Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 04, 2017

Yemen Without Saleh

Updated below

The former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been killed today. He was 75 years old but still very active in Yemeni politics. Video of his dead body being thrown onto the back of a pickup is making the rounds. One hears Houthi slogans shouted in the background. The pictures show a gun wound on the chest and at the side of the head. The face is easily recognizable. There are also pictures of his ID card.

Though several media report his death there is no confirmation yet from his GPC party or his family.

Over the last few days Houthi media had announced several times that Saleh had been killed. This morning Saleh's house was blown up. This time the Houthi news proved right. The circumstances of Saleh's death are not yet known, but it was said that he was fleeing Sanaa when fate caught up with him.

As we wrote in our recap on Saturday, Saleh had suddenly made peace with the Saudis and asked his followers to take up arms against his former allies. For more than two years he had allied with the Houthi against the U.S. and UK supported Saudi invasion and proxy forces. On Friday, after several days of local clashes with the Houthi, he had called for his followers to throw the Houthi out of the Yemeni capital Sanaa.

For a day his fighters, led by some 1,000 soldiers of Saleh's personal guards, were successful and the Houthi were kicked out of many of their positions. But they were not defeated. They called up more of their troops and on Sunday regained the lost ground and buildings. They occupied Saleh's media. His TV station started to transmit his enemies chants. Over the last night and throughout today they defeated Saleh's troops.

It is yet a mystery why not more of Saleh's supporters came to his help. Sanaa is his home turf and whenever he had called for demonstrations in the city, hundreds of thousands attended. For much of his 34 years of rule as president and even after his forced resignation Saleh could call on the seven "collar tribes" who's territory surround the capital. This time they did not come to his aid. Saleh also continued to command significant parts of the former Yemeni army. These currently hold positions far outside of Sanaa against Saudi proxy forces who try to conquer the mountainous territory of northwest Yemen. One wonders why he had not called them back in time. 

It may be that his unexpected turn-on-a-dime towards a new alliance with the eternal enemies of Yemen, the Saudis, has alienated his followers.

The Saleh family and clan is quite big and resourceful. Many of his relatives have held high military positions in the Yemeni army and keep enough money to pay for their troops loyalty. Some nephew of his may take up his banner. It is unsure though if such a replacement could gain the following of the former army units Ali Abdullah could call on.

The Saudis had recently bet on Saleh to end the stalemate in their war on Yemen. Had he won out, it could have meant a pause in the war and probably its end. With the Houthi now having the upper hand in Sanaa, the war, the permanent Saudi bombing and the blockade of Yemen are likely to continue. The Houthi will continue to attack within Saudi Arabia and the fight against the Saudi proxy forces on the ground will go on.

It will need another breakthrough event for the war to stop.

Update:

In previous pieces on Yemen MoA had quoted Haykal Bafana and Iona Craig. Both live in Yemen. Here are their first thoughts on Ali Abdullah Saleh's death:

@BaFana3 - 6:49 AM - 4 Dec 2017

I cannot describe the deep grief I feel. Ali Abdullah Saleh was the greatest leader #Yemen ever had. He never surrendered: He died a martyr in his homeland Yemen, as a Yemeni fighting for Yemen's cause. I salute Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, both in life and in death.

 

@ionacraig - 6:13 AM - 4 Dec 2017

I was 1st foreign journalist to interview Saleh after he stepped down. He said his memoirs wouldn't be published until after his death as they contained secrets about many people. I responded "So a lot of people should be afraid the day that you die?" He laughed & said "InshAllah"

Followers of Saleh and his family will now consider revenge against the Houthi for Saleh's death as their highest priority:

@SaadAbedine - 2:21 PM - 4 Dec 2017

Unconfirmed reports that Ahmed, #Saleh’s eldest son & former commander of #Yemen’s Republican Guard, will be addressing the nation tonight at 9 PM local & that he was released from his house arrest in #UAE, en route to Marib to lead the fight & seek revenge from #Houthi rebels

Posted by b on December 4, 2017 at 08:23 AM | Permalink

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Off topic but UK government contractors have been funding Islamic extremists in Syria:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/dec/04/british-aid-scheme-suspended-amid-allegations-of-payments-to-syrian-jihadis
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/04/government-suspends-support-foreign-aid-project-syria-claims/

The UK government has also been funding the White Helmets for some time too.

It would be interesting to know the total amount the UK government has spent on Syrian regime change thus far.
Come to think of it, it would be interesting to know the total amount the UK government has spent on regime change
in Iraq, Libya & Syria thus far.

Hell, it's almost as if the UK Deep State is nothing more than an adjunct of the US Deep State, which also serves to
provide political cover for the US Deep State's endless regime change programs.

Posted by: Jonesy | Dec 4, 2017 9:12:40 PM | 101

Interesting and rare pro-Houthi opinion from Telesur (h/t seby on Duran):

The Houthis: Revolutionaries Pegged as Religious Extremists

"The Houthis enjoy wide support from the Yemeni people, and the movement itself can be more accurately described as a national liberation movement."

Looks like the biggest crime of the Houthi movement and Yemen's Shia-Zaydi were resisting the Saudi Caliphate's Wahhabize-the-World / Hug-a-Headchopper campaign. And once again [sigh...] it looks like the US is on the side of the bad guys.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 4, 2017 9:24:39 PM | 102

This al Arabiya report matches the damage to Saleh's vehicle and is most likely correct. Other reports state that his vehicle was stopped with an RPG and riddled with bullets. none of the pics I have seen show RPG or bullet damage - only collision damage. They also state he was heading for his home town after a deal, or being convinced to leave Sanaa.
https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2017/12/04/EXPLAINER-How-did-Ali-Abdullah-Saleh-die-.html

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 4, 2017 9:53:38 PM | 103

@55 and some others

B has had an accuracy rate of about 99% in the 11 years I have been reading MofA. Unless you have a better rate, keep you comments modest.

Yes you are right. And I wish it remains so. I read also MofA since years and have even translated some of the texts to persian. But once again, B made a mistake not due to lack of accurate information rather the reason is in his assessment in which the Huthis are responsible for the escalation and Saleh is the peace dove. Although this is not 99%, but at the same time a decisive 1% which can have a negative impact on the direction of this much worthy platform. B can read and write also in German. I quote here the position of German belletristic Tagesschau which is almost exact the same as B's:
Schlechte Nachricht…
… Das letzte Fünkchen Hoffnung … auf eine baldige Niederlage der iranischen Verbündeten ist erloschen. … Die Huthis – berauscht von dem tödlichen Schlag, der ihnen gegen Saleh gelang – dürften sich einbilden, Oberwasser zu haben. …

Posted by: bs | Dec 4, 2017 9:55:47 PM | 104

It is doubtful Saleh turned traitor and joined the Saudi's nor was he heading for safety with the Saudi's when he was killed. More likely he was killed in a tribal bust up over a peace deal he had negotiated for Yemen, possibly with Russian mediation.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 4, 2017 10:03:51 PM | 105

--from your friendly cruise missile expert --
The Houthis launched a cruise missile at a UAE nuclear plant under construction. The Houthis somehow got hold of an Iranian Soumar missile, which is a 2000 km cruise missile based on the Kh-55. The missile failed 50 km after launch. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 4, 2017 10:18:49 PM | 107

jane junior @ 106:

"look goyim the saker said russia would never go into syria as they did not have the force projection everyone makes mistakes the good thing "

Yes i remember this well. Funny thing. I think Saker absolutely excels at analysis but i find that i and reality frequently disagree with his conclusions and expectations. I find B offers excellent analysis and nearly prophetic forecasts of the future but no one is perfect. Elijiah Magnier provides excellent reporting but i believe his conclusions tend to be quite off. The moral of the story here is no one is perfect and maybe those who are complaining should understand this.

Saleh's followers did not follow for now. Its a surprise. Surprises happen.

Posted by: alaric | Dec 4, 2017 10:36:13 PM | 108

@105 jonesy.. yeah - the uk and the usa are tied at the hip on all of the propaganda to support their endless wars and regime change agendas..

@106 - jj aka charles.. lol!

@107 paveway... thanks for an excellent article.. i encourage others to read it.. i quote some here :

"One of the primary goals of the movement from that point was to make an initiative that would effectively eradicate religious extremism. The Zaydi community had long felt marginalized and threatened by the expanding threat of extremism – a problem the Saudi-backed government had no interest in addressing. Yemen has long dealt with extremism in its country, mainly originating from Saudi Arabia. They saw the weak Yemeni leadership as an opportunity to seek shelter on its territory, primarily in the eastern parts of the country. Furthermore, with Mansour Hadi’s rise to power, the Islah Party (an al-Qaida affiliate) had the opportunity to shift focus from al-Qaida, enabling them to roam freely without resistance.

The Houthis were one of the main organizers that protested against former President Saleh back in 2011, and they were also skeptical of the one-candidate election that would instate Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi as president which the western media, including most notably famed columnist Thomas L. Friedman, called ‘democratic’."

@110 peter au.. i agree with your view..

@112 don bacon.. look up thread to elsi's bolded text for an alternative view on that..

Posted by: james | Dec 4, 2017 11:13:37 PM | 109

It is so sad that this happened. Only a few day ago it seemed like the war could end. Yes, it wouldn't be a great victory in the grand game, but it would end the war that every day takes its toll in the lives of brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. There is something to be said for peace after so much suffering, even at the cost of defeat. Now whatever there may have been to say for it, there is no one to say it.

Posted by: Tay | Dec 4, 2017 11:38:16 PM | 110

@115 tay... tell mbs and mbz - and the sycophants - usa/uk/israel and etc who support these bastards..

Posted by: james | Dec 4, 2017 11:39:34 PM | 111

@112 Don Bacon

Actually it wasn't the Houthis who fired that missile at the UAE, it was the Yemeni military. B made a large excursion in his previous Yemen piece explaining who actually fires the missiles from Yemen. I looked for a source for that story and al-Manar reported it: Yemeni Forces Fire Cruise Missile on UAE Nuclear Power Plant

In a statement released on Sunday, the rocketry force of the Yemeni Army and Popular Committees announced that a cruise missile has hit a target in Abu Dhabi’s Barakah nuclear power plant.
The missile accurately hit its target, Yemeni military source Arabic-language al-Masirah television network.

I can't find any collateral for the story in your link. That author days it was a cruise missile from Iran and failed after 50 km. This sounds awfully close to the kind of propaganda that we've been hearing lately. That author would have to cite a source for the information that Houthis launched that missile to sound a little more credible.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 4, 2017 11:44:59 PM | 112

Grieved 117

Can the Yemen military be neatly divided from Houthi's? Seems there is much merging or a gray area with it seems a good proportion of Yemen military personnel sharing Houthi views.
'Houthi' seems to be an outlook rather than a religion or ideology.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 5, 2017 12:21:38 AM | 113

Of course, we don't quite know where the Yemeni military stands right now, who's who, etc. But it looks to me like most of Yemen is on the side of the Houthis.

Can the Saleh family and interests actually put up a strong fight against the Houthis? Now that I've done a bit more reading - including Paveway's excellent article linked at #107 - I have to say I can't see it happening. Everyone hates to be part of a spent force, and there may be some spoiling actions here and there, but it seems to me that the Houthi are rising on the tide of history.

I suspect that the names Ansarullah and Sayyed Al-Houthi may become as familiar to us as Hezbollah and Sayed Nasrallah.

I sympathize with the thought that Saleh might have enabled KSA to walk away from Yemen and save face, but the presence of terrorism supported by KSA would still remain. The Islah party, Al-Quaeda, ISIS, whatever forces threaten Yemen on the ground appear to be something that all of Yemen wants to be rid of. Hadi accommodated it, and Saleh never cared beyond his own enrichment, and in this present move, suddenly was wrong for the part. I'll bet that more Yemeni people suddenly saw Saleh as a betrayer than as the old wily operator who might have brought order.

If Russia backed Saleh, they miscalculated his standing in the country. I find it hard to see them making that kind of mistake. They kept their embassy open through all of this. But who knows, until they tell us?

Even if the bombing stopped today, there are still Saudi-backed terrorists to defeat. And where was the Russian plan for this? The pieces as they are so far known don't add up to a full plan.

My guess is that Hadi's call against the Houthi will fail to achieve much traction. Saudi will bomb the shit out of Sanaa and what it says are Houthis but are more likely civilians. The Houthis will strike Saudi Arabia in devastating ways. Saudi bombed the Sanaa airport. A good bet would be to see some KSA airports get hit. Gradually it will dawn on the Saudis that every time they escalate, the retaliation will hurt them worse. My guess is the Houthis can take a lot more pain than the Saudis. And frankly, in this horrible war of attrition and genocide by starvation, they're going to have to make the Saudis hurt very badly very soon to get this thing to stop.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 5, 2017 12:24:52 AM | 114

With Russia and Egypt just having announced to widen and deepen their cooperation, it seems to be fair to predict some Russian statement about Yemen and a possible reconciliation under the auspices of Russia in Yemen. They keep being successful in uniting the Arab world. The article (link above) from the 'Strategic Culture' is quite detailed in its assessment of the impact the increased cooperation between Egypt and Russia will have. IT states that Russia has now bases it can use at the Horn of Africa and that is not far from Yemen. The umpire is losing ground in the Middle East faster than water vaporizes in the Arabian desert. Combined with the complete mess in the American regime the likes few have foreseen, the Middle East is reshaped quickly. Just not the way the Neocons had it planned. Thus is life. Being overly confident about one's grandiose plans will inevitably call Murphy's Law into action. May there be peace again in the Middle East.

BTW: The website looks glitchy. Hopefully nothing serious, but the minions are frantically attempting to stifle truthful information.

Posted by: notheonly1 | Dec 5, 2017 12:43:49 AM | 115

I have often wondered about the Russian position on Yemen. Just a backwater in their geo-political strategy - or do they need someone that can unite a large cross section of Yemen to back? A player that will fit local moves to Russias geo-political moves.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 5, 2017 12:51:59 AM | 116

@ Grieved who wrote:
"
The Houthis will strike Saudi Arabia in devastating ways.
" and
"
And frankly, in this horrible war of attrition and genocide by starvation, they're going to have to make the Saudis hurt very badly very soon to get this thing to stop.
"

While I agree that the desire is there to strike back in SA, why have we not seen it before now? Is there not enough genocide to prompt retaliation already? I guess I am questioning the capabilities of the forces in Yemen to strike back because we are not seeing anything effective yet other than big balls on the ground and this has been going on for long enough to pull out the "big guns" if they have them.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 5, 2017 1:22:04 AM | 117

No thanks to a reader for messing up this thread, on Safari and even Firefox. b., can't you get this vandals under control?

Posted by: Quentin | Dec 5, 2017 1:51:51 AM | 118

Ansarullah's quick defeat of Saleh was because of their gradual growth into something much more than a "Houthi" movement along with the fact that Saleh was seen as suddenly turning to the Saudis who were starving and massacring all the major tribes for almost 3 years. Ansarullah had the moral high ground while Saleh was seen as an immoral traitor.

Posted by: smm | Dec 5, 2017 1:56:50 AM | 119

smm

Moral high ground vs geo-political reality/bending with the wind/living to fight another day ect.
Moral high ground makes for great tear jerking folk songs, bending with the wind means, in the longer term means victory, though at the cost of the tear jerking songs.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 5, 2017 2:21:49 AM | 120

In summer 1917 Morgentau was sent to negotiate an early end to WWI:

"In early June 1917 an extremely concerned Louis Brandeis made an urgent call to London. The Zionist plans were suddenly threatened by an unexpected and unwelcome intervention about which none of them had the slightest warning. Brandeis discovered that a secret American delegation, headed by the former United States Ambassador at Constantinople, Henry Morgenthau, was on its way to Switzerland. Its purpose was to convince Turkey to break away from the German-Austrian alliance, an action which would have radically altered the geo-political situation when the war ended. Indeed, if successful, it would have shortened the war."

http://firstworldwarhiddenhistory.wordpress.com/category/zionism-2/louis-brandeis/

Not only are these events in Yemen and the entire middle east a recurring pattern, they were planned over a century ago. Yemen at peace is about as desirable as 5 million intelligent Armenian Christians surviving the first world war.

Bombing Syria and Hezbollah, ethnic cleansing of the West Bank, assassinating anyone who gets in their way (Kennedy Brothers), abusing and raping shicksas in Hollywood and Washington, the FED, IRS, etc is what happens when your Rabbi insists that your people were chosen by god and you believe him.

Posted by: Heros | Dec 5, 2017 3:51:24 AM | 121

LMAO, NYT published investigation of Saudi Patriots intercepting Yemeni missile, flying to the airport last month. Conclusion was... Patriots didnt intercept anything, at the very least not the warhead.

“Governments lie about the effectiveness of these systems. Or they’re misinformed,” said Jeffrey Lewis, an analyst who led the research team, which shared its findings with The New York Times. “And that should worry the hell out of us.”

"Laura Grego, a missile expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists, expressed alarm that Saudi defense batteries had fired five times at the incoming missile."

"You shoot five times at this missile and they all miss? That's shocking, ” she said. “That's shocking because this system is supposed to work.”

Patriots continue impressive 0% interception rate. :))

https://goo.gl/EVHjsp

Posted by: Harry | Dec 5, 2017 4:13:39 AM | 122

Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 4, 2017 9:24:39 PM | 107

Yep. Telesur and PressTv have come out in support of the Houthis.

RT commemmorates Saleh.

In other RT news Russia seems to have inherited the "Kurdish led anti ISIS battle east of Euphrates"

Posted by: somebody | Dec 5, 2017 5:23:04 AM | 123

Can the admin/moderator please hide or shorten the URLs in replies 96 % 97? I think they may be causing this page to display extremely wide in my browser, making me have to scroll side-to-side to read the article and comments.

In reply to the final point of B's analysis, I think the Saudis still win. They won the moment they got Saleh to switch sides and not reconcile with the Houthis - now with his murder Yemen may well have a civil war within a civil war, which only makes the Saudi job easier. They're trying to do the same in Lebanon too, and may yet succeed. Hezbollah is not so easily goaded, but they're in a tricky position.

Posted by: E | Dec 5, 2017 6:10:12 AM | 124

@103 "Given that Obama planned to abstain on the UNSC resolution in question, one can bet his dear life that it was totally toothless."

Given the visceral hatred that the Tumpsters felt towards Obama then they may have thought that Putin would be as tempted as they to take this chance to humiliate Obama.

Think about it: the Obama administration's vents its frustration with Netanyahu at a public venue, only for Putin to swoop in and block the Americans before they can deliver that poke in the eye.

If it had played out that way then Putin and Netanyahu could have stood there and laughed and laughed and laughed at that hapless, hopeless Obama - what a joke! - and Trump would have laughed along with them.

Putin, of course, is much too much of a professional to have taken such a cheap shot.

But Trump isn't, nor is Kushner, and so they may have thought that Putin would be tempted.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Dec 5, 2017 6:14:58 AM | 125

A point about the future:
Yemen is mountainous and even if this is obvious - it means that a few fighters can block the connecting roads and hold the populated centres in cages. This partially explains why the Houthis have not been beaten. The Saudi forces are (presumably) more used to open countryside.
1) The Houthis could be expected to expand north along the Hadramout, but NOT across the vast expanses of SA. So Missile shots would tend to be one-offs for effect.
2) It is more likely that the Houthis were waiting for Saleh - rather than "chasing" him, and the possible Saleh supporters knew they could not reach him if the roads were blocked. (That he was shot by a "sniper" according to some reports, suggests that the shooter was already in position).
3). Soccotra and the "possible" bridge crossing from Yemen to Djibouti (proposed long term project. Both the US and Chinese have bases in Djibouti). The US wants to install a base on the ecologically unique island of Soccotra. So we cannot underestimate their covert participation in this war.

Posted by: stonebird | Dec 5, 2017 8:22:55 AM | 126

Who really cares about bold type or html link issues or having to scroll sideways on a browser? Just keep scrolling down if you don't like someone else's post.

Posted by: Morongobill | Dec 5, 2017 9:30:08 AM | 127

WSWS's van Auken is expressing a view about Saleh and Yemen I share and want to share here:

Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen's former dictator, killed in Sana'a

Residents of the embattled Yemeni capital of Sana'a braced for a redoubling of air strikes following the killing Monday of the country's former dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh and the apparent unraveling of a Saudi plot to depose the regime headed by the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

Saleh, 75, had ruled Yemen as a US-backed dictator for 30 years until being forced out by a popular uprising in 2011-2012. He was shot and killed by Houthi militiamen while fleeing heavy fighting in the capital between the Houthis and his own loyalists.

The two sides had maintained a tenuous alliance since 2014, when the Houthi rebel movement—which has its roots in the Zadi branch of Shia Islam to which Saleh himself belonged—swept down from the north and took control of Sana'a. Already in an advanced state of disintegration, that alliance broke down definitively over the past week, with armed clashes between the Houthis and Saleh's loyalists that left over 125 dead.

On Saturday, Saleh made a televised speech renouncing his alliance with the Houthis and calling for the army and police to reject any orders coming from their regime. He also called for a dialogue with the Saudi-led "coalition," which—with substantial logistical support and weapons provided by Washington—has been waging a near genocidal war against the Yemeni people for the past 33 months.

The Houthis charged Saleh with attempting a Saudi-backed coup. This assessment was substantiated in an analysis published by Al Jazeera based on interviews given by Yemeni officials on condition of anonymity.

These officials confirmed that Saleh's break with the Houthis had been planned in Abu Dhabi earlier this year in consultation with top officials of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the oil-rich Gulf sheikdom that has played a major role in the assault on Yemen.

The plan, according to these officials, called for switching Saudi backing from Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi—Saleh's former vice president who was installed following the mass upheavals of 2011-2012 and subsequently forced out by the Houthi rebels—to a regime led by Saleh or one of his sons.

Hadi, who lives in exile and under apparent house arrest in Saudi Arabia, had already lost the support of the UAE, which shifted its backing to the southern secessionist movement led by Aydarous al-Zubaidi, leading to armed clashes between UAE-backed forces and elements loyal to Hadi.

For decades, Saleh had served as both Washington's and Riyadh's man in Yemen. A former military officer, he first came to power in 1978 as the ruler of the US-backed North Yemen, at a time when a Soviet-backed People's Democratic Republic of Yemen ruled in the south. When the country was unified in 1990, in the midst of the Stalinist dissolution of the USSR, Saleh assumed the presidency over all of Yemen.

With the Cold War over, Saleh maintained Washington's backing, portraying himself as the sole figure capable of holding the fractious country together, balancing off opposing factions, including the Houthis in the north, separatists in the south and Sunni Salafist forces. Subsequently he secured massive US military support in the name of the global war on terror. In the process, he is believed to have a amassed a personal fortune in the tens of billions of dollars. The Obama administration supported Saleh until the bitter end as his troops opened fire on mass demonstrations, killing and wounding hundreds.

Following Saleh's ouster in 2012, both Riyadh and Washington have upheld Hadi as the leader of the sole legitimate government of Yemen. In reality, he was brought to power as part of a "transition" deal concocted by the US and the Saudi monarchy to quell the mass popular uprising in Yemen, while granting Saleh immunity and maintaining the bulk of his regime intact. Hadi was subsequently installed as president through a one-candidate election in 2012. His two-year term expired over three years ago.

Both Washington and Riyadh are fighting to maintain a puppet government firmly under their control in Yemen, a country that shares a 1,100-mile border with Saudi Arabia to the north and a coastline on the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, This narrow waterway linking the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean is a key strategic channel for global oil and natural gas exports.

Both the US and its Saudi ally are also determined to prevent the consolidation of a regime that is aligned with Iran, which has given limited support to the Houthis. US support for the Saudi aggression against Yemen is bound up with preparations for war with Iran, which Washington sees as a principal obstacle to its assertion of hegemony over the energy-rich Middle East.

To that end, the Saudis, with the support of the Pentagon, are expected to inflict even greater bloodshed upon the population of Sana'a in the coming days. The Saudi military issued a warning to residents of the Yemeni capital on Monday. "We ask civilians to remain at least 500 metres (yards) away from Houthi military vehicles and gatherings," it said. Outside of a complete evacuation of Sana'a, complying with such a directive is impossible. It merely sets the stage for a further mass slaughter in a war that has already killed at least 12,000 civilians.

The escalation of Saudi airstrikes combined with the street fighting provoked by Saleh, with the backing of the Saudis and the UAE, has further deepened what is universally recognized as the worst humanitarian crisis on the face of the planet.

The United Nations issued a statement Monday calling for a "humanitarian pause" in the fighting. "The escalating situation threatens to push the barely functioning basic services ... to a standstill," it said. "These services have already been compromised with the latest shock of the impact of the blockade," it added, referring to the Saudi regime's blocking of Yemeni airports, sea ports and land borders and turning back food, medicine and other relief supplies.

"Ambulances and medical teams cannot access the injured, and people cannot go outside to buy food and other necessities," the statement continued. "Aid workers are unable to travel and implement critical life-saving programs at a time when millions of Yemenis rely on assistance to survive."

The Saudi monarchy, with US support, is now preparing to exact revenge for the failure of its plot to reinstall Saleh, including through measures that can lead to the deaths of millions of Yemenis from starvation and the further intensification of the worst cholera epidemic in modern history."

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/12/05/yeme-d05.html

Posted by: Pnyx | Dec 5, 2017 9:48:48 AM | 128

Wiki offers this cia approved description of Houthis:

Houthi
1994–present, (armed since 2004)
Ideology:
Zaydi Revivalism, Anti-imperialism, Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism (officially denied)
Leaders:
Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi †, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi


Now "we" cannot have that antisemitism! Even if it is "officially denied". The question remains regarding the beating of your wife. To Wit: When did you stop beating your wife?

Not only antisemetic, but also anti-imperialist! Probably hate Christmas, too. How dare they wish to preserve the National Park System and deny mineral rights to the Lloyd Blankfeins of the world.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Dec 5, 2017 9:51:47 AM | 129

stonebird@131 - Re: Socotra - The US didn't want the PR fallout from ripping up Socotra for a bigger air and naval base. Just expanding the remains of the old Soviet port and tiny airport would be monumentally expensive because of the cleanup and costs to protect the environment when doing any kind of construction there. Oh, we will eventually have our bases there - we just outsourced.

How? We green-lighted the filthy UAE royalty to do that for us. And they are, right now. They did zero cleanup of the sites and ignore the environmental impacts of their new construction. Whatever environmental concerns they don't outright ignore, they simply bribe the impoverished Socotran authorities to ignore. The UAE, in all its ignorance, is already conducting wasteland-creating military training exercises there. Or maybe its just the UAE's private merc army, aka Erik Prince's R2 serial killers. The US/GCC censorship network keeps all this from the prying eyes of the world so we're not sure. Besides, we don't have the security classification to know any of this and you didn't hear it from me.

Even *IF* the UAE was mpt secretly preparing the bases for hand-over (or permanent lease) to the US, the UAE is still setting up Socotra for ecological destruction via their tourism schemes. They have magnanimously offered UAE Slave-worker visas to the tiny population, which has sent most of the working-age population to the UAE as slaves. The depopulated Socotra has zero ability to protect the environment there from outsiders, and can't possibly keep an eye on the planeloads of idiot tourists the UAE dumps there every week. They wander around like a plague of locusts gawking at the fragile ecology they are slowly destroying.

Socotra is already doomed. It was a price the US was willing to pay in our war of terror. Besides, we're not really responsible. We get to blame Socotra's demise on the UAE - it was all their fault.

Has the UAE colonised Yemen's Socotra island paradise?

Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 5, 2017 10:09:24 AM | 130

@126

Not only are these events in Yemen and the entire middle east a recurring pattern, they were planned over a century ago.

The voice of historical determinism pops up from time to time to remind those of us on this blog who believe in some agency for history's actors that we are all idiots for trying to understand complex events.

Posted by: Trying to figure it all out | Dec 5, 2017 10:29:11 AM | 131

PavewayIV @134

Thanks. I find there is a lot that I didn't know about. Pity nature, Tourists AND the Military at the same time - not only "boots on the ground" but "flip-flops and sneakers" as well.

Posted by: stonebird | Dec 5, 2017 11:03:25 AM | 132

Since the Twitter accounts of pro-Saleh activists that are being published here as a sample of Yemeni people´s general oppinion are including amonst their twitters, photos of crowded demonstrations which, according to them, would correspond to pro-Saleh people, while posting by the side a group of some dozens of bedouins from the Haraz mountains as a sample of demonstrations in favour of the Houthies ( which could well correspond to any tribal council and not to any demonstration, we have no way to test...) I post here another images and another point of view from journalist in the terrain on the events in Yemen, for the genuine citizen here to know and make its mind:

"Thousands of Yemenis march in defense of national unity"

http://www.hispantv.com/noticias/yemen/361616/arabia-saudita-saleh-ansarullah-houthi-marcha


"Tens of thousands of Yemenis take to the streets of the capital city of Sanaa in defense of their national unity. the Yemeni protesters in Sana'a.

Participants in the march have waved Yemen flags and placards celebrating the failure of the conspiracy against its stability and its social fabric in all its categories. In addition, they have sung slogans of freedom and in support of the Yemeni forces and in favor of national unity.

The mobilization, which responds to the summoning of the leader of the Yemeni popular movement, Abdulmalik al-Houthi, has been attended by tens of thousands of people who have gathered to protest against the aggression that, for more than two years, Saudi Arabia started against Yemen and in which more than 12,000 people have died.

On Monday, the Yemeni Ministry of the Interior reported the death of former President Ali Abdollah Saleh, while trying to flee to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the context of a Saudi conspiracy.

Due to this fact, the demonstrators have denounced the Saudi policies and have called for a fraternal dialogue between all the factions to counteract the conspiracies against Yemen.

"From Sana'a to Socotra, Yemen is free ... for the good of humanity, our revolution is a free revolution, we will not accept colonialism," the demonstrators have chanted, according to the local news agency Al Masirah.

This great demonstration was attended by the leaders of the party of the General People's Congress (GPC), the party of Saleh, who stressed that the plot was directed against all without exception.

The president of Yemen's Supreme Revolutionary Committee, Mohamad Ali al-Houthi, present at the event, has stressed that Yemenis will stand firm and prepared for any foreign conspiracy.

Mohamad Ali al-Houthi has assured that the Yemeni popular movement Ansarolá "does not seek revenge for any of its members" and that the people "stand firm and ready to face any other conspiracy".

At another time he praised the resistance of the Palestinian people and referred to Israeli occupation plans to ensure that Yemenis "support Palestinian resistance against Israeli plots to occupy Al-Quds (Jerusalem)."

snr / anz / tas / rba

Posted by: elsi | Dec 5, 2017 11:13:36 AM | 133

For decades, anthropologists have been studying how the island's unique culture - including an unwritten Semitic language spoken by a native ethnic group, the Mehri (numbering just 70,000 people in 1990) - has inevitably been affected by the arrival of tourism in the 1990s.

How wonderful that the natives of Socotra are Jewish.

Seriously, the UAE is wrecking the place.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Dec 5, 2017 11:44:53 AM | 134

I suppose it goes without saying that the Houthis empathize with the Palestinians.

For this they must pay dearly.

Can you believe that Saleh was a billionaire? And it is claimed that Hadi leased Socotra to the UAE for 99 years.

This is the colonial way.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Dec 5, 2017 11:51:00 AM | 135

@Peter AU 1 | Dec 4, 2017 8:20:22 PM | 101

Well, you were reporting that theguardian, or whoever, was stating that he was going to his hometown named by them in your post something like "Sanhan". Well, I did not know where Saleh was original from, but then I found it was that village you name now, Bait Al-Ahmar. Since it is usually that we westerners ( and even arabs ) transliterate into latin arab names by changing vocals and consonants so that imitating the real sound in Arabic, I got to the conclusion the article wanted to mean Sayyan, just in the south of Sana´a.... but in route to Ma´arib ( also written Mareb in the map ). Bait Al-Ahmar, I have no idea, could well be a village pertaining to another bigger one which does not even appear in the map ( having been Yemen under Saleh´s rule all these decades...if you take into account that this happens even in Spain...)

Anyway, if he was runnig away from the Houthies, and even from most of his party former peers, has no sense making a stop at your village, has it? Even if it were only to get your money...when your life is in danger...These bedouins from the mountains are very good, calm and honorable people but the more they are honest with you, the less they are going to forgive a betrayal of this caliber... He was going to Ma´areb... to be able to surpass the lines of AQAP assassins, settled there since 2007.... Obviously, he could not go running to Riyad through the Rub´ Al-Khali....Thus he chose the shortest route to salvation...But the people of the mountains are so used to make hundreds of kilometres on foot or even running...You only had to see them going down the djebels to the run in flip-flop sandals....

Posted by: elsi | Dec 5, 2017 11:52:03 AM | 136

>>>> fastfreddy | Dec 5, 2017 11:44:53 AM | 139

How wonderful that the natives of Socotra are Jewish.

I don't know if you were being sarcastic or not but speaking a Semitic language doesn't mean you're Jewish.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Dec 5, 2017 12:12:45 PM | 137

Meanwhile one of the usual suspects at The Guardian, Patrick Wintour, has been at the happy juice again:

The new Saudi-UAE committee is bound to be seen as an alternative, if not substitute, to the malfunctioning GCC.

Both countries are strong militarily, and are likely to take a more aggressive approach towards Iran – a foreign policy hallmark of Saudi Arabia’s young, risk-taking crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

ROFLOL!

FFS, the Saudis and Emiratis can't even begin to defeat the Houthis. Although I will admit that the Houthis are probably the finest irregular light infantry in the World today and like the Chechens any regular army would be idiots or Russian to pick a fight with them. Which makes me wonder what Putin was up to brokering a deal between Saleh and the Saudis? Fucking them over perhaps?

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Dec 5, 2017 12:32:15 PM | 138

ELSI - since you like using bold... learn how use what is immediately above the posting window as seen here -


Text for link (not the URL) → Text for link (not the URL)

it seems fairly self explanatory...maybe english is not your first language? your super long links are fucking up the board..

Posted by: james | Dec 5, 2017 12:36:50 PM | 139

as i was saying UAE - MBZombie cult - are quite happy to work with the usa, while the usa is quite happy to embrace the wahabbi death cult, otherwise known as KSA under the clown prince - MBShit.. until that cozy arrangement changes, expect more of the same...

Posted by: james | Dec 5, 2017 12:39:25 PM | 140

It appears that some fertile mind has been devising a "regime change"
tactic which is to be commended:

Bribe the leader you want to remove. Make him an offer he can't refuse.

They did it with Hariri, they did it with Saleh. Maybe they will try it with
Assad? Or with Khamenei? Think they could use it with Kim? Or Putin?

Posted by: CarlD | Dec 5, 2017 12:55:56 PM | 141

@ Elsi
This from wikipedia "Ali Abdullah Saleh was born on 21 March 1942[12][13][14] to a poor family[15] at Bait el-Ahmar village[12]"

The village of Bait el-Ahmer is here
http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=15.125739&lon=44.364295&z=15&m=b

The photos of the car that was released with the Houthi statement do not match.
According to the statement, the car was stopped with an RPG
Yet in the picture they released of Saleh's car, there is only collision damage.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 5, 2017 1:13:58 PM | 142

Just curious what b and the other MoA folk think of the Book of Q: https://www.docdroid.net/NvXC7zg/book-of-q-v1.pdf
Supposedly an anonymous 4chan author's publications that predicted the MbS night of long knives, and seems to position that as the US military and Trump fighting back against the Rothschilds, CIA and a couple other NWO families.
Difficult for me to credit this, but it is a consistent body of work.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 5, 2017 1:15:19 PM | 143


>>>> fastfreddy | Dec 5, 2017 11:44:53 AM | 139

How wonderful that the natives of Socotra are Jewish.


---------

Um, nope. The islanders were early converts to Christianity, Nestorian Christians were the majority until well after 1,000 AD. They were largely converted to Islam about 300-400 years back. I have no information on wether that conversion was at the point of a sword, or just a good move towards getting along with their new rulers.

But don't worry about the religion/ethnicity too much, worry about them being a formerly rather peaceful people whose homes are now in the way of a geopolitical steam roller.

I looked them up because I wanted to do a dive trip there, looks like that is going to be tough with Saana airport being down.

BTW, the people who live there, the few with internet access? Have not noticed tht they have been invaded and have a military base being built, somehow? In fact, they have posted things about this story being bullshit. I'll ask the dive trip coordinator.

Posted by: Whyawannaknow1 | Dec 5, 2017 1:29:59 PM | 144

@ CarlD | 147

Maybe they will try it with Assad?

They did, in 2007 and maybe few more times. US, Israel, Saudis and the rest of Persian Gulf monarchies were prepared to throw any amount of billions if he changed sides, he send them to hell. Then they brought the hell to Syria.

Thats how US and gang works, they always try to bribe the leader, if it doesnt work - blackmail, next step is to overthrow (soft coup). If it doesnt work - violent overthrow.

Posted by: Harry | Dec 5, 2017 1:36:47 PM | 145

Posted by: james | Dec 5, 2017 12:36:50 PM | 145

I'm sorrie the site you posted leads to ACLU donation page. Do you know ACLU receives money from George Soro and promotes regimes changes, endless wars...

http://www.muckety.com/Query?name=aclu+and+george+soro&prev=aclu+and+george+soro&SearchResult=5003545&SearchResult=4166&graph=MucketyMap&SearchResult=5012204

http://www.muckety.com/American-Civil-Liberties-Union/5003545.muckety?big=true

http://www.muckety.com/American-Civil-Liberties-Union/5003545.muckety?big=true

Posted by: OJS | Dec 5, 2017 1:49:14 PM | 146

Posted by: james | Dec 5, 2017 12:36:50 PM | 145

I'm sorrie the site you posted leads to ACLU donation page. Do you know ACLU receives money from George Soro and promotes regimes changes, endless wars...

http://www.muckety.com/Query?name=aclu+and+george+soro&prev=aclu+and+george+soro&SearchResult=5003545&SearchResult=4166&graph=MucketyMap&SearchResult=5012204

http://www.muckety.com/American-Civil-Liberties-Union/5003545.muckety?big=true

http://www.muckety.com/American-Civil-Liberties-Union/5003545.muckety?big=true

Posted by: OJS | Dec 5, 2017 1:49:15 PM | 147

is it israeli,saudi,uk,french or us pilots spraying yemen with vitamins and vaccine from mr bill gates friends.
kissinger loved agent orange i wonder does the orange chabad jewish chap in the white house know about these air agents.
many ancient jews in yemen yet polish jewish ask a nazi new ones want the old ones dead.
satanick mass murder history erasure brookings united services institute chatham house sanctioned kill from the air destruction and poisonimg of the water supplies libya all over again.
sisi of egypt cashes his cheques from the donmeh jewish house of saud putin looks the other way works out pipeline deals with the kurdy and crypto jewisher erdogan

Posted by: charles drake | Dec 5, 2017 1:59:25 PM | 148

Sorrie double posting Yendex browser and OS WinXP out of control. I'm slowly migrating to Win10 and that take time. Sorrie again :-)

Posted by: OJS | Dec 5, 2017 2:02:22 PM | 149

@ OJS | Dec 5, 2017 1:49:15 PM | 153

As far as I understood this it was meant to teach @elsi how a proper Link is constructed.

@ c1ue | Dec 5, 2017 1:15:19 PM | 149

I had some looks into it, yes. Did not convince me. A lot of US-alt right kind of stuff, in Germany only esoteric websites popularize it, as far as I could see. My gut tells me that somebody tries to construct an own narrative.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Dec 5, 2017 2:05:04 PM | 150

Posted by: Hausmeister | Dec 5, 2017 2:05:04 PM | 156

Why promotes ACLU? a NeoLib warmonger backed by George Soro!!!
(Posted via Opera version 36)

Posted by: OJS | Dec 5, 2017 2:12:42 PM | 151

Peter Osborne in RT writes a piece more or less supporting b's perspective written before Saleh's death. If RT is in agreement with Osborne's analysis then this would suggest that Russia may very well have been supportive of the agreement Saleh made with Saudis. The main object of Russia's intentions was to give MbS a face saving way to withdraw from the ruinous Yemen war. Events have clearly put the kibosh to that idea even if it was credible in the first place.

Posted by: ToivoS | Dec 5, 2017 2:28:42 PM | 152

@all

The situation of the parties in Yemen has for some time been BEYOND who is the bad guy. (The Saudis and the U.S./UK are the bad guys in the war ON Yemen, but the internal conflict is a different issue).

I did not defend Saleh, I do not defend the Houthis.

There was a chance, for a short moment, to move to some ceasefire in the general war on Yemen and to probably end it. With the death of Saleh that moment has vanished.

Tarik Saleh, his nephew and commander of the republican guards, was also confirmed dead. His brother Mohammed is seriously injured. The fate of Saleh's son Salah is unknown.

With the clan eliminated thousands of fighters are now without a leader and will look for some new protector and boss. How many will join al-Qaeda or some other nefarious gang?

There are currently hundreds of people starving in Yemen each day and dying of easily preventable diseases. The Houthi AND Saleh were obliged to care for them, to keep the collateral damage of their fighting at a minimum.

But instead of doing so they continue to kill each other. Its not only bad it is stupid. Removing Saleh from the Yemeni balance is unlikely to have any positive consequences.

Posted by: b | Dec 5, 2017 2:34:41 PM | 153

@148 OJS... just trying to teach elsi how to use the code that you can see when you got to post, in the space immediately above where i am typing right now..
i will break it up this time..

it is under the area that says "Remember personal info?"
looks like this broken up... - www.aclu .org - area is where you put your link!!! >Test is where you write whatever you want the link to look like...

Text for link (not the URL)

Posted by: james | Dec 5, 2017 3:06:28 PM | 154

didn't break it up.... okay... let me mess with it slightly...

Text for link (not the URL) /A>

Posted by: james | Dec 5, 2017 3:07:11 PM | 155

thanks for the update b...

Posted by: james | Dec 5, 2017 3:09:57 PM | 156

I cant see if the ambush of Saleh was connected to the situation in SA...
I have not been to Yemen either, but I do know that Yemen are inhabited by people with a very strong tribal tradition, like the Tusaregs, and betrayal is simply a no-go, it is like instadeath, what the incident proves.
Saleh sold out to the Saudi's and cashed in.
Bad move.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Dec 5, 2017 3:14:26 PM | 157

@Pnyx | Dec 5, 2017 9:48:48 AM | 132

Comrade, thank you very much for publishing this article, a good recount of the facts and events in Yemen.

It is curious, or not so, how so many here, included the host, considere the only way to stop this carnage that the Houthies, and with them the majority of the Yemeni people, surrender their land to the puppets of KSA and the US, and this way continue living into misery the rest of their lives, while not finding another way around, like, for example, call to demonstrate at the US streets or write to their representatives at the US Congress and Senate claiming for to stop support for the criminal Saudi regime and to block arms exports to that kingdom of death. But, well, what was then all that "sword-dance" about?...

This is the same US exceptionalism of always, nothing new under the sun, and the usual blaming of the victims of their genocides whenever they dare to fight back for their lands. This is the same script of the Western NGOs and MSM claiming for Assad to surrender to stop the war adn killing of civilians but never for the US to stop its agression and invasion, the same script claiming for Hezbollah to disarm itself and not to Israel to stop its continuous harassing and invading of foreign lands, to achieve a peace that both, them and all of us, know that will never come while these bullies are out there freely and get always scot-free without response....

Fortunately, many from the people´s of the world have started to say, enough! , especially those who have nothing to lose, like these courageous montaraces from the most impoverished regions of Yemen who carry with them all what they have...just a Kalashnikov, an old suit jacket, a maawiis or asuriyah, a kafiyyeh, a jambiya and a pair of sandals...in the best case....

Salud!

Posted by: elsi | Dec 5, 2017 3:20:16 PM | 158

@154

Good update, thanks, b.

Posted by: Forest | Dec 5, 2017 3:36:17 PM | 159

@ b | 154

I'm sorry b, but I disagree.

I did not defend Saleh, I do not defend the Houthis.

You cant use "equal treatment" here. Saleh is the one in the wrong here, not Houthis. Its not black and white, but one is definitely more white than another.

There was a chance, for a short moment, to move to some ceasefire in the general war on Yemen and to probably end it.

Saudis bribed Saleh to start a civil war against Houthis. How this would bring peace on Yemen? The way I see it, and correct me if I'm wrong, but in this scenario Saleh and Al Qaeda would rule "peaceful" part of the country, while they would wage genocide against Houthis with Saudis/Western help. Oh, and blockade wouldnt be removed from Houthi territory as well, just from the "liberated" part under Saudi patronage.

Is that the peace you are wishing on Yemen? I bet Saudis were thrilled to divide and conquer Yemeni resistance. Houthis did the right thing - disposed of the traitor AND prevented a civil war by nipping it in the bud, and Saleh's followers think the same thing, at least most of them.

But instead of doing so they continue to kill each other.

Houthis didnt start war with Saleh, he did. What would you suggest Houthis do? Saudis are refusing ANY common sense negotiations, whats left? Surrender? Not going to happen, and you know it, but not offering any alternative.

Posted by: Harry | Dec 5, 2017 4:42:36 PM | 160

Posted by: b | Dec 5, 2017 2:34:41 PM | 154

It means Saudi/Israel/US will have to come to an agreement with Iran. Saleh was UAE's/Saudi's last card to get out of the Yemen war. You can study the Soviet Union and Afghanistan for the end game of a country that gets sucked into an endless war. Or the way the US left Vietnam. Both Russia and the US were much more powerful than Saudi.

I would blame neither Saleh nor Houthis for the starvation - the Saudi coalition's blockaders are clearly responsible including the Western powers who don't stop them. Blaming Saleh and Houthis means blaming them for not surrendering. You don't blame Leningrad for not surrendering, do you?

In other news Hairiri just decided he will stay as Lebanon's prime minister after all. In more news Trump has decided to move the US embassy to Jerusalem which will remove any fig leave from his Saudi allies to pretend they care about Palestine.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 5, 2017 4:47:24 PM | 161

not sure if posted yet so many on yemen topic.

looks like Shoddy Wahabbia just voted with their bombs on latest turn of events in Yemen.
article dated 5th, but says event was late Monday 4th. they're UTC +3 hours.

The palace in Sana’a, currently used by the Houthi Ansarullah Movement, was pounded by at least four airstrikes late Monday, the Arabic-language al-Masirah television network reported.

It’s the first time the building has been targeted in almost three years of war.
https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2017/12/05/1592766/saudis-bomb-yemen-presidential-palace-in-capital-sana-a

Posted by: schlub | Dec 5, 2017 6:06:20 PM | 162

@118 psychohistorian

I'm afraid it's pure surmise on my part but for some reason I have the sense that the Houthi have been reluctant to escalate the situation and really go all in for the Saudi throat. Maybe it's because they commit to one final roll of the dice that way. They strike me as people who don't bluff, similar to Nasrallah, and when they say they can bring a lot of hurt to KSA and UAE - which they've been doing lately in increasing measure -I think they mean this as a genuine statement. It has been not a threat but a warning to stop, for the enemy's sake rather than their own. In this, they seem just like Russia and Hezbollah.

What I think has changed is that Houthi are stepping into national-savior role, and in fact they seem to be growing in maturity and responsibility before our eyes. They seem to be taking the country by the hand.

I don't know if you've seen how they took hostage the journalists from the TV station they commandeered - and in so doing protected the heart of the city from Saudi strikes - Garrie at the Duran presents it as a very clever tactic (although I've barely scanned the article as yet).

I gather also that Houthi are trying to pacify the nation and encourage forbearance and to forego revenge. Elsi's cite at #134 suggests the same, namely that the Yemeni people want unity and an end to war, and the Houthi of all factions are intimately in tune with this sentiment.

Not to digress but my point is that I don't think the Houthi felt they were acting on behalf of the whole country before, and I think after this mis-step by MBS - similar to the Lebanon affair, similar to so many other attempts by the wreckers that fail - the target country becomes stronger. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

So I think there may well be more things that Yemen can do to make KSA bleed. And if Yemen doesn't have the means currently, I suspect ways will open for them to get the means. Yemen has to hurt Saudi for the the world to broker a ceasefire (to KSA's relief) and get that blockade lifted. And I think the force that the Houthi can now bring to this effort has increased, from this fiasco. Pretty much now all the warrior forces will set aside faction and unite against KSA and UAE, in righteous fury.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 5, 2017 7:40:55 PM | 163

news delivered fresh from the politburo to you.

TEHRAN (FNA)- The capital cities of all the Saudi-led coalition member states are within the range of Yemen's missiles, a senior Ansarullah movement leader said in a tough warning that has already met action in the case of Saudi Arabia itself and the UAE.

Zeifollah al-Shami, a senior Ansarullah politburo member, was quoted by the Iranian media as saying that the movement's missile strike against Abu Dhabi was "a message to other aggressive states".
http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960914000501

Posted by: schlub | Dec 5, 2017 7:50:39 PM | 164

Well, guys, sorry to say, but none of you got it right, including our host, b:

-Saleh was never any opportunity for peace, but the perpetrator of a coup to advance the interest of KSA, UAE, Israel and the US in Yemen after having imbursed about 500 million of dollars for expenses of the "operation", not precisely to be performed by Russian doctors.
-The coup was in preparation since almost eight months ago, with meetings amongst some unsuspected and others not so actors at UAE Socotra Island base gifted by Hadi to UAE.
-ISIS operatives transferred from Iraq to Aden zone along with Israeli officers particpated in the planning and training of the 1200 troops who then will train the rest of recruited particpants in the coup.
-The Houthies had never the intention to kill Saleh, but tried to negotiate with Saleh, and after he refused making any concession and after him being aware of the failure of the coup arranged for him to be evacuated safely from Sana´a.
-It´s the KSA led coalition who killed Saleh to avoid him confessing who were those behind the coup.
-The definitive clash took place at a checkpoint in Sayyan, precisely the point I was suggesting in my map now deleted (allegedly because of the problems of this site´s format which does not allow long links ), so, Saleh was not going anywhere in his hometown but to Ma´areb to be evacuated by the KSA/UAE/Israeli/US coalition.

More details, at this article by Marwa Osman fro Fort Russ News:

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/12/who-killed-yemens-former-president-ali.html

Posted by: elsi | Dec 5, 2017 8:12:04 PM | 165

@166 elsi

I came here to post that very article, and you've given a very accurate summary of what it says. I like Marwa Osman, and I have trust that this is well sourced. She cites Iranian researcher Dr. Mohamed Sadiq al-Husseini for this story, and I can't find any English transcripts of his work. For the moment, it seems entirely credible.

And what's clear is that Ansarullah knew all this and tried to avoid it happening. Saleh thought he had enough cached weaponry in Sanaa, but his caches were known.

And yes, KSA killed Saleh, bombing him at the checkpoint, to stop any more disclosure of the conspiracy.

So runs the story, which seems true unless proven otherwise over time.


Posted by: Grieved | Dec 5, 2017 9:28:52 PM | 166

@166 elsi / @167 grieved.. it is a good working theory, until proven otherwise.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Dec 5, 2017 9:58:25 PM | 167

"And yes, KSA killed Saleh, bombing him at the checkpoint, to stop any more disclosure of the conspiracy."

So why has Houthi media put out pictures that do not match the narrative? Neither their narrative nor many others that are floating about.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 5, 2017 10:01:56 PM | 168

@ elsi and Grieved with their contributions....and response to me


THANKS!!!

If nothing else it is satisfying to me at my age to be able to watch history so quickly in the making after the feinted attempts remembered from my youth in the 60's.

If they take the Intertubes from us I hope we find a way to continue to share our "stories".

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 5, 2017 10:03:49 PM | 169

@169 peter AU 1

Well, I must say I'm not too sure about that part of the story anyway. Most of the story plays very well, but the last part might be a stretch. It's outside of anything I've studied. And it's certainly a new thing. Maybe pinpoint treachery is a lot to ask of an air strike. None of this has corroboration yet. I'd like to be able to go back upstream closer to the source of all this, but language is the barrier currently. Sourcing is the issue here.

I guess we'll see the pieces get corroborated or discredited in the next few days from various sources - thank you VERY much for being focused on forensic reconstruction, and the kill itself. I'm tending to focus more on the macro picture of Ansarullah in terms of national leadership, myself. We'll piece it all together.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 5, 2017 10:20:22 PM | 170

The regime announced that it will accept Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the embassy there. The Middle East is boiling. One can only wonder what effect that will have on uniting the Arab world. Isn't the enemy of my enemy my friend? The self-dynamic is switching gears.

Posted by: nottheonly1 | Dec 5, 2017 10:21:59 PM | 171

@ nottheonly1 instead of notheonly1 who does not provide link backing up statement that Trump has declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will move the embassy there

Lots of rumors but last I read there was too much pushback and Trump was going to sign another 6 month extension.....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 5, 2017 10:33:00 PM | 172

Sorry psycho as you can see the lumbering arsehole actually did it.

I posted on the open thread about it but if we're gonna write about it in here in the erroneous belief 'they're all just Ay-rabs', here is what I thought.

So the prick actually did it! Everywhere the usual consent manufacturers are headlining that Agent Orange has recognised Jerusalem as the capital of apartheid Israel and that the amerikan embassy will be moved into occupied territory.

Needless to say the crooked bastards are having a dollar each way saying that Trump is being irresponsible at the same time as they beat up the likelihood of 'terrorist' pushback.

State etc are wetting their pants because this betrayal of Palestine is too blatant to be shrugged off with the usual panegyrics about amerika the peacemaker.
The breaches of numerous agreements are just too large to have a chance of persuading any of the neoliberal zionist-favouring pols across the planet, to simply play along.

The clown prince is particularly concerned because this latest major trump move has put a large hole well below the waterline of the KSA big lie, that sidling up to amerika and israel is the only way to protect the people of Palestine long term. King Abdullah of Jordan is in exactly the same boat and I wouldn't be surprised if the hashemite dictatorship were the first major casualty of this zionist hubris.
Remember one of the prime purposes the state of Jordan was created for, was to ensure Jerusalem remained independent of political domination by anyone, - without a Jerusalem to protect, Jordan may as well be re-integrated back into the rest of Palestine.

All Arabs across the ME are gonna be outraged by this - it will really piss of ordinary people as well as causing maximum problems for the slew of sleazy pols who have had the last shred of cover for their hypocrisy torn away.
Fuck I'm not an Arab or a follower of Islam yet I feel the need to wipe the shitty ignorant grin off a vacuous amerikan visage with a 12 gauge because of the air of entitled ignorance which sticks to this move just like cowshit to a woollen blanket.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Dec 5, 2017 10:49:04 PM | 173

The only reason I can see at the moment for the Houthi's to bend the narrative a bit, was that a negotiated peace deal had the caveat that Houthi's were not allowed to hold any power or have any say in Yemen.
With their chant "death to Israel, death to America" Israel and the US will ensure that the war and siege and bombing are continued for as long as need be.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 5, 2017 10:52:36 PM | 174

@ Debsisdead with the Guardian link to Trump SUPPOSEDLY going to have the US recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the embassy there

I just finished reading the BBC version of the story.

If you think the ME will be inflamed, think about all those deplorables in the US that rail against anything Jewish......i have commented before that where he to do this, one of his previous followers will take him out....and there is the start of a war for you.

Tomorrow will bring us another scene in this play we are all actors in

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 5, 2017 11:10:25 PM | 175

Some further stories out tuesday night about will he or won't he:


DEC 5 (now DEC 6 Iran time):
The US State Department has ordered government employees to avoid Jerusalem al-Quds and the West Bank as protests are anticipated regarding the prospective move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv.

The department also warned US citizens on Tuesday of traveling through areas with crowds and where there is increased military or police presence.
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/12/06/544611/US-embassy-Tel-Aviv-Jerusalem-Donald-Trump-Mahmoud-Abbas

older article DEC 2:
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/12/02/544275/Trump-to-keep-US-embassy-in-Tel-Aviv-for-6-months-Sources
US President Donald Trump will keep the US embassy in Tel Aviv for the next six months but will relocate the American diplomatic mission in Israel to Jerusalem al-Quds at “some point” in the future, sources say.

Posted by: schlub | Dec 5, 2017 11:16:25 PM | 176

Hariri/Lebanon, Saleh/Yemen is the same modus operandi from MbS cabal. Saleh's was swiftly answered without the fan fare of Hairi. Hairi does not appear at this stage to have anything to offer for MbS mainly because what has been asked of him is no more possible than Saleh's double cross of the Houthi and Yemen population. They have been on the receiving end of mass murder and destruction of infrastructure against civilians of every age and gender. This not just the modus operandi of SA, we have seen this before and it continues despite the obvious fall coming of the predators against mankind globally.

For those Putin naysayers, well we have witnessed master strokes we didn't see coming from the beginning of Russia's entry into the coalition but let me remind you of one and hopefully you can see more that has been nothing more than the "Art of War" on the grand chess board, never failing to impress once the results are in.

Remember the oil tankers cloaking was stripped immediately and dealt with, must have been just superior eye sight from the sky, I digress.

Well, we herd the same incomprehensible take on reality before so I will suggest this is not understanding judgement is premature as to outcomes of actions.

Indeed preparing for a final conflict is being done by Russia who continues to prepare its citizens for attack upon them and their cities, we do not see the same in the US much less Europe. Taking steps to prepare its citizens survival shows concern for the safety of its citizens, how can you consider this to be wrong thinking and action? In contrast we only see NATO or Empire building offensive forces towards Russia at the detriment of its citizens receiving the brunt of this aggression. Ask yourself WHY five times and you may just have a peek behind the curtain.

As for working to prevent it one has to understand the final conflict may not be nuclear in nature but terrorist in nature from within or even conventional as part and parcel.
Lets go back to the downing of a Russian fighter by Turkey (appears this was US criminal not Erdogan's action). Putin and Russia's actions and reactions produced what has to be the biggest win to date in confronting NATO and wresting Turkey into the Russian coalition and protection of the Caucuses on its southern borders.

By the way the entrance (the only) to the Black Sea is through The Turkish Straits are a series of internationally significant waterways in northwestern Turkey that connect the Aegean and Mediterranean seas to the Black Sea. They consist of the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara, and the Bosporus, all part of the sovereign sea territory of Turkey and subject to the regime of internal waters. They are conventionally considered the boundary between the continents of Europe and Asia, as well as the dividing line between European Turkey and Asian Turkey.

Owing to their strategic importance in international commerce, politics, and warfare, the Turkish Straits have played a significant role in European and world history. and have since been governed in accordance with the 1936 Montreux Convention. The modern treaty controlling relations is the 1936 Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Turkish Straits, which is still in force. It gives the Republic of Turkey control over warships entering the straits but guarantees the free passage of civilian vessels in peacetime.

This is not the only Queens capture by Putin and Russia but just one at the start of many just as significant, I do not have any doubts in these regards these days and you should not worry yourself negatively in these matters.

Posted by: GKing | Dec 5, 2017 11:52:35 PM | 177

Looking at how the Houthi's have had to bend the narrative on how Saleh was killed, b's last post on Saleh negotiating a peace deal looks solid. Rather than saying they had killed Saleh because the terms for peace were that Houthi would have no power in Yemen, they had to say that Saleh was a traitor running for Saudi held territory when they killed him, otherwise a lot of non Houthi in north Yemen would turn against them.
Not much of a choice for the Houthi's. Ether give up everything they had fought for, or watch everybody around them being bombed and starved. What a shit show. Times like this I would like to see the US and the Wahabbi/Zionist/Nazi proxies wiped off the earth.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 6, 2017 1:08:35 AM | 178

Peter AU1 Dec. 26th 2017 1:08:35 AM

(Quote) Times like this I would like to see the US and the Wahabbi/Zionist/Nazi proxies wiped off the earth. (End quote)

You know, that sounds a lot like expressing a desire for genocide.

Regardless of the provococations, are you not better than this at heart? Is there nothing constructive/positive you could do or wish for that might ameliorate the situation?

Myself, I do not have an answer for where the combination of inherited primate instincts and post Alamogordo technical abilities appear to be taking this planet. But I have some ideas about which memes are not going to be part of a survivable solution.

Peace out.

Posted by: Whyawannaknow1 | Dec 6, 2017 2:01:45 AM | 179

@180 whya... you know, you're right in some obvious respects.. no matter if mbs, or mbz, or trump or whatever insane leader get knocked off their crazy deranged perch, someone else will come to replace them... i think peter and my own problem is these leaders are often responsible for the death of countless innocent people.. it is not that their might not be a good bone in these leaders, just that they are playing with a lot of innocent people and they seem driven my an interest in money more then any interest in other people's welfare... they are only interested in so far as they can make a buck off them.. there is something really sick about that i am afraid... one could say we get the leaders we deserve.. well, i think the world deserves a lot better, but maybe we have to go thru hell to get to the other side.. we certainly will if everything continues the way it is going.. some want the madness to stop.. some are too busy contributing to the madness to see the possibility of being responsible for change that is more meaningful then what these leaders seem determined to continue with... call me idealistic... i am not sure the clown prince is interested in changing anything and unless confronted with his own personal death, appears to not give any concern for others.. i like your last line!

Posted by: james | Dec 6, 2017 2:28:23 AM | 180

todays usa daily press briefing touched on the rt being cut off after signing on as a foreign agent, the ukraine thing with the ex georgian leader and the topic of yemen.. here is the little bit on yemen..

"QUESTION: Thank you. A quick one. How concerned is the U.S. on the prospect of ending the conflict in Yemen after the death of President Saleh?

MS NAUERT: Oh, that’s a good question. Boy, we’ve certainly followed that very closely. I spoke with our ambassador to Yemen last week or so just to get an update on the situation. The humanitarian situation in Yemen remains dire. It really does. And one of the things that we ask for when we speak with our partners in the region – when we speak with the Saudis – is, for example, to allow more humanitarian access in. We know that the people need that so desperately. We are watching very carefully what has happened with the – let me just find my additional information here. Hold on one second. And now I can’t find it. We’re just watching it very carefully and are incredibly concerned about violence there. So we continue to call upon folks in the region to refrain from violence and call for the humanitarian access to get in. I’ll see if I have anything more for you on that, okay?

QUESTION: Thank you.

MS NAUERT: Thank you. Thanks, everybody.

QUESTION: Thank you.

(The briefing was concluded at 3:40 p.m.) "

taken from - https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2017/12/276263.htm

Posted by: james | Dec 6, 2017 3:05:31 AM | 181

180

The US elected government, along with their wahabbi proxies are knowingly conducting genocide in Yemen than will continue into the foreseeable future.
If you kill someone through negligence, you are generally charged with manslaughter. The population are going along with the genocide in Yemen mainly because they are negligent in looking for facts. What is the term for conducting genocide through negligence?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 6, 2017 4:13:26 AM | 182

Yemen humanitarian situation likely to worsen with Saleh death: Mattis
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-usa-mattis/yemen-humanitarian-situation-likely-to-worsen-with-saleh-death-mattis- idUSKBN1E000G
...He said it could either push the conflict towards U.N. peace negotiations or make it an “even more vicious war.”

“(But)one thing I think I can say with a lot of concern and probably likelihood is that the situation for the innocent people there, the humanitarian side, is most likely to (get) worse in the short term,” Mattis said. He did not explain his reasoning... (US and Saudi's will now step up the siege and bomb the shit out of north Yemen cities, towns, and villages)


Saudi-led coalition intensifies Yemen air strikes after Saleh's death
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security/saudi-led-coalition-intensifies-yemen-air-strikes-after-salehs-death- idUSKBN1E00JZ

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 6, 2017 4:43:42 AM | 183

Learn how to post HTML links or don't use them, idiots!

Stop putting the whole link in the area for descriptive text. There are five idiots on this thread alone!

You are shown how to post a link in the comment area. If you don't understand what you are doing, either learn simple HTML or refrain from doing it.

b, please make a practice page for idiots to try out their links and stop allowing idiots to make threads unreadable.

P.S. The same idiots never apologize for their asocial manners.

Posted by: Idiots | Dec 6, 2017 5:13:59 AM | 184

@harry above - "Houthis didnt start war with Saleh, he did."

It is not clear who started the war. It didn't start last week btw but in August:

Pro-Saleh colonel among 3 killed in clashes with Yemen rebels

A Yemeni colonel loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and two rebels have been killed in clashes, Saleh's party and a news agency said Sunday, in an unprecedented escalation of violence between the allies.
...
A war of words between Saleh and rebel leader Huthi has escalated in the past week.

The two have publicly accused each other of treason, with Saleh hinting his allies were merely "a militia" and the rebels warning the former president he would "bear the consequences" of the insult.

The Huthis reportedly suspect Saleh has been negotiating with a Saudi-led military coalition that supports the Yemeni government.

Saleh, meanwhile, is said to be displeased with the Huthis' newfound power in the capital, where they run a number of key offices.

The Colonel killed was allegedly the head of Saleh's bodyguards. It was a serious assassination targeting Saleh's personal security.

The Houthi had and have again also send peace feelers to the Saudis. It is not that Saleh was the only one willing to negotiate an end to the war.

Posted by: b | Dec 6, 2017 5:31:57 AM | 185

Posted by: Idiots | Dec 6, 2017 5:13:59 AM | 185

All they have to do is hit "preview" before they post.

The "a href" code is to the right of the Name/Email/URl header of posts.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 6, 2017 5:42:33 AM | 186

Posted by: b | Dec 6, 2017 5:31:57 AM | 186

The Houthi had and have again also send peace feelers to the Saudis. It is not that Saleh was the only one willing to negotiate an end to the war.

That is not what Saleh did. He agreed to fight the Houthis with UAE/Saudi air support for UAE/Saudis to make his son the ruler of Yemen

Posted by: somebody | Dec 6, 2017 5:45:58 AM | 187

@ b | 186

It is not clear who started the war. It didn't start last week btw but in August

It started 8 months or so ago, when Saleh decided to betray Houthis. When they found out about it, naturally situation escalated. Houthis still offered Saleh to return to Resistance, he refused and went along with Saudi/UAE plans, hence he died. Regardless who killed him, it was a consequence of his betrayal.

The Houthi had and have again also send peace feelers to the Saudis. It is not that Saleh was the only one willing to negotiate an end to the war.

I see somebody/188 already nicely summarized: "That is not what Saleh did. He agreed to fight the Houthis with UAE/Saudi air support for UAE/Saudis to make his son the ruler of Yemen."

I would just add, Saudis are still not interested in any sensible negotiations, and "peaceful solution" with Saleh was anything but. As far as I see, Saudis (and US/Israel) want Houthis either surrendered or dead, nothing else would satisfy clown prince.

Posted by: Harry | Dec 6, 2017 6:29:46 AM | 188

Since one of the idiots who published a long link which was the only one blamed for the elongation of the site and so was deleted, I repost the map route I was linking to show, especially to PeterAU1, that Saleh was going to Ma´areb not to his hometown:

Map of the fastest and best route to Ma´areb which do not pass through Bait Al-Ahmar

For the "super-smart guy at 185": Btw, I understood that the "Allowed HTML Tags" are optional to be used, but I did not understand they are compulsory to use, at least that is not what is written there. This idiot, FYI, have published links, long or otherwise depending on the link required, at various "alt-media" for the last 4 years without having any problem.
So far the complainers have been or people who curiously hold a opposed opinion to mine most in line with US officials ( just two or three ) or people whom I do not see them contributing too much to the discusion here.
The rest of the commenters seem to be more interested in what is said/added than for the deep knowledge on IT by the commenter, which, for what I have understood by the so many easily solvable problems IT guys are incapable to solve at my job place, is anything but rocket science.
Just my time is limited and I am not so interested in this when I can read something more interesting out there or simply go to take a bit of fresh air ( always needed , which is what I am going to do right now ( sunny, 12ºC outside, holiday...)

Posted by: elsi | Dec 6, 2017 6:50:17 AM | 189

Posted by: Harry | Dec 6, 2017 6:29:46 AM | 189

They might not be interested but they have to. Neither UAE nor Saudi nor Israel can defend against proxy forces using rockets.

Trump has just delivered the ultimate provocation for Middle East war. I don't know if people wish to take the bait or not.

Trump has chosen the one issue that could unite everybody. I guess it is stupidity, carelessness or fullfilling his evangelist supporters' wish for Armageddon.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 6, 2017 6:55:12 AM | 190

Posted by: elsi | Dec 6, 2017 6:50:17 AM | 190

Don't get paranoid, a long link simply breaks the page in most browsers. The comments become difficult to read for a lot of people.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 6, 2017 7:06:42 AM | 191

b | Dec 5, 2017 2:34:41 PM | 154
The US/SA does not want peace or stability; the ME must remain unstable and violent...
The hegemon still rules; but probably not for much longer...
We'll see.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Dec 6, 2017 7:17:48 AM | 192

@178 GKing

Well said.

The US/Saudi/Israeli axis has been shown to be devoid of humanitarian concern.

Russia, Iran and Hezbollah have been shown to be stabilizing forces that show concern for the Arab population. They keep pulling people into their orbit which includes cooperation with China in a winning fight against out of control imperialism.

All the US/Saudi/Israeli axis seems to be able to do is to strike out destructively with military force which is increasingly being thwarted and increasingly being outed as cooperating with radical proxies that they claim to be fighting.

Posted by: financial matters | Dec 6, 2017 7:17:57 AM | 193

This is off topic. But it is also another contributing factor to the ME turmoil in waiting:

The US has stated again yesterday via the Pentagon that US troops will remain in Syria "to
guarantee that the terrorists will not come back" and for as long as they see fit.

First they refuse to vacate the illegally occupied premises. They also imply that
if they do leave, the "terrorists" will return. So, it is either or.

It is certainly not wise for Russia to confront the US directly because this would lead
to a nuclear interchange sooner or later. It is not wise either for Syria or the Hizballah
or the Iranians to do it either.

So besides protests and other diplomatic maneuvers, what can be done?

It has been stated in the recent days that China is willing to finance the reconstruction
of Syria. So it would serve the interests of both Syria and China if the later were granted
a lease on the Mediterranean for a Naval Base and a swath of land for a Military base.

With both Russia and China as major powers on the ground in Syria the situation of
the US military on the premises becomes more delicate.

I am waiting for feedback on this aspect. Maybe "b" could start a thread on it?

Posted by: CarlD | Dec 6, 2017 9:26:55 AM | 194

By the way, relevant to this is the Trumpian decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. I am not quite sure how strong the Muslim reaction is going to be, but I think it could be much more than expected. Jeremy Bowen on the BBC, said oh well, Saudi is secret alliance with Israel, and in the end they'll let it go. Bowen is experienced, but he's failed to note a central fact. MbS may be in secret alliance with Israel, but his people aren't. They are very strongly pro-Palestinian - that's why MbS can't say anything in public about his deals with Israel. It's a common problem of the autocratic states of the ME - they don't represent their people. Could be another factor in destabilising Saudi.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 6, 2017 9:48:07 AM | 195

re 195

The US has stated again yesterday via the Pentagon that US troops will remain in Syria "to
guarantee that the terrorists will not come back" and for as long as they see fit.

You can ignore that. It's bullshit. The US position in Syria (and Iraq) is on the decline, and there's no getting it back, whatever the Pentagon is saying. Indeed insistence that they are staying is a sign that they will be going.

The US position in Iraq was torpedoed by the business over Kirkuk, where Baghdad and the Talebani Kurds made a deal behind the US back.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 6, 2017 9:53:46 AM | 196

@195 carl...i tend to see it like laguerre @197..

@196 laguerre quote "It's a common problem of the autocratic states of the ME - they don't represent their people. Could be another factor in destabilising Saudi." the other factor is the usa supporting autocratic states that don't represent their people.. this is such a regular phenomenon historically and it really shines a light on the lie of the usa being interested in democracy!! it is not lost on many either..

Posted by: james | Dec 6, 2017 12:11:21 PM | 197

@195 CarlD

Love that idea of a China base on the Syrian Med coast. Hope the heavens are listening.

But agree with Laguerre @197 - the more the US blusters, the bigger the smokescreen it's making to cover its humiliation in defeat. We've seen nothing but retreat in all global theaters for some time now, and each instance has been accompanied by fearsome rhetoric.

btw, Ukraine seems very active US right now but the net is still retreat because their plans there have been so completely blocked by Russia's moves. And nothing can compensate for the loss of Crimea for them. They're just performing spoiling actions now, everywhere in the world they go.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 6, 2017 12:28:44 PM | 198

@ 195

So besides protests and other diplomatic maneuvers, what can be done?

Openly nobody will fight US, clandestinely - they will be open targets, hated by the locals. Snipers, IEDS, their own TOWs extracted from their favorite headchoppers. With too many body bags returning, position in Syria will be untenable. Maybe even one bigger incident (a la Beirut) will end US occupation of Syria's North.

From another angle, for Kurds to get any concession from Syria about their autonomy, they will need to expell US forces from Syria's territory. As long as US have bases, Kurds will go nowhere. If need be, all surrounding countries will enforce full air/ground blockade, not even US will be able to supply anything. Kurds will have to give up occupied territories and make good with Damascus.

Posted by: Harry | Dec 6, 2017 12:33:23 PM | 199

re 200

From another angle, for Kurds to get any concession from Syria about their autonomy, they will need to expell US forces from Syria's territory.
I doubt it. Though I have heard it said that Asad is going for a centralising policy now.

Asad wants to reunite Syria. You can't do that if you're not ready to give the Kurds some free rein. Rojavan independence is not realistic (lack of economic resources), but autonomy is. Also the Druze are in the same position, and they've been handled with kid gloves.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 6, 2017 12:44:38 PM | 200

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