabic-language Damascus Now news website reported on Sunday that Mohammed Alloush has appropriated some $47 million over the past few years, and hid it from the leaders of the terrorist organization.

Alloush’s older brother and the founder of Jaish al-Islam, Zahran, was accused by other armed groups in the Eastern Ghouta of stealing more than $12 million back in 2015, months before he was killed in a counter-terrorism operation conducted by Syrian government forces in the enclave.

30.04.2018 - 18:13 [ Wall Street Journal ]

Pompeo Backs Israel’s Right to Defend Border With Gaza

President Donald Trump’s chief diplomat was concluding his first-ever international trip after being sworn in on Thursday. He landed in Amman on Sunday after stops in Brussels, Riyadh and Tel Aviv.

“We do believe the Israelis have the right to defend themselves, and we’re fully supportive of that,” Mr. Pompeo said at a joint press conference with Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi.

29.04.2018 - 10:04 [ Washington Post ]

Pompeo, in Saudi Arabia, talks tough on Iran, Gulf dispute

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is using the Middle East leg of his first trip abroad as America’s top diplomat to call for concerted international action to punish Iran for its missile programs. He’s also urging Saudi Arabia and its neighbors to resolve a long-festering dispute with Qatar that U.S. officials say Iran is exploiting to boost its influence in the region, including in Yemen and Syria.

26.04.2018 - 10:27 [ Daily Sabah ]

France, US and Middle Eastern partners to discuss Syrian crisis in Paris

The meeting will bring together a group of nations – including France, the U.S., Britain, Saudi Arabia and Jordan – which belong to the U.S.-led coalition against the Daesh terror group, dpa learned from diplomatic sources on Tuesday. It was not clear which officials would be sent by the participating nations.

More than 70 countries and around 20 international organizations are expected in Paris on Wednesday for the „No Money for Terror“ conference.

18.04.2018 - 08:43 [ CNN ]

Bolton dealing to build an Arab military force in Syria

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, said Tuesday that Saudi Arabia is engaged in talks with the US and would consider sending forces to Syria along with other Arab countries as part of this contingent.
Jubeir also noted that the idea is not necessarily new, as Saudi Arabia made a similar proposal to the Obama administration, but that the US did not take them up on the offer.

16.04.2018 - 08:09 [ Jeremy Corbyn / theGuardian.com ]

Diplomacy, and not bombing, is the way to end Syria’s agony

Already this devastating conflict has cost more than 500,000 lives and led to 5 million refugees being forced to flee Syria, and 6 million internally displaced. We must put negotiations for a political settlement centre stage, and not slip into a new cycle of military reaction and counter-reaction.

Protracted external military intervention in Syria – from funding and arms supplies to bombing and boots on the ground – has not helped in the slightest. Syria has become the theatre for military action by regional and international powers – the United States, Britain, Russia, France, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates among them.

15.04.2018 - 19:48 [ Arab News ]

Arab leaders meet in Saudi Arabia as Syria tensions reach boiling point

Leaders of the 22-nation Arab League, who will meet in the Saudi city of Dhahran on Sunday, are expected to stress continuity in their efforts to find a solution to the Syrian conflict. It follows airstrikes by the US, UK and France against the Assad regime on Saturday. The leaders are likely to seek Arab and international support to increase pressure on the regime to find a solution to the conflict.

11.04.2018 - 09:43 [ Bloomberg.com ]

Macron Entertains Saudi Crown Prince Paris-Style at Louvre

Prince Mohammed, 32, met with the 40-year-old French leader for a private meal in the former royal palace-turned-museum in Paris ahead of their official rounds of meetings and a state dinner on Tuesday. Macron and Mohammed, who is on his first visit to France as Crown Prince, already met in Riyadh in November.

11.04.2018 - 06:03 [ New York Times ]

Trump Weighs More Robust Military Strike Against Syria

American officials expressed confidence that they would have the backing of France, which has been vocal about the need for a strong response, as well as Britain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, all of which called for Syria to be held accountable for the suspected chemical attack. It remained unclear, however, whether any of the allies would participate.

10.04.2018 - 18:55 [ Press TV ]

France, Saudi Arabia sign multiple contracts worth $18bn

Other reports on Tuesday suggested some of the major deals signed during Salman’s current visit were for arms sale, including a deal for navy patrol boats from French company CMN and another one for Caesar artillery canons from Nexter. The French presidency has played down a possible contract while the two companies in question have also refused to comment.

09.04.2018 - 03:36 [ New York Times ]

As Trump Seeks Way Out of Syria, New Attack Pulls Him Back In

Days after President Trump said he wanted to pull the United States out of Syria, Syrian forces hit a suburb of Damascus with bombs that rescue workers said unleashed toxic gas.

Within hours, images of dead families sprawled in their homes threatened to change Mr. Trump’s calculus on Syria, possibly drawing him deeper into an intractable Middle Eastern war that he hoped to leave.

06.04.2018 - 08:09 [ Washington Post ]

Saudi crown prince sees a new axis of ‘evil’ in the Middle East

(8.3.2018) In remarks reportedly made this week in a meeting with Egyptian newspaper editors, he pointed to a “triangle of evil” in the Middle East made up of Iran — Riyadh’s perennial foe — Islamist extremist groups and Turkey. His rhetoric seemed to echo the notorious „axis of evil“ bluster of the George W. Bush administration.

The inclusion of Turkey raised eyebrows and sparked an angry backlash on Turkish social media.

31.03.2018 - 01:28 [ Times ]

Saudi Crown Prince Says U.S. Troops Should Stay In Syria

“We believe American troops should stay for at least the mid-term, if not the long-term,” he told TIME Thursday in a wide-ranging interview.

Bin Salman, a 32-year old who last year disrupted the line of succession when he became next in line for the Saudi throne, has emerged as the most powerful Saudi ruler in decades. In addition to being selected as the crown prince, he serves as First Deputy Prime Minister, President of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, and Minister of Defense.