Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 02, 2015

May 1 - A Terrific Day For U.S. Target Intelligence In Syria And Yemen

The U.S. military and intelligence groups involved with Central Command in the Middle East celebrated May 1 with a little competition and two terrific target selections:

US-led air strikes targeting the Islamic State group killed at least 52 civilians in a village in northern Syria, a monitoring group said on Saturday.

"Air strikes by the coalition early on Friday on the village of Birmahle in Aleppo province killed 52 civilians," said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

"Seven children were killed, and 13 people are still trapped in the rubble," he said.

Abdel Rahman told AFP that Kurdish militiamen and Syrian rebel fighters were clashing with IS in a town roughly two kilometres (1 mile) away.

"But Birmahle is only civilians, with no IS positions and no clashes," he said.

Abdel Rahman said "not a single IS fighter" was killed in the strikes on the village,...

Well done. But the CentCom military intelligence group supporting the Saudi war on Yemen showed that it could do better:

A series of Saudi airstrikes hit a hospital and medical camp in southwestern Yemen on Friday, killing at least 58 civilians and injuring at least 67, two local Yemeni government officials said.

Most of the dead and injured were medics and patients, they said.

Raheda Hospital is one of the largest and busiest in the area. The medical camp is part of the hospital.
...
Three local Yemeni government officials said the hospital was not being used by Houthi rebels and that none of the dead was a rebel fighter.

Seems like the war on Yemen targeting group won the sixpack.

The best overall briefing on the war of Yemen comes in today's Independent. It is a bit speculative on the Saudi motive though when it suggest that King Salman and his son saw the war on Yemen "as a way of securing their power and removing rival factions in the royal family from power." That may be a side motive but the real is more likely the one suggested by Hillary Mann Leverett:

[W]hat we’re seeing is a product of Saudi disorientation and terror at a region that could become more representative in terms of its governance, more independent in terms of its foreign policy. The Saudis are trying to prevent that kind of independence in foreign policy from emerging in Yemen, and they have yet again gone down this road with the United States to a war that has no end.

That description fits the fact that the Saudis started the bombing just in the moment a UN brokered power sharing deal in Yemen was about to be signed. As the Independent piece describes it:

[T]he beginning of the Saudi air war five weeks ago put a stop to negotiations which were about to succeed in establishing a power sharing government in the capital Sanaa according to the UN envoy Jamal Benomar. He told The Wall Street Journal in an interview that “when this campaign started, one thing that was significant but went unnoticed is that the Yemenis were close to a deal that would institute power-sharing with all sides, including the Houthis.”

The U.S. supported the bombing from the very beginning by giving the Saudis the necessary intelligence. This stopped the peaceful solution of the political competition in Yemen. No wonder that the UN envoy resigned in protest. From March 26:

Saudi Arabia told the Obama administration and Persian Gulf allies early this week that it was preparing a military operation in neighboring Yemen, and relied heavily on U.S. surveillance ­images and targeting information to carry it out, according to senior American and Persian Gulf officials.

Since than the U.S. intelligence support for the Saudis has increased. From April 10:

The United States is expanding its intelligence-sharing with Saudi Arabia to provide more information about potential targets in the kingdom's air campaign against Houthi militias in Yemen, U.S. officials told Reuters.
...
The U.S. officials said the expanded assistance includes sensitive intelligence data that will allow the Saudis to better review the kingdom's targets in fighting that has killed hundreds and displaced tens of thousands since March.

What will those Yemenis who's relatives were killed in the hospital strike yesterday think about such U.S. targeting support?

The Independence piece linked above also includes this sentence which is I believe as a first in the main stream media:

[King Salman] has not only started an air war in Yemen but has given stronger backing to Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qa’ida affiliate, and other jihadi groups in Syria. These have recently won several victories in Idlib province over the Syrian army and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

The Saudis are also supporting Al Qaeda in Yemen and are even pushing others to join them:

Haykal Bafana @BaFana3
Journalists need to wake up & write about the pressure being applied by Saudi Arabia on tribes & leaders in Hadhramaut to accept AQ rule.

The Saudis rush more support to Al Qaeda and U.S. intelligence is selecting civilian targets to be bombed.

Is there anyone who believes that this will end well?

Posted by b on May 2, 2015 at 11:36 AM | Permalink

Comments

just give wow a few minutes.. he will be here to rationalize how the usa and it's friends are a okay and what they are doing is bringing something better to the middle east..

Posted by: james | May 2, 2015 11:59:09 AM | 1

Is there anyone who believes that this will end well

is there anyone who believes that this will ever end?

Posted by: john | May 2, 2015 12:07:45 PM | 2

Saudi Arabia is playing its last cards in Yemen and Syria. The USA would like to give them the illusion they are winning, thus helping them with cautions.
The idea is that Saudi Arabia is so humiliated by the US closeness with Iran that it will not bow into negotiating any deal unless in a position of power. So the USA idea is to give them a ersatz of power.
Saudi Arabia has been on a reactive course. It successively arranged drop in oil price to weaken Iran and Russia. As this had little effect, it decided that a war was necessary but not a war against a powerful neighbor, but a war against a poor country like Yemen and a worn out country like Syria to maximize the chances of a victory.
It started to appear like victories but after one month of wild bombing in Yemen, Saudi Arabia is finding out that no Sunni countries want to really help with troops and the USA is urgently calling for negotiations.
In Syria the 'victory' of Al Qaeda in Edlib is awkwardly presented as a victory for the "Syrian rebels". No one is fooled. The militias paid by Saudi Arabia , Qatar and Turkey, the Sunni islamist Axis ( SIA) are Chechens, Afghans, Tunisians, Saudi, Yemenis etc...
It is matter of time that the masks fall and Saudi Arabia' "young" rulers may then get a second slap on their face.

Will the USA accept an Al AlQaeda stronghold in the North east of Syria just to give the Saudis the illusion that they are men and not half-men, so they can swallow without suffocating the US-Iran deal that will give to Shias the upperhand in the region?

Posted by: Virgile | May 2, 2015 12:30:34 PM | 3

end well? what ending are you expecting b? the only "end well" ending is the destruction of the $ and the FED, for without the FED, Israel is nothing. Saudi Arabia will implode internally.

Posted by: papa | May 2, 2015 12:31:25 PM | 4

End well? END WELL? What do you think, b? Is it all designed to end well? Most of us are helpless sops, engaging in the pointless politics that pervade our every faculty for rational. This story does not have a happy ending. There is not one single commentator here who believes otherwise. The geopilitical games that are being played in the ME are, I think,the result of a desperate impulse to destroy something you know you are going to lose, so the enemy inherits the damage, and thus impedes their own strength. I see no need to get into details, the basic rules of imperialism apply. Always...

Posted by: dan | May 2, 2015 12:48:41 PM | 5

A more blatant confirmation of the old adage "military intelligence is a contradiction in terms" couldn't be found.

“We all bleed when we lose an American life,” said Obama. Well, this people were brown and not Americans, so he's not bleeding, he is...grieving, the hypocrite. “We all grieve when any innocent life is taken. We don’t take this work lightly.” Of course not, killing people is hard work. "And before any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured -- the highest standard we can set." The "near-certainty" BS is very, very relative since, as Doomy Rumy stated, there are always "unknown unknowns," by about 52 people in Syria and 58 in Yemen, plus the maimed and wounded.

So, Obama's "near certainty" has left hundreds of relatives grieving, children orphaned, widows without their wives/husbands, brothers and sisters gone, parents without their children, friends grieving (for real), entire neighborhoods destroyed. There is one thing war criminal Obama can brag about with absolute certainty,"I'm really good at killing people." How can this MoFo sleep at night? How can La bitch Michelle pretend to be a good mother when the so-called "first family" (ridiculous) is engaged in killing parents and children wholesale? What lies do they tell their daughters? Only in America.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 2, 2015 1:11:32 PM | 6

@james@1

just give wow a few minutes.. he will be here to rationalize how the usa and it's friends are a okay and what they are doing is bringing something better to the middle east..

LOL...he is around the corner, working on his script, calling his supervisor, trying to figure out how to respond to b's pulverizing logic.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 2, 2015 1:22:09 PM | 7

The aggressor believes that all who scuffle under the shadow of the imperial and "indispensable nation" are fools. This kind of US strategy, one of chaos, could easily be expanded to engulf the Saudis as well.

In the recent negotiations with Iran, over lifting economic sanctions on that country, the sinister threat of deploying a yet bigger bomb, another US bunker buster, was arranged slowly behind the scenes, in tandem with the illusion of hope. This stirring of the hornet's nest in Yemen and Syria, neverending mayhem and killing of civilians, is not accidental. There is no end to such a war of economic exploitation and domination when one party has no scruples at all, and is willing to constantly expand the battlefield, while paying no mind to human costs and consequences.

Negotiating in bad faith, trafficking with the enemy (when profitable), offering and receiving bribes, constant skulduggery and covert operations, deception on almost every level, and always the obsessive "flight forward" into a larger sphere of destruction: these are the works of an empire.

We see a model of insatiable power at work, whose temper becomes more fascist with time.

No end is to come until the aggressor finds itself without vassals, until it finds itself stripped naked in its false diplomacy, until the wheels are knocked off the wagon of its propaganda, and it is confronted with a solidarity of resistance across the world.

There is no principle in the aggressor we are bound to respect. And until the teeth of the imperial power have been pulled out, there is no end to the grief and loss we can expect.

Posted by: Copeland | May 2, 2015 2:39:09 PM | 8

There is no principle in the aggressor we are bound to respect. And until the teeth of the imperial power have been pulled out, there is no end to the grief and loss we can expect.
Posted by: Copeland | May 2, 2015 2:39:09 PM | 8

Don't get too despondent. Half a century of "picking up crappy little counties and smashing them against the wall" is going to leave the dumbass Yankees ill-prepared for the blowback when the World turns on them, led by Russia, China and a growing number of allies seeking permanent relief from Yankee cowardice, vandalism, bluster and bullshit.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 2, 2015 3:06:45 PM | 9

Ruply has a video of a rally in Sana'a.

Posted by: jaqwith | May 2, 2015 4:11:48 PM | 10

Having doubted the Coventry clothier's numbers and designations of civilians and combatants for the past four years, I am not inclined to accept SOHR's estimates of civilian casualties in the latest US bombing of ISIS.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | May 2, 2015 6:23:11 PM | 11

@11 rusty - you'd be right to not automatically accept sohr's estimates..

"The number of civilians who were killed by the U.S led coalition air strikes on Ber Mahli near Seren town northeast of Aleppo has raised to 52 including 7 children and 9 women, civilians from the area confirmed to SOHR that the dead were from 6 different families. the number is likely to rise because of 13 missing civilians." and that is off the 'one man' clothier's website too.. updated from when b posted earlier.

Posted by: james | May 2, 2015 6:49:20 PM | 12

This ' ... it was a mistake ... ' stuff is no longer credible. The aim of the USA is to spread terror and killing ordinary people - bombing hospitals - is even more effective than killing 'militants'. They've done the same not only in Syria and Yemen but in the Ukraine as well, the artillery crews claim just to have dialled in the coordinates their NAZI (CIA) superiors have given them.

@8

' This kind of US strategy, one of chaos, could easily be expanded to engulf the Saudis as well. '

I fully agree, Copeland. And when it does the USA/UK/Israel will occupy the Saudi oilfields to provide 'stability' to the area. The USA is providing escorts to ships delivering supplies to its bases in the GCC now.

Posted by: jfl | May 2, 2015 7:27:35 PM | 13

"Seems like the war on Yemen targeting group won the sixpack."

Gallows humor is what the Cops do in the locker room after work.
Gallows humor is what MIC does after they dust a wedding party.
Gallows humor is what Banksters do over $1000 bottles of wine.

Gallows humor means they got inside your head, ...then they win.
It's all just a big larf, and pull me another cold one, Teddie!

Posted by: NoReply | May 3, 2015 12:19:23 AM | 14

More targetting 'help' for the KSA from the USA ...

Saudi jets target Yemen food trucks

Saudi fighter jets have targeted two trucks of food in Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa’ada amid the deepening humanitarian crisis in the war-torn Arab country.

The fresh airstrikes were carried out on Sunday in the Malahidh area near the Saudi border.

The Saudi warplane also bombarded Wadi Lieh district in the province.

There have been no immediate reports about the casualties of the attacks.

Saudi authorities have defied numerous warnings of a deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen and blocked relief aid shipments to Yemen.

The UN says key infrastructure including water supplies, health services and telecommunications in Yemen are on the verge of collapse.

After Israel, the USA could not have found a more ruthless and monstrous ally in the Arabian Peninsula than the Saudis ...

Saudis used cluster ammunitions in Yemen strikes: HRW


The rights organization said in a Sunday report that photographs, video, and other evidence have surfaced since mid-April 2015 indicating that cluster munitions have been used in attacks on Yemen’s northern province of Sa’ada in recent weeks.

The HRW subsequently carried out an extensive analysis of satellite imagery that the weapons appeared to land on a cultivated plateau, within 600 meters (fewer than one mile) of several dozen buildings in four to six village clusters.

Cluster munitions hold dozens or hundreds of submunitions, which will blow up after spreading out over a wide area, often as large as a football field. Many submunitions often do not explode, becoming de facto landmines.

“Saudi-led cluster munition airstrikes have been hitting areas near villages, putting local people in danger,” said Steve Goose, arms director at the HRW, adding, “These weapons should never be used under any circumstances.”

He also said that Saudi Arabia and the United States are violating “the global standard that rejects cluster munitions because of their long-term threat to civilians.”


... creating an endless supply of enemies upon whom, together with us cogs on the American wheel of imperial slaughter all over the world, to unfold the future of the long war.

Posted by: jfl | May 3, 2015 3:32:38 AM | 15

however, i do agree with Joaquin, that with Israel out of the picture the greater ME would stand a very good chance of establishing some kind of league of Islamic nations within a couple of decades or so.

but that ain't gonna happen, is it? i mean Israel being uncle sam's favorite forward operating base and all...

Posted by: john | May 3, 2015 8:43:56 AM | 16

Posted by: john | May 3, 2015 8:43:56 AM | 16

Israel's imaginary Nukes have the potential to make "Israel" an early, primary, precautionary target for Nuking if things turn nasty between the Yankees and the Humans.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 4, 2015 1:56:52 AM | 17

Hoarsewhisperer @ 17 says:

Israel's imaginary Nukes have the potential to make "Israel" an early, primary, precautionary target for Nuking if things turn nasty between the Yankees and the Humans.

your comment is too ambiguous. i don't really get what you're driving at. if you think it's worthwhile, try again.

Posted by: john | May 4, 2015 6:23:59 AM | 18

certain people here have at one point or another claimed that it's ludicrous to suggest that Israel would have developed nukes without first developing a delivery method

But kicking a nuke out the back of an aircraft is a "delivery method"

anyway:

Posted by: lol | May 4, 2015 9:01:33 AM | 19

lol says:

certain people here have at one point or another claimed that it's ludicrous to suggest that Israel would have developed nukes without first developing a delivery method

well, undeclared nukes, undeclared borders. i'd say that they have them anyway, but i also like to entertain the idea that they just want us to assume so. that's much cheaper, you know.

Posted by: john | May 4, 2015 10:17:49 AM | 20

lol @ 19.

The first article is typical of the long-winded and convoluted crap used to add substance to Israel's Nuke daydreams. One example, from page i is this laughable piece of fatuous dross...

"Had the United States discovered Dimona two years earlier — even a year earlier — the young and fragile undertaking might not have survived the weight of U.S. and world pressure generally."

The idea that the US was a year "too late" to stop "Israel's" Nuke program is more than a little bit silly and could only have been dreamt up by an "Israeli."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 4, 2015 12:42:44 PM | 21

A "young and fragile" Nuke program!!??
Gimme an effing break!

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 4, 2015 12:49:17 PM | 22

i'd say that they have them anyway, but i also like to entertain the idea that they just want us to assume so.

Posted by: john | May 4, 2015 10:17:49 AM | 20

yes, making everyone believe you have them is certainly cheaper.

However . . .

there's that little matter of the Southern Pacific nuke test the SudAfrikans are alleged to have carried out a few decades ago. The evidence is not 100% conclusive but points strongly in that direction. It registered as a nuke on the relevant sensors and the location timing etc points to SA as the culprit. And since SA was in partnership with the ZioRacists . . . .

The racist ZioNazis and the racist SA Nazis were teaming up at the time to combine and trade knowledge on different aspects of their nuke programs.

The SA NAzis definitely got a working Nuke warhead out of the program. That they had a working nuke is acknowledged by everyone and imho it would be foolish to assume that the ZioRacists didn't get an equal share of the spoils

So Warheads sorted, delivery methods sorted shortly afterward.

Operating on the assumption it's all an elaborate hoax? Doesn't seem like a smart conclusion given the available evidence

(I've explained all this to ol Hoarsey before, but it doesn't seem to have registered, as one can see above)

Posted by: lol | May 4, 2015 2:30:19 PM | 23

PS

The idea that the US was a year "too late" to stop "Israel's" Nuke program is more than a little bit silly and could only have been dreamt up by an "Israeli."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 4, 2015 12:42:44 PM | 21

I agree

nonetheless, Dimona does exist and ,irrespective of your qualms regarding the articles description of the program, and who or what it may have been written by, by all accounts is capable of producing the raw materials.

Since the issue of designing and building a working nuke has already been dealt within conjunction with the SA Nazis, the ZioNazis clearly have everything they need and have had everything they needed for quite some time.

To then just simply declare that they would stop just shy of constructing their own working nukes is simply not credible

Posted by: lol | May 4, 2015 2:39:51 PM | 24

lol asks?

Operating on the assumption it's all an elaborate hoax?

are you a presumptuous cocksucker or just a zealot?

Posted by: john | May 4, 2015 2:49:18 PM | 25

The SA NAzis definitely got a working Nuke warhead out of the program. That they had a working nuke is acknowledged by everyone and imho it would be foolish to assume that the ZioRacists didn't get an equal share of the spoils
So South Africa has a working nuke, whatever their denials.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 4, 2015 2:57:30 PM | 26

Operating on the assumption it's all an elaborate hoax?

are you a presumptuous cocksucker or just a zealot?

Posted by: john | May 4, 2015 2:49:18 PM | 25

yeah I figured you'd do that at some point "john" - when turds like "john" pop up they're usually some pathetic socky.

Posted by: lol | May 4, 2015 3:11:14 PM | 27

o South Africa has a working nuke, whatever their denials.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 4, 2015 2:57:30 PM | 26

You seem to have some probs following the conv.

The existance of a working SA warhead has been acknowledged by all.

It's the ZioNazi warheads we're interested in. It would be foolish to assume that the ZioRacists didn't get an equal share of the spoils.

Anyone can foolishly assume that if they want,


but it'd still be foolish

Posted by: lol | May 4, 2015 3:14:21 PM | 28

It would be foolish to assume that the ZioRacists didn't get an equal share of the spoils.
Nobody doubts that Israel has its nuclear weapons. The question was whether South Africa is still a nuclear power. With the change of regime, did it abandon its nuclear knowledge? Or is it still a nuclear power, ready to transfer its knowledge to politically appropriate receivers?

Posted by: Laguerre | May 4, 2015 3:38:03 PM | 29

lol says:

yeah I figured you'd do that at some point "john"

entertain me funny man. what, exactly, is "that?"

Posted by: john | May 4, 2015 4:05:56 PM | 30

The question was whether South Africa is still a nuclear power. With the change of regime, did it abandon its nuclear knowledge? Or is it still a nuclear power, ready to transfer its knowledge to politically appropriate receivers?

Posted by: Laguerre | May 4, 2015 3:38:03 PM | 29

That's the question?

Since when?

I'm pretty certain no one actually phrased such a question in this discussion so far.

For that to be "the question" one would have actually have had to ask/voice such a question.

Posted by: lol | May 4, 2015 4:09:51 PM | 31

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