Tag Archives: Saudi Arabia

#Yemen: Iran Backed Houthi launch ballistic missile at Mecca

Yemen’s Houthi militia launched a ballistic missile toward Mecca on Thursday, the Saudi-led coalition intervening in Yemen’s civil war on behalf of the government said in a statement.

Coalition forces destroyed the missile 65 km (40 miles) from the holy city before it could do any damage, and retaliated against the launch site inside Yemen, said the statement, carried on the state news agency SPA. Mecca is home to the most sacred sites in Islam, including the Grand Mosque.

The Shi’ite Muslim Houthis confirmed the launch of a Burkan-1 ballistic missile into Saudi Arabia in a statement on their official news agency, but said it had been aimed at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, the kingdom’s busiest airport.

The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council denounced the missile attack.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates, a member of the coalition and the GCC, pointed the finger at Iran, which backs the Houthis.

“The Iranian regime is supporting a terrorist group that fires its rockets on Mecca, is this an Islamic regime as it claims?” he tweeted.

The coalition has been fighting Houthi rebels and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who control much of the north of Yemen including the capital Sanaa, since March 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognized president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, now in exile.

(Reporting by Omar Fahmy and Ahmed Tolba in Cairo; Writing by Katie Paul and Rania El Gamal; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

Leaked email reveals Saudi and Qatar support for Islamic State

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A leaked email from Hillary Clinton to then President Obama top aide John Podesta reveals Clinton’s concerns about Islamic State and the support it was receiving from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. A few months after the email was sent, Podesta would take over as campaign chairman of the Clinton presidential campaign.

The revelation occured at a time when both Saudi Arabia and Qatar were donating millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.

Daily Caller:

Clinton sent the email on August 17, 2014 to Podesta. It was an eight-point plan to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Clinton’s email said that the United States should support Kurdish forces on the ground with U.S. military advisers and avoid the use of a conventional ground operation.

“While this military/para-military operation is moving forward, we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region,” Clinton wrote.

The former secretary of state added: “This effort will be enhanced by the stepped up commitment in the [Kurdish Regional Government]. The Qataris and Saudis will be put in a position of balancing policy between their ongoing competition to dominate the Sunni world and the consequences of serious U.S. pressure.”

The email from Clinton to Podesta contains a similar format of previous intelligence reports Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal would send to the former secretary of state. The Daily Caller has previously reported how Clinton had previously asked aides to remove markings showing Blumenthal wrote the reports before sending them to White House officials.

The August 2014 email that pointed the finger at Saudi Arabia and Qatar does not contain any information linking it to Blumenthal in particular and is sent from one of Clinton’s personal emails. The batch of Wikileaks emails has not been independently verified by TheDC. However, Clinton and her spokesman Brian Fallon did not dispute the legitimacy of leaked speech transcripts released by Wikileaks at Sunday’s debate.

TheDC reached out to the Clinton campaign and asked if they dispute the legitimacy of the email, but they have not responded. The Daily Caller also emailed Blumenthal asking if he authored the memo, and he also did not respond.

It has been an open secret for years that the Saudis and other Gulf states were backing not only ISIS, but al-Qaeda and other extremist militias in Syria and around the Middle East. This appears to be show that the Obama administration was well aware of Saudi support for Islamic State and chose not to do much about it.

According to The Intercept, the Saudis and othe Gulf states were donating millions to the Clinton Foundation at the same time they were also supporting ISIS:

Although it did not give while she was secretary of state, the Saudi regime by itself has donated between $10 million and $25 million to the Clinton Foundation, with donations coming as late as 2014, as she prepared her presidential run. A group called “Friends of Saudi Arabia,” co-founded “by a Saudi Prince,” gave an additional amount between $1 million and $5 million. The Clinton Foundation says that between $1 million and $5 million was also donated by“the State of Qatar,” the United Arab Emirates, and the government of Brunei. “The State of Kuwait” has donated between $5 million and $10 million.

Theoretically, one could say that these regimes — among the most repressive and regressive in the world — are donating because they deeply believe in the charitable work of the Clinton Foundation and want to help those in need. Is there a single person on the planet who actually believes this? Is Clinton loyalty really so strong that people are going to argue with a straight face that the reason the Saudi, Qatari, Kuwaiti and Emirates regimes donated large amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation is because those regimes simply want to help the foundation achieve its magnanimous goals?

They would also argue – with a straight face – that the Clinton’s accepted the cash from ISIS backers because of all the good that money would do to advance the Foundation’s charity work.

The doings of the Clinton Foundation have been largely off limits during the campaign. The media just can’t find the energy to write about things like this. But at the very least, the notion that the Clinton’s accepted cash from ISIS supporters reveals a towering cynicism and hypocrisy that would disqualify any other candidate for the presidency.

Obama and Saudi Arabia

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In the wake of Barack Obama’s decision to veto the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) (and the subsequent overturn of the veto by Congress), many are left wondering if the president’s continued support for Saudi Arabia means turning a blind eye to human rights abuses and terrorists’ agendas in order to protect America’s relationship with kingdom.

It is no secret that Saudi Arabia has attracted widespread criticism for oppression of its own people. In 2015, execution rates soared under the rule of Saudi King Salman, with at least 151 executions taking place across the kingdom, including beheadings of children and those accused of non-lethal offenses, according reports by Amnesty International (AI).

In 2012, Ali al-Nimr, a 17-year-old Saudi-born political dissident, was sentenced to death by beheading, followed by public display of his body via crucifixion, for participating in an Arab Spring-inspired protest. Despite pleas from both the international community, the ruling was upheld by the kingdom’s highest court in 2015; al-Nimr is reportedly still awaiting execution.

The very week that al-Nimr’s death sentence was reported to have been upheld, Saudi Arabia was selected to head a key UN human rights panel — a panel responsible for selecting top human rights officials and reporting on human right abuses worldwide.

“Petro-dollars and politics have trumped human rights” said UN watch director Hillel Neuer in response to Saudi Arabia heading the influential panel.

Yet, when a U.S. State Department spokesman was asked about the appropriateness of the UN council appointment, he replied “we would welcome it.”

Human Rights groups have also recently condemned Saudi Arabia for coalition attacks that violate international war laws, and even constitute war crimes, in a sectarian conflict against Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen.

Yet, despite protests from various international human rights organizations, the Obama administration has sold more weapons to Saudi Arabia than any other administration. A total of $115 billion worth of bombs, artillery, ammunition, and tanks have been sold to the kingdom in the past eight years amid concerns that the kingdom is in violation of international law. Just last week, AI confirmed that a U.S.-made bomb was used in an attack on a hospital in Yemen.

The commander-in-chief recently further displayed his support for the regime when he vetoed the JASTA bill, stating that it would damage American relations with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Obama further argued that the bill would threaten the concept of ‘sovereign immunity’, a legal doctrine that provides protection for states from legal prosecution — despite the fact that several exceptions to the principle already exist.

Indeed, Saudi Arabia has long been suspected of involvement in the 9/11 attacks and many believe that the families of the victims have a right to pursue justice and to determine the extent of the Kingdom’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

It was in 2001 that compelling evidence emerged linking various Islamic terror organizations to Saudi-led charities, particularly the High Commission for Relief of Bosnia and Herzegovina (SHC), the largest fundraising effort in the Muslim and Arab world at the time. What is especially alarming about the SHC is that it was headed by then-Prince Salman, who became the King of Saudi Arabia in 2015.

Whether President Obama’s decisions regarding foreign relations with Saudi Arabia are a result of his desire to protect the American alliance with an oil-producing regime, or whether his decisions are a result of his postmodern ideals based on globalism and cultural relativism, is anyone’s guess. Regardless, the president’s continued support of the absolute theocratic monarchy signifies one thing: Saudi Arabia will continue to oppress its own people and contribute to the instability that plagues the Middle East, all while funding terrorism around the globe.