West Asia News and Discussions

The Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum is a venue to discuss issues pertaining to India's security environment, her strategic outlook on global affairs and as well as the effect of international relations in the Indian Subcontinent. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
habal
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6894
Joined: 24 Dec 2009 18:46

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby habal » 24 Oct 2013 10:02

rumors abound that bandar and his rats are planning a big attack on qalamoon mountain range, west of damascus, as his last hurrah, Qalamoon includes towns like Al-Nabak, Yabrood, Ma'loolaa and Dayr 'Atiyya. A huge concentration, some say 20,000 and some say 40,000 beheaders, merceneries, and rats are preparing for the big push on Damascus. A very interesting development is taking place in light of this massing of rebels rats. While everyone and his sister know about this massing, since it has taken an year in making, Chinese and Russian satellites constantly circling above has alerted everyone. Hezbollah is massing behind the lines of bandar's army in Qalamoon. SAA is in negotiations with FSA who wish to turn their guns on ISIS.

A source close to the Syrian authorities spoke to Al-Akhbar about a major deal being prepared in Qalamoun, almost a year in the works. The source said that a high-level officer in the Syrian army was handling the negotiations. “Some armed groups have begun reconsidering their position vis-à-vis the Syrian government, especially as the presence of foreign fighters in the ranks of the armed opposition, especially takfiri groups, has begun to directly threaten Syrians.”

The source added, “There are several factors pushing toward the conclusion of this deal, most notably the withdrawal of armed groups affiliated with the Army of Islam from eastern Ghouta to the northern countryside …”

Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=8da_1382 ... RDdHSBQ.99

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=8da_1382569364


Also the year or so advance notice has given more than enough time to the SAA to rig bridges, roads and other utilities and thus forcing the rats to use mountainous and rocky terrain to transport assets. If bandar depends on this push for his life, then his goose is cooked.

Austin
BRF Oldie
Posts: 23387
Joined: 23 Jul 2000 11:31

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Austin » 24 Oct 2013 10:51

Syrian Army Ballistic Missile Test , SCUD-B, M600, Frog 7, Zilzal 2 and 302mm, 220mm Rockets.


TSJones
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3022
Joined: 14 Oct 1999 11:31

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby TSJones » 24 Oct 2013 10:54

Crowd sourcing SCUD missile launch warnings in Syria:

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013 ... tions?lite

Lilo
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4079
Joined: 23 Jun 2007 09:08

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Lilo » 24 Oct 2013 11:43



Why Saudi Arabia said no
Chinmaya R Gharekhan : Thu Oct 24 2013, 04:38 hrs

Growing distance from the US, the US-Iran thaw, and Russia’s stonewalling on Syria were the triggers for Riyadh turning down the Security Council seat.

Saudi Arabia dropped a bombshell on the UN on October 18. Having won, for the first time ever, a seat as a non-permanent member of the Security Council just a day earlier in a secret ballot, the foreign ministry in Riyadh issued a statement that enumerated several reasons that left it “no option but to turn down Security Council membership”. The delegations of the 193 countries in New York were stunned at this unprecedented action of a member state to renounce a seat on the most important organ of the UN, after having worked for two years to get elected. The Saudi delegation in New York had been celebrating the election success and in Riyadh, too, there was jubilation. The Saudi ambassador had even said in a statement that “we take this election very seriously and accept the responsibility to contribute to this important forum to maintain peace and security”. All the other delegates, this writer included, were no doubt delighted to have the opportunity to speculate and pontificate on the real reasons behind the Saudi decision, apart from or in addition to those outlined by the government in Riyadh. On one thing, however, there was consensus: the decision was taken personally by King Abdullah.

The official statement in Riyadh, inter alia, essentially mentioned these factors: Syria; working methods and double standards; and Palestine and weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. “Allowing the ruling clique in Syria to kill and burn its people by the chemical weapons, while the world stood idly by, without applying deterrent sanctions against the Damascus regime is also irrefutable evidence and proof of the inability of the Security Council to carry out its duties and responsibilities”. Further, “work mechanisms and double standards... prevent it from carrying out its duties and responsibilities in keeping world peace. Therefore, Saudi Arabia has no other option but to turn down SC membership until it is reformed and given the means to accomplish its duties and resume its responsibility in maintaining peace and security in the world”. The Saudi statement criticised the failure of the UN to rid the Middle East of WMDs, including nuclear weapons, as well as the failure to find a solution to the Palestinian crisis for 65 years.

Russia, which along with China is regarded as the main culprit by the Saudis and many others for the ineffectiveness of the SC in dealing with the Syrian situation, was prompt in criticising the Saudi decision. The Russian foreign ministry said that the Saudi argument about the Syrian situation caused “bewilderment”, and its criticism of the SC was “particularly strange”.

For the past several months, perhaps a couple of years, Saudi Arabia has been untypically active and assertive in its foreign policy approach.
{the reason for this shift is the mystery - many causes can be identified but none pinpointed with accuracy } For decades, its style had been low-key in public. It did assert itself when its concerns were in question, but always discreetly and in private. The events in the Arab world since January 2011 seem to have caused deep unhappiness, unease and introspection amongst the ruling circles in the kingdom, and have led them to question their longstanding alliance with the US. From the Saudi perspective, America’s failure to stand by Hosni Mubarak in Egypt came as a big shock. When Mohamed Morsi became president — it was of no consequence to the Saudis that he had won in a democratic election — Riyadh became most worried for itself and upset with the Americans, who seemed to have embraced Morsi despite his Muslim Brotherhood credentials. Indeed, the Saudis suspected that the Americans had contributed to Morsi’s success. Hence, when Morsi was toppled in an apparently popular coup, King Abdullah was the first to offer congratulations.

Syria was the next factor. The Saudis and Americans were on the same side, as was Israel. They all wanted Bashar al-Assad out. In Saudi Arabia, the policy towards Syria was personally directed by the king for sectarian and tribal reasons: one of his wives is of Syrian origin. The kingdom, like Israel and the US, wanted to smash the axis between Damascus and Tehran for sectarian reasons, while Israel and the US also wanted to weaken Iran’s influence in the region, choke Iran’s supply links to Hezbollah and Hamas, and eventually to weaken Iran itself. The Saudis poured significant resources into the rebel militias and encouraged other Gulf states to do so, with Qatar playing a leading role in financing the rebels as well as supplying them arms. But they could not persuade the Americans to be more forthcoming in supplying heavy military equipment. Nonetheless, when US President Obama began to prepare for air strikes against Syria in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons on August 21, the Saudis were perhaps mollified, even though the strike was going to be limited in duration and scope. When that was called off, thanks to Russian quick-thinking and initiative, the Saudis were deeply disappointed and angry. From their point of view, the Russian action was like a stab in the front.

But the final straw was probably the beginning, however tentative, of a thaw in US-Iran relations. While much of the rest of the world welcomed the telephone conversation between presidents Obama and Rouhani, for Saudi Arabia it was a most unwelcome development. An intense struggle is going on between the leader of Sunni Islam and the leader of Shia Islam for dominance in the Muslim Ummah. For some time, they attempted to keep up the façade of being civil to each other, but the “new great game”, as this writer has described this rivalry, is being fought with all means, not excluding a proxy war in Syria. Saudi Arabia had every reason to feel betrayed by the US administration’s opening up to Iran.

The fact that America has become self-reliant in the energy sector and might even start exporting oil, and particularly gas, might have convinced the Saudis that they could no longer count on the alliance with America, which was based on hard national interests of both sides — energy for the US and regime security for the House of Saud, proving continued validity of the axiom about no permanent friends, but only permanent interests. For all these reasons, Saudi Arabia most likely did not want to sit on the SC alongside America, which it now views with a less than friendly eye.

Since there is no precedent, the UN will have to find a way to fill the vacancy caused by the Saudis. Technically, they could retract their decision, but practically and politically this will not happen. The General Assembly will have to hold a special election. The seat for the next two years has to be filled by an Arab state from Asia. Kuwait has already announced its candidature. The Asia-Pacific group will meet soon to endorse Kuwait’s candidature, unless some other country jumps into the fray. Our permanent representative in New York, Asoke Mukerji, will probably have an interesting few weeks ahead, as India is the chair of the Asia-Pacific group this month.

The writer, India’s former permanent representative at the UN, is adjunct senior fellow, Delhi Policy Group. Views are personal.


CGK as usual makes many excellent points (wonder why his article didn't come out in Al-Hindu as it usually does and instead came out in IE) - moreover both his and fisk's writeups are making the same case that Saudi's and their antediluvian establishment are the main obstacle in establishing lasting peace in middle east.
They again impress on my own belief that Israel's opposition to Iran is not all what it seems and the main agent in play plotting to wipe Iran off the equation through a devastating war is Saudi Barbaria more than anybody else.

Also the reason Morsy was dispatched (this is not touched upon in the two articles) is because of his overtures to Iran - this made Saudis to immediately jump up and pull the plug.
Last edited by Lilo on 24 Oct 2013 11:54, edited 1 time in total.

habal
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6894
Joined: 24 Dec 2009 18:46

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby habal » 24 Oct 2013 11:53

Israel and Saudi Barbaria should get their own private room to make love, where they can play games like behead-behead, chop hands-chop legs, (so many choices eh ?) decide on which hair to grow and where to trim or mutilate genitals and then reset, reboot and make love in quick succession. They should not bother others. Erdogan can play the woh, in the pati-patni story to complete triangle of this couple.


Philip
BRF Oldie
Posts: 21334
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 24 Oct 2013 19:29

And this is why the Saudis and Bandar-or-Bust desperately wanted their Syrian war ,so that thye could make hundreds of billions in windfall oil profits when the sh*t hit the fan with oil prices skyrocketing.Now that hasn't happened and the Saudis cannot forever bribe their people with lavish subsidies to preserve the monarchy.The US is gradually reducing its dependence upon ME oil with its shale oil production and new finds as in Syria threaten the monopoly of the OPEC club.

The Last of the Sheiks?

DURHAM, England — THIS summer, disgruntled Saudis took their grievances online in droves, complaining of ever-growing inequality, rising poverty, corruption and unemployment. Their Twitter campaign became one of the world’s highest trending topics. It caused great alarm within elite circles in Saudi Arabia and sent ripples throughout the region. The rallying cry that “salaries are not enough” helped to prove that the monarchy’s social contract with its people is now publicly coming unstuck, and on a significant scale.

Many experts believe that the Gulf states have survived the Arab Spring because they are different. After all, they’ve weathered numerous past storms — from the Arab nationalist revolutions of the 1950s and ’60s to Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait to an Al Qaeda terror campaign in 2003.

But they are not different in any fundamental way. They have simply bought time with petrodollars. And that time is running out.

The sheiks of the Persian Gulf might not face the fate of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya or Hosni Mubarak of Egypt next year, but the system they have created is untenable in the longer term and it could come apart even sooner than many believe.

Saudi Arabia is the kingpin of the six Gulf monarchies, so its internal stability is crucial for the region, especially since so much attention has now been turned toward these anachronistic political systems in the wake of the 2011 uprisings.

Although it’s never healthy to treat any state as exceptional, Saudi Arabia is indeed a bit different from its neighbors. Unlike Mr. Mubarak or Colonel Qaddafi, Saudi Arabia’s octogenarian king, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, has had the oil-financed means to buy off protesters. He has managed to calm the anger that has flared up in his backyard by ramping up subsidies, dramatically increasing public-sector employment and announcing huge and unprecedented government spending programs. So far, this has been a fast and effective way to keep the masses off the streets.

But this is not evidence of royal resilience, as some Western diplomats and academics have argued. On the contrary, Saudi Arabia’s resource-fueled strategy is a response to rising discontent across the region, and it is driven by a deep-seated fear that restive populations across the Arab world could incite unrest closer to home.

Moreover, spending for stability’s sake in Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf monarchies will necessarily be quite short-lived. The kingdom pledged a record-breaking $500 billion for “welfare” this year — most to be spent on social security subsidies and new public sector jobs.

Such vast wealth distribution can’t be kept going for much longer. That level of public expenditure is not sustainable and it flies in the face of decades of efforts to promote better fiscal accountability in the kingdom and wean the population off handouts and public-sector entitlement.

Thus, on top of declining oil reserves, rapidly rising domestic energy consumption and increasing energy-supply diversification among its allies, the kingdom’s spiraling spending is also fast raising the break-even oil price for Saudi Arabia and all five of the other Gulf monarchies; in other words, the price of a barrel of oil that these states need in order to balance their books is getting higher and higher. In Bahrain it’s now over $115 (far higher than yesterday’s price of around $102) while in Oman it’s up to $104.

In Bahrain and Oman, dependency on a high oil price is becoming perilous, while in the small oil-rich monarchies, ministers are starting to talk openly of a break-even price. That would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. In early October, even Kuwait received a warning from the International Monetary Fund. It was told it had to rein in its spending on welfare and public sector jobs and boost non-oil income as soon as possible.

Much worse for the Gulf’s ruling families than the looming economic crisis is the fact that their repressive response to protests is now starting to have a demonstrable impact on their legitimacy as carefully honed social contracts begin to fray.

The initial slew of arrests and small number of deaths in the first half of 2011 have since been dwarfed by huge crackdowns. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have been the most brutal, with dozens dead in Bahrain and about 18 killed in Saudi Arabia. All the neighboring states have taken many political prisoners. Last year, Qatar even sentenced a poet critical of autocracies to life imprisonment, later commuted to 15 years.

These moves have caught the international community off guard — especially those institutions and governments that had bought into the myth of Gulf monarchies’ benevolence. But far more important, the rulers’ increasing heavy-handedness has not gone unnoticed by domestic populations.

In countries that enjoy some of the highest broadband and smartphone penetration rates in the world, there is more access to information than ever before. People are now openly questioning the large numbers of political prisoners, the use of counterterrorism laws to justify mass arrests and the open assaults being made on what’s left of civil society, academia and the media.

Bahrain is a tiny island just a few miles across a causeway from Saudi Arabia and now increasingly something of a vassal state to Riyadh. The country’s pro-democracy activists have borne the brunt of state repression. Their protests, which were on the cusp of full-blown revolution in mid-2011, were repeatedly attacked by mercenaries — often from Pakistan and Jordan — while the government invited direct military interventions by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The bulk of the country’s population — who are Shiites — are unlikely to ever again accept living under a traditional Sunni monarchy.

The iconic Pearl Roundabout, which had served as a rallying point in Manama, was bulldozed in 2011, and dozens of Shiite mosques were destroyed. More dangerously, Shiites in Bahrain and eastern Saudi Arabia have been victims of a vicious sectarian strategy, as the Saudi government has sought to persuade Sunni citizens and Western allies that they are fighting against the proxies of a dangerous, expansionist Iran, rather than the democratic vanguard of a popular revolt.

Even the U.A.E. has played this foreign boogeyman card. Lacking a substantial Shiite population of its own, the Emirati authorities have instead attacked what they claim to be the “Emirati Muslim Brotherhood” by arresting hundreds of citizens, including dozens of members of a peaceful longstanding local Islamist organization. Now, with one of the highest political prisoner per capita rates in the world, the U.A.E. has human rights lawyers, academics and students behind bars. Even a former judge and a ruling family member have been accused of “plotting to overthrow the state.”

Much like the spending strategy, these clampdowns have bought some time, but at a huge cost to rulers’ legitimacy. Divide-and-conquer measures like stoking sectarian tensions and blaming foreign meddling can keep attention away from autocratic political systems for only so long.

When the Gulf monarchies’ exceptionalism inevitably runs out of steam, and it will, their populations will be well placed to take their part in the bigger, regionwide shift in the political order that is happening at the expense of unaccountable repressive elites and in favor of a more vocal, politically conscious and better-connected youth.

Christopher M. Davidson is the author of “After the Sheikhs: The Coming Collapse of the Gulf Monarchies,” who teaches Middle East politics at Durham University.

A version of this op-ed appears in print on October 20, 2013, on page SR5 of the New York edition with the headline: The Last of The Sheiks?.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 55354
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 24 Oct 2013 20:55

Lilo, CGK is not seeing the reality. We long ago said Syria is the breaker where the Sunni wave will rebound on the perpetrators if it fails to dislodge Assad.

rRight now antediluveian KSA iregime is acting petualnt with the US which is the main reason they survive as a nation state.

Roosevelt and Ibn Saud meeting on the cruiser during WWII, the promotion of ARAMCO oil company etc...

But CGK is right on the oil aspect of the US shift.


On this very forum it was postulated that US is trying to pay back for the Sunni attack on 9/11 by creating a new Shia based West Asia.


The efforts for regime changes in Syria and Iran are steps in that direction.

vishvak
BR Mainsite Crew
Posts: 5836
Joined: 12 Aug 2011 21:19

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby vishvak » 24 Oct 2013 21:16

It "calls for regime change Syria, proclaims the Syrian National Coalition as the only legitimate representative of the Syrian people and threatens to use 'all options' to influence violators of the 'London decisions'," Lukashevich says.

"This is a poorly hidden threat to return to the use of military force, which is absolutely unacceptable," he underlines.

The spokesperson says that there is an impression that the document “aims to disrupt Geneva-2 by shifting attention from the opposition to the Syrian authorities.”...

Is this legitimate. Coalition of the willing, London decisions etc are all ad-hoc so how is this ad-hoc and arbitrary mechanism that also tries to disrupt Geneva-2 make any sense? Under what rules and regulations such mechanisms can be considered legit? Obviously there are no ways to how is that possible.

Lilo
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4079
Joined: 23 Jun 2007 09:08

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Lilo » 24 Oct 2013 22:15

ramana wrote:Lilo, CGK is not seeing the reality. We long ago said Syria is the breaker where the Sunni wave will rebound on the perpetrators if it fails to dislodge Assad.

rRight now antediluveian KSA iregime is acting petualnt with the US which is the main reason they survive as a nation state.

Roosevelt and Ibn Saud meeting on the cruiser during WWII, the promotion of ARAMCO oil company etc...

But CGK is right on the oil aspect of the US shift.


On this very forum it was postulated that US is trying to pay back for the Sunni attack on 9/11 by creating a new Shia based West Asia.


The efforts for regime changes in Syria and Iran are steps in that direction.

R ji,
If the last bolded part is the case then West's "rapprochement" with Iran is for establishing control levers inside Shia heartland. Like India's trajectory since liberalization, they will want to develop and establish a pliant governing class in Iran.

It may still be transitory petulance (considering the long shared history b/w massa and saudi), but if the split is real ,Shyamd ji gets the credit for he first spoke of a Saudi - Massa split - and wanted India to take advantage of the opportunities this situation can throw up - which was my belief too for a brief while till I realized that Indian diplomacy is no longer independent or strong enough to act on such opportunities - without opening more avenues for subversion - this time by Saudi money.

Prem
BRF Oldie
Posts: 21195
Joined: 01 Jul 1999 11:31
Location: Weighing and Waiting 8T Yconomy

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Prem » 24 Oct 2013 22:44

Now Shia Sunni Sangharsh will be new game in ME. The enemity will rivals South Asian scenario.
http://shadow.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2 ... py_so_what
Saudi Arabia's Unhappy. So What?

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief, is venting to journalists and foreign diplomats about his irritation at feckless Obama administration policies in the Middle East, ominously suggesting his country is at the point of making a "major shift"( China Perhaps or Russia ) away from the United States. Prince Turki al-Faisal, former director of Saudi intelligence, joined in with an address to the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, saying, "The current charade of international control over Bashar's chemical arsenal would be funny if it were not so blatantly perfidious and designed not only to give Mr. Obama an opportunity to back down, but also to help Assad to butcher his people." The Saudi complaints include not attacking Syria, not providing weapons and support to Syrian rebels, American support for the elected Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, U.S. cuts of assistance to the military that overthrew that government, and a lack of consultation on negotiations with Iran. The Saudis are not alone, of course, in their criticism. Every country in the region is exasperated, as are many Americans. As former Centcom commander Jim Mattis so memorably put it, "I defy anyone to tell me what U.S. strategy is in the Middle East." But the Saudis' unhappiness is not proof that U.S. policies are wrong. Obama administration policies are wrong, but not in the ways or for the reasons the Saudis excoriate them. And bringing U.S. policies into alignment with Saudi Arabia is likely to create a Middle East even less in America's interests than the Obama administration's bungling has. Saudi Arabia wants a very different Middle East than we do. The Saudis oppose democracy. They oppose freedom of the press. They oppose freedom of conscience and practice of faiths other than Islam. They oppose women's equality before the law. They oppose the idea that individuals have rights and loan them in limited ways and for limited purposes to governments. They deny rights to their own Shiite citizens in Saudi Arabia, while advocating and enforcing the same in Bahrain. They denigrate domestic opposition as solely agents of Iran. Not only do the Saudis oppose these fundamental values of American society, but they have funded and armed some of the most virulent jihadists. Rachel Bronson's superb history of U.S.-Saudi relations, Thicker Than Oil, makes clear that the United States was complicit in Saudi Arabia's fostering of the mujahideen in Afghanistan; the Saudis now want U.S. complicity in supporting jihadists in Syria and the return to power of the deep state in Egypt (a model they would perpetuate throughout the region).

Secretary of State John Kerry did a fine diplomatic turn in London on Tuesday, outlining the areas of U.S.-Saudi common interest, toning down the problem, and conveying a calm confidence that the two countries will continue to work together. The policy question is what form greater Saudi opposition to U.S. policies might take. Arab diplomats have suggested that the Saudis would increase assistance to Islamist rebels in Syria, both to punish the United States and to defeat the Iranians. Defeating Iran in Syria and toppling Bashar al-Assad is a great outcome for American interests, provided what comes next isn't worse. And even if the Saudis put a new, Saudi-looking authoritarian regime in power in Damascus, the United States will not be without means to influence its choices. Israel has consistently demonstrated detailed knowledge and willingness to act to prevent such outcomes; the United States can likewise up its game. Russia and China are less, not more, likely to support Saudi polices in Syria without American heft. Nor will Syrians themselves, who seem disinclined to replace one repression with another, be without influence.
Would the Saudis unleash jihadists in Syria? There is precedent from Afghanistan in the 1980s. But the Saudis are themselves as much at risk as we are from that scourge, and since the attacks in 2005, they know it and have stepped up their domestic efforts against radical Islamists. More likely is a misperception by the Saudis that they can control rebels in Syria, an eventuality that would cause problems for the United States -- but the country is likely to incur those problems whether or not Saudi succor is the instigation.

The Saudis might discontinue or curtail intelligence and anti-terrorism cooperation. That is a serious threat to American security. But again, the Saudis are at risk and need U.S. intelligence as much as the United States needs theirs. Moreover, recent cooperation is the exception; more frequent has been limited cooperation while the Saudis fund activity we feel threatened by. On Palestine and a nuclear-weapons-free Middle East, the Americans and the Saudis have long worked to different ends. The Saudi plan for Palestine has foundered because of Palestinian choices, not lack of American support; it is difficult to see a path to progress on either their or America's preferred policy. It's easy to see why the Saudis support a nuclear-free Middle East, since it would remove Israel's deterrent as well as Iran's program, but difficult to see why it would now get traction even with major investments on their part.

The Saudi equivalent of a nuclear option is the price of oil, something the Saudis have been very helpful with in recent years. As Meghan O'Sullivan convincingly argues, their ability to do so is declining, and any sudden moves to impose costs will benefit Iran and stimulate non-OPEC suppliers, including the United States itself. The Saudis (along with the United Arab Emirates) have already moved to bankroll the Egyptian military, supplanting by a factor of 12 the assistance the United States had provided. This could have a huge and deleterious effect on American interests if, for example, the Saudis and Egyptians eliminated preferential transit of the Suez Canal by U.S. military vessels. The U.S. ability to project military force would be dramatically curtailed.
We should never underestimate the trouble countries can make for us by withholding cooperation, even if they don't overtly work against our interests. American power is sustainable in the international order in part because so few countries actively oppose it. The United States should try to soothe Saudi concerns where it can, consulting more fulsomely on Iran in particular. Too often, though, the U.S. assessment of enemy action overlooks that the United States, too, has choices to make that can impose costs: Without American intelligence, the GCC states would be subject to Iranian military harassment and less able to manage domestic extremists, and without American military support, they'd be substantially more vulnerable to a nuclear-armed Iran. And if there's one red line that President Obama has made credible, it's his willingness to abandon countries relying on American assistance

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 55354
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 25 Oct 2013 01:27

X-post...
David ignatius in WaPo....

PostPartisan
The U.S.-Saudi crackup reaches a dramatic tipping point
By David Ignatius October 23 at 6:12 pm


The strange thing about the crackup in U.S.-Saudi relations is that it has been on the way for more than two years, like a slow-motion car wreck, but nobody in Riyadh or Washington has done anything decisive to avert it.

The breach became dramatic over the past week. Last Friday, Saudi Arabia refused to take its seat on the United Nations Security Council, in what Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi intelligence chief, described as “a message for the U.S., not the U.N,” according to the Wall Street Journal. On Tuesday, Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former head of Saudi intelligence, voiced “a high level of disappointment in the U.S. government’s dealings” on Syria and the Palestinian issue, in an interview with Al-Monitor.

What should worry the Obama administration is that Saudi concern about U.S. policy in the Middle East is shared by the four other traditional U.S. allies in the region: Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Israel. They argue (mostly privately) that Obama has shredded U.S. influence by dumping President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, backing the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi, opposing the coup that toppled Morsi, vacillating in its Syria policy, and now embarking on negotiations with Iran — all without consulting close Arab allies. :(( :(( :(( :(( :(( {(For each of the allies!}

Saudi King Abdullah privately voiced his frustration with U.S. policy in a lunch in Riyadh Monday with King Abdullah of Jordan and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of the U.A.E., according to a knowledgeable Arab official. The Saudi monarch “is convinced the U.S. is unreliable,” this official said. “I don’t see a genuine desire to fix it” on either side, he added.

The Saudis’ pique, in turn, has reinforced the White House’s frustration that Riyadh is an ungrateful and sometimes petulant ally. 8) When Secretary of State John Kerry was in the region a few weeks ago, he asked to visit Bandar. The Saudi prince is said to have responded that he was on his way out of the kingdom, but that Kerry could meet him at the airport. This response struck U.S. officials as high-handed. :lol:

Saudi Arabia obviously wants attention, but what’s surprising is the White House’s inability to convey the desired reassurances over the past two years. The problem was clear in the fall of 2011, when I was told by Saudi officials in Riyadh that they increasingly regarded the U.S. as unreliable and would look elsewhere for their security. Obama’s reaction to these reports was to be peeved that the Saudis didn’t recognize all that the U.S. was doing to help their security, behind the scenes. The president was right on the facts but wrong on the atmospherics.

{What the Suadis need is the right atmospherics and wrong facts! That would gell with H&D}

The bad feeling that developed after Mubarak’s ouster deepened month by month: The U.S. supported Morsi’s election as president; opposed a crackdown by the monarchy in Bahrain against Shiites protesters; cut aid to the Egyptian military after it toppled Morsi and crushed the Brotherhood; promised covert aid to the Syrian rebels it never delivered; threatened to bomb Syria and then allied with Russia, instead; and finally embarked on a diplomatic opening to Iran, Saudi Arabia’s deadly rival in the Gulf.

The policies were upsetting; but the deeper damage resulted from the Saudi feeling that they were being ignored :(( — and even, in their minds, double crossed. :rotfl: In the traditional Gulf societies, any such sense of betrayal can do lasting damage, yet the administration let the problems fester.

{Saudis till oil was discovered were the planquin carriers for Indian Muslims and they are talking about being double crossed!!!}


“Somebody needs to get on an airplane right now and go see the king,” said a former top U.S. official who knows the Saudis well. :rotfl: The Saudi king is “very tribal,” in his outlook, this official noted, and in his mind, “your word is your bond.” It’s that sense of trust that has been damaged in the kingdom’s dealings with Obama. One good emissary would be John Brennan, the CIA director, who was station chief in Riyadh in the late 1990s and had a good relationship with the Saudi monarch. Another would be George Tenet, former CIA director, who visited the kingdom often and also developed a trusting relationship with Abdullah.

For much of the past two years, the closest thing the U.S. had to a back channel with Saudi Arabia was Tom Donilon, the national security adviser until last June. He traveled to the kingdom occasionally to pass private messages to Abdullah; those meetings didn’t heal the wounds, but they at least staunched the bleeding. But Susan Rice, Donilon’s successor, has not played a similar bridging role.

The administration’ lack of communication with the Saudis and other Arab allies is mystifying at a time when the U.S. is exploring new policy initiatives, such as working with the Russians on dismantling chemical weapons in Syria and negotiating a possible nuclear deal with Iran. Those U.S. policy initiatives are sound, in the view of many analysts (including me), but they worry the Saudis and others—making close consultation all the more important.



Looks like US Arabists are striking back via the media instead of rallying behind their own leader.

Ralph Peters here we come!

Philip
BRF Oldie
Posts: 21334
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 25 Oct 2013 02:07

The Saudis will now have to find a new bedfellow to play its dirty little Saudi-masochistic ME games.No guesses as to who will be the willing serf,the Pakis. They have a well-trained army of jihadis many of whom have already been enjoying their holiday in Syria.The Chinese have delivered BMs to the Saudis earlier to be mated to Pak's "yellow-liver" N-warheads.China will enjoy the opportunity of a closer embrace with the Saudis should the two seal a deal.Thus far,China has been supporting the Assad regime and have ties with Iran-weapons supply,etc.Saudi moolah could be an entiicing prospect for supplanting Uncle Sam.

habal
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6894
Joined: 24 Dec 2009 18:46

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby habal » 25 Oct 2013 12:15


Austin
BRF Oldie
Posts: 23387
Joined: 23 Jul 2000 11:31

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Austin » 25 Oct 2013 13:23

Not sure if this is a good or bad video , For a moment you are alive and then you are dead.

RoyG
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5180
Joined: 10 Aug 2009 05:10

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby RoyG » 26 Oct 2013 01:40

Where did Shyamd go? Wasn't the US along with the GCC supposed to bomb these guys to bits and FSA supposed to overrun the country? What about all the evidence from the overflights? This is looking more and more like a stalemate with the SSA slowly solidifying its hold over west Syria and the Kurds pushing from the North and Northwest.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 55354
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 26 Oct 2013 03:27

My email to a guru...
I read the article with interest. He is partially right that India efforts strategic turning the other cheek and mercantile game theory moves have turned futile. The economic growth which would pay for the mercantile moves had stalled.

The parts where he is wrong is the reading of the Middle East.
Currently Sunni world has two storms building up in KSA and the GCC and TSP.
Both have their origins in the Khomeini revolution of Iran which had three strands/waves.

- First is the historical Persian resurgence. Even Saddam while being hanged said "beware of the Persians!"
- Second is the revival of Shia power with a twist. Revival is now spurred by the ayatollahs and not by rulers. Hence its like harking back to the early days of Islam.
- Third is a Western republican idea of end of monarchies. KR ended monarchy in Iran and brought them in line with the end of Ottoman Caliphs their traditional rivals for four centuries.

KSA and GCC seeing the threat from Persio-Shia revival interfered in Syria and failed. Failure has its consequences and they are wary of the blow back. It could lead to overthrow and the a civil war to claim Hejaz. If one thinks this is far fetched, recall the 1979s siege of the Mecca mosque. Even if they survive all these, the third wave could sweep the monarchy out. In a way the historic ghost of Ali has come back in the fields of Syria. Earlier Syria ended Ali's caliphate and consolidated Sunni power. This time Shia Syria rolled back the Sunni attacks and could overwhelm Arab monarchies.

All these are coming while US is wanting a different way out in Middle East and is reaching out as Chinmay Gharkhan noted in Ind Exp.


As for TSP the rising storm is between JuD aka sarkari terrorists and TTP the Pashtun terrorists.
And role of TSPA is doubtful as they will swing towards the winning jihadis.

If one looks at the picture of a crest fallen Badmash and Ombaba patting him it harks back to the 1999 visit and its aftermath three months later.
I think MBK is wrong and is viewing through the red colored glasses. He needs to have Indian interests and see what India should do to get ahead.

My simple thing would be stay the course and ensure there is no chance or opening for new EICs.

While MMS got the brush off in NYC he got a red carpet in M and B.

syele
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 73
Joined: 16 Sep 2008 18:26

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby syele » 26 Oct 2013 03:35

habal wrote:a snackbar moment
@0.54 mins
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVZnPOlLwEs


Basically, AoA need not mean a cry of victory or valor. It is mostly a call of panic, fear and submission.

Prem
BRF Oldie
Posts: 21195
Joined: 01 Jul 1999 11:31
Location: Weighing and Waiting 8T Yconomy

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Prem » 26 Oct 2013 04:10

Iran halts 20-percent enrichment. Are nuclear talks working?
Did Persian Get Arabian Royal Goats in Return?

Diplomats have been tight-lipped, but signals sent by Iran and by diplomats from the US and other world powers indicate the sides are finding common ground in the dispute over Iran's nuclear intentions. Tehran insists its program is for research and electricity generation, but the US and others, particularly Israel, are skeptical. For optimists, a claim Thursday that Iran has halted enrichment of uranium to the critical 20-percent threshold is a sign that 24 years of bile and bluster between Tehran and Washington may be at an end.
A halt to 20 percent enrichment is among the key concessions wanted by the West, and according to The Associated Press, Iran made that offer at last week's talks. (Twenty percent is important because the most challenging part of uranium )
enrichment happens below that threshold; once you get to 20 percent, it’s relatively easy to enrich up to bomb-grade levels).Unnamed US officials say talks are going well.“I have never had such intense, detailed, straightforward, candid conversations with the Iranian delegation before,” said one US negotiator who gave reporters an off-the-record briefing last week.The loudest voice in the pessimists' camp is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who wants to force the Iranians to give up their fissile material altogether. He insists Iran open up its underground facilities and says the only reason someone would burrow scientific facilities into mountainsides is to protect them from air strikes, a point he reiterated in meetings with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday."They should get rid of the amassed fissile material, and they shouldn't have underground nuclear facilities," Netanyahu was quoted as saying. Mr. Kerry has insisted the US is proceeding with “eyes wide open” when it comes to negotiating with the Iranians, and that “no deal is better than a bad deal.”There are plenty of trends pointing toward a breakthrough. Economic sanctions appear to be having a serious impact on the Iranian economy (though they may not be as debilitating as some have suggested.) The West succeeded in getting Iran’s closest ally, Syria, to give up its chemical weapons, for instance.But there are also obstacles. Iran’s recently elected president, Hassan Rouhani, is considered a centrist among Iranian officials and faces growing criticism from hardliners that Mr. Rouhani and the US-educated foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, are conceding too much to the US.Though Rouhani was elected, Iran’s political system means that the person who has ultimate authority is Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has been sending mixed signals about the talks. The comment that gave the optimists most hope was Mr. Khamenei call a few weeks back for “heroic flexibility.” But the commentary from conservative publications in Tehran suggests behind-the-scenes debate.In the US, meanwhile, some hawkish members of Congress say they’ve been at least partially reassured by briefings from the White House on the negotiations. That, however, hasn’t stopped those who believe Iran isn’t to be trusted in any way shape or form, most notably Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino owner, influential Israel supporter and funder of US conservative politicians, who on Tuesday called for the US to launch a nuclear strike on the Iranian desert.Current betting favors some sort of agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. But at this point whether the agreement will have lasting power is anyone’s guess

SSridhar
Forum Moderator
Posts: 24263
Joined: 05 May 2001 11:31
Location: Chennai

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby SSridhar » 26 Oct 2013 13:02

The Saudis may threaten as much as they want but their entanglement with the US (military, political, investments) is so vast and deep that it would be impossible for them to 'seek security' elsewhere. This ranting, raving and peeving has happened before too. The Saudis know very well that the Chinese would not come to the help of the royalty if and when a demand arises, as the US would certainly do.

habal
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6894
Joined: 24 Dec 2009 18:46

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby habal » 27 Oct 2013 06:38

US, Israel & KSA form troika of evil, says analyst

the author also describes Saudi Arabia as 'covert zionists'

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/10/26 ... ilized-me/

"A political commentator says the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia aim to destroy Syria through supporting militancy in the Arab country to destabilize the entire Middle East, Press TV reports.

In an interview with Press TV on Saturday, Dr. Randy Short, member of Black Autonomy Network Community Organization said the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia are trying to “destabilize” the Mideast, “because in reality if you do get a unified proactive Middle East, certain regimes are going to be swept aside”.

“…Even Israel would be tempered, would not be able to do genocide against the Palestinians and persecute its neighbors in Lebanon,” the human rights activist added.

Commenting on the peace talks planned for next month in Geneva on the Syrian crisis, the activists said that Russia is spearheading the initiative for peace in the Arab country, while the United States is being dragged because it benefits from the conflict.

“What happens in Syria is at the gates of what will happen to the Russian Federation, so they want peace to secure their own borders,” Randy Short said.

“There is a need, immediately, to be a ceasefire, no more guns, no more anything except for peace and something that would prevent more nation-state destruction by the American Military Industrial Complex,” he added."


---

‘Israel intercepted millions of French calls’

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/10/26 ... nch-calls/

"A leaked US intelligence document has revealed that Israel is behind the hacking of millions of phone calls and messages in France.

According to a report by Le Monde on Friday Israeli agents is behind a cyber attack against the communications networks of the Elysee Palace, intercepting more than 70 million calls and text messages a month.

France had initially accused the US of hacking into former French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s communications network during the 2012 presidential election.

Senior French intelligence officials visited the US earlier this year to discuss the attempt to hack into the Elysee communication system.

However, according to a classified documents dated April 2013, which was leaked by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, the agency denied the allegation and reportedly hinted that Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, had been involved in the attack.

The NSA’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) that handles cyber attacks denied the allegations and said the US closest allies -- Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand -- were also not involved, the document reportedly noted.

After the World War Two, the US signed a "no-spying" deal with Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, known as the "Five Eyes" alliance.

“TAO intentionally did not ask either Mossad or (Israel’s cyber intelligence unit) ISNU whether they were involved as France is not an approved target for joint discussions,” extracts from the document published by Le Monde read
.

The report comes amid outrage over claims the US has been monitoring the telephone conversations of 35 world leaders.

"A US official provided NSA with 200 phone numbers to 35 world leaders… Despite the fact that the majority is probably available via open source, the PCs [intelligence production centers] have noted 43 previously unknown phone numbers. These numbers plus several others have been tasked," said the classified document provided by Snowden.

Snowden, a former CIA employee, leaked two top secret US government spying programs under which the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are eavesdropping on millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data from major Internet companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple, and Microsoft."

habal
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6894
Joined: 24 Dec 2009 18:46

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby habal » 27 Oct 2013 06:43

Syria State TV Reports Death of al-Nusra Front Chief al-Jawlani

Syrian state television said Friday night that the leader of the jihadist al-Nusra Front had been killed, but state news agency Sana quickly withdrew an alert saying the same thing.

"The terrorist Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani, chief of the al-Nusra Front affiliated to al-Qaida, has been killed in the campaign in (the northwestern province of) Latakia," the television said, without providing details.

No confirmation was immediately available from other sources.


http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/1033 ... al-jawlani

http://images1.naharnet.com/images/9720 ... 1382734678
(NSFV)
http://image.almanar.com.lb/english/edi ... Leader.jpg

more folks are now waking up to the Saudi-Israel axis of evil in ME.

"Bandar Bush’s recent intractable position has exposed several realities that have made many in Washington uncomfortable:

- Saudi Arabia and Israel have, for decades, worked together closely, not just on security programs but operationally as well, as is now seen in Syria.
- Al-Qaeda’s long friendship with Israel is now exposed, bringing questions about 9/11 into the mainstream for many “denialists.”
- Strong talk, befriending terrorists and hundreds of billions in military hardware are not likely to impact Saudi internal instability.
- Recent moves by the UAE to normalize relations with Iran, including their Memorandum of Understanding on mutual security issues, signed this week in Tehran, now help portray the Saudis as both extremist and “historically incorrect.”


http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/10/26 ... t-america/

habal
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6894
Joined: 24 Dec 2009 18:46

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby habal » 28 Oct 2013 11:54

a day's work by SAA,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-7oO-TJF3I

the skillz of FSA on full display. These guys sure know how to wield their toys.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=3ea_1382748836

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=2eb_1382744704

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=8ab_1382822216

meanswhile at the Iranian border with Pakistan

Sunni militant group take responsibility for killing 14 Iranian border guards


A Sunni militant group has taken responsibility for Friday’s attack that killed 14 Iranian guards and wounded seven others at the border with Pakistan. Jaish-ul Adl (Army of Justice) said on its website that the attack was in response "to the crimes of the Revolutionary Guards in Syria." In response to the attack, Iran said it executed 16 “rebels” held at a prison in the region.


Saudi parody on women driving

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZMbTFNp4wI

habal
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6894
Joined: 24 Dec 2009 18:46

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby habal » 31 Oct 2013 07:33

Syrian rebel fighters guilty of serious abuses, says Human Rights Watch
By Laura Smith-Spark and Saad Abedine, CNN
October 11, 2013 -- Updated 1439 GMT (2239 HKT)

(CNN) -- Opposition fighters who attacked Alawite villages near the Syrian city of Latakia, killing at least 190 civilians, committed "serious abuses" that may amount to crimes against humanity, rights group Human Rights Watch said Friday.

The abuses occurred after an opposition offensive on August 4 in which the fighters overran government army positions and occupied more than 10 Alawite villages, the rights group said.

Witnesses and survivors described how opposition fighters "executed residents and opened fire on civilians, sometimes killing or attempting to kill entire families who were either in their homes unarmed or fleeing from the attack, and at other times killing adult male family members, and holding the female relatives and children hostage," the Human Rights Watch report said.

More than 200 civilians -- the vast majority of them women and children -- are still being held hostage by two opposition groups that led the offensive, the rights group said, citing opposition sources. It named the groups as the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS), which is affiliated with al Qaeda in Iraq, and Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar.


http://edition.cnn.com/2013/10/11/world ... civil-war/


Syrian Arab Army Offensive in the Qalamoon Mountains
Image
This is the Syrian Arab Army offensive in the Qalamoon Mountains. A little over 17,000 ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra rebels are under siege with no area to retreat. Explanation: The Jabhat/ISIS are surrounded on both sides. After the recent defeat in Sadad (Homs Governate), the insurgency is surrounded by SAA brigades comprised of the 1st Army Corps, 4th Mechanized Division, and the Revolutionary Guards. On the Lebanese border, Hezbollah militants from Ba'albak have obstructed the retreat. This battle will not end like Al-Qusayr; either the terrorists surrender or face annihilation.

menon s
BRFite
Posts: 721
Joined: 01 May 2010 09:51
Location: Bangalore

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby menon s » 31 Oct 2013 12:05

Review on the Al Thanis of Qatar.
http://maegdi.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/ ... ch-longer/
Qatar : In bed with everyone — but for how much longer !

The Al-Thanis , write the French journalists, “have transformed Doha to refuelling station for the majority of extremists in the world. The only condition for admission is to be Islamist. Besides an office for the Talibans, you will find the Algerian Islamist Salvation Front, several branches of suicidal -martyr Chechenians , Syrian fundamentalists, the list of religious symbols is limitless. Just create ‘an islamic front’ and Doha would will give you an office, a lodging and a cover. ”

kmkraoind
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3908
Joined: 27 Jun 2008 00:24

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby kmkraoind » 31 Oct 2013 23:53

Israeli planes strike Syrian military base, U.S. official says

Israeli warplanes struck a military base near the Syrian city of Latakia on Thursday, an Obama administration official confirmed to CNN.

An explosion at a missile storage site in the area was widely reported in the Israeli press, but an attack has not been confirmed by the Israeli government.

The target, according to the Obama administration official, was missiles and related equipment the Israelis felt might be transferred to Hezbollah. The official declined to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the information.

habal
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6894
Joined: 24 Dec 2009 18:46

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby habal » 01 Nov 2013 08:32

usually these news of Israeli strikes turn out to be psy-ops to boost morale of rebels. A host of Russian ships on the coast all equipped with Air Defence Systems, and Syrian air defence systems on land and no way Israeli's bypass all of those to strike Latakia without those Israeli planes getting shot down at some point.

Austin
BRF Oldie
Posts: 23387
Joined: 23 Jul 2000 11:31

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Austin » 01 Nov 2013 09:36

Israel planes do go close and bomb the target but they use stand off cruise missile from fighter aircraft to take out specific sites , to keep risk of getting shot down minimal and chance of hitting target higher.

Most likely Sryian AD can easily be bypassed by IAF even assuming they are working effectively.

The strike was also confirmed by CNN quoting US officials who first leaked the news.

habal
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6894
Joined: 24 Dec 2009 18:46

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby habal » 01 Nov 2013 12:26

nice one. But everyone must be sleeping. There are reports from Lebanese newspapers, al-libnan that six Israeli jets had crossed Lebanese airspace. But a problem here is that even the Lebanese air space is always covered by Syrian air defence.

there is another important news that the SAA have overrun Sferra in Aleppo

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=8f4_1383258033

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OrD11HZeaU

the SAA are being ably supported by the Kurds to the North East and by Iranian Revolutionary Guards & Hezbollah around south and to the west. This Israeli attack news is just a cover for preventing further demoralisation of rebels. They have done this even before whenever Assad gained any significant advances on the ground. After the battle of Qusayr etc. Also it shows how closely Israel is coordinating with the Al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria, Israeli provacations, if any, are closely micromanaged with Al-Qaeda situation on ground. It should now be old hat that Israel is closely coordinating with people who are basically terrorists.

Austin
BRF Oldie
Posts: 23387
Joined: 23 Jul 2000 11:31

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Austin » 01 Nov 2013 15:51

Assad not crazy, needs guarantees – Medvedev
In an interview with Reuters, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev urged Russia’s international partners “not to let the situation spiral out of control.”

He accepted that significant progress had been made on the chemical weapons front. Damascus met its deadline of destroying “the critical equipment which is needed to run their chemical weapons production facilities” on Wednesday, according to the UN Watchdog.

Recognizing the breakthrough, Medvedev said it was important to get up the diplomatic pressure and reach a practical solution to the conflict that involved President Bashar Assad.

The proposals to find an arrangement by ignoring President Assad are not feasible while he remains in power,” noted Medvedev, adding that Assad “is not crazy; he needs to get some guarantees or proposals on the development of the political dialogue in Syria, possible elections and his personal fate.”

Referencing the Arab Spring movement that led to the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, Medvedev said that Assad needed guarantees of his safety.

“You can’t just tell him, ‘Get out of here and we’ll then sort it out.’ It’s a complicated process and all the sides, both the opposition and the regime, have to make concessions.”

Representatives from the Syrian opposition refused to take part in the Geneva-2 peace talks last week. Members of the opposition have said they are not prepared to take part in negotiations to end the conflict unless Assad steps down immediately.

Austin
BRF Oldie
Posts: 23387
Joined: 23 Jul 2000 11:31

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Austin » 02 Nov 2013 09:41

Russia Boosting Arms Shipments to Syria – US Officials
Russia has increased its weapons shipments to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government since last year, military aid that is likely “more significant” than Iranian arms supplies to Damascus, according to senior US diplomats.

“It has increased from a year ago. There are more deliveries, and in some cases, they are militarily extremely significant,” Robert Ford, the US ambassador to Syria, told a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week.

Ford said he had not seen a “detailed estimate of the dollar value” of the Russian arms shipments, which US officials have said are propping up Assad in his government’s raging civil war against Syrian rebel forces.

Giving an example of the deliveries’ impact, however, Ford said Gen. Salim Idris, commander of the Western-backed Free Syrian Army, told him that Syrian air force jets refurbished by Russia and delivered to Assad’s forces “make a huge difference.”

“I think the Russians would help everyone get to the negotiating table if they would stop these deliveries,” Ford said.

Russian officials have repeatedly defended the weapons shipments, saying Moscow is fulfilling previously signed contracts and not violating international law with the deliveries.

Ford told Thursday’s hearing that the United States and its allies had succeeded in getting one Syria-bound Russian arms delivery sent back by convincing an insurance company to withdraw its coverage from the ship carrying the cargo.

“But that’s a rare success,” Ford said. “ … It would be great if we could make better progress with the Russians.”

Thomas Countryman, assistant US secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation, told the hearing that Russian arms deliveries have become “probably more significant than what Iran provides in terms of military assistance.”

He said Russia is losing credibility in the Arab world and around the Middle East by giving its “unswerving support to the Syrian regime.”

Kati
BRFite
Posts: 1552
Joined: 27 Jun 1999 11:31
Location: The planet Earth

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Kati » 02 Nov 2013 23:05

Latest security analysis shows that Lybia is on the verge of collapse.

habal
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6894
Joined: 24 Dec 2009 18:46

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby habal » 03 Nov 2013 10:03

lmao

Turkey expels Saudi intelligence over diplomatic rift: source

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/tu ... ift-source

"Ankara plans to shut Saudi intelligence offices in Turkey following a series of diplomatic disputes over the conflicts in Syria and Egypt, a well-placed Turkish source told Al-Akhbar.

The Saudi intelligence presence in Turkey is mainly there to provide support and training for armed groups fighting in Syria.

According to the source, Turkish authorities believe Saudi Arabia’s position on Syria is no longer in line with Turkey’s interests, as Ankara is reportedly trying to ease tensions with Tehran and Damascus.

The historic alliance between Saudi Arabia and Turkey began to crumble following the Saudi-sponsored military overthrow of Egypt’s Islamist president Mohammed Morsi on July 3."

http://www.islamicinvitationturkey.com/ ... atic-rift/

&
http://en.alalam.ir/news/1530485

mean-e-while

The strength of the Russian fleet in the med just increased several fold.

Russia's 'aircraft carrier killer' Varyag and battle cruiser Pyotr Velikiy enter Mediterranean Sea

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_11_0 ... -Sea-7139/

this strengthening of forces by Russia is primarily due to the bottomless pit of Israeli duplicity. They did some kind of pinprick on Syria, hoping for a response which could then lead towards a bigger response by Israel and its quisling Saudi Barbaria. The western quislings of Israel, namely France, Italy etc would as if on cue launch all out war against Syria in this scenario. This may be their only way to still be in with a chance of winning now.

Israel outraged by US leak about Syrian strike

http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/m ... ian-strike

this is especially in this scenario of retaking of Safira in Aleppo by SAA

According to the Syrian state television, Syrian government forces Friday, “after a series of strategic operations” took control of the town of Safira, southeast of Aleppo.

Syrian army forces killing scores of the Ahrar al-Sham militants and the al-Qaeda offshoot in Syria, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), forced them to withdraw.

“The importance of this new success for our armed forces is due to its strategic importance at the eastern gates of Aleppo,” a spokesman for the Syrian army said in a televised statement.

Malek al-Kurdi, the deputy head of the Turkey-based so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) militant leadership said it was an important loss for them.

The retaking of Safira gives Syrian forces upper hand in sending medical and military supplies to nearby towns.

Safira is located near a chemical weapons site, one of two locations that experts from the joint United Nations and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons were unable to inspect.

The chemical weapons facility itself has been under government control but emptied of equipment because of fighting nearby, according to the OPCW."


This opens up approaches from East side between Deyr-el-Zor and Aleppo which will be crucial for SAA to resume supplies to Aleppo. This is a major victory for Syrian Govt.

Pranav
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5280
Joined: 06 Apr 2009 13:23

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Pranav » 03 Nov 2013 11:06

habal wrote:Turkey expels Saudi intelligence over diplomatic rift: source

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/tu ... ift-source

According to the source, Turkish authorities believe Saudi Arabia’s position on Syria is no longer in line with Turkey’s interests, as Ankara is reportedly trying to ease tensions with Tehran and Damascus.


Interesting. Note also the following -

Report: Putin seeking to resume Russia-Egypt military ties amid US vacuum - http://www.jpost.com/International/Repo ... uum-329822

The Saudi rage against the US has also been widely reported.

Tricky days ahead for Israel & the US.

habal
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6894
Joined: 24 Dec 2009 18:46

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby habal » 03 Nov 2013 11:14

Erdogan has now realized that he is being used by the Israeli-Saudi axis. There is a strong contingent of Alawis and 'seculars' in Turkey who have been instigated against Erdogan by various Intelligence groups, they are protesting against Erdogan's relative puritanism and communal bent of policies and thus the spate of protests in Turkey a few months ago, and simmering tensions underneath. Secondly Erdogan's party AKP is turkish version of Muslim Brotherhood, which may be sought to be replaced by more hardline Salafi/Wahabbi groups by Saudis, in line with what they have in works for Egypt. Erdogan's response shows whom he suspects most for this destabilization.

Saudi plans have obviously failed in Egypt, where the Army based deep-state has taken over and expressed lack of confidence in US led alliance and are now inching closer to Russians. They need a bit of space in internal policies to stabilize the radicalisation situation arising out of Morsi's policy of sending mercenaries to Syria.

chaanakya
BRF Oldie
Posts: 9513
Joined: 09 Jan 2010 13:30

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby chaanakya » 03 Nov 2013 11:32

Why Diawaali Pataka is still missing in Syria??

Austin
BRF Oldie
Posts: 23387
Joined: 23 Jul 2000 11:31

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Austin » 03 Nov 2013 14:18

Zakaria: The Saudis Are Mad? Tough!

Why we shouldn't care that the world's most irresponsible country is displeased at the U.S.
America's middle east policies are failing, we are told, and the best evidence is that Saudi Arabia is furious. Dick Cheney, John McCain and Lindsey Graham have all sounded the alarm about Riyadh's recent rejection of a seat on the U.N. Security Council. But whatever one thinks of the Obama Administration's handling of the region, surely the last measure of American foreign policy should be how it is received by the House of Saud.

If there were a prize for Most Irresponsible Foreign Policy it would surely be awarded to Saudi Arabia. It is the nation most responsible for the rise of Islamic radicalism and militancy around the world. Over the past four decades, the kingdom's immense oil wealth has been used to underwrite the export of an extreme, intolerant and violent version of Islam preached by its Wahhabi clerics.

Go anywhere in the world--from Germany to Indonesia--and you'll find Islamic centers flush with Saudi money, spouting intolerance and hate. In 2007, Stuart Levey, then a top Treasury official, told ABC News, "If I could snap my fingers and cut off the funding from one country, it would be Saudi Arabia." When confronted with the evidence, Saudi officials often claim these funds flow from private individuals and foundations and the government has no control over them. But many of the foundations were set up by the government or key members of the royal family, and none could operate in defiance of national policy; the country is an absolute monarchy. In a December 2009 cable, leaked by WikiLeaks in 2010, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed that Saudi Arabia remained a "critical financial base" for terrorism and that Riyadh "has taken only limited action" to stop the flow of funds to the Taliban and other such groups.

Saudi Arabia was one of only three countries in the world to recognize and support the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan until the 9/11 attacks. It is also a major player in Pakistan, now home to most of the world's deadliest terrorists. The country's former Law Minister Iqbal Haider told Deutsche Welle, the German news agency, in August 2012, "Whether they are the Taliban or Lashkar-e-Taiba, their ideology is Saudi Wahhabi without an iota of doubt." He added that there was no doubt Saudi Arabia was supporting Wahhabi groups throughout his country.

Ever since al-Qaeda attacked Riyadh directly in 2003, the Saudis have stamped down on terrorism at home. But they have not ended support for Wahhabi clerics, centers, madrasahs and militants abroad. During the Iraq War, much of the support for Sunni militants came from Saudi sources. That pattern continues in Syria today.

Saudi Arabia's objections to the Obama Administration's policies toward Syria and Iran are not framed by humanitarian concerns for the people of those countries. They are rooted in a pervasive anti-Shi'ite ideology. Riyadh has long treated all other versions and sects of Islam as heresy and condoned the oppression of those groups. A 2009 report from Human Rights Watch details the ways in which the Saudi government, clerics, religious police and schools systematically discriminate against the local Shi'ite population, including arrests, beatings and, on occasion, the use of live ammunition. (And not just the Shi'ites. In March 2012, Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti issued a fatwa declaring that it was "necessary to destroy all the churches in the Arabian Peninsula.")

The regime fears that any kind of empowerment of the Shi'ites anywhere could embolden the 15% of Saudi Arabia's population that is Shi'ite--and happens to live in the part of the country where most of its oil reserves can be found. That's why the Saudis sent troops into neighboring Bahrain during the Arab Spring of 2011, to crush the Shi'ite majority's uprising.

Saudi royals have been rattled by the events in their region and beyond. They sense that the discontent that launched the Arab Spring is not absent in their own populace. They fear the rehabilitation of Iran. They also know that the U.S. might very soon find itself entirely independent of Middle Eastern oil.

Given these trends, it is possible that Saudi Arabia worries that a seat on the U.N. Security Council might constrain it from having freedom of action. Or that the position could shine a light on some of its more unorthodox activities. Or that it could force Riyadh to vote on issues it would rather ignore. It is also possible that the Saudis acted in a sudden fit of pique. After all, they had spent years lobbying for the seat. Whatever the reason, let's concede that, yes, Saudi Arabia is angry with the U.S. But are we sure that's a sign Washington is doing something wrong?

habal
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6894
Joined: 24 Dec 2009 18:46

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby habal » 03 Nov 2013 17:01

so says a high-profile defector of the Syrian Army, Col Riyadh Al-Assad, one of the first defectors from SAA to rebels.

Free Syrian Army officers are CIA spies: FSA senior cmdr

A senior commander of the so-called Free Syrian Army has revealed that the officers graduated in Jordan are CIA spies.
Colonel Riyadh al-Asad has revealed on his Twitter page that the first group of officers are Syrian military defectors who have been graduated from Jordan universities with the help of Israeli intelligence services. He added that based on an American plan, this group which included 60 colonels is supposed to replace Syrian military officers once the government in Syria is overthrown. Al-Asad says there is also a second group of 180 officers who will soon be graduated. He also revealed that British security agencies want to establish an assembly under the title of National Security Organization to appoint police chiefs in regions controlled by the Free Syrian Army.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=372_1383381853


chaanakya wrote:Why Diawaali Pataka is still missing in Syria??


maybe because the pataka wielders are afraid of a different kind of pataka.

Russia conducted in recent days a surprise nuclear first strike scenario and also a defense of nuclear attack. (Most probable nuclear conflict in near future as a retaliation to Israel ,Turkey or Saudi arabia) Using most of its offensive & defensive capabilities. In the following video you can see the best of the best in a coordinated attack ,including ICBM-Topol M , nuclear Sineva nuclear ICBM launched from submarines , Nuclear capable Iskander-M ballistic missiles,TOCHKA-U ballistic missiles S-300s ,S-400s ,Pantsir-s1 , Kh-55 nuclear cruise missiles launched from a Tu-95MS 'Bear' and much more..

This is a world war 3 simulation... Israel will be wiped for sure if they makes a fatal mistake .against Iran or Syria. So will Saudi Arabia. It is a warning to both players. This will take care of both Syria and upcoming Sochi.

http://youtu.be/afVCCuvdvQo

Austin
BRF Oldie
Posts: 23387
Joined: 23 Jul 2000 11:31

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Austin » 03 Nov 2013 20:33

^^^ I think most people are mis-understanding the exercise carried by Russian Armed Forces as related to Syria or US or something else.

The reason why they carry this exercise is to check the status of army post reforms , a big reform of Russian Armed Forces was carried out since 2009 and completed recently , they do this sudden exercise to see how the new structure ( less Flab and more mobile ) is working and fix if any problem has come up.

Putin has said that he would carry out sudden checks and exercise to see the status of Armed forces and its reforms quite often...hence the exercise at very short notice in Baltic , Far East and Strategic Nuclear exercise.

Russia is not going to fight a War least of all a nuclear war for Syria .... they just want to ensure that Libya like scenario does not arise and UN is not taken for a ride by Western Alliance under the guise of Spring or Democracy.

habal
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6894
Joined: 24 Dec 2009 18:46

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby habal » 04 Nov 2013 10:47

Please read this, it reveals a lot and says the whole story

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-war-on ... an/5355644

President Putin ends Russia/NATO ABM cooperation

http://voiceofrussia.com/2013_11_03/Pre ... tion-0148/


Return to “Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Anoop, Malayappan, saip and 47 guests