Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 06, 2018

Yemen - The Saudi-U.S.-Al-Qaeda Alliance Is Now Official 'News'

When in March 2015 the U.S and Saudi Arabia launched their war on Yemen, Moon of Alabama noted:

[T]he U.S. supported Saudi campaign is actually in support of their Wahhabi Al-Qaeda brethren, not in support of the majority of Yemenis.

In April 2015 evidence emerged that Saudi Arabia hired al-Qaeda in Yemen to fight the Houthi movement and its allies.

At that time al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (APAQ) captured the military base, refinery and port of Mukala in south Yemen. The Yemeni soldiers guarding those facilities had orders not to resist the move. They were under command of a Muslim Brotherhood officer who resides in Saudi Arabia. Al-Qaeda immediately renamed itself "Sons of Hadramaut" while the Saudis announced that they would support the new "Popular Committees". 

To the Saudis the Zeyda Shia and especially the Houthis are "extremist groups". Al Qaeda, especially in the form of "popular committees" like the "Sons of Hadhramaut", are friends and tools to be armed and used to Saudi advantage. As the Houthies will certainly not give up under Saudi pressure, the Riyan Mukalla Airport seized by the "popular" "Sons of Hadhramaut" will soon be indeed very busy.

The hiring and arming of al-Qaeda by Saudi Arabia and others has since been a frequent occurrence. But the mainstream media hardly ever reported the issue. It was a 'conspiracy theory' peddled by lowly bloggers like yours truly.

Now it is official news. The Associated Press headlines: Yemen: US allies don’t defeat al-Qaida but pay it to go away.

Even though the AP headline and the first paragraphs are somewhat misleading, the piece is well worth the read:

Again and again over the past two years, a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States has claimed it won decisive victories that drove al-Qaida militants from their strongholds across Yemen and shattered their ability to attack the West.

Here’s what the victors did not disclose: many of their conquests came without firing a shot.

That’s because the coalition cut secret deals with al-Qaida fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash, an investigation by The Associated Press has found. Hundreds more were recruited to join the coalition itself.

These compromises and alliances have allowed al-Qaida militants to survive to fight another day — and risk strengthening the most dangerous branch of the terror network that carried out the 9/11 attacks. Key participants in the pacts said the U.S. was aware of the arrangements and held off on any drone strikes.

That lede does not reflect the detailed reporting following it. The cooperation between Saudi Arabia and al-Qaeda started immediately after the launch of the war, not only two years ago. It has since been ongoing. Early on al-Qaeda captured several towns and places with the implicit help of Saudi Arabia. It also received weapons and large payments. When its expansion became too obvious, the Saudis moved other proxy forces into those places or simply asked al-Qaeda to raise a different flag. The reporting deeper into the AP piece indeed concludes that al-Qaeda is not only paid to leave, but is hired and equipped by the Saudis to fight on all fronts. It provides that the U.S. war of terror against al-Qaeda is just a sham:

[T]he U.S. is working with its Arab allies — particularly the United Arab Emirates — with the aim of eliminating the branch of extremists known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP. But the larger mission is to win the civil war against the Houthis, Iranian-backed Shiite rebels. And in that fight, al-Qaida militants are effectively on the same side as the Saudi-led coalition — and, by extension, the United States.

While the highlighted core news is correct, the AP piece again misleads in the details. The direct involvement of the U.S., Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and of mercenaries from a dozen countries proves that the war in Yemen is not a "civil war". It is a full fledged attack on Yemen, its resources and applaudably cool (vid) people. The Houthis are Zaida, not Twelver Shia like the Iranians. The are backed by Iranian rhetoric but that's about it. The missiles they launch against Saudi Arabia are from North Korea, not from Iran:

With Ali acting as a go-between, a "protocol of cooperation" between Yemen's Huthi rebels and North Korea was negotiated in 2016 in Damascus that provided for a "vast array of military equipment."

Al-Qaeda is directly involved in the ongoing attempt to encircle and starve millions of people in north Yemen. It plays a leading role in the attack on Hodeidah:

Two of the four main coalition-backed commanders along the Red Sea coast are allies of al-Qaida, the al-Qaida member said. The coalition has made major advances on the coast, currently battling for the port of Hodeida.

Video footage shot by the AP in January 2017 showed a coalition-backed unit advancing on Mocha, part of an eventually successful campaign to recapture the Red Sea town.

Some of the unit’s fighters were openly al-Qaida, wearing Afghan-style garb and carrying weapons with the group’s logo. As they climbed behind machine guns in pick-up trucks, explosions from coalition airstrikes could be seen on the horizon.

The U.S. has allied with the Saudi created al-Qaeda since 1979. It was used to further U.S. interests against the Soviets in Afghanistan, in Chechnya, Bosnia, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere.

Why is this involvement of al-Qaeda in the war on Yemen now official news? For years it was an open secret. This blog covered it in about each of its dozens of posts about Yemen. But it was only rarely reported on in mainstream news. When such 'conspiracy theories' become official 'news' it is often only because it is useful to the powers that be. So why is AP publishing this now?

Is someone in the U.S. Defense Department upset with the U.S.-Saudi war on Yemen? Is this supposed to stop the attack on Hodeidah? Or is the White House miffed about Clown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, who is in charge of the war? Is this meant as a warning to 'behave'?

Posted by b on August 6, 2018 at 11:22 UTC | Permalink


There was always something very fishy about that raid Trump ran in Yemen immediately after becoming president, in which a US special forces soldier was killed (and allegedly the small daughter of a US citizen terrorist previously murdered by drone was also shot in the neck and made to bleed to death for 5 hours without treatment). The raid was apparently prepared under the Obama regime. Why would they attack their own proxy forces? Who were their targets really, and why were they targeted? What was their relation to other Al-Quida proxies?

Posted by: BM | Aug 6 2018 11:49 utc | 1

Oops, Al-Qaeda

Posted by: BM | Aug 6 2018 11:50 utc | 2

"Why is this involvement of al-Qaeda in the war on Yemen now the official news? (...) Is someone in the U.S. Defense Department upset with the U.S.-Saudi war on Yemen? Is this supposed to stop the attack on Hodeidah? Or is the White House miffed about Clown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (...) ?"

It's only a few days since US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the UN:

"And the idea that a Saudi-led coalition had air strikes today against a fish market and a hospital in Hodeida that may have caused dozens of casualties – we’ve hit a new day now in Yemen. And we’ve hit a new sense of urgency in Yemen. If this is what’s starting to happen, civilians are at risk, infrastructure is at risk, and we as the international community have to demand that the two parties come together and understand the seriousness of this."

Haley's 'idea that', 'may have' and 'If this is' comments are not exactly an explicit accusation against the Saudis, but it's very rare for someone like her to express any humanitarian concern about the actions of an ally of the USA. Normally she behaves like an attack dog who is trained to target only enemies.

Posted by: Brendan | Aug 6 2018 12:21 utc | 3

Maybe because MbS went too far by cutting relations with Canada as reported in ZeroHedge yesterday because of "blatant interference"?

Posted by: TheBAG | Aug 6 2018 12:48 utc | 4

@ 4

Something happened earlier, why would faithful US lapdog Canada start interfering in Saudis business in the first place?

MbS maintained very low key in recent months, other than visiting World Cup in Russia and meeting Putin. Maybe they made some deal overlords in US didnt like?

Or maybe CIA had something to do with assassination attempt before that? It would be right in its ballpark. I can only speculate, but obviously some black cat crossed US and MbS path.

Posted by: Harry | Aug 6 2018 13:45 utc | 5

B the video is of Saudis in jizan and those rockets are patriots destroying Houthi missiles. Read the comments.

Posted by: ninel | Aug 6 2018 14:33 utc | 6

And we're still supposed to believe the official account of 9/11?

Posted by: lysias | Aug 6 2018 14:45 utc | 7

An Iranian diplomat just arrived in KSA - maybe MbS has done a deal with the Iranians or perhaps he's finally realized that the Trump/Kushner plan for Palestine is a step too far for Saudis who might decide to overthrow the al Sauds.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Aug 6 2018 14:59 utc | 8

And once in a while the AP does decent reporting. Say for example the illegal profiling of Muslims living in the NYC area by the New York City Police Department.

Posted by: Jay | Aug 6 2018 15:14 utc | 9


Many spooks have overwhelmed the comments. "The soccer field is located in Saudi.", they say.

Posted by: fast freddy | Aug 6 2018 15:37 utc | 10

AP is an association of US media most of whom have been attacking Trump. Trump owns MBS, so perhaps this is aimed at Trump more than anything else.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 6 2018 15:40 utc | 11

7 lysias;check out Bollyn.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 6 2018 15:59 utc | 12

TheBAG 8:48:28 AM | 4
"Maybe because MbS went too far by cutting relations with Canada as reported in ZeroHedge yesterday because of "blatant interference"?"

No, I don't think so. I guess it's the other way round, the "blatant interference" by the Canadian foreign minister is another sign for a crack between western powers and SA. And their reaction too. This could be good news. (Thanks B for the very interesting reporting.) Let us all hope the problem between them deepens.

Posted by: Pnyx | Aug 6 2018 16:07 utc | 13

I don't disagree with b very often, but I am not sold (yet?).

Article quoted by b says:
"That’s because the coalition cut secret deals with al-Qaida fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash"

Which led me to wonder where the paid off al-Qaida fighters went to next. Was it Syria?
Was the USG or it's allies transporting al-Qaida to Syria from Yemen?

So I did an internet search a moment ago and found the opposite - Syria to Yemen.

"He further claimed Saudi-led coalition officers met ISIL militants at the airport in Yemen. The Syrian general said that the jihadists were supposed to take part in a ground operation against Houthi rebels."

The next question, of course, is: how did the Syrian general learn this, and how trustworthy is he?


Posted by: librul | Aug 6 2018 16:19 utc | 14

"The US is aware of an al-Qaida presence among anti-Houthi ranks, a senior American official told reporters in Cairo earlier this year. Because coalition members back militias with hard-line Islamic commanders, "it's very, very easy for al-Qaida to insinuate itself into the mix," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity under the briefing's terms. The Pentagon denied any complicity with al-Qaida."
This is from ''
They distance the usa a little, but the truth shines through. I strongly hope that will generate some discussion in the u.s.

Posted by: Pnyx | Aug 6 2018 16:24 utc | 15

Looks like the AP article came out after the or some Saudi's threatened Canada with a 9 11 style attack.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 6 2018 16:36 utc | 16

Counter to what they promised Saudies were not able to effectively increase their oil production replacing potential lost Iranian oil.

Posted by: Kooshy | Aug 6 2018 17:12 utc | 17

“They were under command of a Muslim Brotherhood officer who resides in Saudi Arabia. Al-Qaeda immediately renamed itself "Sons of Hadramaut" while the Saudis announced that they would support “

Well, that is not exactly how they end up choosing this name, they were tempted between my "Sons of Hadramaut" and “son of a bitches” but at the end they were forced to choose "Sons of Hadramaut" because son of a bitches (in Arabic ابن العاهرة)is the exclusive royal title of Saudi royal family and out of question to take that away from this true sons of bitches.

Posted by: Kooshy | Aug 6 2018 17:36 utc | 18

B wrote, "The Houthis are Zaida". I think they are Zaidis or Zaydis, and their sect of Islam is Zaidiyyah or Zaidism.

Posted by: TNY | Aug 6 2018 18:21 utc | 19

I don't think Canada's FM Freeland expected such a violent reaction from the Saudis after tweets which were intended purely as an empty demonstration of the Trudeau regime's much vaunted 'feminist foreign policy. I predict these two allies in the US-led 'Global Coalition'will soon be back together. Watch for USrael to patch things up.

Saudi Arabia To Freeze New Trade With Canada, Recalls Ambassador

"Ottawa is 'seeking greater clarity' on statement from Riyadh, Chrystia Freeland's spokesperson says. Saudi Arabia is one of Canada's largest export markets in the region, and some 10 percent of Canada's crude oil imports come from Saudi Arabia.

Bilateral trade between the two countries reached a $3.9 billion CDN in 2016, with tanks and fighting vehicles among the top Canadian exports to the Kingdom."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Aug 6 2018 18:24 utc | 20

Aha! Yet further public info proving Outlaw US Empire support for Terrorism and Terrorists. That means paying your taxes to Uncle Scam is supporting terrorism and terrorists, both of which are severe felonies.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 6 2018 19:18 utc | 21

Presumably this is true as well:

Syria: US allies don’t defeat ISIS but pay it to go away.

It certainly would explain how the SDF/etc managed to take over ISIS territory in east Syria with minimal effort.

Posted by: Yonatan | Aug 6 2018 19:54 utc | 22

@14 starting with the SAA victory in Aleppo US aircraft were used to deliver some 5000 fighters to Yemen - at the same time that fighters were first transfered using US aircraft to Afghanistan. Who was flying those planes and who was paying for it is anyone's guess.

@5 The export of Canadian fighting vehicles has led to a lot of domestic pressure on the Prime Minister (given perceptions of Saudi actions in Canada) and a human rights violation is seen as about the only way for Canada to renege on the contract. By highlighting that incident the Canadian government seems to be setting the stage for cancellation. If Canada does it on "moral' grounds, other western countries might follow - hence the Saudi reaction

Saudi-Israeli-US connections go back a long way. By way of example as early as 2004 Saudi money funded salafist (sunni fundamentalist) groups in Lebanon. One of them went a bit rogue (they had been set up and funded by Zio-US to fight Hezbollah), got cut off from its' money source (Harriri family), went on a rampage, robbed a bank, killed Lebanese soldiers and took over part of a Palestinian camp. A month long war ensued. Afterwards Bandar Bush promised to keep tighter reigns on such groups.

Posted by: les7 | Aug 6 2018 21:15 utc | 23

Where are the family members of those killed on 9/11? Where is their reaction?

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Aug 6 2018 21:33 utc | 24

Busy suing Iran.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 6 2018 21:46 utc | 25

Kooshy @ 18: I'm busy cleaning the coffee off my PC screen after what I saw what you said.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 6 2018 22:21 utc | 26

Canada imports Saudi oil. I guess they don't produce enough or want the fracked stuff from the US. They could get oil from Iran ... but there's the US to contend with. Since the EU's fighting US sanctions against Iran, maybe the Canadians could join them. It could make things interesting if a bit more complicated.

Posted by: Curtis | Aug 7 2018 1:47 utc | 27

Les7 sees this about as close to my view as any. But this saga starts with Great Britain in the second half of the 19th century.

Initially, the British Royals and their financial backers wanted permanent control over the Suez Canal. Then, as the industrial west shifted fuel/energy sources from coal to oil, they wanted permanent control over the oil. So, they bought the Saud clan of murderous desert nomads; gave them guns and helped them conquer the Arabian Peninsula, and spread their Wahhabi death cult far and wide.

That’s when and why they hooked up with the Wahhabi sect (originally from Egypt, home of that Canal) - the font from which the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda, ISIL, Boko Haram, etc. all spring.

This connection between Islamic Extremists and the Anglo Royals began then and there, and has remained ever since.

Persia was a different nut to crack, and I’ll put that aside for now. But rest assured that the Empire hasn’t forgotten about them or left them unmolested for a minute.

The Saxe-Coburg British Royal dynasty was/is beholden to the Rothschild financial dynasty. And as a result of (or reason for) WW I, the two became fully merged as the Anglo-Zionist Empire. Then, Britain - with Arab help - toppled the Ottoman Empire, partly to keep their deal with the Zionist Devil.

Meanwhile, the pushy upstart in what is now called “The Five Eyes” (Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and that pushy upstart) was rapidly becoming a global super power, both economically and militarily. On his way back from dividing the spoils of WW II with Winston, FDR meets with the Saudi King on Bitter Lake in 1945, and the USAmerican wing of the AZ Empire officially takes a leading role in the AZ Empire. Though FDR's death will change much of what was to come.

But whatever the organizational chart really looks like, the AZ Empire continued manipulating the peoples of MENA (and much of the world), using these Islamic Extremists to help them break things and keep the Arabs and Muslims from uniting for the good of themselves over the Empire.

And these manipulations are mostly all we commoners get to see. They are the actions which Empire makes, that we are left to “judiciously study” while Empire is busy setting into motion their next action - which we will then “judiciously study.”

Yemen remains crucial as its location controls access to the Suez Canal. Of course, there are always multiple considerations, but keeping it simple, this Canal is, after all how this whole thing started.

Now, to the Tweets.

The Five Eyes are nominally “democratic” governments. As Noam Chomsky and others before and since made clear, in democracies, the PTSB need to manipulate voters and manufacture consent (or at least acquiescence).

The Canadian people are not so happy with their Trudeau government. They’re not happy with the pipeline their tax money is building for transnational corporations. They’re not happy with the expansion of neoliberal economics in general. They’re not happy that Canada is playing any role in the Global War OF Terror, and several months ago, they got really angry when they learned that Canadian armored vehicles were being used in Saudi Arabia to brutally suppress the Shiite Arabs.

And yes, Canadians are apparently almost as delusional as USAmericans to believe the armored vehicles they sold to the Saudi barbarians would NOT be used against civilians.

But the point is, the Canadian people are not happy with their government right now. They’re also not too fond of the Saudi regime. So, as Les7 suggests, the Canadian FM tossed some shade on their Saudi partners, which might make Canadians feel a bit better about their government. It’s a small fish tossed to the performing seals, but it’s something.

Then, the Saudis (who have always been a “limited hangout” for 9/11 Truth Seekers) send out this very 9/11ish Tweet, which will help unite the Canadians in nationalistic fervor:

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all of us command.

And, it’ll set a goodly number of Truth Seekers off into apoplexy as we sniff down the never-inhabited rabbit hole of an independent, “rogue” Saudi Arabia.

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women (and nations) merely players

That’s the way I see it, anyway.

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 7 2018 3:18 utc | 28

This is precisely why Democrats deserve the hell wreaked on them by the Drumpfster. Where are the pussy hats on this Zionist U.S.-led genocide in Yemen??? Why aren't they marching in the streets and bearing down on the White House for this criminal atrocity; this crime against humanity?

The Zionist U.S. used Al-Qaeda and/or ISIS in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and in Syria and now in Yemen.

I have become immune to the hypocritical cries of Zionist-paid Democrats who adopted baby cages as their token meme and every recent valid cause to spite Trump while pretending to resurrect their former compassionate identity. Where were those cries for the children massacred in Gaza in late Dec. 2008-Jan. 2009? One after another Democrats paraded to the mike in shrieking defense of their masters in Israel while Obama-elect sheepishly mumbled something on the subject of the slaughter in Gaza. We Democrat donkeys bow to you Zionist masters of war and deception -- you can do no wrong. Democrats are now ruled by someone just as deceptive as them.

Democrats are expiring hypocritical peacenik dinosaurs and Trump is their well-deserved bitchslap karma on the way out.

Posted by: Circe | Aug 7 2018 4:47 utc | 29


Atrocities and calamities don't wake Americans up; their use is to make them more ignorant of the truth.

Netanyahoo: We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq.

Here's yahoo stating he predicted 9/11:

Zionists know very well how to pull America's strings and how to move it in the right direction.

It's like I said: Zionists are the main reason the Saudi Monarchy survives and viza-versa. You scratch my back I'll scratch yours; you protect us; we protect you, but let's pretend that the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing.

Saudis crashing planes; Israelis dancing.

Posted by: Circe | Aug 7 2018 5:14 utc | 30


Dude, that Drumpfster of yours is the one currently prosecuting the Yemen war, and after promising a hard line on radical Islam, he's deeper in bed with the Saudis than any president before him. Yes the liberal movement has jumped the shark, but any attempt to discuss our current condition within the frame of left vs right and the two officially allowed parties is doomed to failure. That's why they are officially allowed, duh.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Aug 7 2018 10:37 utc | 31

@b: just a minor comment, but the twitter vid of the soccer match seems to take place in SA not yemen.

Posted by: radiator | Aug 7 2018 13:19 utc | 32


I don't disagree, there is a two-party system a duopoly that ensures the status quo, but there was a time when Democrats and I'm referring to the public were kinder and gentler, more compassionate and most importantly ANTI-WAR. And they took risks expressing their dissent. Now they're into compassionate regime-change wars.

Posted by: Circe | Aug 7 2018 15:29 utc | 33

Ma Laoshi @31. President Trump® is all of ours now, thanks to 40+ years of neoliberal economic policies and the deliberate rigging of the 2016 Democratic Primaries. And after that New York City conman was (s)elected, outgoing President CareBear declared our election systems "critical infrastructure," thereby putting it under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security.

So, I have little expectation that electoral politics can reverse the course of the USS Titanic anymore. Certainly, not on the national level where the election fraud that's been documented so clearly by Greg Palast, Beverly Harris and others since the Bush Crime Family stole the Presidential election in 2000.

Ironically, essentially every instance of election fraud that's been exposed in these 2 decades has favored Republican candidates over Democrats.

How you could imagine partisanship in my comments is frankly incomprehensible. But at least you didn't call me an Auntie Seemite.

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 7 2018 23:53 utc | 34

Russia and Saudi Arabia are planning to establish a new oil cartel which would supersede OPEC and include both OPEC and non-OPEC signatories to the 2016 oil production freeze/cut agreement. Perhaps that's the reason for the pressure.

Posted by: S | Aug 8 2018 3:50 utc | 35

Pat Lang may have the answer:

King Salman of Saudi Arabia has rejected the Jared Peace Plan...

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 8 2018 4:59 utc | 36

thanks b... great post and good questions at the bottom.. lets pull the facade off all of this..

Posted by: james | Aug 8 2018 19:40 utc | 37

This is what the Canadian government was and is turning a blind eye to!:

The Saudis backed by Donald J. Trump and all the Zionists in Congress are committing war crimes in Yemen while Trudeau cowers behind his desk and remains silent on the crime against humanity happening in Yemen.

Where are the White Helmets in YEMEN??? Whatsa matter you heros, Yemeni children aren't photogenic enough or IS IT ALL TOO REAL and requires no staging???

Posted by: Circe | Aug 9 2018 17:41 utc | 38

@Circe: The count is now over 50. The fact that this is being reported in the Western media is further proof that the Saudis fell into disgrace with the Empire.

Posted by: S | Aug 9 2018 19:32 utc | 39


Not so sure. No comment on this barbaric act by White House and Trump. Of course they're collaborators so they won't be commenting.

Posted by: Circe | Aug 9 2018 20:12 utc | 40

We have always been at war with Eurasia.

Posted by: Mike P | Aug 12 2018 18:04 utc | 41

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