The ceasefire in Yemen that was supposed to begin this week apparently didn't lead to any cease-firing. After U.S.-backed Saudi air strikes killed more civilians in their country, the Houthis took vengeance by firing another Soviet-designed Tochka ballistic missile from the Yemeni Army's arsenal at a Saudi-controlled base in Mareb governate. The attack killed over 90 Saudi soldiers and Yemenis loyal to the ousted Saudi puppet Hadi regime. Pro-Shi'a Lebanese Christian news man Leith Fadel and his site Al-Masdar News also report that two U.S.-made Apache helicopters and a weapons depot were destroyed. Perhaps to save face, the Saudis claimed and AFP/RT reported that one of two ballistic missiles fired at their forces was shot down by U.S. supplied Patriot missile batteries. Pro-Shi'a Iraqi Haider Sumeri is tweeting that's a lie:
As the Guerrilla Economist noted on the Friday night December 18 program, Saudi losses in the war they began by invading Yemen in March continue to mount. For the military industrial complex, business is booming -- U.S. arms manufacturers are making a killing selling the Saudis thousands of 'smart' and 'dumb' bombs and advanced equipment. But the Houthis are proving that they can blow much of it up with very cheap or old Soviet (and given the corruption in Odessa and Kiev, possibly even Ukrainian) supplied weapons of the Yemeni army.
Payback for Doha's sponsorship of terrorists in Syria and the Sinai where the Russian airliner was brought down?
Amnesty International condemned the targeting of schools in the provinces of Sana’a, Hajjah, and Hudaydah by the Saudi coalition, saying the schools were struck more than once, suggesting deliberate targeting. No evidence was found that any of the schools was used for military purposes and the damage had disrupted the education of more than 6,500 children. They said that it is “appalling that the US and other allies” (of Riyadh) “have continued to authorize arms transfers” to Saudi Arabia for bombing Yemen.
HRW said Washington had to stop selling bombs to Saudi Arabia while Riyadh was engaged in war on neighboring Yemen as they are well aware of the “indiscriminate air attacks that have killed hundreds of civilians in Yemen since March” and “providing the Saudis with more bombs under these circumstances is a recipe for greater civilian deaths, for which the US will be partially responsible.”
The Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) said that the UK must stop trading arms and revoke all licenses for arms that are being used in Yemen to prevent further incidents occurred where civilians are killed. By continuing to arm and support the Saudi bombardment the UK is complicit in the destruction there.
The US Defense Department announced that it had approved the sale of smart bombs worth USD 1.29 billion to Saudi Arabia, and that it was committed to supporting the Royal Saudi Air Force in the bombardment of Yemen. The sale included 22,000 smart and general purpose bombs, including 1,000 GBU-10 Paveway II Laser Guided Bombs, and more than 5,000 Joint Direct Attack Munitions kits to turn older bombs into precision-guided weapons using GPS signals. The bombs are in part intended to replenish Saudi inventories that have been depleted by its air operations against the Yemeni civilians.
Meanwhile, the Saudis declared an 'anti-terrorism' coalition of 34 Islamic nations that had several allied governments, including Riyadh's old ally against the Soviets Pakistan, declaring that they hadn't actually been consulted about joining. The face palm-ing in Riyadh among rival princes that mainstream media have hinted are tiring of young crown prince Muhammad bin Salman's Napoleonic failures must've been fierce. The snark on Twitter about the Saudis declaring war on terrorism and therefore themselves was richly deserved.
Calling Islamic extremism a disease, Saudi Arabia has announced the formation of a coalition of 34 predominately Muslim nations to fight terrorism.
"This announcement comes from the Islamic world's vigilance in fighting this disease so it can be a partner, as a group of countries, in the fight against this disease," Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman said. ... The coalition's joint operations center will be based in Riyadh.
In addition to Saudi Arabia, the coalition will include Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Turkey, Chad, Togo, Tunisia, Djibouti, Senegal, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Gabon, Guinea, the Palestinians, Comoros, Qatar, Cote d'Ivoire, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Maldives, Mali, Malaysia, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Yemen.
This seems to be the "Arab army" the two amigos, Lindsey Graham and John McCain, announced earlier:
Defense One: How are you planning on getting the Arab countries to put up 90 percent of the ground forces you’re calling for if we can’t even get them to put up in the air coalition?
Graham: Well, they’re not —
McCain: — If Bashar Assad is also the target, that’s the key to it … they fear Bashar al-Assad, who is backed by the Iranians, as much as they do ISIS.
Defense One: Sen. Graham, so if we promise them they can also target Assad, they’ll get in?
McCain: We would also target Assad. Assad right now is killing the people we armed and trained and equipped.
Graham: I can only tell you what they tell us. I’m not joking. The king of Saudi Arabia’s chief advisor said, ‘You can have our army.’ The emir of Qatar says, ‘I’ll pay for the war.’ They want to do two things: they want to stop ISIL before they come in and take their countries over or disrupt their way of life, and they also want to make sure Damascus doesn’t fall into the hands of the Iranians. I’m down for both.
It may well be that Mohammed bin Salman, as well as McCain and Graham, drank too much fermented camel milk. Neither the Saudis nor the Qataris nor any "coalition member" will send their armies to fight in Syria or Iraq.
The reactions from some "members" of the just announced Saudi "coalition" make that obvious.
As Dr. Joseph P. Farrell of the Giza Death Star site said in his final planned YouTube video of 2015, Saudi Arabia appears to be 'on the menu' for destabilization, both due to the designs of enemies like Iran and internal rot from its own profligate military and luxury spending, plus the hypocrisies of its widely exported (and hated) Wahhabi ideology:
In Yemen, as we have pointed out, the House of Saud is faced with millions of armed tribesmen united for the most part by anti-Saudi sentiments. Even the House of Saud's allies in Yemen, such as they are, are contemptuous of the regime itself, which is seen as corrupt and secular.
The House of Saud's longtime Wahhabi religious institutions have turned on the regime. And the Western mainstream media is resolutely anti-Saud these days after decades when criticism of the Saudi regime was rarely presented.
A recent article in The National Interest entitled "Saudi Arabia's New 'With Us or Against Us' Attitude" illustrates the Saudi regime's determination to "go it alone." In fact, the House of Saud may believe it has no choice in the matter.
The new government's alternative is to stop placating Western allies and get on with the work of pursuing Saudi national interests by any means necessary ... A new generation of policy-makers in Riyadh are not satisfied with the status quo and they are demanding attention ... Riyadh never was under an obligation to wait for Washington's approval, and Saudi officials have to some extent dropped the pretense of close consultations ... Riyadh and its allies are designing their own policy first and managing blowback from Washington on the fly.
What about "Riyadh's allies"? Who are they exactly? The article makes the point that Riyadh was never under an obligation to "wait for Washington's approval," but Washington has been Saudi Arabia's protector in the past.
The trap seems to be closing on the House of Saud. Perhaps there are other entanglements that we do not see looking in from the outside. Perhaps Washington is still firmly an ally of the House of Saud. But we are sure that the Anglosphere wants to destabilize the dollar and, thus, the interests of the Saud regime and the West's banking establishment are diverging.
This is perhaps the biggest story in the Middle East and an untold one. It has extraordinarily significant consequences not just for the region but for the world. More than ever, the Middle East is a region worth watching as it descends further into inevitable chaos.