Persian Gulf & Middle East Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


Khalij e Fars

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Registered Member
New report on the latest Saudi failure(s) to achieve their objectives in their invasion of Yemen [29 April 2020]:

"Nearly six months after Saudi Arabia negotiated the Riyadh Agreement to integrate the Southern Transitional Council and Yemeni government under a single political and military command, the deal has been dealt a serious blow. On April 25, the STC boldly declared its “autonomous administration of the South”—evidence that the council and Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi’s government are as much at odds today as they were at the signing ceremony last November. The disappointing turn comes after Houthi forces in the north refused to join a Saudi ceasefire on April 9, instead continuing their push toward the government’s resource-rich stronghold in Marib province.

This double blow is a watershed in a months-long experiment that has put Saudi Arabia at the helm of negotiations in Yemen. Last fall, the kingdom began direct talks with the Houthis and took over responsibility for patching up disputes between the Hadi government and STC.

Since January, they [the Houthis] have wrested strategic territory from the government and continue to push into Marib. By the time Saudi Arabia announced its unilateral April 9 ceasefire, the rebel goalposts had changed—the Houthis refused to join the deal until the coalition lifts its blockade on Yemen.

Adding to this mess, floods ravaged Aden and other areas last week, showing just how badly residents in the south are suffering from the lack of leadership. The Hadi government is based in faraway Riyadh, and its cabinet has seen its legitimacy continue to shrink as it waits to be replaced under the terms of the Riyadh Agreement. STC leaders are stuck in Abu Dhabi due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

Whether to break the stalemate with Riyadh or signal leadership amid the flooding, the STC has now declared a state of emergency and “self-rule” in the south. The Hadi government quickly condemned the move—but so did the Saudi-led coalition, the Emirati government, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the United States, the European Union, and the governors of three eastern Yemeni provinces (Hadramawt, Shabwa, and al-Mahra). The coalition and others also urged all parties to “work rapidly” toward implementing the Riyadh Agreement, though without explaining how they should overcome the hurdles.

Last fall, many saw the Saudi entry into negotiations as a cause for hope. According to that narrative, every party—including the Houthis—desired a relationship with Riyadh, and the kingdom had ample largesse to offer them. Surely that meant the Saudis would have more success than the UN. Yet their [Saudi] inability to resolve Hadi-STC disputes or reach a ceasefire deal with the Houthis has exposed their lack of leverage.

Given all these issues, the balance of leverage in Saudi-Houthi talks has tilted squarely in the latter’s favor. Meanwhile, the Saudis have limited options to get out of a war that has cost them hundreds of millions per day and amplified their fears about Iranian influence in the Arabian Peninsula. A unilateral military withdrawal would likely guarantee an Iranian-backed Houthi force across their border for years to come, while a cut-and-run lifting of the economic blockade would allow Tehran to more readily resupply the rebels with advanced weapons."

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Khalij e Fars

Junior Member
Registered Member
U.S. to Remove Patriot Missile Batteries from Saudi Arabia

Removing missiles, other measures mark end of recent military buildup to counter Iran, officials say

WASHINGTON—The U.S. is removing Patriot antimissile systems from Saudi Arabia and is considering reductions to other military capabilities—marking the end, for now, of a large-scale military buildup to counter Iran, according to U.S. officials.

The U.S. is removing four Patriot missile batteries from Saudi Arabia along with dozens of military personnel deployed following a series of attacks on the Saudi oil facilities last year, according to several U.S. officials.

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Maybe they are repositioning to Asia-Pacific theatre, but I think more likely is Trump is putting pressure on Saudis about oil cuts. Trump has threatened many times to cut military protection to Saudi if they do not obey US demands.
 

Khalij e Fars

Junior Member
Registered Member
FBI 'mistakenly reveals Saudi official linked' to 9/11 attackers

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has accidentally disclosed the name of a Saudi diplomat suspected of directing support to two al-Qaeda hijackers in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Yahoo News reported.

Michael Isikoff, the chief investigative journalist at Yahoo News who was the first to notice the apparent mistake, told Al Jazeera he knew right away the disclosure was "a slip-up".

"When I noticed that the declaration included this information, I contacted the FBI for comment. Because I knew that the justice department and the Trump administration had been going to extraordinary length to keep all of this under wraps," he said.

"In fact, both Attorney General William Barr and the Acting Director of the National Intelligence Richard Grennell had filed motions with the court saying that any information relating to the Saudi embassy official and all internal FBI documents about this matter were so sensitive; they were state secrets, that means if revealed they could cause damage to the national security."

Mussaed Ahmed al-Jarrah was mistakenly named in the declaration, an error that Yahoo News said was also confirmed by a senior US government official.

Al-Jarrah was a mid-level Saudi foreign ministry official who was assigned to the Saudi embassy in Washington, DC in 1999 and 2000. He was in charge of supervising the activities of Ministry of Islamic Affairs employees at Saudi-funded mosques and Islamic centres in the US, according to the report.

In a portion of the filing describing the material sought by lawyers for the families of 9/11 victims, Sanborn refers to a partially declassified 2012 FBI report about an investigation into possible links between the al-Qaeda hijackers and Saudi government officials, Yahoo News said. That probe initially focused on two individuals, Fahad al-Thumairy, a cleric, and Omar al-Bayoumi, a suspected Saudi agent.

A redacted copy of a three-and-a-half page October 2012 FBI "update" about the investigation said that FBI agents had uncovered "evidence" that al-Thumairy and al-Bayoumi had been "tasked" to assist two hijackers by another person whose name was blacked out. This prompted the lawyers for the families of the 9/11 victims to refer to this individual as "the third man".

This represented the first public confirmation that the so-called "third man" was an accredited Saudi diplomat. But all of the FBI evidence the agents had gathered about al-Jarrah and his communications about the two attackers remain under seal, the report said.

It is unclear how strong the evidence is against al-Jarrah, whose whereabouts remain unknown. But the disclosure appears likely to revive questions about Saudi Arabia's potential links to the 9/11 plot and highlights the extraordinary efforts by US government officials to prevent internal documents about the issue from becoming public, Yahoo News said.

"This shows there is a complete government cover-up of the Saudi involvement," Brett Eagleson, a spokesman for the families, told the news outlet. "This is a giant screw-up."

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers involved in the 9/11 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people, were Saudi citizens.

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ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
FBI 'mistakenly reveals Saudi official linked' to 9/11 attackers

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has accidentally disclosed the name of a Saudi diplomat suspected of directing support to two al-Qaeda hijackers in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Yahoo News reported.

Michael Isikoff, the chief investigative journalist at Yahoo News who was the first to notice the apparent mistake, told Al Jazeera he knew right away the disclosure was "a slip-up".

"When I noticed that the declaration included this information, I contacted the FBI for comment. Because I knew that the justice department and the Trump administration had been going to extraordinary length to keep all of this under wraps," he said.

"In fact, both Attorney General William Barr and the Acting Director of the National Intelligence Richard Grennell had filed motions with the court saying that any information relating to the Saudi embassy official and all internal FBI documents about this matter were so sensitive; they were state secrets, that means if revealed they could cause damage to the national security."

Mussaed Ahmed al-Jarrah was mistakenly named in the declaration, an error that Yahoo News said was also confirmed by a senior US government official.

Al-Jarrah was a mid-level Saudi foreign ministry official who was assigned to the Saudi embassy in Washington, DC in 1999 and 2000. He was in charge of supervising the activities of Ministry of Islamic Affairs employees at Saudi-funded mosques and Islamic centres in the US, according to the report.

In a portion of the filing describing the material sought by lawyers for the families of 9/11 victims, Sanborn refers to a partially declassified 2012 FBI report about an investigation into possible links between the al-Qaeda hijackers and Saudi government officials, Yahoo News said. That probe initially focused on two individuals, Fahad al-Thumairy, a cleric, and Omar al-Bayoumi, a suspected Saudi agent.

A redacted copy of a three-and-a-half page October 2012 FBI "update" about the investigation said that FBI agents had uncovered "evidence" that al-Thumairy and al-Bayoumi had been "tasked" to assist two hijackers by another person whose name was blacked out. This prompted the lawyers for the families of the 9/11 victims to refer to this individual as "the third man".

This represented the first public confirmation that the so-called "third man" was an accredited Saudi diplomat. But all of the FBI evidence the agents had gathered about al-Jarrah and his communications about the two attackers remain under seal, the report said.

It is unclear how strong the evidence is against al-Jarrah, whose whereabouts remain unknown. But the disclosure appears likely to revive questions about Saudi Arabia's potential links to the 9/11 plot and highlights the extraordinary efforts by US government officials to prevent internal documents about the issue from becoming public, Yahoo News said.

"This shows there is a complete government cover-up of the Saudi involvement," Brett Eagleson, a spokesman for the families, told the news outlet. "This is a giant screw-up."

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers involved in the 9/11 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people, were Saudi citizens.

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Most de-programmed people already suspected these things. What's next? We find some evidence pointing to the event being an actual "inside job"?
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
Everyone already Has known that parts of the Saudi government were implicated in 9/11. Thats the Middle East.
Look at the source. Why is it a “Mistake”? Because Al Jazeera has a political angle. Al Jazeera is Qatar’s propaganda arm. Farther more @Khalij e Fars is Self identifying as Iranian and pro regime so a article the looks bad to the US the Saudi’s two birds one stone.
Qatar has also been identified as a funding of AQ. Iran has been identified as aiding The Taliban whom in turn have aided AQ.
 

Khalij e Fars

Junior Member
Registered Member
Everyone already Has known that parts of the Saudi government were implicated in 9/11. Thats the Middle East.
Look at the source. Why is it a “Mistake”? Because Al Jazeera has a political angle. Al Jazeera is Qatar’s propaganda arm. Farther more @Khalij e Fars is Self identifying as Iranian and pro regime so a article the looks bad to the US the Saudi’s two birds one stone.
Qatar has also been identified as a funding of AQ. Iran has been identified as aiding The Taliban whom in turn have aided AQ.
The original source is Yahoo, Al-Jazeera just reported on it:
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And please refrain from personal ad hominem attacks.

PS. It's "furthermore". What is your native language?
 

Khalij e Fars

Junior Member
Registered Member
COVID-19 and the Oil Price Crash: Twin Crises Impacting Saudi-Iran Relations

The twin crises of COVID-19 and the crash in world oil prices have profoundly affected the geopolitics of the Middle East. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran face differing challenges from the crises linked to their domestic politics and foreign policy stature.

While both states have struggled to combat the effects of the pandemic and oil counter-shock, perhaps counterintuitively it is Saudi Arabia which stands to lose geopolitically. Despite the ravages of COVID-19 and the United States’ campaign of “maximum pressure” which has crippled the economy, Iran has been less affected by the collapse of oil prices.

Far from upending the regional order, the two crises will accelerate existing trends, as Iran defies US pressure and maintains its regional influence, while Saudi Arabia’s leaders struggle to preserve matters at home and oil prices abroad.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the oil price crash have produced serious problems for Saudi Arabia. The country has the highest infection rate among Gulf Cooperation Council states, and more than one-hundred and fifty members of the royal family have contracted the virus.
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The annual hajj pilgrimage, which brings billions into the Saudi economy, will probably be suspended.
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The Saudi government closed the economy and ejected thousands of foreign workers in an attempt to slow the spread of the disease.
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Yet, while the disease threatens to de-stabilize the country internally, the collapse in oil prices poses an even greater risk, exacerbated by the miscalculations of the de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Saudi budget requires prices of 55 US dollars/barrel in order to “break-even”.
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But Brent futures for the rest of the year are trading at 30 dollars/barrel or below. The Kingdom plans to borrow as much as 58 billion US dollars in 2020 while drawing down 31 billion US dollars from its reserves.
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The Saudi economy will contract this year by as much as 3 per cent, and public spending will be reduced sharply.
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The twin crises have cast doubts on the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
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Vision 2030, as well as his plans to build a 500 billion US dollar “dream city”, may be postponed.
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In addition, the Kingdom will accelerate a campaign of foreign policy retrenchment, a move which may cede more ground to Iran.

While the effects of the coronavirus have been severe, Iran has escaped the worst impact of the oil price crash. This is due to the decline in oil exports caused by the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign.

By January 2020, US sanctions had reduced Iran’s oil exports from 2.5 million bpd to less than 300,000 bpd. The budget for this fiscal year (March 2020–March 2021) was drafted under the assumption that Iran would export a small amount of oil.
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Though the budget does predict earnings from oil to total 18 billion US dollars – a very optimistic figure
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– further budget cuts and deficit spending may allow Iran to weather the financial storm. This domestic resilience also explains why Iran has not buckled under pressure from US sanctions and continues to represent a powerful antagonist to Washington and its regional allies in Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Iran, defying US pressure, has continued to expand its regional influence, notwithstanding its significant economic problems.

Saudi Arabia, in contrast, has sought to untangle itself from regional conflicts as it prioritizes stability at home. The Abqaiq attack startled the Saudi leadership, which took steps to reduce tensions with Iran.
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On 8 April, Saudi Arabia and its allies agreed to a ceasefire in Yemen, ostensibly to maintain “health and safety” in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
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Riyadh is now seeking an exit from the conflict.

The withdrawal from Yemen comes as Saudi Arabia faces a serious fiscal crisis and a crisis of leadership. The Crown Prince’s economic reform programme must be put on hold, as the Kingdom re-trenches at home and pulls back abroad. Iran, meanwhile, appears to be weathering both the oil shock and the COVID-19 crisis.

Despite the economic hardship and continued US pressure, the Islamic Republic does not appear on the verge of collapsing. The twin crises, far from upending the regional order, are accelerating existing trends, offering further opportunities for a defiant Iran to maintain and perhaps even expand its position in the face of a stumbling Saudi Arabia and an absent and distracted United States.

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