Bharat Rakshak Forum Announcement

Hello Everyone,

A warm welcome back to the Bharat Rakshak Forum.

Important Notice: Due to a corruption in the BR forum database we regret to announce that data records relating to some of our registered users have been lost. We estimate approx. 500 user details are deleted.

To ease the process of recreating the user IDs we request members that have previously posted on the BR forums to recognise and identify their posts, once the posts are identified please contact the BRF moderator team by emailing BRF Mod Team with your post details.

The mod team will be able to update your username, email etc. so that the user history can be maintained.

Unfortunately for members that have never posted or have had all their posts deleted i.e. users that have 0 posts, we will be unable to recreate your account hence we request that you re-register again.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your understanding.

Regards,
Seetal

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.
chanakyaa
BRFite
Posts: 1032
Joined: 18 Sep 2009 00:09
Location: Hiding in Karakoram

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby chanakyaa » 08 Nov 2017 07:53

Ten Little Soldier Boys: OIL SPIDERS

Things are still evolving but, given how easily money, arms and egos run high in the Kingdom of Smoothie Barbaria, it is hard to imagine that arrests of arrogant, SOBs not one or two, but 11 princes has occurred without any military coup. Even Pakis will pullout a military coup for a hopeless political career. Unless, all these arrests have been carefully planned and carried out with the help of external intelligence; obviously with a backup plan to act in case things go wrong.

Karthik S
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3764
Joined: 18 Sep 2009 12:12

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Karthik S » 08 Nov 2017 09:04

Singha wrote:even the saudi AF is maintained by a large number of ex-NATO services people now contractors for the OEM. if these people depart, the AF will be down on the mat literally.


You're forgetting the pakis. I always assumed, KSA would loan pakis when in need, now other way around is highly possible.

SSridhar
Forum Moderator
Posts: 21880
Joined: 05 May 2001 11:31
Location: Chennai

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby SSridhar » 08 Nov 2017 10:11

Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of 'act of war' - ToI
Saudi Arabia's crown prince said Tuesday the ballistic missile launched at the kingdom by Yemeni rebels was a "direct military aggression by the Iranian regime," as the Saudi-led coalition ordered the closure of all ports and grounded all humanitarian flights to the war-torn country.

The military coalition, which has been at war with Yemen's Houthi rebels for more than two years, has tightened an air, land and sea blockade in response to the missile, which was intercepted near Riyadh but marked the rebels' deepest strike yet into Saudi territory.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's remarks were carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

The kingdom has accused Tehran of supplying the missile fired toward Riyadh's international airport on Saturday night. Iran, which supports the Houthis but denies arming them, says it had nothing to do with the attack.

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, urged the Security Council to hold Iran accountable for a missile she said it had supplied to the Houthis in July. Haley said the missile used Saturday may also have been Iranian.

"The United States is committed to containing Iran's destabilising actions and will not turn a blind eye to these serious violations of international law by the Iranian regime," she said. The US supports the Saudi-led coalition.

Human Rights Watch described the indiscriminate targeting of a predominantly civilian airport as an "apparent war crime."


"But this unlawful attack is no justification for Saudi Arabia to exacerbate Yemen's humanitarian catastrophe by further restricting aid and access to the country," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Mideast director for the New York-based watchdog.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric called on the coalition and the rebels to allow aid in, warning that "any further shocks to imports of food and fuel may reverse recent success in mitigating the threat of famine."

"All parties to the conflict must allow and facilitate safe, rapid, unhindered humanitarian access to all people in need, through all ports and airports," Dujarric told reporters at UN headquarters in New York.

Yemeni officials meanwhile said suspected Saudi-led air raids killed at least 23 people in the rebel-controlled northern province of Hajjah. They said the strikes targeted homes of local sheikhs where the head of the Houthis' Supreme Political Council, Saleh al-Sammad, was visiting.

The dead included women and children, and at least three people were wounded, they added, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to brief reporters. Houthi spokesman Mohamed Abdel Salam denied Saudi media reports that al-Sammad was killed.

Humanitarian flights to Yemen were grounded and ships ordered to leave, resulting in immediate price hikes in the rebel-held capital, Sanaa. The move threatens to worsen an already devastating humanitarian crisis in the country, where fighting has killed more than 10,000 civilians and displaced 3 million.

A UN official told The Associated Press that aid flights were cancelled, and said the UN was seeking "to resolve the issue as soon as possible." The official was not authorised to speak to the media so spoke on condition of anonymity.

The International Committee of the Red Cross urged the reopening of ports for medical supplies. The relief agency said a shipment of chlorine tables used to prevent cholera, which has ravaged Yemen in recent months, did not get a clearance at Yemen's northern border. More supplies are due next week, including 50,000 vials of insulin, the ICRC said.

"Insulin cannot wait at a shuttered border since it must be kept refrigerated. Without a quick solution to the closure, the humanitarian consequences will be dire," said the ICRC's regional director, Robert Mardini.

In announcing the closures earlier this week, Saudi Arabia said it would take into consideration continuing aid efforts.

The war dates back to 2014, when the Yemeni rebels and their allies swept down from their northern heartland and seized Sanaa, forcing the internationally recognized government to relocate to Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-led coalition controls Yemen's airspace but has made little progress on the ground, where the fighting has been stalemated for more than a year.

The tiny African nation of Djibouti has become the main transit point for humanitarian flights to Yemen. With the latest measures, however, flights are no longer being given clearance to leave, according to Doctors Without Borders.

The Houthis have nevertheless vowed to continue targeting Saudi Arabia as well as the United Arab Emirates
, a key member of the coalition.

Col Aziz Rashed, an army spokesman with a unit allied with the Houthis, warned travelers to stay away from Saudi and Emirati airports as they are considered "legitimate targets." Rashed claimed his military experts are able to develop missiles with ranges that exceed 1,500 kilometres (932 miles) :wink: .

Drivers lined up in front of fuel stations across Sanaa Tuesday, fearing even worse fuel shortages. The price of fuel has already jumped from around $20 to $25 per liter. The Oil Ministry, controlled by the Houthis, issued a statement assuring residents it has enough fuel in storage.

On Monday night, the head of the World Food Program warned things will get worse with a prolonged, tightened blockade. David Beasley said his agency not only has trucks and planes grounded but also ships in the port of Hodeida. "The Saudi-led coalition is saying, `get them out,"' he said.

Of Yemen's 17 million people who need food, the WFP is only reaching 7 million due to lack of funds and access by the Houthis and coalition alike, he said.

"If we are denied this access, even for two weeks, I can't imagine hundreds of thousands of children's lives are not going to be on the brink of starvation," Beasley said.

Aditya_V
BRF Oldie
Posts: 9264
Joined: 05 Apr 2006 16:25

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Aditya_V » 08 Nov 2017 10:17

Karthik S wrote:
Singha wrote:even the saudi AF is maintained by a large number of ex-NATO services people now contractors for the OEM. if these people depart, the AF will be down on the mat literally.


You're forgetting the pakis. I always assumed, KSA would loan pakis when in need, now other way around is highly possible.


Pakis have limited ability are kept at low level menial jobs away from Hi tech weapon systems.

SSridhar
Forum Moderator
Posts: 21880
Joined: 05 May 2001 11:31
Location: Chennai

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby SSridhar » 08 Nov 2017 10:27

Pakis were flying the RSAF machines, the F-16s, and were even instructors there up until early this millennium. The US encouraged that. A lot of Americans left after the Dhahran truck bombing. But, I feel that RSAF is largely manned by the Saudis today. The US contractors to maintain the hardware should still be there, but in smaller numbers. So should be the British whose Tornados also fly in the RSAF. The PA brigade protecting the Al Yamamah Palace is still there, it seems.

Suraj
Forum Moderator
Posts: 11022
Joined: 20 Jan 2002 12:31

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Suraj » 08 Nov 2017 11:04

It does not matter how many pilots, domestic, TSP or otherwise, the Saudis can muster, if the support staff and spares supply disappears. They would just be a bunch of guys in Rayban aviators walking stylishly across the tarmac and climbing inside very expensive paperweights.

JE Menon
Forum Moderator
Posts: 6858
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby JE Menon » 08 Nov 2017 13:37

>>ISIS or a separate extremist faction don't have to wade all the way into the capital - if they laid siege upon Dhahran and all the expats ran for the door, what's doing to happen ?

Suraj, boss this is not at all a likelihood. ISIS in SA will mean both the Aal Al Shaikh and the Al Sauds (all factions) will come together at least temporarily. They know that ISIS takeover will mean certain death, except perhaps for a few. Plus, we are overlooking the the reality that ISIS has no real allies outside the Gulf. Who will they turn to, if they turn against Al Saud? Iran? Qatar? Neither is that stupid, and even if they were for ISIS the Iran bit will be an ideological contortion of note. Not likely. Most important of all, of course, is that if anyone even vaguely threatening the territorial integrity of Saudi will be properly smashed by the Yanks (and we might join in). There will be no ifs and buts about this one. Too much money involved for all concerned. This applies to much of the GCC. Al Saud will bloody build a temple on their territory if necessary to facilitate worship by soldiers. We are nowhere near that sort of scenario. The US has awe-inspiring military facilities in the kingdom, Ras Tanura and in Yanbu' and so on.

>>Unless, all these arrests have been carefully planned and carried out with the help of external intelligence; obviously with a backup plan to act in case things go wrong.

GD, this was absolutely the case. There was not one (repeat, NOT ONE) dissonant note emerging out of the kingdom leading up to and in the wake of the disclosure of the arrests, etc. The Islamic heads immediately came out in support of the "anti-corruption" drive. Key figures spoke out in favour. The media was uniform. There was no confusion whatsoever. You might say, yes, this is a controlled regime so none was to be expected. But remember this happened in the evening, late evening, and even early morning in the 1-3 am period, there was no uncertainty among the media presenters, etc. None. It was bloody well planned alright. I know because I heard it from someone who actually watched all the Saudi channels. Plus, there was quickly songs and poetry being read out glorifying MBS and his qualities, etc. The Yemeni strike was taken down by the Americans (Trump claimed it during his Japan press conference). He also tweeted that the King and CP knew exactly what they were doing.

BTW, as a side note, take note of how "anti-corruption" has become the new political pinata. Putin started it off when he took over, and since it has become the go-to device from India to China to Saudi Arabia and (in a manner of speaking) in the US as well.

KLNM - I know I still owe you one.

Philip
BRF Oldie
Posts: 17809
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 08 Nov 2017 14:50

Mad Bull Salmaan appears to want his writ to run all over the region ,not just in his own backyard. The "summoning" of Hariri of Lebanon-forcing him to resign and Palestinian leaders who've been supported by Iran,are an attempt by him to sever their relationships with Shiite Iran who put a major spoke in the Soothi wheels of war,who covertly backed ISIS as their spearhead with which to wrest control of both Syria and later Iraq. The Iranian support to their faction in Yemen has turned the conflict into the desert version of the Soothi's Vietnam. The corpulent,corrupt and decadent Guilfies,their reluctant allies,have an acute distaste for war,preferring the fleshpots of Egypt,Paris,the Riveira,London.New York-any heaven on earth where "vice is nice",to being blown up on some hellish desert battlefield with only a promise of "72" ,rather than a few houris in hand!
The Mad Bull Salmaan and Mad Dog Mattis may actually be putting their mad heads together in the future starting the next round of the ME War,this time with Iran perhaps in their sights.The Donald and Bibi N can be counted upon their support from their comments.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 42186.html
Saudi Arabia royal purge: Why it matters so much to the world beyond its borders
From the UK and US to Yemen, Qatar, Turkey and Lebanon – the fallout from the Crown Prince’s ‘corruption’ sweep could be felt across many nations


Kim Sengupta Diplomatic Editor
Prince Mohammed bin Salman has President Trump’s backing but is playing a high-risk game Getty
The Saudi night of the long knives was followed by the sudden appearance of Saad Hariri in the Kingdom, announcing that he was resigning as prime minister of Lebanon. Then came the news that the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas had been summoned to Riyadh. The 32-year-old Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia is seeking to exert control both at home and abroad, in the process ratcheting up tension in an already volatile Middle East.

Mohammed Bin Salman al Saud wants to consolidate authority in Saudi Arabia in his hands and, at the same time, be the kingmaker in other lands. It is an extraordinarily high-risk strategy, and one even the seemingly uber-confident young Prince would not have embarked on without a powerful outside sponsor.

He appears to have found one. Donald Trump expressed support for the purge in a phone call to King Salman. The US President’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, paid a secretive visit to Riyadh a few days ago. But this support is likely to have come at a price. Mr Trump has tweeted that he wants the $2 trillion float of Saudi oil giant Aramco to take place in New York. The President added he had raised the matter in the call to the Saudi king. The UK would be the loser in the byproduct of this. London was hoping to be the place for the flotation, bringing with it a massive post-Brexit boost. The journeys of supplication by Theresa May and other ministers to Riyadh to achieve this may have been in vain.

READ MORE
Saudi Arabia arrests princes and ministers in ‘consolidation of power’
It remains to be seen whether Prince Mohammed’s meteoric rise continues or whether he crashes and burns. Members of the royal family have been instructed not to leave the country. Dozens have been arrested, with due legal process ignored. This includes the Kingdom’s richest businessmen, Prince Alawaleed bin Talal, whose investment portfolio includes hefty tranches of Rupert Murdoch’s 20th Century Fox stock.

The others detained include Prince Mutaib and Prince Turki, favourite sons of the late King Abdullah, respectively heads of the National Guard and the governor of Riyadh. The coup follows the Crown Prince’s drive against the religious hierarchy, prominent conservative imams and their fervent supporters.

So the Crown Prince appears to have taken a firm grip on the four pillars of the Kingdom: the ruling family, the business sheikhs, the security apparatus and the theocracy. His path to supreme power and, with it, the ability to bring about the reforms he wants, is seemingly assured.

High-level employee at Prince Alwaleed's company says the royal has been detained
Then we have the curious case of Mr Hariri. He made his resignation speech not in his home country, but in Riyadh, on Saudi TV. He accused Iran and its Hezbollah Shia militia allies of holding Lebanon hostage, and destabilising the Arab region.

This is also the Saudi position. Riyadh never liked the fact that Hezbollah was a member of Lebanon’s ruling coalition. This dislike has grown as the militia sent thousands of fighters for combat alongside Tehran’s forces to prop up Bashar al-Assad. That Lebanese government will now collapse. Mr Hariri, say his critics, is now himself effectively a hostage in Saudi Arabia.

READ MORE
Saudi Arabia ‘corruption’ arrests a risky attempt to seize power
Donald Trump appeals to Saudi Arabia to list Aramco in New York
Saudi princes under arrest accused of money laundering and bribery

Mr Abbas, the Palestinian leader, was the next to be asked to go to Riyadh. The Saudis have been trying to wean Hamas away from their Iranian backers, but they still remain suspicious of the Islamist movement. Mr Abbas, with Saudi encouragement, recently took on Hamas by imposing sanctions on Gaza. There has now been a highly publicised “reconciliation” between the two sides. But Prince Mohammed, who has already met a Hamas delegation recently, will want to ensure that the status quo is maintained to Saudi satisfaction.

Will this foreign policy foray work for Prince Mohammed? Adding to the drama in Saudi Arabia was a missile attack launched from Yemen into the Kingdom by the Houthis. Riyadh accused Iran, which backs the Houthis, of being responsible and called the attack “an act of war”.

The war in Yemen was the brainchild of the Crown Prince, a flexing of muscle after being appointed defence minister, to show toughness. It has been a disaster, with no sign of a victory, with hospitals and schools bombed and a cholera epidemic breaking out. Donald Trump sees this as an opportunity to sell more US arms to Saudis, but others in the Sunni military coalition, such as the UAE, are fed up with the whole bloody enterprise and just want it to go away.

Similarly, a Saudi-led Sunni alliance started a blockade of Qatar in response to long held grievances, including Doha not being sufficiently aggressive towards Iran. Qatar, it was expected, would capitulate quickly to demands made by Riyadh. Not only has that not happened, but Qatar has moved closer to Iran and the Turks, who have troops based there – Recep Tayyip Erdogan challenging the Saudis for the leadership of Sunni states, with possible reinforcements.

Then there is the Trump factor. The Saudis started the Qatari confrontation with what they saw as the US President’s encouragement. Jared Kushner was playing a part in that as well. Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State, was incensed that an “absolutely vacuous kid was running a second foreign policy out of the White House family quarters”. He and Defence Secretary James Mattis swung their support behind Qatar, a valued ally and centre of US military operations in the Middle East, and balanced American policy on the issue.

It is not certain this time either that Prince Mohammed will continue to receive American support indefinitely, especially if it is tied to the Aramco flotation. Mr Trump himself had fears that this may not take place because of “litigation, risk and other risk, which is very sad”.

The risk is of Saudi assets in the US being seized as a result of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (Jasta) passed by Congress under which families of 9/11 victims can take legal action against the Saudi government and nationals. Mr Trump had himself supported the Jasta Bill and castigated Barack Obama for opposing it. But then Mr Trump is hardly new to flip-flopping.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Prince Mohammed’s drive if American backing dries up. That can come about for reasons others than Aramco. Messrs Tillerson, Mattis and national-security adviser HR McMaster may well have different views to Mr Trump and his son-in-law. The last backlash against liberalisation led to a violent confrontation, a siege in Mecca in 1979 followed by a capitulation at the end by the Royal family to the clerics who got their hands on the levers of power. They went on to impose vicious Wahaabi rule at home and export terrorism abroad. What is unfolding in a Saudi sandstorm now will have repercussions well beyond its borders.

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 60470
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: Lupine but moderately dharmic

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 08 Nov 2017 15:49

https://www.wsj.com/articles/saudi-arab ... 1510062385
The Saudi government is aiming to confiscate cash and other assets worth as much as $800 billion in its broadening crackdown on alleged corruption among the kingdom’s elite, according to people familiar with the matter.

Several prominent businessmen are among those who have been arrested in the days since Saudi authorities launched the crackdown on Saturday, by detaining more than 60 princes, officials and other prominent Saudis, according to those people and others.

The country’s central bank, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, said late Tuesday that it has frozen the bank accounts of “persons of interest” and said the move is “in response to the Attorney General’s request pending the legal cases against them.”
.....

Philip
BRF Oldie
Posts: 17809
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 08 Nov 2017 19:24

http://www.pravdareport.com/world/asia/ ... bia_war-0/

Another war brewing in the Persian Gulf
In the Persian Gulf, another conflict is brewing between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Riyadh is ready to open a "second front" after Houthi Shiites launched a missile on Saudi Arabia from Yemen. The Saudis took it as an act of war.


Riyadh threatens neighbors

The relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran aggravated as early as in January 2016, when the execution of a Shiite preacher and the subsequent pogrom of Saudi Arabia's diplomatic mission in Iran led to the termination of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

A year and a half later, Tehran and Riyadh launched another stage of verbal attacks against each other.

On November 6, Saudi State Minister Samer Al-Sabhan stated that Riyadh would consider Lebanon "as a state that declares war on Saudi Arabia." According to Al Arabiya TV channel, the minister accused Beirut of connivance with "extremist actions" of the pro-Iranian Shiite Hezbollah movement.

On November 4, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri arrived in Riyadh, where he unexpectedly announced his resignation. He claimed that Hezbollah and Iran conduct hostile actions from the territory of Lebanon against Saudi Arabia. Hariri also stated that his life was in danger, suggesting that he was not going to return to Lebanon.

On November 4, Yemeni Houthi insurgents, who receive military aid from Iran, launched a missile at Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia used its air defenses to shoot down the missile: luckily, the incident did not lead to any casualties or destruction.

Nevertheless, Riyadh saw the missile launch as a signal of Tehran's readiness to start a missile war against Saudi Arabia through the hands of Houthi insurgents. Saudi Arabia's Defense Ministry regarded the missile strike from the territory of Yemen as "an outrageous act of military aggression on the part of Iran, which can be seen in the future as an act of war against Saudi Arabia."

Saudi Arabia declared its right to self-defense in response to Iran. "The hostile act on the part of Iran confirms the legitimate right of the kingdom to defend its territory and its people under Article 51 of the UN Charter (on the right to self-defense)," a statement from Saudi generals said.

In case of a war with Iran, Saudi Arabia will be forced to simultaneously conduct military operations against Hezbollah in Lebanon and against Houthis in Yemen. Such a war may exhaust Saudi Arabia.

The Iran-Iraq conflict of 1980-1988 showed that it is very easy to start a war, but it is very difficult to get out of it. Tehran and Baghdad were exchanging militant statements for eight years. Each side lost up to one million military men.

Crisis in the royal family

The current aggravation of relations between Riyadh and Tehran coincided with a deep crisis inside the royal family of Saudi Arabia. In June, King of Saudi Arabia Salman appointed his 31-year-old son Mohammed bin Salman the Crown Prince having thus replaced his cousin, who was 26 years older.

Last week, the Crown Prince initiated the cleansing inside the royal family to get rid of disloyal relatives. Eleven princes, four acting ministers and dozens of former ministers were arrested on November 5 overnight. Al-Walid bin Talal, one of the richest people on the planet, was arrested as well.

Most likely, the arrests of members of the royal family were related to corruption. King Salman established an anti-corruption committee and made Prince Mohammed its chairman.

As we can see, the aggravation of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran is unfolding against the backdrop of the struggle for power in Riyadh. The political crisis in the monarchical dynasty is evident, and this factor may weaken the position of Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf.

Iran, on the contrary, will strengthen its positions around the borders of Saudi Arabia. It goes about Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen. In all these four countries, Iran has been strengthening its positions to better prepare for a possible future war with Saudi Arabia.

Aydin Mehtiyev
Pravda.Ru
Читайте больше на http://www.pravdareport.com/world/asia/ ... bia_war-0/


Keep a keen weather eye out for Mad Bull Salmaan and Xi Gins in a clinch.China in the past supplied the Soothis withDF-3 (earlier) and now DF-21 BMs,which were to have been tipped with Paki built N-warheads. These were sold with secret CIA approval.
https://thediplomat.com/2014/01/china-s ... -approval/
The KSA has sev. BM bases heavily guarded.That is why the Mad Bull is so cocky when it comes to tickling the Persians up their nether end.
Last edited by Philip on 08 Nov 2017 19:31, edited 1 time in total.

SSridhar
Forum Moderator
Posts: 21880
Joined: 05 May 2001 11:31
Location: Chennai

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby SSridhar » 08 Nov 2017 19:26

The Saudi situation is getting murkier by the minute.

If the reason for Trump's support is true, one has to fear that Trump's continuation as PotUS endangers the whole world.

Purge of royals in Saudi is no sandstorm in a teacup - Kim Sengupta, ToI
The Saudi night of the long knives was followed by the sudden appearance of Saad Hariri in the Kingdom, announcing that he was resigning as prime minister of Lebanon. Then came the news that the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas had been summoned to Riyadh. The 32-year-old Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia+ is seeking to exert control both at home and abroad, in the process ratcheting up tension in an already volatile Middle East.

Mohammed Bin Salman al Saud wants to consolidate authority in Saudi Arabia in his hands and, at the same time, be the kingmaker in other lands. It is an extraordinarily high-risk strategy, and one even the seemingly uber-confident young Prince would not have embarked on without a powerful outside sponsor.

He appears to have found one. Donald Trump
expressed support for the purge in a phone call to King Salman. The US President's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, paid a secretive visit to Riyadh a few days ago. But this support is likely to have come at a price. Trump has tweeted that he wants the $2 trillion float of Saudi oil giant Aramco to take place in New York. The President added he had raised the matter in the call to the Saudi king. The UK would be the loser in the byproduct of this. London was hoping to be the place for the flotation, bringing with it a massive post-Brexit boost. The journeys of supplication by Theresa May and other ministers to Riyadh to achieve this may have been in vain.

KLNMurthy
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3511
Joined: 17 Aug 2005 13:06

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby KLNMurthy » 08 Nov 2017 20:29

JE Menon wrote:>>Can you write another one, looking into implications for India?

I knew this was coming sooner or later from someone. OK, will do tomorrow

Great. Will be looking forward to it. And thank you.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 48085
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 08 Nov 2017 22:50

Philip, The MBS purge is a Sunnification of Arab Middle East approved by US.
This is in essence or core Arab vs. Persians struggle. Recall Saddam's last words "Beware of the Persians!"
He was the original munna after the Ayatollahs took over Iran. Started the Iran- Iraq war and got exhausted and bankrupt leading to Kuwait invasion and led to Desert Storm I. The model of covert US support and overt condemnation started with him.

The previous version of Sunnification of Arab ME was the terrorist ISIS which got hammered by Putin.
This is because ISIS had covert support and was demonized while being supported. Same as Saddam Hussein model.
Putin took advantage and hammered them at appropriate time.
This bolstered Iran geopolitical clout.

MBS is creating a Sunni Arab ummah to counter the Shia Iran/Persian rivalry.

However the way MBS is going about doing this will lead to instability.

X-Post...
Philip wrote:It appears that the Saudi Clown Prince also forced the Lebanese PM Hariri to resign, citing (bogus) accusations that his life was in danger from assassins (Iran). One can see this latter-day Saudi "Saladin" wanting to replace ISIS and the Sultan of Stamboul as Islam's newest and greatest leader!
So we will have strong men like XI Gins in the Asia-Pacific,Kim in Korea, Mad Bull Salmaan in Soothi Barbaria, Erdogan in Anatolia, Bibi in Israel, Gen.Fat Al Sissy in Egypt, All these gentry being looked down upon by the Iranian Shiite supremo, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamene

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... bin-salman

In September, Prince Mohammed authorised the detention of some of the country’s most powerful clerics, fearing they may not be loyal to his agenda and supportive of his boycott of Qatar, which Saudi leaders accuse of destablising the region.


Saturday’s moves on the home front followed a striking foreign policy stance earlier in the day that appeared to put the kingdom on a political collision course with Iran. Under Saudi pressure, the Lebanese prime minister, Saad al-Hariri, unexpectedly quit his job, citing Iranian interference across the Middle East.

Hariri made his statement in Riyadh after twice being summoned to the Saudi capital during the week.
:mrgreen:

JE Menon
Forum Moderator
Posts: 6858
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby JE Menon » 08 Nov 2017 23:25

KLNM, I've replied in the Saudi thread

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 48085
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 08 Nov 2017 23:38

chanakyaa wrote:Ten Little Soldier Boys: OIL SPIDERS

Things are still evolving but, given how easily money, arms and egos run high in the Kingdom of Smoothie Barbaria, it is hard to imagine that arrests of arrogant, SOBs not one or two, but 11 princes has occurred without any military coup. Even Pakis will pullout a military coup for a hopeless political career. Unless, all these arrests have been carefully planned and carried out with the help of external intelligence; obviously with a backup plan to act in case things go wrong.


So Saudi purge was going on since 2003.
Could be 911 fallout.
Now it has reached a crescendo.

We need a mind map of all three disappeared folks. Which branches of Ibn Saud family they belong to.
What side of jihadi spectrum etc.

All are jihadist should not be forgotten as they all have Wahabi DNA.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 48085
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 09 Nov 2017 04:36

Tom Friedman writes Saudi Arabia becomes Salman Arabia


...This is no longer “Saudi Arabia.” It is becoming “Salman Arabia.” In the latest series of arrests, M.B.S. basically eliminated the “young old guard” — the key sons and his natural rivals from the other main Saudi royal lines.....

At the same time, M.B.S. is shifting the basis of legitimacy of the regime, ending “the 1979 era.” In 1979, in the wake of the takeover of Islam’s most holy site in Mecca by an ultra-fundamentalist Saudi preacher who claimed that the al-Saud family was not Islamic enough, the Saudi ruling family — to shore up its religious legitimacy — made a sharp religious turn at home and began exporting its puritanical Wahhabi Sunni Islam abroad, building mosques and schools from London to Indonesia.

It has been a disaster for the Arab/Muslim world, spawning offshoots like Al Qaeda and ISIS and retarding Arab education and women’s advancement.
.....
But he is replacing Wahhabism as a source of solidarity with a more secular Saudi nationalism, one that has a strong anti-Iran/Persian/Shiite tenor. And that is taking him to some dangerous places. To confront Iran, M.B.S. got the Sunni Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad al-Hariri, to quit his office on Saturday while on a visit to Riyadh, and blamed Iran and its Shiite allies for making Lebanon ungovernable — and for a missile attack from Yemen. Lebanon, which had forged a relatively stable balance among Sunnis, Christians and Shiites, is now shaking. M.B.S. also led a Gulf effort to isolate Qatar for being too close to Iran and to crush Iran’s influence in Yemen — and crush Yemen in the process. It’s overreach, and there seems to be no one around to tell him that.....

I worry that those urging M.B.S. to be more aggressive in confronting Iran (whose malign regional influence does need counterbalancing) — like the U.A.E., Trump, Jared Kushner and Bibi Netanyahu — will push M.B.S. into a war abroad and at home at the same time, and we could see Saudi Arabia and the whole region spin out of control at the same time. As I said, I’m worried.

Aditya_V
BRF Oldie
Posts: 9264
Joined: 05 Apr 2006 16:25

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Aditya_V » 09 Nov 2017 12:00

How about another theorry, this is done as Tamasha just to push up oil prices with fear while doing nothing to affect supplies, the Investment Bankers will make a killing in Oil forwards.

Karthik S
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3764
Joined: 18 Sep 2009 12:12

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Karthik S » 09 Nov 2017 12:12

You mean prince meeting with heli "accident", another one taking refuge in Iran among many other things is all tamasha?

Looks like it started sometime back.


Philip
BRF Oldie
Posts: 17809
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 09 Nov 2017 12:44

He's killed two birds with one stoning,He!he!
Got rid of his rivals and sent oil prices rocketing in the aftermath of the "Royal Rumble".More fun here than at the WWE what?! :rotfl:

Mad Bull Salmaan appears to have cast himself in the mould of a latter day Saladin,who defeated various Crusader armies,captured Jerusalem and sundry Muslim rivals too,making pacts with the Christians where it benefited him.it is ironic to see the same reality today where the Soothi Clown Prince has struck the devil's bargain with (ye Gods!) the Donald of Trump,a warmongering Crusader of the latter days,threatening nuclear war against poor little Young Un Kim in NoKo,a microscopic nation at the tip of the Eurasian continent,which has been besieged by US troops since 1950!
His ME Great Game objective is to whittle down to size the Shiite menace represented by latter-day Persians,Muslim heretics of the Shiite persuasion.They some years ago,actually had the temerity affrontery and audacity to attempt to capture the Grand Mosque at Mecca,the heart of Islam under the custody of the kingdom of Soothi Barbaria.With the Yanqui crusader," Trumpeter "Donald covering his "backside"(!),watch the Mad Bull go! The fun has just started


Saladin:
An-Nasir Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub known as Salah ad-Din or Saladin achieved a great reputation in Europe as a chivalrous knight, due to his fierce struggle against the Crusaders .
Born into a Kurdish, Sunni, military family, Saladin rose rapidly within Muslim society as a subordinate to the Syrian-northern Mesopotamian military leader Nur al-Din. Participating in three campaigns into Egypt (which was governed by the Shi`ite Fatimid dynasty), Saladin became head of the military expeditionary forces in 1169. After he was appointed wazir(adviser) to the Shi`ite caliph in Cairo, he consolidated his position by eliminating the Fatimid’s sub-Saharan infantry slave forces. Finally, in 1171 the Shi`ite Fatimid caliphate was brought to an end by Saladin with the recognition of the Sunni caliphate in Baghdad. In the meantime, Nur al-Din kept pressuring Saladin to send him money, supplies, and troops, but Saladin tended to stall. An open clash between the two was avoided by the death of Nur al-Din in 1174.

Although Egypt was the primary source for his financial support, Saladin spent almost no time in the Nile Valley after 1174. According to one of his admiring contemporaries, Saladin used the wealth of Egypt for the conquest of Syria, that of Syria for the conquest of northern Mesopotamia, and that of northern Mesopotamia for the conquest of the crusader states along the Levant coast.

This oversimplification aside, the bulk of Saladin’s activities from 1174 until 1187 involved fighting other Muslims and eventually bringing Aleppo, Damascus, Mosul, and other cities under his control. He tended to appoint members of his family to many of the governorships, establishing a dynasty known as the Ayyubids in Egypt, Syria, and even Yemen. At the same time he was willing to make truces with the crusaders in order to free his forces to fight Muslims. Reginald of Châtillon violated these arrangements, to Saladin’s annoyance.

Modern historians debate Saladin’s motivation, but for those contemporaries close to him, there were no questions: Saladin had embarked on a holy war to eliminate Latin political and military control in the Middle East, particularly Christian control over Jerusalem. After the Battle of Hattin, Saladin, following the predominant military theory of the time, moved rapidly against as many of the weak Christian centers as possible, offering generous terms if they would surrender, while at the same time avoiding long sieges. This policy had the benefit of leading to the rapid conquest of almost every crusader site, including the peaceful Muslim liberation of Jerusalem in October 1187. The negative was that his policy permitted the crusaders time to regroup and refortify two cities south of Tripoli—Tyre and Ashkelon.


PS:Guess who's supplying "500%" more arms to the Soothis? No prizes for being correct.yes,its your favourite royal, HMG!
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho ... 42871.html
UK sales of bombs and missiles to Saudi Arabia increase by almost 500% since start of Yemen war
Exclusive: Campaigners say ‘mountain of evidence’ shows British-made weapons being used to commit war crimes

Lizzie Dearden Home Affairs Correspondent

The number of British-made bombs and missiles sold to Saudi Arabia since the start of its bloody campaign in Yemen has risen by almost 500 per cent, The Independent can reveal.

More than £4.6bn of arms were sold in the first two years of bombings, with the Government grant increasing numbers of export licences despite mounting evidence of war crimes and massacres at hospitals, schools and weddings.

The United Nations says air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition are the main cause of almost 5,295 civilian deaths and 8,873 casualties confirmed so far, warning that the real figure is “likely to be far higher”.

READ MORE
Trump blames Iran for missile fired at Saudi Arabia by Yemen rebels
UN blacklists Saudi-led coalition for killing children in Yemen
UN agrees to investigate alleged war crimes in Yemen
It has condemned the “entirely man-made catastrophe” leaving millions more on the brink of famine and sparking the world’s worst cholera epidemic, while blacklisting Saudi Arabia for killing and maiming children.

There is also fresh concern over the Kingdom’s attempt to shut all air, land and sea ports into Yemen, which it said was to stop the flow of weapons but will also halt aid imports.

British-made bombs have been found at the scene of bombings deemed to violate international law but the UK has continued its political and material support for Riyadh’s campaign.

Figures from the Department for International Trade (DIT) show that in the two years leading up to the Yemen war, £33m of ML4 licences covering bombs, missiles and countermeasures were approved.

The child victims of Yemen’s civil war
But in the two years since the start of Saudi bombing in March 2015, the figure increased by 457 per cent to £1.9bn, according to calculations by Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT).

Licences covering aircraft including Eurofighter jets have also risen by 70 per cent to £2.6bn in the same period.

Tom Barns, co-director of CAAT, said the Government has been accelerating sales of “equipment being used to commit atrocities in Yemen” as the pace of Saudi-led air strikes increases.
“Over the course of this year the situation in Yemen is only getting worse,” he added.

“At a time when the UK should at least be putting more consideration into what’s being sold they are giving more and more of these licences.”

The products being sold include Raytheon’s Paveway IV bomb, which was found at the scene of an air strike that hit vital food stores in January last year, and the Brimstone, Storm Shadow, PGM 500 Hakim and Alarm missiles.

Accelerating sales look set to continue after Brexit, with former Defence Secretary Michael Fallon telling a controversial arms fair in London that demand was going “through the roof” because of increasing war and terror.

“As we look to life post Brexit and spread our wings further across the world, it’s high time we do more to compete for a share of this international export market,” he told Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) before his resignation.

Mr Barns said: “We’re being told that Brexit is a time for new opportunities and trading relationships but what that seems to point to more dodgy deals with the Middle East, propping up dictators and warmongering in the region.”

The High Court has ruled that arms exports to Saudi Arabia was legal because the available evidence did not prove “a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law”, but CAAT is hoping to appeal the case.

The campaign group is launching a crowdfunding campaign to continue its legal battle, which has already cost it £40,000.
Kristine Beckerle, a Yemen researcher at Human Rights Watch (HRW), said a “mountain of evidence” against Saudi Arabia had not been properly considered.

Explaining that international law does not require the intent to kill civilians for a violation to have taken place, she added: “What more does the UK Government need to start exerting leverage over the Saudi-led coalition?”

“The UK goes on and on about how it’s concerned about the humanitarian situation in Yemen but it seems unwilling to pressure the Saudi-led coalition to make it better.
“It’s clear that governments use arms sales as a means of leveraging political support.”


The UK has pointed to Saudi Arabia’s Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT), which investigates allegations of civilian casualties in bombings, but HRW and other groups say its findings are not robust or credible.

“It feels like people are looking for excuses for arms sales to continue when there is clear evidence that there is a real risk,” Ms Beckerle added.
People stand in front of houses destroyed by Saudi-led air strikes in the Yemeni city of Saada (Reuters)
Britain is also carrying out military training for Saudi forces, including a programme helping the Royal Saudi Air Force to “improve their targeting processes”.

But the initiatives appear to have had little effect, with the UN reporting more atrocities on Tuesday.

Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said it was deeply concerned about attacks killing dozens of civilians, including children, over the past week.

READ MORE
Saudi Arabia has ‘no intention’ of bombing civilians in Yemen :rotfl:
“International humanitarian law prohibits attacks against civilians and civilian objects, indiscriminate attacks, and it obliges all parties to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians and civilian objects,” he said, listing Saudi-led air strikes that destroyed a market, family home and public square alongside Houthi atrocities.

The conflict started in March 2015 after an opposition offensive drove the government out of the capital Sana’a, sparking an intervention by Saudi Arabia and its allies to support the internationally recognised government.

Critics have accused Riyadh, along with Western allies, of hypocrisy in supporting rebels the Syrian conflict and the “legitimate government” in the Yemen.

Saudi Arabia insists its intervention at the request of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi is a justified operation against his rival’s supporters and Houthi rebels.

The head of the country’s foreign aid agency previously told The Independent Saudi Arabia was the “number one donor for aid and development in Yemen” and that there was “no intention” to bombard civilians.

cholera.jpg
A child victim of cholera in Yemen (Reuters)
But Mr Barns said the “clear pattern of attacks” causing civilian casualties should have caused the UK to stop arms sales to the authoritarian state long ago.

“It’s a relationship that gives military and political support to one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world,” he added.

“Far from defending the world from terrorism, the bombing of Yemen is also creating ungoverned spaces where al-Qaeda and similar groups are thriving.”

The British Government has emphasised that it is not a member of the Saudi-led coalition or party to the conflict, but reinstated its support for its intervention to “deter aggression by the Houthis and allow for the return of the legitimate Yemeni Government”.

A Department for International Trade spokesperson said: “The UK government takes its export control responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world.

"We rigorously examine every application on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. We will not grant a licence if to do so would be inconsistent with these Criteria.

"The Government publishes regular statistics on the value of export licences, but these are not necessarily a measure of actual exports shipped as exporters must re-apply where a licence is unused. This results in double counting.”

But Amnesty International UK said a total halt to British arms exports to Saudi Arabia was “long overdue”.

Polly Truscott, its foreign affairs analyst, said: “When the High Court made its very disappointing ruling in the summer, we said there was a clear human rights need for the UK and other governments to stop selling arms to the Saudi coalition unless they were willing to risk becoming a party to terrible crimes in Yemen.

“These figures are a further reminder of how the UK Government is apparently more interested in the financial bottom line for the arms industry, than in the need to protect civilians.”

SSridhar
Forum Moderator
Posts: 21880
Joined: 05 May 2001 11:31
Location: Chennai

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby SSridhar » 09 Nov 2017 13:43

This reminds me of the three princes who died in the aftermath of 9/11 apparently for having financed the operations as revealed by Abu Zubaydah (who was arrested from an LeT safe house in Faisalabad): one died during a 'routine surgery', another died in a car crash while going to attend the funeral of the 'routine surgery-dead' prince {AoA}, and the third died of 'thirst' after getting 'lost' in the desert.

Mysterious indeed are the workings of Alla'h.

SSridhar
Forum Moderator
Posts: 21880
Joined: 05 May 2001 11:31
Location: Chennai

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby SSridhar » 09 Nov 2017 17:50

Lebanon believes Hariri held in Saudi, wants foreign pressure: top official - Reuters
Lebanon believes Saad al-Hariri, who resigned as prime minister on Saturday while in Saudi Arabia, is being held by Riyadh, and Beirut plans to work with foreign states to secure his return, a top Lebanese government official said on Thursday.

Mr. Hariri's shock resignation read from Saudi Arabia pitched Lebanon into a deep political crisis and pushed the country back to the forefront of a regional struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

It has fuelled speculation in Lebanon that the Sunni Muslim politician, long an ally of Riyadh, was coerced into stepping down by the Saudis.

A second source, a senior Lebanese politician who is close to Mr. Hariri, said: “When he went [to Saudi Arabia] he was asked to stay there and ordered to resign. They ordered him to read his resignation statement and he has been held under house arrest since.”

Saudi Arabia and Mr. Hariri aides have denied reports that he is under house arrest. But he has put out no statements himself denying his movements are being restricted. He made a one-day flying visit to the United Arab Emirates earlier this week before returning to Saudi Arabia.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun is moving towards a diplomatic approach to “uncover the mystery surrounding Hariri's resignation”, Lebanon's al-Manar television, which supports Iran-backed Shia movement Hezbollah, reported.

Saudi Arabia says Hezbollah, which was included in Hariri's coalition government, had “hijacked” Lebanon's political system.

In his resignation speech, Mr. Hariri attacked Iran and Hezbollah for sowing strife in Arab states and said he feared assassination. His father, a veteran former prime minister, was killed by a bomb in 2005.

“Lebanon is heading towards asking foreign and Arab states to put pressure on Saudi to release Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri,” said the top government official, who declined to be identified because the government had yet to declare the initiative.

“Keeping Hariri with restricted freedom in Riyadh is an attack on Lebanese sovereignty. Our dignity is his dignity. We will work with [foreign] states to return him to Beirut.”

The official said Mr. Hariri was still Lebanon's prime minister, echoing other Lebanese government officials who say Mr. Hariri's resignation had not been received by Mr. Aoun.

Mr. Aoun wants Mr. Hariri to return to Lebanon and explain the reasons for his resignation before he will take a decision it.

The resignation of Mr. Hariri, who is a business tycoon with major investments in Saudi Arabia, came at the same time as a wave of arrests of Saudi princes and businessmen accused of corruption by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Philip
BRF Oldie
Posts: 17809
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 10 Nov 2017 03:50

The Soothis are now asking their citizens to leave the
Lebanon and return home.Leb's former PM Hariri has been virtually kidnapped by the Mad Bull, summoned to Riyadh,forced to resign while on Saudi soil and is being held in captivity.MSB is behaving like an international brigand .

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 48085
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 10 Nov 2017 07:33

Salman apologists in Arab media are writing about how this is not a purge but a legitimate clean up of corruption and is unlike the Xi Jinping move to get rid of rivals.

Malayappan
BRFite
Posts: 421
Joined: 18 Jul 2005 00:11

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Malayappan » 10 Nov 2017 13:42

EXCLUSIVE: Senior figures tortured and beaten in Saudi purge
Some excerpts -
One of the most famous is Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a former Saudi ambassador to Washington and confidant of former US President George W Bush.There is no word on his fate, but Saudi authorities said that one of the corruption cases they are looking at is the al-Yamamah arms deal, in which Bandar was involved.
Once you remove the man or the company at the top of the sub-contractor pyramid, no one beneath him gets paid, thus risking throwing the entire construction industry into disarray. The same happened to Saudi Oger, the company owned by Saad Hariri, the former prime minister of Lebanon, which was declared bankrupt on 31 July.

Article also has a family tree of the Abdul Aziz family

SSridhar
Forum Moderator
Posts: 21880
Joined: 05 May 2001 11:31
Location: Chennai

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby SSridhar » 10 Nov 2017 13:58

Malayappan wrote:EXCLUSIVE: Senior figures tortured and beaten in Saudi purge
One of the most famous is Prince Bandar bin Sultan


The idea of MBS is to discredit the lineage of every Sudairi Seven save for his own in order to smother any kind of opposition.

Repeatedly we have found the following saying to be true in these despotic kingdoms in West Asia: Me against my brothers; me & my brothers against our father; me, my brothers and our father against our uncles and so on . . .

The only thing that can save King Salman himself, at this rate, is his Alzheimar's and MBS may just take pity on him and keep him on the throne as a scapegoat to carry out his idea of reforms & progress.

No Saudi royalty can be non-corrupt. King Salman was the Governor of Riyadh for decades, Prince Sultan (Bandar's father) was the Defence Minister for decades. They all made millions, if not billions, in every major deal.

This is where MBS's purge diverges from Xi's. Xi Jinping is supposedly an honest man and his anti-corruption drive, though simultaneously aimed at steam-rolling any opposition to him, will not boomerang on him, for that reason. But, MBS (even if not corrupt personally himself, we do not know that as yet) can be easily embarrassed significantly and the tide could turn against him as he has made very powerful enemies that include the clergy as well.
Last edited by ramana on 10 Nov 2017 22:05, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added high lights ramana

Karthik S
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3764
Joined: 18 Sep 2009 12:12

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Karthik S » 10 Nov 2017 14:11

I am more waiting for KSA Iran confrontation. All this while they've been using proxies to fight their wars outside either country's borders.

Philip
BRF Oldie
Posts: 17809
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 10 Nov 2017 18:23

The tremors will be acutely felt in the west where Soothies hold vast holdings of prime western MNCs, etc.Now with one fell swoop, MBS has stolen supposedly $800B of his kinsmen's wealth and has become the world's richest man.He could now be said to be the first Trillionaire in history. Persia....dig your bomb shelters fast.Yemeni rebels, he now has the moolah to drag on the war for a few more years. US defence MNCs will salivate and watch him also reach out to China in an attempt to cut the Iran-China relationship which also has a mil. supplier relationship. The Pak is will be sweating , desperately waiting for signals from Riyadh and the next tray of crumbs thrown at it to lick from the floor.

KLNMurthy
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3511
Joined: 17 Aug 2005 13:06

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby KLNMurthy » 10 Nov 2017 21:27

Philip wrote:The tremors will be acutely felt in the west where Soothies hold vast holdings of prime western MNCs, etc.Now with one fell swoop, MBS has stolen supposedly $800B of his kinsmen's wealth and has become the world's richest man.He could now be said to be the first Trillionaire in history. Persia....dig your bomb shelters fast.Yemeni rebels, he now has the moolah to drag on the war for a few more years. US defence MNCs will salivate and watch him also reach out to China in an attempt to cut the Iran-China relationship which also has a mil. supplier relationship. The Pak is will be sweating , desperately waiting for signals from Riyadh and the next tray of crumbs thrown at it to lick from the floor.

Pakis will lick the crumbs from the floor, which will pass through the uniquely toxic paki physiology to generate deadly toxins which they will spew on India.

Persians can dig their shelters or not, I don't care that much, but India needs to put up sanitary screens pronto and prepare to eliminate the contagion next door which is about to mutate.

That is the crux of my concern about the China factor, thanks to Philip for bringing it out so well.

Y. Kanan
BRFite
Posts: 623
Joined: 27 Mar 2003 12:31
Location: USA

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Y. Kanan » 10 Nov 2017 21:43

I thought kidnapping national leaders was generally frowned upon? This is some real life Game of Thrones type stuff on display for the world to see. What is the goal here? I thought Hariri was already pro-Saudi to begin with. So why kidnap or force him out of office?

It seems to me this Saudi move will backfire as it creates an opportunity for Iran/Hezbollah to actually increase their influence in Lebanon, what with their PM being kidnapped and threatened. The Sunni political bloc in Lebanon can now be discredited as Saudi proxies.

So this Saudi move seems extremely stupid on the face of it. What am I missing here?

rsingh
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3055
Joined: 19 Jan 2005 01:05
Location: Pindi
Contact:

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby rsingh » 10 Nov 2017 21:57

Bandar beaten is good news. This is ultimate fate of these uneducated,uncultured oil rich creatures. IMO Bakistan army will be called to restore some order. Watch Raheel very closely. And yes, they do not have guts to fight with Iran.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 48085
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 10 Nov 2017 22:09

Throw everything you know about the past KSA out of the window,
MBS is bringing in hierarchical/vertical succession away from the horizontal and diagonal succession setup by Ibn Saud to prevent dynastic wars that were the bane of Arabic rulers. Recall the Ummayad blood baths during the 4 caliphs time. Or the Abbasid succession. The founder was called Al Safa or the bloodied sword.

Now all that is over.

kit
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2125
Joined: 13 Jul 2006 18:16

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby kit » 11 Nov 2017 03:20

Philip wrote:The tremors will be acutely felt in the west where Soothies hold vast holdings of prime western MNCs, etc.Now with one fell swoop, MBS has stolen supposedly $800B of his kinsmen's wealth and has become the world's richest man.He could now be said to be the first Trillionaire in history. Persia....dig your bomb shelters fast.Yemeni rebels, he now has the moolah to drag on the war for a few more years. US defence MNCs will salivate and watch him also reach out to China in an attempt to cut the Iran-China relationship which also has a mil. supplier relationship. The Pak is will be sweating , desperately waiting for signals from Riyadh and the next tray of crumbs thrown at it to lick from the floor.


Guys . the most important geopolitical outcome could be the Saudis acquiring Nuclear weapons , Salman would most likely do the Korean ! ..what best to hold the Iranians at bay ., this is a very real and present danger

Philip
BRF Oldie
Posts: 17809
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 11 Nov 2017 04:51

MBS in my opinion would not have embarked upon his Islamic jihad against "corruption if he did not feel that his back was protected by nukes and BMs...of Paki-Sino origin.I am convinced that the US know all about Saudi nuke capability but are keeping it v.v.quiet so that they can defang Iran.They did the same with Pak and NoKo allowing both to acquire nukes from the "Silk Route.

As Ramana has said the Saudi "ancien regime" is now history.Salmaan- adin has arrived on stage." Look upon my works ye mighty and despair..."! He's now gotten $800B one fell swoop! The Ottoman would-be-sultan must be sulking in his Topkapi-2 imperial palace at being completely upstaged by the "Keeper" of Islam's two holiest sites.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 48085
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 11 Nov 2017 05:36

Paarkalam.
Turkey might still get Hejaz.
If MBS wants to be moderate.

That way no rival Arabs.

SSridhar
Forum Moderator
Posts: 21880
Joined: 05 May 2001 11:31
Location: Chennai

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby SSridhar » 11 Nov 2017 08:39

Dozens more Saudis detained in $100 billion corruption sweep - AP
Dozens more people have been taken into custody by Saudi authorities, the kingdom said on Thursday, bringing to 201 the number of people detained in a sweep that investigators say has uncovered at least $100 billion in corruption.{USD 100 B is peanuts in KSA. This is a straight giveaway that the on-going action is not corruption related.}

Saudi critics and experts have called the unprecedented purge of top princes and businessmen a bold and risky move by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman aimed at consolidating power as he keeps an eye on the throne, sidelining potential rivals and dismantling alliances built with other branches of the royal family.

The sweep comes at a time of increased tensions between Saudi Arabia and its main regional rival, Iran, over the ongoing conflict and suffering in Yemen and a newly erupting political crisis in Lebanon.

Saudi Attorney General Saud al-Mojeb said 208 people had been called in for questioning, and that seven were released without charge, leaving 201 in custody.

The new figure is far larger than what was previously reported by the government, reflecting a continuing series of arrests throughout the week. The stunning purge began overnight Saturday, initially catching 11 princes and 38 officials, military officers and business leaders. They are being held at five-star hotels, including the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh.


The 32-year-old crown prince, who is the son of King Salman and is popularly known by his initials MBS, is leading the investigation as head of a newly formed anti-corruption committee.

Among those detained are billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and two sons of the late King Abdullah, including Prince Miteb, who until Saturday headed the powerful National Guard. Several years ago, he was considered a contender for the throne and was believed to have opposed MBS becoming crown prince.

The government declined to identify many of the other individuals being questioned, saying it is respecting their privacy in this phase of the investigation.

An estimated 1,700 individual bank accounts have been frozen.


“The potential scale of corrupt practices which have been uncovered is very large,” al-Mojeb said, adding that based on investigation in the past three years, at least $100 billion has been misused through corruption and embezzlement.

Al-Mojeb confirmed that action was taken to suspend personal bank accounts, but he did not disclose any figures. The government stressed that only personal accounts have been frozen, leaving businesses untouched.

Saudis have complained for years of rampant corruption and misuse of public funds by top officials {Top officials get merely a trickle. All the money goes to the royalty} in a system where nepotism is also widespread.

In recent years, Saudi families have also had to contend with austerity measures that have driven up costs while simultaneously being told they can no longer count on cushy government jobs.

Meanwhile, members of the sprawling royal family and their business associates had long been seen as operating above the law. Members of the royal family receive undisclosed monthly stipends from state coffers built up over years of high oil prices.{I know}

After oil prices fell three years ago without fully recovering, Saudi Arabia introduced new taxes and lifted some subsidies in order to boost revenue and cut government spending.

Supporters of MBS say fighting corruption is part of the crown prince’s Vision 2030 plan, a blueprint for how to restructure the country and wean it from its dependence on oil revenue.

Faisal Abbas, the Saudi editor-in-chief of daily Arab News, wrote in a widely shared column this week that the kingdom is “damned if it acts against corruption, damned if it doesn’t.”

“Anyone who understands who is who in Riyadh knows only too well that none of those arrested whether royals or non-royals has or would have had any political sway in the current climate whatsoever,” he wrote.

“More importantly, it is just mind-boggling that very few are noticing the obvious; which is that all of those being detained are incredibly wealthy,” Mr. Abbas added.

Still, independent Saudi observers say, the anti-corruption probe targets only select members of the royal family, government and business community. Additionally, several of those arrested were ministers under King Salman, raising questions about where responsibility begins and ends.{This is where MBS is going to meet his Waterloo if he is not careful}

While few would argue against allegations that some top princes and officials have enriched themselves during years in power, the selection of who has been detained raises speculation that the purge is political.

Prince Miteb’s detention stands out because he was the last remaining prince of his generation in a position of real power, which made him a potential obstacle to the throne for MBS.


Earlier this year, the crown prince engineered the ouster of another more experienced prince from the line of succession.

Many also have questioned a recent purchase by MBS of a yacht estimated at anywhere between $200 million to $500 million.

Saudi observer Thomas Lippmann said it was difficult to draw the line between what constitutes corruption in Saudi Arabia and how business deals, contracts and access have been won over the years. {Very true. It is absolute monarchy there. It is sacrilegious to rise against the King. KSA has been run as a personal fiefdom of the Al-Saud family. The income of the state is first shared among the royal household and then the rest goes for the state. It is very easy to show every royal member as extremely corrupt. There is no distinction between the wealth of the state and the wealth of the Al-Saud family. The people accept that status because in this tribal society, the tribal leaders are all bought off by the royal family or else threatened by the clergy. Of course, the clergy and the Royalty have a deal going back 200 years to the Al Diraiyyah (outskirts of present day Ar Riyadh) days of the al Saud family. The trouble for MBS is that he is over ambitiously taking on the clergy also simultaneously. His backing should obviously come from external sources, definitely not internal because there is nobody left to offer him any support anymore after this!!}

“I don’t believe for a minute this is really about disrupting the payout system or corruption,” said Mr. Lippmann, author of Saudi Arabia on the Edge- The Uncertain Future of an American Ally.

“This is about getting rid of the centers of power,” he said.

As the purge unfolded, U.S. President Donald Trump gave his stamp of approval, saying the king and the crown prince “know exactly what they are doing.”

French President Emmanuel Macron told journalists in the United Arab Emirates that he wasn’t making any judgments.

“This is not the role of a president, and similarly I would not expect a leader of a foreign country to come and infringe on domestic matters,” Mr. Macron said.

Mr. Macron visited Saudi Arabia later Thursday and met with the crown prince. Their discussions likely also touched on the crisis in Lebanon sparked by the sudden and mysterious resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri. He announced his resignation in a pre-recorded message from Saudi Arabia earlier this week.

Saudi Arabia ordered all of its citizens to “immediately” depart Lebanon amid heightened tensions with Hezbollah and the militant group’s patron, Iran. A brief statement carried by the state—run Saudi Press Agency also warned Saudis against travel to the country.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir warned earlier this week that his government would “deal with” Lebanon as a hostile state as long as Hezbollah was in the government. He said Hezbollah’s participation in the government was an “act of war” against Saudi Arabia.

In Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been battling Shi'ite rebels since March 2015, the United Nations and more than 20 aid groups said a blockade of all ports in the war-torn country was threatening to bring “starvation and death” to millions of people.

Unless the coalition lifts the blockade, Yemen would face “the largest famine the world has seen for many decades, with millions of victims,” said U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock.

The coalition closed all ports and halted aid shipments after Yemen’s Houthi rebels fired a ballistic missile over the weekend that was intercepted near Riyadh. Saudi Arabia blamed the strike on Iran, which supports the Houthis but has denied arming them.

periaswamy
BRFite
Posts: 422
Joined: 07 Jul 2017 20:50

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby periaswamy » 11 Nov 2017 09:15

Qatar divests investments Internationally

Qatar Foundation, a royal family run nonprofit that also operates a joint venture with Vodafone Group PLC, is seeking to raise as much as $1.5 billion from the sale of a stake in India’s biggest mobile-phone operator, while Qatar Islamic Bank is exiting its investment in Asian Finance Bank.

Malayappan
BRFite
Posts: 421
Joined: 18 Jul 2005 00:11

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Malayappan » 11 Nov 2017 16:51

Saudi Arabia forcibly detained Lebanon’s prime minister, sources say
Interesting details -
Hariri received an urgent call from MBS’s protocol team asking him to see the crown prince on Friday, Nov. 3, and spend the weekend with him. The Friday meeting didn’t happen, and Hariri stayed that night at his lavish home on Al Takhassossi Boulevard in Riyadh.What allegedly happened next is the scary part of the story. At about 8 a.m. Saturday, unusually early for the kingdom, Hariri was summoned to meet MBS. The trappings of protocol were gone; Hariri traveled in two cars with only his personal security. He was out of sight for several hours.
Such belligerent language about Iran was uncharacteristic for Hariri, and none of his regular speechwriters were consulted about the speech.
What do the Saudis want next? The Lebanese sources believe Hariri’s harder-line older brother Bahaa may be Riyadh’s candidate for prime minister. Other Hariri relatives were summoned to Riyadh last week but refused to go; it’s said that Bahaa was already there. The sources also say that Bahaa sent Safi Kalo, a close adviser, to meet secretly 10 days ago with Druze leader Walid Jumblatt to discuss future strategy for Lebanon, but Jumblatt is said to have left the meeting, refusing to discuss the subject.

What next? East Beirut vs West Beirut redux? If indeed it is Civil War again, this time will the Maronites have adequate access to weapons?

JE Menon
Forum Moderator
Posts: 6858
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby JE Menon » 11 Nov 2017 19:12

>>this time will the Maronites have adequate access to weapons?

Almost certainly they will. However, they may not be inclined for a prolonged engagement and may just flee the country - resulting in yet another Christian community being squeezed out of the Middle East. Note that there are Orthodox Christian communities in Lebanon as well, mainly of the Eastern Orthodox variety. In fact, I was at dinner with a Lebanese Christian businessman (close friend of mine) last night outside Lebanon, with an awesome Ukrainian soup cooked by his mistress. The gent was asking me what I thought would happen. They are at a loss about the current situation on the macro level, and the local rumour and intrigue mill is on afterburner so no one knows what to believe on the micro level. Not fun. Indeed, there are Gulfies stuck in Lebanon (after their governments ordered them back) who don't want to return and would rather either stay in Lebanon or go to a third country.

SSridhar
Forum Moderator
Posts: 21880
Joined: 05 May 2001 11:31
Location: Chennai

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby SSridhar » 12 Nov 2017 10:14

How Saudi Arabia turned on Lebanon's Hariri - Reuters
BEIRUT: From the moment Saad al-Hariri's plane touched down in Saudi Arabia on Friday Nov. 3, he was in for a surprise.

There was no line-up of Saudi princes or ministry officials, as would typically greet a prime minister on an official visit to King Salman, senior sources close to Hariri and top Lebanese political and security officials said. His phone was confiscated, and the next day he was forced to resign as prime minister in a statement broadcast by a Saudi-owned TV channel.

The move thrust Lebanon back to the forefront of a struggle that is reshaping the Middle East, between the conservative Sunni monarchy of Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite revolutionary Iran.

Their rivalry has fueled conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, where they back opposing sides, and now risks destabilizing Lebanon, where Saudi has long tried to weaken the Iran-backed Hezbollah group, Lebanon's main political power and part of the ruling coalition.

Sources close to Hariri say Saudi Arabia has concluded that the prime minister - a long-time Saudi ally and son of late prime minister Rafik al-Hariri, who was assassinated in 2005 - had to go because he was unwilling to confront Hezbollah.

Multiple Lebanese sources say Riyadh hopes to replace Saad Hariri with his older brother Bahaa as Lebanon's top Sunni politician. Bahaa is believed to be in Saudi Arabia and members of the Hariri family have been asked to travel there to pledge allegiance to him, but have refused, the sources say.

"When Hariri's plane landed in Riyadh, he got the message immediately that something was wrong," a Hariri source told Reuters. "There was no one was waiting for him."

Saudi Arabia has dismissed suggestions it forced Hariri to resign and says he is a free man. Saudi officials could not immediately be reached for comment on the circumstances of his arrival, whether his phone had been taken, or whether the Kingdom was planning to replace him with his brother.

Hariri has given no public remarks since he resigned and no indication of when he might return to Lebanon.

"NO RESPECT"

Hariri was summoned to the Kingdom to meet Saudi King Salman in a phone call on Thursday night, Nov. 2.

Before departing, he told his officials they would resume their discussions on Monday. He told his media team he would see them at the weekend in the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh, where he was due to meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on the sidelines of the World Youth Forum.

Hariri went to his Riyadh home. His family made their fortune in Saudi Arabia and have long had properties there. The source close to Hariri said the Lebanese leader received a call from a Saudi protocol official on Saturday morning, who asked him to attend a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

He waited for about four hours before being presented with his resignation speech to read on television, the source said.


"From the moment he arrived they (Saudis) showed no respect for the man," another senior Lebanese political source said.

Hariri frequently visits Saudi Arabia. On a trip a few days earlier, Prince Mohammed bin Salman had arranged for him to see senior intelligence officials and Gulf Affairs Minister Thamer al-Sabhan, the Saudi point man on Lebanon.

Hariri came back from that trip to Beirut "pleased and relaxed", sources in his entourage said.
He posted a selfie with Sabhan, both of them smiling. He told aides he had heard "encouraging statements" from the crown prince, including a promise to revive a Saudi aid package for the Lebanese army.

The Hariri sources say Hariri believed he had convinced Saudi officials of the need to maintain an entente with Hezbollah for the sake of Lebanon's stability.

Hezbollah has a heavily armed fighting force, in addition to seats in parliament and government. Saudi-backed efforts to weaken the group in Lebanon a decade ago led to Sunni-Shi'ite clashes and a Hezbollah takeover of Beirut.

"What happened in those meetings, I believe, is that (Hariri) revealed his position on how to deal with Hezbollah in Lebanon: that confrontation would destabilize the country. I think they didn't like what they heard," said one of the sources, who was briefed on the meetings.

The source said Hariri told Sabhan not to "hold us responsible for something that is beyond my control or that of Lebanon." But Hariri underestimated the Saudi position on Hezbollah, the source said.

"For the Saudis it is an existential battle. It's black and white. We in Lebanon are used to gray," the source said.


Sabhan could not immediately be reached for comment.

RESIGNATION

Hariri's resignation speech shocked his team.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun, a Hezbollah ally, told ambassadors to Lebanon that Saudi Arabia had kidnapped Hariri, a senior Lebanese official said. On Friday, France said it wanted Hariri to have "all his freedom of movement".

In his speech, Hariri said he feared assassination and accused Iran and Hezbollah of sowing strife in the region. He said the Arab world would "cut off the hands that wickedly extend to it," language which one source close to him said was not typical of the Lebanese leader.

Hariri's resignation came as more than 200 people, including 11 Saudi princes, current and former ministers and tycoons, were arrested in an anti-corruption purge in Saudi Arabia.

Initially there was speculation Hariri was a target of that campaign because of his family's business interests. But sources close to the Lebanese leader said his forced resignation was motivated by Saudi efforts to counter Iran.

Hariri was taken to meet the Saudi king after his resignation. Footage was aired on Saudi TV. He was then flown to Abu Dhabi to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, the Saudi crown prince's main regional ally. He returned to Riyadh and has since received Western ambassadors.

Sources close to Hariri said the Saudis, while keeping Hariri under house arrest, were trying to orchestrate a change of leadership in Hariri's Future Movement by installing his elder brother Bahaa, who was overlooked for the top job when their father was killed. The two have been at odds for years.

In a statement, the Future Movement said it stood fully behind Hariri as its leader. Hariri aide and Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk dismissed the idea Bahaa was being positioned to replace his brother:

"We are not herds of sheep or a plot of land whose ownership can be moved from one person to another. In Lebanon things happen though elections not pledges of allegiances."

Family members, aides and politicians who have contacted Hariri in Riyadh say he is apprehensive and reluctant to say anything beyond "I am fine". Asked if he is coming back, they say his normal answer is: "Inshallah" (God willing).

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 60470
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: Lupine but moderately dharmic

Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 12 Nov 2017 11:25

how many are the christians and hamasish sunni militias in lebanon? their numbers may be small and too dispersed for saudis/israel to use them as a cats paw against hezbollah. infact israel would have done it earlier if they could.


Return to “Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 36 guests