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


bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
Re: Gulf Matters

Thanks, I get you. Pres Obama is just carrying on US policy concerning Yemen. Yemen has never ever been a stallworth when it comes to "human rights". Murderous regime is unfortunately correct.
 
Re: Gulf Matters

I think the difference in reporting and response to matters in Bahrain and Libya could not be more stark!

Two Arab Despots have imported foreign fighters to crush domestic opposition and yet like is not being treated as like.

Saudi Arabia calls for a no fly zone in Libya, but sends in its own ground forces to Bahrain. Neither do I hear calls for; let alone see, the freezing of the al-Khalifas overseas funds and assets or restrictions on their travel.

If anyone still believes other than that; beyond the hubris, American and European Govts have agreed to support current incumbents in the region, then they are clearly er... in DeNile!

Yes folks do reflect on the fact that the bullets currently killing and wounding the "Pro Democracy" protesters in Bahrain will have been manufactured in NATO countries, the Governments of which are remarkably quiet with regard to the spread of democracy into this small but strategic Arabian corner.
The U.S. and Western European countries have always supported bloodthirsty tyrants when they served their interests and continue to walk as well as talk the double standard. The U.S. supplied Saddam Hussein via West Germany with chemical weapons to use against Iran remember? It's only when Saddam Hussein threatened Western oil interests in the form of invading Kuwait (itself a non-democratic regime) that the Western powers turned on him.

Attacking Gaddafi in Libya not only makes sense in that it may help install a regime friendly to Western powers, it also conveniently provides a sensational headline to take up the front pages. Nasty crackdowns by the Saudis, Bahrain, and Yemen on their own people can be on the back pages, if followed at all.
 

delft

Brigadier
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #23
Re: Gulf Matters

Saleh seems to be on his way out, after the defection of Brig. Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, his half brother, commander of the 1st Armored Division and commander of the northwestern military zone.
But the matter is very complex. Especially important is the attitude of Saudi Arabia.

Here is a interesting discussion of the matter from Texas:
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This report compares Yemen with Libya:
"In some ways, Saleh’s case is more akin to that of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who presides over a tribal society split along an east-west axis like Yemen’s north-south axis. Though Yemen is more advanced politically and institutionally than Libya, both Gadhafi and Saleh have insulated their regimes by deliberately preventing the development of alternative bases of power, relying mostly on complex tribal alliances and militaries commanded by nepotism to rule. Such regimes take decades to build and an iron fist to maintain, making the removal of a single leader typically more trouble than it is worth. Though the system has worked for more than three decades for Saleh, the president’s carefully managed support network is now rapidly eroding. Saudi Arabia is now being forced to make a tough call on the future of Yemen at a time when Riyadh cannot afford another crisis in the Persian Gulf region."
It also describes the ousting of Mubarak:
" But the situation in Yemen is also not a replica of the crisis in Egypt, which was not so much a revolution as it was a very carefully managed succession by the country’s armed forces. In Egypt, the armed forces maintained their independence from the unpopular Mubarak regime, thereby providing the armed forces with the unity in command and effort in using the street demonstrations to quietly oust Mubarak. "

But the most interesting will be the influence on Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries.
 

delft

Brigadier
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #24
Re: Gulf Matters

The Washington Post has today an article about the future of Yemen that is all uncertainty:
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It might well be that the subsidies Washington provided and the policies it insisted upon were the very things that distanced Saleh from his political support within Yemen and is now leading to his fall.
 

Finn McCool

Captain
Registered Member
Re: Gulf Matters

Here goes another one?
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The Assad regime is a decrepit corrupt dictatorship like the other nations that have fallen to protests so far. But there's something about the Assad family and the way they play the game of divide and rule in Syria that makes me think that they'll be wily enough survivors to ride it out. I just don't know. But you can bet that if the US sees that there's good chances of the regime falling, they'd take some steps to hasten that outcome (gotta knock the Iranians down whenever you get a chance).
 

Scratch

Captain
Re: Gulf Matters

Syria is now also heading towards a much more violent internal situation. After protests are going on for a few weeks now with occasional violance, this weekend saw a spike in protestors being shot on the street. Although so far, protestors have not taken up arms AFAIK.
The syrian army now entered the epicenter of the uprising, Daraa, with several tanks and a few thousand troops who were apparently shooting around on their way in. Violent raids by secret police are reported from several places throughout the country and the border towards Jordan is closed.
I've seen a report somewhere that people in a town close to Daraa have set up roadblocks etc. in anticipation of an impending attack.
Assad wants to end this situation now and decisively. There already is a precedence for this by his late father. But I also saw oppinions that Assad actually intended to be a little more open but couldn't get on against the old guard from his father and that he's not really running the show any more. Although that seems a little odd to me. Right now, the regime is definitely firmly in power.
I wonder if the people would stand firm this time and fight back. A chaotic or civil-war-like situation in Syria would, however, be even more ciritcal in that volatile region than what's happening in Libya I think. Israel would be genuinely concered and Iran also most likely has some interests there.

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Syrian Army Storms Town Where Uprising Began
By ANTHONY SHADID - Published: April 25, 2011

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The Syrian army sent tanks rolling into the restive southern city of Dara’a and carried out arrests in poor towns on the capital’s outskirts Monday in a sharp escalation of a crackdown on Syria’s five-week-old uprising, according to human rights activists and accounts posted on social networking sites. They said at least five people were killed in Dara’a and bodies were in the streets.

The move into Dara’a seemed to signal a new chapter in a crackdown that has already killed more than 350 people, with the single highest toll on Friday. So far hewing to a mix of promised concessions and blunt force, the government indicated Monday that it had chosen the latter, seeking to crush a wave of dissent in virtually every Syrian province that has shaken the once-uncontested rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

Residents said at least eight tanks entered Dara’a at dawn from four directions, and there were reports of artillery and mortars being used. Phone lines were cut to the area, making first-hand accounts difficult, and nearby border crossings with Jordan were sealed from the Syrian side, Jordanian officials said. But video smuggled out of the town depicted a cloud of black smoke rising on the horizon with volleys of heavy gunfire echoing in the distance.

Protesters said the toll was almost sure to rise. Bodies were in the streets, but snipers on rooftops prevented residents and medical personnel from retrieving them.

“The army forces have invaded the city of Dara’a,” one resident said breathlessly as he filmed footage Monday morning. “They are heading toward the center of the city.”

Other smuggled footage showed heavily armed soldiers taking up positions behind walls, a few feet away from a tank parked in what appeared to be a leafy, main street. Witnesses quoted by organizers said some tanks were moving toward the Omari Mosque, a landmark there that has served as a headquarters of sorts for demonstrators. ...
 

Finn McCool

Captain
Registered Member
Re: Gulf Matters

Syria is the biggest domino that is tottering right now. Both the US-aligned bloc and the Iranian-aligned bloc in the Middle East have a huge stake in Syria, so this is the one to watch.
 

KingLouis

Junior Member
Re: Gulf Matters

will the UN pass another resolution for Syria. If Syria fall then all that is left is Cuba from Beyond the axis of evil.
 

delft

Brigadier
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #30
Re: Gulf Matters

Slowly, there seems to appear a line in the Arab Spring. The Indian former ambassador M K Bhadrakumar write in Asia Times on line (
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) about the role of Egypt in the Palestinian reconciliation and Egypt's diplomatic rapprochement with Iran. Looking back at earlier articles from him and others we can guess, that the insurrections in Libya and Syria were called before the intended participants were ready because of the sudden revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. The insurrections were presumably called by Saudi-Arabia and/or the US. The interest of Saudi-Arabia is a feud with Gadhafi and an effort to depict the movement in Bahrain as a Sunni-Shia fight.
Predominantly Syria is ruled mostly by Shi'ites. But this pictures has few takers in the Middle East.
We see now the development of diplomatic connections between Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. This is just what is feared by Saudi-Arabia, Israel and the US. The desperate sounding plea by Mr. Gates for the US to be allowed to remain in Iraq after the end of this years seems to have fallen on death ears.
The insurrections in Libya and Syria seem to be getting nowhere but, if successful, would likely result in failed states, as in Somalia and Kosovo. Darfur, where some thirty rebel movements are fighting the Sudanese government ( how are they all financed? ) has fallen out the the news lately and Southern Sudan is in the news only for its internal fighting. How is that financed?

We live in interesting times.
 

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