For four years, U.S. officials in both Republican and Democratic administrations told me in my work as a human rights advocate that “Saudi Arabia is ready to end the war,” and that it’s just a matter of “finding a face-saving way to exit.” What they mean is, “Is there a way for Saudi Arabia to credibly claim it won the war?” Ignoring the obvious answer of no—Saudi Arabia started a war everyone knew was a mistake—the U.S. government has instead engaged in the business of helping to starve millions of people to assuage crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.Continue reading
The last month has seen a drastic escalation in the war in Yemen. According to the UN, January will most likely be the month with the highest ever casualties reported since the war began in 2014. The January 21 strike on a prison in Sa’ada which killed 91 people marked the highest death toll in a single strike in the last three years. The number of airstrikes carried out by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition last December was already the highest in years. In all likelihood, this figure will be even higher by the end of January.
On the other hand, the Houthis have demonstrated their capacity and willingness to retaliate against members of the Saudi-led coalition by sending drones and missiles hundreds of miles away to Abu Dhabi.
Exactly at a time when decisive international intervention to find a political solution to end the war is needed, the UN and the international community have shown their unwillingness to take the extra efforts required.Continue reading
Journalists Benjamin Norton and Alan MacLeod join Mnar Adley to discuss how the mainstream media spent the last week beating drums of war with Russia over Ukraine with headlines and talking heads funded and sponsored by Lockheed Martin and NATO.
Meanwhile, there wasn’t a single article covering how the US-Saudi-UAE coalition cut off the internet to Yemen for several days while dropping hundreds of bombs on civilians resulting in hundreds dead and over a thousand injured. Guess which story CNN covered? Both conflicts were brought to you by weapons manufacturers.Continue reading
Saada, Yemen – In a scene rife with chaos and crying, volunteers and a rescue squad pulled the bodies of 91 prisoners from the rubble of the Sa’ada City Remand Prison in southern Yemen on Tuesday. Early last Friday morning, United Arab Emirates (UAE) warplanes supported by the United States targeted the overcrowded prison, which houses up to 3,000 inmates from across Yemen and Africa. The attack was one of the deadliest since the war began in 2015.
At least 91 people were killed and more than 236 seriously injured in the attacks, which left bereaved families in shock across Yemen and Africa. Witnesses describe the scene of the attack in its first minutes as chaotic and tragic. Fighter jets were heard over the skies of Saada while people were sleeping, before three violent explosions were heard from the prison, red fires mixed with dust and smoke illuminated flying rubble.Continue reading
A Saudi coalition airstrike on a prison killed at least 60 people and wounded at least 100 more in northern Yemen as part of the coalition’s reprisal attacks after the Houthis claimed drone and missile attacks that hit targets in Abu Dhabi earlier this week:
At least three children are among the dozens of people killed Friday, the humanitarian organization Save the Children said in a statement on Twitter. It noted that “the true number is feared to be higher.”
This follows coalition airstrikes in Sanaa that killed at least 20 civilians. The coalition response to the Abu Dhabi attacks has been consistent with the way they have waged the war from the beginning: reckless and indiscriminate bombing that slaughters civilians. The AP reports on the aftermath of the bombing:
“The initial casualties report from Saada is horrifying,” said Gillian Moyes, Save the Children’s country director in Yemen. “Migrants seeking better lives for themselves and their families, Yemeni civilians injured by the dozens, is a picture we never hoped to wake up to in Yemen.”Continue reading
A small English village is hardly the first place that comes to mind when mentioning the war in Yemen. Yet Warton in the northwest of England is playing an oversized role in what the United Nations has repeatedly called “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.” The Lancashire village is home to an airfield and a manufacturing site where weapons dealer BAE Systems maintains, repairs and rearms Saudi jets responsible for much of the worst destruction in Yemen.
Today, Lowkey speaks to Phil Miller, an investigative journalist and producer who is currently a staff reporter for Declassified UK. He has just released the documentary “Warton’s War on Yemen,” which exposes how BAE Systems is playing a key role in the carnage in the Middle East.Continue reading
In an about-turn from its stated policy, the Joe Biden administration on Thursday, November 4, approved USD 650 million worth of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia. The deal marks the first major arms sales deal with Saudi Arabia since Biden announced the end of US involvement in the war in Yemen and the sale of “offensive” weapons to Riyadh in February.Continue reading
In March 2015, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – along with other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – began to bomb Yemen. These countries entered a conflict that had been ongoing for at least a year as a civil war escalated between the government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, the Ansar Allah movement of the Zaidi Shia, and al-Qaeda. The GCC – led by the Saudi monarchy – wanted to prevent any Shia political project, whether aligned with Iran or not, from taking power along Saudi Arabia’s border. The attack on Yemen can be described, therefore, as an attack by the Sunni monarchs against the possibility of what they feared would be a Shia political project coming to power on the Arabian Peninsula.Continue reading
Unarmed protesters affiliated with Hezbollah and Amal were gunned down by the Saudi-backed Lebanese Forces militia in Beirut on Thursday, October 14, provoking a sectarian gun battle that risked igniting a civil war.
Why did this happen? Why are some trying to pin the blame on Hezbollah? And what’s with the media obscuring the fact that it was a fascist group behind the violence, the same group responsible for the 1982 massacre of hundreds of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps?
Rania Khalek, journalist and host of the Breakthrough News program Dispatches, breaks it all down.Continue reading
Two hours’ drive from Kandahar, in the southern Afghan desert city where the Taliban were born and where Osama bin Laden maintained his operational base, a February 2001 wedding ceremony became the stage for bin Laden’s first public appearance in several years.
Seated in the shade of palm trees was the Al Qaeda leader’s seventeen-year-old son, Mohammed, his father’s personal protector and likely successor. To his left was Mohammed Atef, an Egyptian comrade of Zawahiri who acted as the chief military strategist of Al Qaeda—the brains behind its operations. To Mohammed’s right sat his father, who smiled proudly as his son prepared to marry Atef’s fourteen-year-old daughter.
Ahmad Zaidan, a correspondent for the Qatari outlet Al Jazeera, was ferried to the wedding with a camera crew in an effort to provide bin Laden with the publicity he had been denied by the Taliban.Continue reading
The 2016 report was released late Saturday night under an executive order from President Joe Biden, who promised to make it public no later than the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks that killed 2,977 people and injured more than 6,000 others. The 16-page document was a final inventory of circumstantial evidence and leads from the FBI’s investigation of Saudi ties to the plot; it was heavily redacted.
Nonetheless, lawyers for families of the 9/11 victims, who are suing the Saudi kingdom in federal court, said the document provided important support to their theory that a handful of Saudis connected to their government worked in concert to assist the first two Qaida hijackers sent to the United States in January 2000.
“This validates what we have been saying,” said James Kreindler, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs.Continue reading
Canada’s ongoing arms sales to Saudi Arabia is being slammed as illegal under our UN commitments by Amnesty International and Project Ploughshares. And the international community is taking notice.
A new report on Canada’s arms sales to the brutal Middle East regime earned coverage by the widely viewed Al Jazeera last week.
“Canadian weapons transfers to the Gulf kingdom could be used to commit or facilitate violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, the rights groups found, particularly in the ongoing conflict in Yemen,” Al Jazeera said on its website on August 11, 2021.
The peace and human rights group’s report titled, “No Credible Evidence’: Canada’s Flawed Analysis of Arms Exports to Saudi Arabia,” accuses Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government of violating the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), an international agreement that Canada became a party to in 2019.Continue reading
Aden, Yemen – “The prices are skyrocketing. We can’t feed our children. They are starving,” Saher Abdu Salem, a government employee and a mother of five, said as she participated in a protest in Aden against Saudi Arabia and the government of ousted Yemeni President Abdul-Mansour al-Hadi. The protests took place at the Aden port this week in the wake of a recent decision by the Saudi-backed government in Aden to raise the U.S. dollar exchange rate for major life-saving goods. Now Saher and her husband are struggling to feed their family in the coastal city where the price of the staple ‘rooti’ loaf of bread has soared 250% in a month, its portion halved in size. “When the U.S. State Department expresses its concern over us, this means that it will deal a new blow to our hungry stomachs,” she said.Continue reading
Nearly 1,800 family members, survivors, and first responders who were affected by the September 11 attacks are intensifying pressure on the federal government to declassify information that they believe points to Saudi leaders’ involvement in or support for the attacks, with the group calling on President Joe Biden to stay away from next month’s 20th anniversary memorial events unless he releases the documents first.
The family members and survivors say PENTTBOM, the FBI’s investigation that wrapped up in 2016, uncovered support provided by Saudi officials for the attackers. The Obama and Trump administrations both declined to declassify documents from the probe, citing national security concerns.Continue reading
Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S., was on the hot seat. In early March 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic swept the world, oil prices collapsed and a price war broke out between Saudi Arabia and Russia, leaving American oil and gas companies feeling the pain. As oil prices plummeted, Republican senators from oil-producing states turned their ire directly on Saudi Arabia. Forget that civil war in Yemen — what about fossil-fuel profits here at home?
To address their concerns, Ambassador Bandar Al-Saud agreed to speak with a group of them in a March 18th conference call — and found herself instantly in the firing line, as senator after senator berated her for the Kingdom’s role in slashing global oil prices.Continue reading