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Yemeni crisis & Saudi shenanigans

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Evangelion, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. Evangelion

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 29, 2007

    Posts: 23,149

    Location: Adelaide, South Australia

    This has been raging for some time, and recent developments have witnessed a severe escalation, so I think it deserves its own thread.

    Yemen Timeline

    2011
    * revolution against Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had held power for more than 20 years

    2012
    * Saleh steps down, and vice president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi takes his place

    2014
    * Iranian-backed Houthi fighters invade the capital city, attack the presidential palace, and force Hadi to accept a power-sharing agreement with rival factions

    2015
    * Houthis force Hadi to resign, dissolve government, seize power, and install an interim government
    * Hadi flees to the Yemeni city of Aden, and insists he is still the legitimate president
    * Hadi flees to Saudi Arabia
    * Saudi Arabia commences air strikes against Yemen, with the aim of restoring Hadi to power
    * Yemeni Civil War commences, with the Houthis and allies (supported by Iran and Hezbollah) on one side, and a Saudi-led coalition (supported by the USA) on the other

    2016
    * Saudi-led coalition kills 140 people and injures more than 600

    2017
    * famine strikes Yemen, threatening 7 million people; the UN says it could be the worst famine in decades
    * cholera breaks out in Yemen, causing 5,000 new cases every day

    Casualties and losses to date:

    * 8,600-10,000 killed in Yemen (including >5,000 civilians)
    * 500 killed in Saudi Arabia
    * 49,900 wounded in Yemen
    * 3,154,572 people displaced


    Saudi Arabia Timeline

    2017
    * Saudi, Egypt and UAE accuse the Qataris of using their media to sow discord in the Arab world, and block Qatari owned websites (including Al Jazeera)
    * the email account of the UAE ambassador to the USA is hacked, revealing a message in which he encourages the Americans to remove their military base from Qatar, which he says 'sponsors terrorism'

    * Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt publicly sever ties with Qatar, expel diplomats, and give Qatari nationals and visitors 2 weeks to return home
    * former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi severs ties with Qatar
    * Saudi Arabia shuts down Al Jazeera's Saudi office
    * Saudi's foreign minister says Qatar must end support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood
    * Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt release information allegedly linking Qatar to terrorist leaders and organisations

    * Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman seizes power from his cousin in a bloodless coup, becoming the new Crown Prince

    * Qatar rejects the conditions of a Saudi/UAE offer to restore diplomatic relations
    * Turkey publicly supports Qatar
    * negotiations continue between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with conditions and demands adjusted several times but without success
    * Saudi opens border to Qatari pilgrims so they can attend the Haj, but only on the condition that they use Saudi Arabian Airlines; this infuriates the Qataris even further

    * Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman announces an anti-corruption crackdown
    * eleven Saudi princes and four current ministers are arrested; the government seizes their assets
    * Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigns, claiming an assassination threat has been made against him; he accuses Iran and Hezbollah of destabilising the Arab world
    * a helicopter crashes in Saudi Arabia, killing Saudi Prince Mansour Bin Muqrin (a strong critic of Bin Salman) and senior government officials
    * credible anonymous sources report that the helicopter was deliberately shot down to silence Bin Muqrin
    * Bin Salman's 'anti-corruption' campaign continues to seize private property; the Wall Street Journal estimates that the final amount could be $800 billion in assets and cash, which would go a long way towards plugging the holes in Saudi Arabia's massive budget deficit

    * Lebanon claims that former Prime Minister Saad Hariri is currently being held against his will in Saudi Arabia
    * Saudi Arabia advises Saudi citizens against travelling to Lebanon, and says any Saudis in Lebanon should leave as soon as possible, arousing suspicions of war
    * the US government refuses to disclose details of a meeting between Saad Hariri and an American diplomat

    * Iran accuses Saudi Arabia of strengthening ISIS in Yemen
    * Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of supplying ballistic missiles to Houthi rebels in Yemen
    * US Navy general confirms that America's 5th Fleet has repeatedly intercepted weapons smuggled from Iran to Yemen since mid-2016
    * Hezbollah claims Saudi Arabia has declared war on Lebanon
    * Saudi-led coalition opens a land border with Yemen to allow the entry of food and aid supplies, but insists that all Yemeni air, land, and sea ports will remain closed

    Saudi Arabia's proxy war with Iran is rapidly reaching a flashpoint. This is a pretty horrendous situation, with the potential to cause massive damage across the Middle East. The crisis in Yemen is particularly bad, with millions of Yemenis facing starvation after 6 months of Saudi attacks and an ongoing blockade.

    While Trump's incompetence continues to entertain, we should not allow ourselves to be distracted from the very real possibility of a large scale war in the Middle East.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
  2. Evangelion

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 29, 2007

    Posts: 23,149

    Location: Adelaide, South Australia

    Good analysis here:



    Related:



    One big problem is that Arab governments are afraid of their own armies, due to the ever-present threat of a coup.
     
  3. Buddy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 7, 2009

    Posts: 1,605

    Location: London

    Good summary. Very helpful.

    The West are supporting the wrong side....
     
  4. Evangelion

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 29, 2007

    Posts: 23,149

    Location: Adelaide, South Australia

    Thanks, I really believe this issue deserves a lot more attention than it's getting
     
  5. h4rm0ny

    Soldato

    Joined: Jun 25, 2011

    Posts: 5,475

    Location: Yorkshire and proud of it!

    Good timeline. Just wanted to comment on these two I've snipped out because it's not clear as written and I think it's important. The Lebanese Prime Minister gave his resignation speech AFTER being invited to Saudi Arabia and the move was extremely unexpected. Hariri is a compromise candidate for Lebanon which has had a lot of difficulty reconciling different political factions. Hariri represented a potential turning point and some greater political stability for Lebanon. According to reports, he was taken away by Saudi authorities immediately after landing and has not yet been returned. Reportedly there's been very little communication from him since. Which is why a lot of people think he was tricked and then compelled to make the statements he did.

    That said, he was one of the government who was not aligned with Hezbollah so it is also conceivable that he fled to Saudi before resigning for safety.

    Still, I thought it worth clarifying that the resignation happened during the time people think he's being held captive. He's reportedly going to returning to Lebanon in the next few days but his family are to remain (or be kept, depending) in Saudi Arabia.
     
  6. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 64,619

    What is the significance of Lebanon here? largely they've kept on the side lines and taken on significant amounts of refugees and orchestrated other humanitarian aid type stuff. Is it just about Hezbollah?
     
  7. h4rm0ny

    Soldato

    Joined: Jun 25, 2011

    Posts: 5,475

    Location: Yorkshire and proud of it!

    In large part, yes.

    Lebanon shares a border with Saudi Arabia and is on good terms with Iran. And Hezbollah is on VERY good terms with Iran and a very effective fighting force. Saudi Arabia recently cut an extremely large weapons deal with the USA and a smaller one with Russia (bizarrely). They've been shutting down Al Jazeera and not long ago organized a big boycott of Qatar and closed their borders with it because it's too friendly with Iran (my reading of their motives anyway). Honestly, I don't know what is going happening behind the scenes but something big is certainly going on. We've seen an enormous ramping up of anti-Russia rhetoric in the West, the Crown Prince has just purged his political rivals in an "anti-corruption" operation. Okay, it is an anti-corruption operation, but it would have equally been an anti-corruption operation if they'd purged his faction. The whole country is rotten to the core. It honestly has a lot of the signs that they're planning to go to war and the West is aligning to make that politically acceptable. I hope to goddess that's not the case, though.

    EDIT: And the border Lebanon shares with Saudi Arabia effectively controls the latter's Mediterranean access route which would be a supply route for SA. Basically if the USA want to sail a carrier group up near there then they either go through the Mediterranean or all the way down around Africa and up past with Yemen or Iran. Neither ideal for obvious reasons.
     
  8. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 64,619

    ? don't think it shares a physical border.
     
  9. Raz

    Mobster

    Joined: Sep 18, 2003

    Posts: 4,393

    Location: Helix Nebula

    As buddy said, it's a good summary.

    Saudi will use every and any excuse to blame Iran and Hezbollah for troubles in the Middle East, and vice versa. There's a clear sectarian root in that rivalry for dominance in the Arab world between the two and as is usual it's others who are paying the price. Iran may well support Houthis on the basis that they are a Shia group (but Zaydi and not the Ithna- Asharis/'12vers' like the Iranians) and therefore ideologically opposed to Salafi-based Saudi.

    The Yemeni's are paying a heavy price in that proxy war, but I'm sure the Houthis are well aware that a long term relationship between Iran and a Houthi governed Yemen probably wouldn't work.
     
  10. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 64,619

    That may be one of the reasons why SA have been making cosy with Egypt lately - as it would give a supply route that way.
     
  11. h4rm0ny

    Soldato

    Joined: Jun 25, 2011

    Posts: 5,475

    Location: Yorkshire and proud of it!

    Didn't see it on your timeline though there's no reason it would be, but there was a terrorist attack in Bahrain five days ago. Relevancy is that Saudi Arabia is accusing Iran of being behind it. Which is a possibility as Iran may well retaliate to increasing aggression. However, no public evidence has been disclosed and it's not like a false accusation is unlikely either. Bahrain does have some home-grown terrorist groups but they don't usually strike anything this big.

    The USA recently cancelled the nuclear agreement with Iran in which Iran would stop activities that could lead to nuclear capability in exchange for the USA stopping sanctioning it, despite Iran's compliance. That to me says that the USA now cares less about the long-term prospects of Iran and more about current events.
     
  12. h4rm0ny

    Soldato

    Joined: Jun 25, 2011

    Posts: 5,475

    Location: Yorkshire and proud of it!

    Ahhh! Sorry. That's embarrassing. Here's me sounding all knowledgeable and then I make a basic error like that. Originally I wrote that it shared a border with Israel and then I started editing and somehow ended up thinking they were adjacent to SA as well.

    I need to spend less time reading detailed political analyses and more time actually looking at a map. Forest --> Trees. Thank you for correcting me.
     
  13. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 64,619

    Not sure on that Trump is such a wildcard at the moment you never know if it was just done on a whim or to spite Obama, etc. :s good chance it is a precursor to future events though.

    I was only going by what is on the map - the area is such a mess of borders and agreements I had no idea if there was some complicated arrangement, etc. heh
     
  14. h4rm0ny

    Soldato

    Joined: Jun 25, 2011

    Posts: 5,475

    Location: Yorkshire and proud of it!

    Yes. Though as Rroff has helpfully pointed out, equally a reason why they have been cosying up to Israel as well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  15. h4rm0ny

    Soldato

    Joined: Jun 25, 2011

    Posts: 5,475

    Location: Yorkshire and proud of it!

    No, you were right. I always forget about Jordan - they're so quiet! :o

    My view on Trump, and it's only my view, is that he was a genuine outsider. Polling across a wide variety of sources had around an 85% confidence of Hillary winning. Her campaign budget was many times more than Trump's and she unarguably had all the inside political connections compared to Trump. And the MSM was largely heavily on her side. No, really it was. I think Trump has been something of a bull in a china shop for the US political establishment to have to adjust to. I'm quite certain there has been a variety of carrots and sticks deployed to get him "with the program". And I believe we've seen a lot of the fall out of that. So yes, he's a wild card. But I also believe there's a lot of powerful people around him doing their best to keep him on course. The nazgul were expecting Sauron to arise and lead them and instead a giant troll walked through the door grinning bigly. So the Nazgul put the ring on him anyway and have been prodding him with sticks trying to get him to say the right things ever since. With mixed results.

    Anyway, I've risked turning this into yet another Trump thread. My apologies.
     
  16. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 64,619

    He makes for a great scapegoat as well if things do backfire in relation to things with SA, etc. they can put the blame on Trump and replace him :s
     
  17. h4rm0ny

    Soldato

    Joined: Jun 25, 2011

    Posts: 5,475

    Location: Yorkshire and proud of it!



    (Okay - I'm done with tangents now. I get trippy when I'm sleep deprived. Delete this if too off-topic)
     
  18. Evangelion

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 29, 2007

    Posts: 23,149

    Location: Adelaide, South Australia

    Great contributions everyone, thanks for joining in.

    :)
     
  19. Evangelion

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 29, 2007

    Posts: 23,149

    Location: Adelaide, South Australia

  20. Panos

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 22, 2009

    Posts: 11,467

    Location: Under the hot sun.

    On other news. In Greece a huge scandal has popped with the US demands for Greece to sell few hundred thousands of artillery shell rounds (mainly), to Saudi Arabia through a third party.
    However only 1/3 of the order was going to find it's way through to the Saudis.
    The other 2/3 was going to be lost "on the way" and be delivered to Ukraine, which ofc is embargoed by anyone and his dog on weapons and ammunition.
    Because nobody wants to start WW3 with Russia except some *cough* *cough* western morons