Troop movements and White house guest lists. Indicative of near future? Links 1 on March 25 – 2015

1. Obama Snubs Nato Chief as Crisis Rages

(To get into the White House you have to use the pass phrase, “I’m a friend of Mohamed Morsi”. I guess no one told him)

President Barack Obama has yet to meet with the new head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and won’t see Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg this week, even though he is in Washington for three days.  Stoltenberg’s office requested a meeting with Obama well in advance of the visit, but never heard anything from the White House, two sources close to the NATO chief told me.

The leaders of almost all the other 28 NATO member countries have made time for Stoltenberg since he took over the world’s largest military alliance in October. Stoltenberg, twice the prime minister of Norway, met Monday with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa to discuss the threat of the Islamic State and the crisis in Ukraine, two issues near the top of Obama’s agenda.

2. Saudi Arabia moves military equipment to border with Yemen

Saudi Arabia is moving heavy military equipment including artillery to areas near its border with Yemen, US officials have said, raising the risk that the Middle East’s top oil power will be drawn into the worsening conflict.

(Hey maybe once we will get to see the Saudis spend their own money and lose a few of their own sons in their interests for a change)

3. US Media continues to punish any elected politician who stands up to islam and sharia law in the USA

4. Islamic State recruiting in Afghanistan?

5. Boko Haram crisis: ‘About 500’ Nigerian children missing

About 500 children aged 11 and under are missing from a Nigerian town recaptured from militants, a former resident of Damasak has told the BBC.

A trader in the north-eastern town told Reuters news agency that Boko Haram fighters took the children with them when they fled.

Troops from Niger and Chad seized Damasak earlier in March, ending months of control by the Islamist militants.

6. Alberta Muslim Schools vs Gay Straight Alliances (full report)

(This will be just one more example of how, what Ezra Levant calls “politically correct poker” will be accepted without question. Being a mosque and madrassa will trump gay issues without anyone demanding to look at the cards again)

7. Man arrested, ordered to keep the peace on suspicion he may commit terrorism

OTTAWA – The RCMP have arrested a man after a peace bond was ordered against him based on allegations he might commit a terrorism offence.

Police say Amir Raisolsadat was released on unspecified conditions and ordered to return to court on April 20.

No other information about the man, including where he is from, was released by the RCMP, citing the fact there is an ongoing criminal investigation in the case.

Radio station Toronto 680 News says the man was arrested in Prince Edward Island, but a spokeswoman for the Mounties in that province would not comment, referring questions about the case to RCMP national headquarters in Ottawa.

Thank you Wrath of Khan, Blazing Cat Fur, Oz-Rita, M., and all. More to come shortly.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

55 Replies to “Troop movements and White house guest lists. Indicative of near future? Links 1 on March 25 – 2015”

  1. @ 1 – Obama behaving as normal

    @ 2 – The recruiters for mercenaries are real busy today. The Saudis normally use merchs for actions like this, if the US isn’t avaible they will buy foreign soldiers.

      • Rudyard Kipling
        Loot

        If you’ve ever stole a pheasant-egg be’ind the keeper’s back,
        If you’ve ever snigged the washin’ from the line,
        If you’ve ever crammed a gander in your bloomin’ ‘aversack,
        You will understand this little song o’ mine.
        But the service rules are ‘ard, an’ from such we are debarred,
        For the same with English morals does not suit.
        (Cornet: Toot! toot!)
        W’y, they call a man a robber if ‘e stuffs ‘is marchin’ clobber
        With the —
        (Chorus) Loo! loo! Lulu! lulu! Loo! loo! Loot! loot! loot!
        Ow the loot!
        Bloomin’ loot!
        That’s the thing to make the boys git up an’ shoot!
        It’s the same with dogs an’ men,
        If you’d make ’em come again
        Clap ’em forward with a Loo! loo! Lulu! Loot!
        (ff) Whoopee! Tear ‘im, puppy! Loo! loo! Lulu! Loot! loot! loot!

        If you’ve knocked a nigger edgeways when ‘e’s thrustin’ for your life,
        You must leave ‘im very careful where ‘e fell;
        An’ may thank your stars an’ gaiters if you didn’t feel ‘is knife
        That you ain’t told off to bury ‘im as well.
        Then the sweatin’ Tommies wonder as they spade the beggars under
        Why lootin’ should be entered as a crime;
        So if my song you’ll ‘ear, I will learn you plain an’ clear
        ‘Ow to pay yourself for fightin’ overtime.
        (Chorus) With the loot, . . .

        Now remember when you’re ‘acking round a gilded Burma god
        That ‘is eyes is very often precious stones;
        An’ if you treat a nigger to a dose o’ cleanin’-rod
        ‘E’s like to show you everything ‘e owns.
        When ‘e won’t prodooce no more, pour some water on the floor
        Where you ‘ear it answer ‘ollow to the boot
        (Cornet: Toot! toot!) —
        When the ground begins to sink, shove your baynick down the chink,
        An’ you’re sure to touch the —
        (Chorus) Loo! loo! Lulu! Loot! loot! loot!
        Ow the loot! . . .

        When from ‘ouse to ‘ouse you’re ‘unting, you must always work in pairs —
        It ‘alves the gain, but safer you will find —
        For a single man gets bottled on them twisty-wisty stairs,
        An’ a woman comes and clobs ‘im from be’ind.
        When you’ve turned ’em inside out, an’ it seems beyond a doubt
        As if there weren’t enough to dust a flute
        (Cornet: Toot! toot!) —
        Before you sling your ‘ook, at the ‘ousetops take a look,
        For it’s underneath the tiles they ‘ide the loot.
        (Chorus) Ow the loot! . . .

        You can mostly square a Sergint an’ a Quartermaster too,
        If you only take the proper way to go;
        I could never keep my pickin’s, but I’ve learned you all I knew —
        An’ don’t you never say I told you so.
        An’ now I’ll bid good-bye, for I’m gettin’ rather dry,
        An’ I see another tunin’ up to toot
        (Cornet: Toot! toot!) —
        So ‘ere’s good-luck to those that wears the Widow’s clo’es,
        An’ the Devil send ’em all they want o’ loot!
        (Chorus) Yes, the loot,
        Bloomin’ loot!
        In the tunic an’ the mess-tin an’ the boot!
        It’s the same with dogs an’ men,
        If you’d make ’em come again
        (fff) Whoop ’em forward with a Loo! loo! Lulu! Loot! loot! loot!
        Heeya! Sick ‘im, puppy! Loo! loo! Lulu! Loot! loot! loot!

  2. Suicide car bombing kills 6 in Afghanistan (CNN, March 25, 2015)
    http://edition.cnn.com/2015/03/25/asia/afghanistan-violence/index.html

    “A suicide attacker blew up a car near Afghanistan’s defense and finance ministry buildings in the country’s capital on Wednesday afternoon, killing at least six people, police and an interior ministry official said.

    The attack in Kabul happened at 4:30 p.m., police said.

    In addition to the six people killed, 31 people were injured in the blast, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Seddiqi said.”

  3. Yemen crisis: Houthi rebels capture air base near Aden (BBC, March 25, 2015)
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-32048604

    “Houthi rebels have taken a key air base from forces loyal to Yemen’s President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, continuing an advance towards his stronghold of Aden. Locals said rebel fighters backed by allied army units seized al-Anad early on Wednesday after heavy fighting.
    Hours after the fall of the base, only 60km (37 miles) north of Aden, there were reports that Mr Hadi had fled his palace for an undisclosed location. But aides to the president swiftly denied that he had left the country. Later, unidentified warplanes targeted the palace compound in Aden, officials and witnesses said, in the third such attack in a week….”

  4. Libya violence: Bangladeshi oil workers freed (BBC, March 25, 2015)
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-32025306

    “Two Bangladeshi workers kidnapped nearly three weeks ago by gunmen in Libya have been freed and are in good health, officials say. The Bangladeshi foreign ministry said the two men were now safe in hospital in the city of Sirte. They were seized on 6 March from the al-Ghani oil field along with seven other foreigners. Islamic State militants were suspected of carrying out the abductions, but this has not been confirmed. Helal Uddin and Mohammed Anwar Hossain were freed on Tuesday evening, officials in Dhaka said.

    Other foreigners seized with them were reported to include four Filipinos, an Austrian, a Czech and a Ghanaian. BBC Bengali’s Shahnaz Parveen in Dhaka says it is not clear whether a ransom was paid to free the two Bangladeshis. The foreigners were working for oilfield management company Value Added Oilfield Services (VAOS) at the al-Ghani field. VAOS said it did not know which militants had carried out the attack or where the oil workers had been taken. An estimated 30,000 Bangladeshis are believed to be working in Libya. Rival militias have been fighting for control of the country since Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in 2011.”

    • Richard, remember that seminar on EMP attacks with Frank Gafney last year?
      Someone there reported results from a poll: Among women, the single most frightening threat was an attack on the grid. (Till then I thought I was the only one.)
      Why do you suppose that is?

      • Interestingly, a startling number of Iranians are in North America doing advanced degrees in electrical engineering. Seriously, a lot. In fact one university in Canada had a policy saying they would not take Iranians for the electrical engineering program and they stuck with that till they were forced to reverse it.

        Makes one wonder how much more suicidal we could be.

        Ill come back with a link on that soon.

        • The enemy nations economy and the factories that produce weapons are legitimate military targets, hitting the grid does both.

          Also the purpose of war is to destroy your enemies will to resist, it can be done by propaganda which is how the left is currently working or by making live so difficult the civilians want to surrender. Like what was done in Germany during WWII.

        • Not all that long ago there were lots of Iranian students at MIT studying particle physics, nuclear engineering, etc.

          I remember chatting with one of the professors, and his worry was the short half-life of their knowledge: “How unfortunate! It’s all a waste if they can’t be working in the field, they’ll be no more than obsolete technicians.”

      • The thought of living without electric lights, refrigerators, heaters and air conditioners is what scares them, how can they take good care of themselves and their families (not necessarily in that order) without the ability to store food without spoiling and how can they keep the place clean.

  5. Why arming U.S. allies can be like sending weapons straight to the enemy</b

    […]The Pentagon did not mention the risks inherent in handing over top-of-the-line U.S. hardware. But that danger soon became apparent. When Islamic State militants swept into northwest Iraq in the summer of 2014, they quickly routed the lavishly equipped but poorly led Iraqi army — and captured much of the high-tech U.S.-made weaponry the fleeing Iraqi soldiers left behind.

    The equipment the Iraqi army abandoned in mid-2014 included at least one M-1 tank, hundreds of which the United States has sold to Iraq in recent years. The $4-million M-1 is viewed as the best tank in the world because of its tough armor, powerful main gun and high-tech sensors. It is one of the U.S. Army’s main advantages over rival armies.

    It was bad enough that Islamic State snagged one or more M-1s among other U.S. weapons. U.S. officials expressed further alarm when, in late January, someone posted a video to YouTube depicting the Hezbollah Brigades, an Iraqi Shi’ite militia heavily backed by Iran, rolling into battle against Islamic State in a convoy that included at least one M-1.

    It’s unclear how the Hezbollah Brigades, which Washington has labelled a terrorist group, acquired the M-1. But according to the Long War Journal, which first drew wide attention to the YouTube clip, it’s possible the Shi’ite fighters recaptured the tank from Islamic State.

    If that’s true, then that key U.S. weapon is now in the arsenal of not one but two armed groups that Washington opposes, one of which enjoys strong ties to the regime in Tehran, with which the United States is also at odds.

    The Pentagon has not proposed to cut off supplies of U.S.-made weaponry to Iraq, despite the tendency of these weapons to wind up in the arsenals of U.S. enemies. The Pentagon has spent $20 billion since 2003 training and equipping Iraqi forces to be more like U.S. forces — and isn’t about to declare that investment a total loss and start over.

    But Washington is taking a different approach with its other ally in Iraq.

    For decades, the United States backed the Kurds of northern Iraq in their wars of independence against Baghdad. In 1992, with U.S. warplanes flying top cover, the Kurds succeeded in establishing a mostly autonomous region inside Iraq.

    But since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq proper in 2003, the politics have changed. Now Washington has a major stake in preserving Iraq’s unity rather than shattering it. Until very recently, U.S. policy barred the Pentagon from directly arming the Kurds.

    With its decades of experience and sound leadership, the Iraqi Kurdish army — the peshmerga — has been one of the most effective fighting forces in the campaign against Islamic State. The peshmerga have protected Kurdistan’s major cities. After briefly losing ground to Islamic State last summer, they are now steadily pushing back the militants.

    But the peshmerga are a lightly armed militia equipped mostly with Cold War-vintage Russian weapons that they stole from the old Iraqi army or acquired on the black market. While brave and well-led, the Kurds have found themselves outgunned in battles with Islamic State.

    The experience of peshmerga fighter Maarof Kabays is, sadly, typical. In August near the village of Zummar, militants attacked Kabays’ unit with tanks. “We did not have any heavy weapons to defend ourselves,” Kabays said. He and seven other fighters retreated. But only Kabays and one other man from the group survived.

    That same month, President Barack Obama reversed the policy barring direct, overt arms transfers to Kurdistan. U.S. Air Force cargo planes promptly began parachuting crates of Russian-made guns and ammo to peshmerga units. One Pentagon official told the Guardian that the arms delivery was “unprecedented.”

    That’s not entirely true, however. The CIA had previously helped the Kurds set up their own intelligence agency. The intelligence agency covertly provided the peshmerga with a few small consignments of Russian-made weaponry.

    In any event, the United States had to acquire the Russian weaponry before it could donate it to the Kurds. When direct provision of expensive U.S.-made weaponry is prohibited or impractical, sending Russian arms through a third party is Washington’s other way of arming an ally.

    That approach has the benefit of precluding U.S. weaponry from ever falling into enemy hands. But the third-party strategy has its own drawbacks. It compels Washington to forge potentially compromising partnerships. The weapons that result are sometimes of dubious quality — perhaps unsurprising considering their source.[…]

    http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/03/24/arming-americas-allies-is-risky-any-way-you-do-it/

    http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/03/24/arming-americas-allies-is-risky-any-way-you-do-it/

  6. BREAKING: U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl to be charged with desertion: Washington Post, citing Bergdahl’s lawyer

    U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdah’s attorney says he has been charged with desertion, misbehavior; hearing set April 22 in San Antonio

    https://twitter.com/Reuters
    ===========================================
    Bowe Bergdahl, once missing U.S. soldier, charged with desertion

    Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier who was recovered in Afghanistan last spring after five years in captivity, faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, according to his lawyer.

    Eugene Fidell, Bergdahl’s attorney, told The Washington Post that his client was handed a charge sheet on Tuesday. Army officials announced they will provide an update in his case at 3:30 p.m. at Fort Bragg, N.C., but declined to discuss new developments ahead of the news conference.

    Bergdahl, 28, went missing from his base in Paktika province on June 30, 2009, and is believed to have grown disillusioned with the U.S. military’s mission in Afghanistan. He was held captive in Pakistan by the Haqqani network, an insurgent group allied with the Taliban, until a deal brokered through the government of Qatar was reached last year.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/03/25/bowe-bergdahl-once-missing-u-s-soldier-charged-with-desertion/

    • The international community must go for Regime Change in Iran. Target the top-layer Ayatollahs. Just a dozen or two evil old men and imagine the number of lives saved.

      and that's all, folks

        • True, they’re in cahoots working against us, but as hard as they try they can’t destroy us. They know we’re better than they are and that’s why they hate us.

          They cultivate their jealousy, that’s what makes them tick. Bullies and cowards have nothing else.

          But things are starting to happen. The Enemy is getting careless; he’ll lose his grip and we’ll be ready.

  7. VICE – The Illegal Big Cats of Instagram

    Buying illegal wild animals in Kuwait is, as one local puts it, “as easy as acquiring a cupcake.” Pets have long been used as status symbols the world over, but citizens of the Gulf take the prize when it comes to keeping the most exotic, controversial species—most commonly, “big cat” cubs.

    International law governing Kuwait and other Gulf states forbids the import and sale of wild animals, yet the sight of supercars being driven around with a cheetah in the front seat is starting to become commonplace on Arab Instagram feeds.

    Although there are legal ways to bring an animal into Kuwait, paying people off along the way is easier. <b<Lion, cheetah, and tiger cubs are in the highest demand, fetching up to $15,000 each through black market agents. More often than not, the owners have little idea how to care for these creatures, which have no history of domestication and quickly become unmanageable—even lethal—once they’re fully grown.

    In Big Cats of the Gulf, VICE investigates the area’s flourishing trade in animal trafficking and how it impacts the depleting wildcat populations of Central and East Africa. We gain exclusive access to Kuwait’s biggest Instagram star of the big cat phenomenon and hear first-hand of the deadly consequences of the business—both for the animals and their owners.

  8. YEMEN -Iran-backed rebels in Yemen loot secret files about U.S. spy operations

    Secret intelligence files held by Yemeni security forces and containing details of American intelligence operations in the country have been looted by Iran-backed militia leaders, exposing names of informants and plans for U.S.-backed counter-terrorism operations, U.S. officials say.

    U.S. intelligence officials believe additional files were handed directly to Iranian advisors by Yemeni officials who have sided with the Houthi militias that seized control of the capital of Sana last September and later toppled the U.S.-backed president.

    For American intelligence networks in Yemen, the damage has been severe. Until recently, U.S. forces deployed in Yemen had worked closely with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government to track and kill Al Qaeda operatives, and President Obama hailed Yemen six months ago as a model for counter-terrorism operations.

    But the identities of local agents were considered compromised after Houthi leaders in Sana took over the offices of Yemen’s National Security Bureau, which had worked closely with the CIA and other intelligence agencies, according to two U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive operations.

    Yemeni intelligence officers still loyal to Hadi’s besieged government burned some secret files, one official said. But they couldn’t destroy all of them before the Houthi forces, whose leaders have received some weapons and training from Iran, took control.

    The loss of the intelligence networks, in addition to the escalating conflict, contributed to the Obama administration’s decision to halt drone strikes in Yemen for two months, to vacate the U.S. Embassy in Sana last month and to evacuate U.S. special operations and intelligence teams from a Yemeni air base over the weekend.

    The Houthis claimed Wednesday that they had captured that base, Anad, as new fighting broke out in and around the strategic seaport of Aden, the country’s financial hub, where Hadi had taken refuge. Over the weekend, the Houthis seized the central city of Taiz.

    A Houthi-controlled TV channel announced a $20-million bounty for Hadi’s capture and his Aden compound was hit by airstrikes.

    Foreign Minister Riadh Yassin said Hadi was overseeing the city’s defense from an undisclosed safe location. The Associated Press reported that he had fled the country on a boat.

    Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said U.S. diplomats “were in touch” with Hadi early Wednesday and that he had “voluntarily” left his residence. She said she could not confirm if he was still in the country, calling conditions there “incredibly volatile.”

    As the turmoil deepened, Yemen appeared to be descending into a civil war that could
    ignite a wider regional struggle. Saudi Arabia reportedly moved troops, armored vehicles and artillery to its border with Yemen, which sits alongside key shipping routes.

    The conflict has taken on an increasingly sectarian nature. Last week nearly 140 people were killed in suicide bombing at two Shiite mosques in Sana.

    After pitched battles north of Aden, the Houthis and their allies, backed by tanks and artillery, advanced Wednesday to within a few miles of Aden, officials and witnesses said. Much of the rebels’ heavy weaponry was provided by Yemeni military units that remained loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was toppled in 2012 and is a bitter opponent of Hadi.

    The struggle for Aden comes in advance of an Arab League summit. Yemen is poised to seek a military intervention by fellow Sunni Muslim states, and the Houthis appeared to be trying to gain as much ground as possible before the gathering.

    In the town of Houta, the capital of Lahej province, the fighting left bodies strewn in the streets, residents reported, and people cowered indoors as gunfire rang out. The Houthis appeared to be consolidating control of the town’s southern outskirts, closest to Aden.

    But U.S. officials also worried Wednesday about the loss of the Yemeni intelligence files, including the names and locations of agents and informants with information on Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, considered the terrorist network’s most dangerous and resourceful branch.

    There was no indication that the Houthis had gained direct control of U.S. intelligence files, so the loss doesn’t compare to more infamous cases, like the takeover by militants of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 or the U.S. retreat from Saigon in 1975.

    But AQAP, as the group is known, has repeatedly sought to attack American interests and facilities. It designed a bomb that a Nigerian man sought to explode on a Detroit-bound flight in 2009, and hid explosives aboard four cargo planes headed to the U.S. in 2010. Both times, the bombs were discovered before they exploded.

    The U.S. still plans to fly armed drones over Yemen from bases in Saudi Arabia and Djibouti, but officials acknowledged that their ability to identify and locate terrorist suspects has been severely hampered by the loss of the intelligence files, and the collapse of Yemen’s security services.

    Under Hadi, U.S.-trained Yemeni forces launched regular raids to capture or kill Al Qaeda militants. CIA and military drone strikes targeted senior officials, most famously killing Anwar Awlaki, an American-born Muslim cleric and militant leader who was linked to several major plots, in 2011.

    Experts warn that AQAP could use the growing chaos to reassert itself, and to link up with anxious Sunni Muslims to fend off the minority Houthis, who are Shiites, and were previously concentrated only in the country’s north.

    “From a counter-terrorism perspective, AQAP has less pressure on them,” said a U.S. defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive assessments. For now, he said, the Houthis appear more intent on destroying Hadi than going after their rivals in AQAP.

    U.S. attempts to track Al Qaeda operatives are “not impossible. It is just a lot more difficult,” he said.

    Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, appeared to agree at a news briefing Wednesday. “The ability of the U.S. to put pressure on these extremists is not helped by the fact that US personnel had to leave,” he said.

    “There’s no doubt that we’d like to see a functioning central government in Yemen. We don’t see that right now,” Earnest added. He said Washington is able to still able to work the “security infrastructure that remains.”

    “We have the capability to take out extremists if they pose a threat to the United States,” he said.

    Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in an interview that the Houthis may have captured a “significant portion” of the $500 million in military equipment that the U.S. has given Hadi’s government since 2010.

    The equipment approved included Huey II helicopters, Humvees, M-4 rifles, night-vision goggles, body armor, and hand-launched Raven drones.

    “The news from Yemen is all bad,” Schiff said. “I have to think that given the magnitude of the support we have given and the rapidity with which large portions of Yemen fell to Houthis, that a significant portion of military support is now in the hands of people who are not our friends.”

    The abrupt changes in Yemen has prompted criticism that the White House failed to adequately prepare for the collapse of a fragile ally, and that it relied to heavily on poorly trained local security forces.

    “It was a train wreck that anyone who knows anything about Yemen could see happening. It seems we put our head in the sand, and the train wreck has happened and now we are saying, ‘How did this happen?’” Ali Soufan, a former senior FBI agent who worked on terrorism cases and now heads the Soufan Group, a security firm in New York.

    “We pulled out from any meaningful control of the situation in the country and now I think it is too late, because every decision is a bad decision,” he said.

    http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-us-intelligence-yemen-20150325-story.html

  9. Saudi warplanes bomb Houthi positions in Yemen

    Arab Gulf states announced late Wednesday that they have decided to “repel Houthi aggression” in neighboring Yemen, following a request from the country’s President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

    President Hadi, who was forced to flee his presidential complex in Aden earlier in the day, has urged the Gulf states to intervene military in Yemen.

    In their joint statement Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait said they “decided to repel Houthi militias, al-Qaeda and ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] in the country.”

    The Gulf states warned that the Houthi coup in Yemen represented a “major threat” to the region’s stability.

    It also accused the Iranian-backed militia of conducting military drills on the border of Saudi Arabia, a leading member of the GCC, with “heavy weapons.”

    In an apparent reference to Iran, the statement said the “Houthi militia is backed by regional powers in order for it be their base of influence.”

    The Gulf states said they had monitored the situation and the Houthi coup in Yemen with “great pain” and accused the Shiite militia of failing to respond to warnings from the United Nations Security Council as well as the GCC.

    The statement stressed that the Arab states had sought over the previous period to restore stability in Yemen, noting the last initiative to host peace talks under the auspices of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

    In a letter sent the U.N. Security Council and seen by Al Arabiya News, Hadi requested “immediate support for the legitimate authority with all means and necessary measures to protect Yemen and repel the aggression of the Houthi militia that is expected at any time on the city of Aden and the province of Taiz, Marib, al-Jouf [and] an-Baidah.”

    In his letter Hadi said such support was also needed to control “the missile capability that was looted” by the Houthi militias.

    Hadi also told the Council that he had requested from the Arab Gulf states and the Arab League “immediate support with all means and necessary measures, including the military intervention to protect Yemen and its people from the ongoing Houthi aggression.”

    http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/26/GCC-states-to-repel-Houthi-aggression-in-Yemen-statement-.html

    • Saudi Arabia Begins Air Campaign in Yemen

      WASHINGTON — Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday night that it had begun a military campaign in Yemen, the beginning of what a Saudi official said was an offensive to restore a Yemeni government that had collapsed after rebel forces took control of large swaths of the country.

      The air campaign began as the internal conflict in Yemen showed signs of degenerating into a proxy war between regional powers. The Saudi announcement came during a rare news conference in Washington by Adel al-Jubeir, the kingdom’s ambassador to the United States.

      Mr. Jubeir said that the Saudis were part of a coalition of about 10 nations determined to blunt the advance of Shiite Houthi rebels, who have overrun Yemen’s capital and forced the American-backed government to flee the war-racked country.

      “We will do whatever it takes to protect the legitimate government of Yemen,” said Mr. Jubeir, who spoke to reporters shortly after the air campaign had begun.

      Mr. Jubeir did not name the other nations involved in the military campaign, but said that American military forces were not involved in the airstrikes.

      The offensive came as fighters and army units allied with the Houthi movement threatened to overrun the southern port of Aden, where the besieged president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, has gone into hiding.

      Yemen shares a long border with Saudi Arabia, a major American ally, and the Saudis had been reported to be massing forces on the Yemen frontier as Mr. Hadi’s last redoubt in Aden looked increasingly imperiled.

      The rapid advances by the president’s opponents included the seizure of a military air base and an aerial assault on his home. There were unconfirmed reports that the president had fled the country by boat for Djibouti, the tiny Horn of Africa nation across the Gulf of Aden.

      The region’s most impoverished country, Yemen has been a central theater of the American fight against Al Qaeda, and its possible collapse presents complex challenges to the Obama administration as it struggles to deal with instability and radical extremism in the Middle East.

      Along with Syria, Iraq and Libya, Yemen is now the fourth state to veer toward political disintegration in the aftermath of the Arab Spring revolts that first erupted four years ago.

      By Wednesday morning, Houthi forces had seized Al Anad air base, which until recently had been used by American counterterrorism forces, about 35 miles from Mr. Hadi’s refuge in Aden, the country’s second-largest city.

      A television network under Houthi control said they had found the base empty and looted, and had captured two senior officers loyal to Mr. Hadi, including his defense minister.

      A few hours later, Yemeni Air Force planes under Houthi control struck targets near the president’s Aden home, and his supporters returned fire with antiaircraft guns. The state television network, also controlled by Houthis, announced a $100,000 bounty for Mr. Hadi’s arrest as rumors about his whereabouts swirled. By nightfall, there were reports that Houthi forces were fighting around the Aden airport, on the outskirts of the city.

      A security official of Mr. Hadi’s government confirmed the loss of Al Anad. Mr. Hadi’s foreign minister reiterated his calls for intervention by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Arab states to stop the Houthis, stoking fears that their advance could trigger a widening regional conflict.

      The country appeared to be sliding toward a civil war as dangerous as any in the region, with elements of a sectarian feud, a regional proxy conflict, the attempted return of an ousted authoritarian and the expansion of anti-Western extremist groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State eager to capitalize on the chaos.

      The Houthis, a minority religious group from northern Yemen, practice a variant of Shiite Islam and receive support from Iran.

      But they are also collaborating with Yemeni security forces still loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the longtime strongman who was pushed from power amid the Arab Spring uprising but now appears to be orchestrating a comeback in alliance with the Houthis.

      With Mr. Saleh’s help, the Houthis now control most of the Yemeni military, including its air force. That has given them a decisive advantage over Mr. Hadi’s forces, as their seizure of the Al Anad base on Wednesday made clear.

      But their ability to control and govern their expanding territory remains far from clear, as does the pushback from Saudi Arabia and other regional powers.

      “I would not be surprised if we see Aden falling to the Houthis tomorrow,” said Ibrahim Sharqieh, deputy director of the Brookings Doha Center. “But that will just set the stage for a prolonged conflict or civil war, because the Houthis have not been able to maintain order even in the areas they have controlled since last year.”

      Mr. Hadi, the president, was installed as a replacement for Mr. Saleh in a transition brokered by Persian Gulf monarchies, and he has the backing of both Saudi Arabia and the United States. But he fled to Aden from the capital, Sana, after the Houthis captured it months ago. His last vestiges of support and protection appeared to be only a small number of military units and some tribal groups based in the predominantly Sunni Muslim south.

      As Mr. Hadi’s opponents have cornered him, his supporters escalated calls for Saudi Arabia, the other Persian Gulf states and Egypt to intervene to hold back the Houthis, portraying them as an arm of Iran.

      At the Arab League, officials said Wednesday that Yemen would top the agenda at a meeting this week of the Arab foreign ministers in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt.

      Against the backdrop of the escalating conflict, Sunni Muslim extremists pledging allegiance to both Al Qaeda and the Islamic State have been escalating their attacks, including sectarian assaults on the Houthis. The Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, claimed responsibility for two bombings of Shiite mosques in Sana on Friday that killed more than 135 people. Al Qaeda’s affiliate, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, already effectively controls pockets of southern Yemen beyond the reach of either Mr. Hadi or the Houthis.

      The United States evacuated its military personnel from Al Anad several days ago, as fighters from Al Qaeda’s Yemeni affiliate moved closer from one side and Houthi fighters pushed closer from the other. About 100 American personnel, including Special Forces commandos, were reportedly stationed there before the evacuation.

      Houthi leaders have said their drive to the south is a battle to root out the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, portraying both groups as instruments of a broad international conspiracy including Israel and Saudi Arabia, as well as Washington.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/26/world/middleeast/al-anad-air-base-houthis-yemen.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share

      cnn video on this page :

      http://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2015/03/26/bts-adel-al-jubeir-saudi-arabia-operations-in-yemen.cnn

  10. U.S. officials fear Iran might attack American troops in Iraq: report

    U.S. officials have growing concerns Iran might launch attacks against American troops in Iraq should nuclear talks between Tehran and world powers collapse, journal Politico reported on Wednesday.

    The U.S. officials, according to the report, voiced concern that a collapse in the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 (United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, and France, plus Germany) could embolden Iranian hard-liners and potentially lead to attacks on Americans in Iraq.

    According to the report, U.S. officials also voiced concern over the safety of U.S. troops in Iraq in relation to U.S. attempts to see the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, one of Iran’s principal allies in the region.

    U.S. officials fear that in either scenario, Tehran could direct Iraqi Shiite militias it commands to attack American troops who are assisting in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to the journal.

    “The current [nuclear] negotiations likely have a restraining effect, but there are other incentives and national interests at stake for the Iranians,” the journal quoted one senior U.S. military official as saying.

    “This is something that we are continually assessing. [Iran’s] history as regional provocateurs and exporters on terrorism demands it,” the official said.

    The U.S. has dispatched 3,000 troops to Iraq as trainers and advisers to Iraqi forces fighting ISIS and Iran is heavily involved military in its neighbor, including sending one of its top generals, Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, the commander of Iran’s secretive Quds Force.

    The journal quoted one military official as saying that there was no imminent threat to U.S. troops in Iraq. It also quoted sources saying that the potential danger was factored into U.S. military planning.

    This concern of Iran harming American troops in Iraq has also impacted on the debate in the Obama administration on whether to push for the removal of Syria’s Assad, the journal reported.

    It quoted Robert Ford, the former U.S. ambassador to Syria, as saying: “Multiple [officials] have told me they’re worried about retaliation in Iraq, which does seem to be influencing our Syria policy.”

    “Basically, they’re afraid that if they provide serious help to the armed opposition against Assad, the Iranians will have their surrogates in Iraq attack us.”

    http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/25/U-S-officials-fear-Iran-might-attack-American-troops-in-Iraq-report.html

  11. Germanwings Pilot Was Locked Out of Cockpit Before Crash in France

    […] an investigator said evidence from a cockpit voice recorder indicated one pilot left the cockpit before the plane’s descent and was unable to get back in.

    A senior military official involved in the investigation described “very smooth, very cool” conversation between the pilots during the early part of the flight from Barcelona to Düsseldorf. Then the audio indicated that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not re-enter.

    “The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer,” the investigator said. “And then he hits the door stronger and no answer. There is never an answer.”

    He said, “You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.”

    While the audio seemed to give some insight into the circumstances leading up to the Germanwings crash, it also left many questions unanswered.

    “We don’t know yet the reason why one of the guys went out,” said the official, who requested anonymity because the investigation is continuing. “But what is sure is that at the very end of the flight, the other pilot is alone and does not open the door.”

    […]The French aviation authorities have made public very little, officially, about the nature of the information that has been recovered from the audio recording, and it was not clear whether it was partial or complete. France’s Bureau of Investigations and Analyses confirmed only that human voices and other cockpit sounds had been detected and would be subjected to detailed analysis.[…]

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/26/world/europe/germanwings-airbus-crash.html?smid=tw-bna&_r=0

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/26/world/europe/germanwings-airbus-crash.html?smid=tw-bna&_r=0

  12. We are entering a new phase of the Sunni – Shiite war, Saudi and the Sunni Gulf States are moving to prevent an Iranian surrogate from controlling the western side of the straits. They are doing this because their economy depends on the free flow of oil through the Strait.
    This creates a major problem for Europe who is dependent on imported oil and provides a saving hand to Russia who needs the money from selling oil and gas to Europe. This move places Putin in the catbird seat over Ukraine and any other breakaway republic he wants to force back into the Russian Empire.
    This creates pressure on China to be more aggressive towards the other nations in the Far East over the various mineral rich areas they are trying to steal from other nations. China needs oil and unless they can get cheap oil from the Gulf they must buy expensive oil from other nations.
    With one of the Iranian Generals talking out of turn and saying that Jordan is the next Iranian target in the Middle East look for Saudi to start trying to find foreign allies that will help keep Iran out of Saudi, this may include an alliance with ISIS.

    • There is also a good probability that there will be Sunni – Shiite violence in Europe and North America as the conflict grows.

      • People think if the KSA as a monolith but they aren’t, the Saudi Royal family is several thousand strong and split in their religious and political leanings. You will find ISIS supporters in the family, ones in power enough to send aid and you will find ISIS opponents who are sending aid to the enemy. Actions like this are old for large powerful families, this way no matter which side wins the family as a whole will survive and maintain power granted some individuals will suffer but the family as a whole will survive.

        • A Chinese friend of mine told me his father and 3 brothers split up after the war. Very old, aristocratic family.

          #1 remained in Red China.
          #2 went to Hong Kong.
          #3 went to Australia.
          #4 came to the USA.

          They all survived, were fruitful and multiplied.

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