Saudi Black Hawk down in Yemen, ‘friendly’ fire


This 15 March 2011 video says about itself:

Saudi Troops and Helicopters Massacre of Peaceful Bahraini Protesters.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

In Yemen a Saudi military helicopter has been shot down. All twelve soldiers who were in the Black Hawk helicopter have been killed.

The accident occurred in Marib province, east of the Yemeni capital Sanaa. According to the Ministry of Defense in Yemen [that is, the Saudi puppet government in exile of Yemen] website the helicopter was shot down by friendly fire.

See also here.

Saudi autocracy destroying country’s historic buildings


This video says about itself:

Armored vehicles attacking Al-Awamiyah – Feb 23, 2016

The Saudi security forces have attacked farming areas today Tuesday 23 Feb 2016 in Awamiyah; Eastern province in KSA, and killed a young Bahraini person (Ali Abdullah) and injured many others.

The security authorities in KSA confirmed the death of Ali Abdullah and repeated their usual justification in such circumstances by claiming Ali was wanted by the police.

Today’s events increased the tension in the Eastern province which is already very high after the execution of Shaikh Nimr Alnimr on 2nd Jan 2016.

Angry protestors replied by blocking the roads by burning tyres. Black smoke was seen in the sky.

The Saudi absolute monarchy is not only destroying beautiful historic homes and other buildings as part of their war on Yemen. They are also destroying the beautiful historic homes and other buildings of their own country. Not with warplanes, like in Yemen; but destruction is destruction.

From Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain in the USA:

ADHRB and UN Experts Urge Saudi to Halt Planned Demolition of Historic Awamiyah Neighborhood

Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Arabian Peninsula. Having experienced political turmoil in its Eastern Province associated with the Arab Spring in 2011, Saudi Arabia’s state practice is presently characterized by human rights abuses including widespread torture, arbitrary detention, censorship, and arbitrary execution. Read more here.

5 April 2017—Today, the United Nations Special Rapporteurs on poverty, cultural rights, and housing called on the Government of Saudi Arabia to immediately halt the planned demolition of the historic Mosawara neighborhood in the Eastern Province town of Awamiyah. The rapporteurs warned that the demolition may result in the forced evictions of many of the neighborhood’s 2,000 to 3,000 residents and may exacerbate an existing housing crisis, leading to a further increase in housing and land prices. Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain strongly agrees with the UN experts and calls on the Saudi government to immediately halt and cancel all plans to carry through with the demolition.

The Mosawara neighborhood is an historic quarter in the town of Awamiyah with a rich history and significant cultural heritage. The neighborhood’s architecture is unique: it is a walled village with mosques, farms and farmers markets, Shia places of worship, and businesses. According to Karima Bennoune, the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, “the planned demolition would erase this unique regional heritage in an irreversible manner.” Despite its significance, the Saudi government is planning to redevelop the area into a commercial and service zone. Philip Alston, the Rapporteur on extreme poverty expressed concern that in the process of moving residents from the area, the government would “remove people from the areas where they live and work, resulting in loss of livelihood and difficulty in securing housing.” In this way, the redevelopment may worsen an existing housing crisis that is exacerbated by increasing housing and land prices.

The government is planning to move ahead with the redevelopment plan despite housing concerns and the concerns of the neighborhood’s residents. The experts noted that, “the demolition has been announced without any meaningful consultation with the residents, without having considered less damaging alternatives, or adequate[ly] informing them about the demolition plans.” The government has also pressured the residents to leave their houses and businesses, including by cutting the power to the neighborhood and refusing to allow charities to help elderly and sick residents.

“The Saudi government’s actions towards Mosawara and its residents are demonstrative of its high-minded approach to development. Though the plan for the neighborhood will surely harm hundreds of Saudis, the government seems not to care for their well-being,” states Husain Abdulla, Executive Director of Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain. “Authorities must immediately halt the planned demolition and re-evaluate any development scheme, so as to place the needs and welfare of its citizens at the forefront of any future moves.”

Authorities’ demolition of Mosawara’s cultural heritage is emblematic of the kingdom’s view of cultural heritage sites. The Saudi government has embarked upon the concerted demolition of ancient landmarks, archaeological heritage, and cultural sites since before the kingdom was founded. Since 1925, the al-Saud family has overseen the destruction of tombs, mosques, and historical artifacts in Jeddah, Mecca, Medina, al-Khobar, and Awamiyah. It has destroyed sections of two cemeteries where family members and companions of the Prophet Muhammad were buried. The destruction encompasses secular as well as religious sites. During the government’s project to expand the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi authorities destroyed 10,000 properties in Mecca, including 126 mosques and whole neighborhoods. As a result, the government has destroyed more than 90 percent of the country’s landmarks.

The planned demolition of the Mosawara neighborhood despite local concerns is illustrative of the Saudi government’s approach to historic and cultural sites. The destruction of the neighborhood will not only erase a unique historic area and a symbol of the region’s past, but has the potential to have significant detrimental effects on the residents of the neighborhood. The demolition may entail the forcible eviction of hundreds of residents and increase the level of poverty in the town. Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain therefore calls upon the Saudi government to immediately halt and cancel the planned destruction of the neighborhood and to re-evaluate its development standards so as to protect culturally and historic significant sites.

British Theresa May visits beheading Saudi Arabia


This video is about the horrible beheading of Ms Laila Bint Abdul Muttalib Basim, loudly proclaiming her innocence until the end, in Saudi Arabia. Not fit to watch for children and sensitive people

By Peter Lazenby in Britain:

Theresa May visits despots despite beheadings

Wednesday 5th April 2017

PM urged to call for release of men facing death for ‘protesting’

THERESA MAY kow-towed to Saudi Arabian leaders yesterday on an official visit to the brutal Gulf state — despite its plans to behead three youths for the crime of “protesting”.

Human rights group Reprieve called on the Prime Minister to intervene on behalf of Abdullah al-Zaher, Dawood al-Marhoon and Ali al-Nimr, who were teenagers at the time of their arrest in 2012.

All three were tortured into forced “confessions” relating to protests and convicted in secret trials. They remain imprisoned, and could be executed at any time without notice being given to their families.

A prominent group of UN experts has called on the Saudi authorities to “release all three minors immediately.”

But the only response so far has been an expression of “concern” from the Foreign Office which appears not to have sent a request for the release of the three young men, Reprieve said.

Ms May unsurprisingly received a warm welcome from Saudi’s leaders, who have received millions of pounds worth of arms as well as security training from the British government.

Reprieve deputy director Harriet McCulloch said: “The Prime Minister is seeking closer ties with the Saudi authorities, including on security co-operation, even while the kingdom’s security sector carries out appalling abuses — from torture and forced ‘confessions’ to the death penalty for juveniles.

“The Prime Minister’s desire to promote Gulf relations must not see Britain compromise our commitment to human rights.

“Theresa May must make clear on this trip that the UK condemns the kingdom’s use of torture and executions — and she must call for the immediate release of Ali, Dawood and Abdullah.”

Ms May is in Saudi Arabia for talks on increasing trade and military relations, insisting that it’s in Britain’s “national interest” to prop up the Saudi royal family.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn demanded the PM raise the issue of Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen with which Britain is deeply involved.

At the weekend Scotland Yard confirmed that it is investigating allegations of war crimes against the kingdom over its indiscriminate air raids which are believed to have killed thousands of Yemeni civilians.

British military advisers are stationed in the command centres that direct these strikes.

He said: “The Prime Minister should put human rights and international law at the centre of her talks with Saudi Arabia’s government this week.

The Saudi-led coalition bombing in Yemen, backed by the British government, has left thousands dead, 21 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and three million uprooted from their homes.

British-made weapons are being used in a war which has caused a humanitarian catastrophe.”

Saudi Arabia investigated for war crimes


This video from the USA says about itself:

100+ Yemeni Civilians Killed At Wedding By Saudi Airstrike

29 September 2015

The death toll from an air strike on a wedding party in Yemen has jumped to 131, medics said on Tuesday, in one of the deadliest attacks on civilians in Yemen’s war that drew strong condemnation from the U.N. secretary-general.

Read more here.

By Steve Sweeney in Britain:

Met mulling Saudi war crimes probe

Tuesday 4th April 2017

May enters grovelling mode as she visits her despotic pals

THERESA MAY faces some awkward grovelling on her visit to Saudi Arabia today following confirmation that Scotland Yard is considering launching a war crimes investigation into the despotic Gulf kingdom.

The Prime Minister’s talks, confirmed yesterday, are aimed at mending rifts between Britain and the Middle Eastern tyranny.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said that the Met had received a referral on Thursday of an allegation of war crimes made against Saudi Arabia committed in Yemen.

“Following receipt of the referral, the MPS war crimes team (part of the counterterrorism command) began a scoping exercise and contacted those making the allegations.

“There is no investigation at this time, and the scoping exercise continues.”

The government has licensed a shocking £3.3 billion of arms exports to the Saudi regime since the bombing of Yemen by a Saudi-led coalition started in March 2015. According to a UN report, 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

Last September, a joint report by the the Commons business and international development committees called for a suspension of arms sales until the completion of an independent inquiry into alleged human-rights breaches.

And in December the kingdom’s activities across the region prompted Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to accuse the regime of “waging proxy wars” in the Middle East.

A decision is pending in a judicial review launched by Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) over the legality of arms sales. Spokesman Andrew Smith said: “The humanitarian situation in Yemen is terrible.

“Thousands have been killed in a two-year-long bombardment and a civil war that has left the country on the edge of a famine.

Whitehall has been complicit in the destruction since day one. It has sold billions of pounds worth of arms and offered an unlimited and uncritical political support to the Saudi regime.”

He added: “If May wants to play a positive role in turning around a dire situation, then she must end the arms sales and her government’s complicity in the destruction.”

Trump increases Pentagon support for Saudi war on Yemen


This May 2015 video from the USA is called Saudi Airstrikes Kill 800 Civilians In Yemen.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

As Yemen war enters third year, Pentagon moves to escalate slaughter

28 March 2017

The Pentagon has formally asked the Trump White House to lift limited restrictions imposed by the Obama administration on US military aid to the Saudi Arabian monarchy’s near genocidal war against the impoverished people of Yemen.

The Washington Post reported Monday that Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis, a recently-retired US Marine general, had submitted a memo earlier this month to Trump’s national security adviser H.R. McMaster, an active duty US Army lieutenant general, for the approval of stepped-up support for military operations being conducted in Yemen by both the Saudi regime and its principal Arab ally, the United Arab Emirates.

The memo, according to the Post, stressed that such US military aid would help to combat “a common threat.”

This supposed “threat” is posed by Iran, US imperialism’s principal regional rival for hegemony over the oil-rich Middle East. Both the Saudi monarchy and the Trump administration have repeatedly charged, without providing any significant supporting evidence, that Iran has armed, trained and directed the Houthi rebels who seized control of the Yemeni capital and much of the country, toppling the US-Saudi puppet regime of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi in 2014.

A major escalation of the US intervention in Yemen will be directed principally at provoking a military confrontation with Tehran, with the aim of weakening Iranian influence throughout the region. Trump himself campaigned in the 2016 election denouncing the Obama administration for being too “soft” on Iran and for joining the other major powers in negotiating what he characterized as a “disastrous” nuclear agreement with Tehran. His advisers, including his ousted first national security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn, and Defense Secretary Mattis, have all voiced bellicose hostility to Iran.

The immediate impetus for the call for increased US aid to the Saudi-led war is reportedly a proposed Emirati operation to seize control of the key Red Sea port of Hodeida. The effect of such an offensive would be to cut off the large portion of the country and its population under Houthi control from any lifeline to the outside world. Fully 70 percent of the country’s imports now come through the port. Even before the war, Yemen was dependent upon imports for 90 percent of its food. Aid agencies have warned that a military offensive on the port could tip the country into mass starvation.

The proposed US escalation in Yemen coincides with the second anniversary of the Saudi war on the country, launched on March 26, 2015 in the form of an unending bombing campaign directed largely against civilian targets, along with a halting offensive on the ground.

The anniversary was marked in the capital of Sanaa and other Yemeni cities by demonstrations of hundreds of thousands denouncing the murderous Saudi military campaign. The Houthis have won support that extends far beyond their base in the country’s Zaidi-Shia minority because of popular hatred for the Saudi monarchy and its crimes.

As the war enters its third year, Yemen is teetering on the brink of mass starvation, confronting one of the worst humanitarian crises anywhere on the planet. This war, waged by the obscenely wealthy royal families of the gulf oil sheikdoms against what was already the poorest nation in the Arab world, has killed some 12,000 Yemenis, the overwhelming majority of them civilians, and wounded at least 40,000 more.

Saudi airstrikes have targeted hospitals, schools, factories, food warehouses, fields and even livestock. Coupled with a de facto naval blockade, the aim of this total war against Yemen’s civilian population is to starve the Yemenis into submission. A US-backed campaign to seize the port of Hodeida would serve to tighten this deadly stranglehold.

In a statement issued Monday marking the beginning of the war’s third year, the United Nations emergency relief agency reported that “nearly 19 million Yemenis—over two-thirds of the population—need humanitarian assistance. Seven million Yemenis are facing starvation.”

UNICEF, the UN’s children’s agency, reported that roughly half a million children are suffering from acute malnutrition in Yemen, while 1,546 have been killed and 2,450 have been disabled by the fighting. The agency said that the rate of child deaths had increased by 70 percent over the past year, while the rate of acute malnutrition had increased by 200 percent since 2014.

The deliberate Saudi bombing of hospitals and clinics has left 15 million people without any access to health care, while the destruction of water and sanitation facilities has led to epidemics of cholera and diarrhea. It is estimated that as many as 10,000 children have lost their lives due to the lack of clean water and medical services since 2015.

Washington, under both the Obama and the Trump administrations, has been fully complicit in the war crimes being carried out by the Saudi regime and its allies against the Yemeni people. Washington poured a staggering $115 billion worth of arms into the Saudi kingdom under the Obama administration, resupplying bombs and missiles dropped on Yemeni homes, hospitals and schools. It set up a joint US-Saudi logistical and intelligence center to guide the war and provided aerial refueling by US planes to assure that the bombing could continue round the clock.

While a part of this decisive military aid was curtailed for public relations purposes following the horrific October 2016 Saudi bombing of a funeral ceremony in Sanaa that killed over 150 people, the US Navy entered directly into the conflict that same month, firing Tomahawk missiles at Houthi targets based on unsubstantiated charges that missiles had been fired at US ships.

Nonetheless, the request by Mattis would mark a qualitative escalation of the US intervention. While the Post reported that an Emirati request for US Special Operations troops to participate directly in the siege of the port of Hodeida was not part of Mattis’s proposal, it went on to warn that the Gulf sheikdom’s military “may not be capable of such a large operation, including holding and stabilizing any reclaimed area, without sucking in US forces.” Indeed, the Emirati army is in large measure a mercenary force, having recruited former members of the Colombian, Salvadoran and Chilean military to do the ruling royal family’s dirty work.

The Post goes on to report: “A plan developed by the U.S. Central Command to assist the operation includes other elements that are not part of Mattis’s request, officials said. While Marine Corps ships have been off the coast of Yemen for about a year, it was not clear what support role they might play.”

As numerous reports have indicated, the Trump White House has essentially given free rein to Mattis and the US military commanders to conduct armed operations as they see fit. The result has been the more than doubling of the number of US troops on the ground in Syria along with an escalation of the US intervention in Iraq, as well as a request for another 5,000 troops to be deployed in Afghanistan.

In Yemen, they are preparing to drag the American people into another criminal war against one of the world’s most vulnerable populations, threatening to hasten the deaths of millions of starving people. The strategic aims underlying this vast war crime are the imposition of US imperialist hegemony over the Middle East through a military confrontation with Iran and the preparation for a global conflict with Washington’s principal rivals, Russia and China.

Reality and the U.S.-made famine in Yemen: here.

Why is Donald Trump lunching with a Saudi war criminal while Yemenis are starving? Here.

Trump and Toby Keith are holding a men-only concert in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia prepares to serve Donald Trump steak and ketchup. Mr Trump’s hosts on his upcoming trip are well aware of his aversion to travel and are trying to make accommodations to keep him happy: here.