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“April”

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By Saher Yahia

Hey honest Egypt ..
oh silks Egypt proud: Do not let tomorrow burns ..
Do not make your voice choking aspirations ..
Saher Yahya

Liberation movement of dissident insurgency announced its intention to end the rule of Sisi .. and April 19 “April” date announcement during big events popular crowd in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Mr. Mohamed Fawzi, general coordinator of the movement of the Egyptian liberation has announced that he will be detected roadmap for waves of revolutionary come to end the allied military rule of the family with the enemies of the Arab nation and reactionary, and in the special permit Mr. said: “Fawzi Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has no vision and the country pass conditions difficult, “explaining that” Sisi the tradition of blind he walks on Nasser’s approach to the war in Yemen and the adoption of the vote is louder than the voice of battle, ignoring the circumstances and the time came when Nasser, “he said and denounced Fawzi directing Alliance, which includes Egypt, Saudi Arabia and their weapons to Yemen brother while does not have the raises his weapon towards Israel and called Fawzi at the end of his honorable Arab world support the revolutionary wave map in Egypt.

Said Mohammed Fawzi – leader of the dissident-on insurgency and general coordinator of the liberation movement that: “Sisi late and we will announce the date of the zero hour next week.” He said Mohammed Fawzi in a statement a special newspaper people “that Sisi has ended and will pass the country’s strong crisis in the coming days, has been scheduled to pretend liberalization Day next Sunday, April 19,” April “, also pointed out that the movement has developed a complete strategy for the next wave of revolutionary , that revolution in the name distinguishes it has been named to announce is the other Sunday, also stressed that the movement will participate in a number of demonstrations in the coming weeks without raising any slogans only aware of Egypt. He added that the liberation movement has embarked weeks ago in the silence of the distribution of a number of publications and knock on the doors of Workers and Employees , where he received a great response and reaction by the citizens of the various categories of Egyptian society.

Written by altahrir

April 15, 2015 at 8:51 pm

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Amir Khan describes jihadists as ‘brainwashed’

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In a speech in northern England, Khan said he is more British than UKIP

Boxing champion Amir Khan said he believe that militants are brainwashed, which pushes him to go to schools and talk to children to follow the “right path.”

“Kids don’t grow up thinking about going out and killing innocent people,” Khan said at a community event in Northern England. His comments were widely carried by British media.

His remarks came weeks after three schoolgirls from east London fled to join ISIS in Syria. The trio disappeared during the February half-term holiday. They have been identified as potentially vulnerable to radicalization after a classmate managed to board a plane to Turkey before them.

Khan is a British boxer. His grandfather was born in Pakistan and came to Britain in the 1960s. Since the beginning of his career, Khan has been in the political scene.

Speaking at the same event, Khan – who has been previously attacked over his race – described himself more British than the UK Independence Party, UKIP, because he fought for the UK in the Olympics.

In response to claims that cultural tolerance has been decreasing in the northwestern town of Bolton, where UKIP is doing well, Khan responded: “I’ve got nothing but a lot of love here from a lot of people.

“But maybe it’s because I’m probably more British than UKIP are because I represented the country in the Olympic Games.”

(Source / 13.04.2015)

Written by altahrir

April 13, 2015 at 7:47 pm

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Letter to King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Sa`ud on Armed Conflict in Yemen

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King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Sa`ud

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques

Riyadh

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Re: Armed Conflict in Yemen

Your Highness:

We are writing to remind your government of its international legal obligations with respect to the military campaign in Yemen. Already several hundred civilians have reportedly been killed since airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition began on March 26, 2015, some in apparent violation of international humanitarian law, or the laws of war. International humanitarian organizations have also reported many difficulties providing medical and other humanitarian assistance to populations at risk.

We urge your government to take immediate steps to minimize civilian harm during airstrikes and other military operations and to facilitate the safe delivery of impartial humanitarian assistance.

The laws of war apply to the members of the coalition and all other parties to the conflict, including non-state armed groups. The laws of war prohibit deliberate attacks on civilians, attacks that cannot discriminate between civilians and combatants, and attacks expected to cause disproportionate loss of civilian life compared to military gain. All feasible precautions must be taken to minimize harm to civilians. Prisoners must be treated humanely at all times.

During the first days after the coalition began attacks against Houthi forces in Sanaa, airstrikes killed as many as 34 civilians, including children. Neither the coalition nor the Houthi forces appeared to take all necessary measures to minimize civilian casualties – the coalition bombed densely populated neighborhoods while the Houthis deployed anti-aircraft weapons among civilians.[1]

On March 30, coalition airstrikes hit a well-known displaced persons’ camp in Mazraq in northern Yemen, killing at least 29 civilians and wounding 41, including 14 children. A medical facility at the camp and a local market were hit. Human Rights Watch found no military target that would legally justify such a high civilian toll.[2]

The humanitarian situation in Yemen appears to be deteriorating. We are deeply concerned by reports that international humanitarian organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) were initially unable to bring into Yemen needed medical supplies and trained personnel, in part because of disruptions to air and sea transport. We welcome the arrival of ICRC and MSF shipments to Sanaa and Aden on April 7 and 8 but note that humanitarian organizations will need ongoing and timely clearances to bring in additional medical and other humanitarian supplies by air and sea.

We urge your government to ensure that the coalition will facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid to civilians in need as required by international humanitarian law. Civilians, including foreign nationals, need freedom of movement to seek safer areas.

On April 8, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Chaloka Beyani, urged the international community “to prepare for massive displacement and humanitarian crisis” in Yemen. According to the World Health Organization, at least 311 civilians have been killed and 513 injured in fighting in the last two weeks, and more than 100,000 have been displaced. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reported that “in addition to the IDP camp, reports have indicated that numerous hospitals, schools and other civilian buildings have been damaged by airstrikes and power and water supplies cut.”

Parties to the conflict have an international legal obligation to impartially investigate alleged violations by their forces, ensure accountability and offer appropriate redress to the victims. The presence in the coalition of Sudan, whose forces have committed numerous war crimes in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan, and whose president is under an arrest warrant for genocide from the International Criminal Court, heightens concerns about adherence to the laws of war.

We have previously raised concerns about your government’s use of cluster bombs in Yemen in 2009.[3] We welcomed the comments of Brig. Gen. Ahmad al-Assiri at a news conference in Riyadh on March 29, when he said, “We are not using cluster bombs at all.” We encourage you to make clear that Saudi Arabia will not use cluster munitions or other unlawful weapons, such as anti-personnel landmines, under any circumstances, and to encourage other coalition members to do the same.

We are fully aware that the Houthi forces, which have controlled much of northern Yemen since September 2014, have a poor human rights record: they have recruited children and fired on peaceful protesters and journalists, which Human Rights Watch has documented and condemned.[4] But violations of the laws of war by one party to a conflict do not justify violations by another.

Human Rights Watch takes no position on the legitimacy of resorting to armed force. Instead, we monitor the conduct of the warring parties. We urge Saudi Arabia, other coalition members, and all other parties to the conflict to ensure compliance with the laws of war and in that manner limit the harm to all civilians affected.

Yours sincerely,

Kenneth Roth

Executive Director


[1] Human Rights Watch, “Yemen: Saudi-Led Airstrikes Take Civilian Toll,” March 2015,http://www.hrw.org/news/2015/03/28/yemen-saudi-led-airstrikes-take-civilian-toll.

[2] Human Rights Watch, “Yemen: Airstrike on Camp Raises Grave Concerns,” April 2015, http://www.hrw.org/news/2015/04/01/yemen-airstrike-camp-raises-grave-concerns.

[3] Human Rights Watch, “Yemen: Saudi-Led Airstrikes Take Civilian Toll,” March 2015, http://www.hrw.org/news/2015/03/28/yemen-saudi-led-airstrikes-take-civilian-toll.

[4] Human Rights Watch, “Yemen: Houthis Use Deadly Force Against Protesters,” April 2015,http://www.hrw.org/news/2015/04/07/yemen-houthis-use-deadly-force-against-protesters.

(Source / 13.04.2015)

Written by altahrir

April 13, 2015 at 7:24 pm

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Islamophobic extremists – a real threat to world peace

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Samar Fatany

In last week’s column, I wrote about Islamophobia and how it is misleading many and making them enemies of Islam in the West.

I had hoped that my article would influence a more tolerant approach toward innocent Muslims who are being killed and displaced and whose homes are being destroyed by terrorists in the name of Islam.

However, I was really saddened by the attack I received for trying to address the issue and promote a better understanding.

One of the letters that was very disturbing showed an extreme contempt for Islam, closing all doors for dialogue and rapprochement.

I will include some extracts that reveal the extent of the defamation that goes on in the attempt to give Islam a bad name.

“I just don’t like Islam and what it stands for. I don’t like the lies being told about a peaceful religion but the Quran and hadiths tell a different story.

“I can read and do not need a Muslim cleric to reinterpret the Quran and hadiths. They say what they say and no amount of reinterpretation will change that.

“I have read many stories about your Prophet, and I don’t find anything that he did or said to be an example to mankind.

“The so-called terrorists are only doing what the Quran and Sunnah tell them to do, … the religion has created more wars and has been responsible for more atrocities in the name of Allah or God than any other cause.”

Enough is enough; let us all show some respect for the beliefs that are sacred to different cultures

Samar Fatany

The writer goes on to justify the bombing of Muslim lands by Bush and says: “As for Bush bombing Muslim lands, I guess he was only doing what Muslim nations can’t do, and that is to bring order into despotic Muslim nations.

“What would you do if two of your towers were bought down by Saudi nationals no less.” This kind of logic is totally unacceptable.

If we remain silent…

We live in a more enlightened era. The international community should take a stronger stand against those who abuse their power to wage wars so as never to repeat the experience of the ugly religious wars of the past or the two world wars that killed thousands and spread destruction and ruin by the orders of egotistical and selfish leaders.

The attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan should have never been allowed. Ten years later we continue to suffer from the negative consequences of these wars.

And if we remain silent we could be headed for another world war. The writer then insists that Muslims are Jew haters, and praises MEMRI TV that shows many clips of Muslim clerics calling for the destruction of Jews wherever they are.

Well, of course, the Israeli network will never report anything positive about Muslims. According to Wikipedia, Western critics assert that MEMRI “portrays the Arab and Muslim world in a negative light, through the production and dissemination of inaccurate translations and by selectively translating views of extremists while deemphasizing or ignoring mainstream opinions.”

The illogical writer then admits that Christians also killed Jews and Muslims; however, he dismisses it as something of the past that happened hundreds of years ago.

He even claims that Hitler who was responsible for the Holocaust was not a Christian. Indeed, it is strange how he conveniently dismisses Christian killings as something of the past and yet is adamant in attacking Muslims for their past.

Muslims are not Jew haters as is claimed. Jews lived in Arab countries, had the same Arab names and were respected merchants until the formation of Israel in 1948 which created the division.

Another accusation is that Muslims want to burn churches referring to a fatwa (religious edict) issued by an obscure cleric.

First of all, in Islamic tradition any attack on Jesus or Moses (peace be upon them) is considered blasphemous and is rejected by all.

Churches exist in most Muslim countries and there are many Christians living in Muslim lands.

Moreover, why not highlight Reverend Terry Jones and his burning of the Holy Quran and the demolition of churches and mosques in occupied Palestine.

Enough is enough; let us all show some respect for the beliefs that are sacred to different cultures.

As educated people, we should not support the foolish among us or indulge in picking on negative aspects of what different cultures hold sacred.

Terrorists only represent themselves, and by the way, they are killing and terrorizing Muslims in Muslim lands.

They are criminals who are a product of weak states and lawless countries. All countries have their own share of criminals and gangsters, but unfortunately, not all countries are able to implement strict laws to stop them or have a strong police force to deter them or a powerful army to protect their borders.

The propagators of Islamophobic themes incite hatred and intolerance to create more conflicts and wars.

Ultimately no one benefits except the arms dealers who would do anything to fill their coffers.

Muslims, Christians and Jews must stand united against hatemongers and preach tolerance, compassion and peaceful coexistence.

(Source / 12.04.2015)

Written by altahrir

April 12, 2015 at 7:51 pm

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THE RISING TIDE OF SUICIDE IN GAZA

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Gaza-Suicides

: The Suffering of a People Manifest

There has been an alarming increase of suicide attempts in the Gaza Strip in response to Israel’s gruesome assault on the Palestinian population this summer. The terrifying trauma and devastating loss, left every man, woman and child with intense feelings of despair and hopelessness.

Many are seen walking the streets, in a stupor, avoiding each other’s gaze or mumbling to themselves. Complaints of poverty fill the air and the memories of Genocide are stuck in the brains of everyone.

Gaza’s medical and police reports reveal there are 30 to 40 suicide attempts each month. For a 1.8 million population, this is an alarming number, which is anticipated to increase.

Dr. Ayman Sahbani head of the reception department at Shifa Medical Complex said they see people eating large doses of medications, poisons such as rat poison and pesticides, cutting themselves, jumping from heights or shooting, burning or hanging. Many of them have been saved at the final moments, while others did not survive. If they survive, they are brought before a psychologist from Gaza’s Community Mental Health Program (G.C.M.H.P.).

Dr. Sahbani explained in a press statement something even more disturbing, “those who attempt suicide are younger groups, and all cases are either minors or under the age of 30.”

One young female had poured gasoline on herself and lit herself on fire. After suffering severe burns, she was transferred to the Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah, and then transferred to the Dar Al Shifa in Gaza City, where she died.

There is a danger to ones health in failed suicide attempts. Acanutod Imad Fayoumy, Head of Internal Medicine in Gaza said, “all cases dealing with large doses of drugs and toxins, if they arrive late to the hospital, due to the influence of poisons on the heart, brain and kidney, may cause them significant health problems in the future.”

Dr. Fayoumy advised parents to follow up with their children and keep all medicines and poisons, out of the reach of their youth, especially medicines used by parents or the chronically ill.

Youth are most susceptible to the “sense of helplessness.” There’s a tremendous need for psychological support in Gaza, which youth is just not getting.

UNICEF reported in September, that 430,000 children are in need of immediate psychological support.

The cost of failing to treat children suffering from PTSD or CPTSD is far too high. We can rebuild a broken bone, but when it comes to rebuilding someone’s psychological integrity, this is something that the people in the West and the Israelis don’t understand. They’re creating psychological damage for these kids that will be with them for the rest of their lives and will be carried through the generations.

Psychologist, Dr. Lena Geha a trauma expert and member of the Palestinian Trauma Center recently announced in a press release, “There is nowhere near a sufficient amount of mental health hospitals in Gaza to meet the growing demand of those previously, let alone currently rapidly traumatized. That is even when they do in fact courageously overcome mental health stigma to seek psychological support.” She also stated, “Palestinian children are constantly traumatized, and Israel’s brutal policies toward Palestinians are the reason this is the case.”

Dr. Geha continues, “Palestinian children in Gaza are exposed to more violence in their lifetime than any other people, any other children, anywhere in the world.

A Palestinian child born in the year 2000, who has managed to survive, has lived through the Second Intifada, the war in 2006, and the bombardment of Gaza in 2008, 2012, and now, 2014.  That’s fourteen years of Israeli air strikes, fourteen years of family and friends being killed, one by one, or sometimes 25 at a time, and fourteen years of constant trauma inducing horrors, ranging from daily realities of the blockade and occupation, to seemingly bi-annual outbursts of carnage.”

A 2009 study from Dr. Abdul Aziz Thabet, and others from the Gaza Mental Health Community Program, found that 98.3 percent of children from Gaza show signs of PTSD. It’s logical to say that number is at 100% today. There isn’t a single Palestinian in Gaza that wasn’t traumatized by the gross Israeli war crimes of this summer.

Gaza’s Community Mental Health Program (G.C.M.H.P.) provides treatment for the cyclical traumas of Gaza’s society, which has been subjected to three wars in the past six years alone. It has also, from its founding, trained Gaza’s future mental-health practitioners. In this summer’s assault, the Director of G.C.M.H.P., Yasser Abu Jamei was deliberately targeted by the Israeli Government, loosing a devastating, 29 people of his immediate family in one air strike  to his 3-story home.

The main reasons Gaza youth express for giving up on life are family problems, unemployment, or academic issues. Unemployment is the highest it’s ever been in Gaza. Extreme poverty combined with the shame of relying on foreign food aid and no hope or means to plan for the future is too much for youngsters to bear.

Before this summer’s assault, 75% of Gaza was relying on humanitarian aid to survive. After the assault, UN reported that almost everyone in Gaza is now relying on foreign aid. Aid, which Israel and Egypt control at the Rafah Boarder.

Dr. Sami Owaida, a psychologist at G.C.M.H.P. stressed that PTSD and psychological stress due to the worsening economic situation and the lack of jobs, is turning some people to practicing violence with others as a catharsis of anger, or to attempting suicide as an escape from reality.

He held the Israeli occupation responsible for what is happening, saying that the occupation in various ways and means is trying to create a helpless generation that can not do anything but try to escape.

Another psychologist from G.C.M.H.P., Samir Zaqout said the majority of attempted suicides are females, stating that the females in Palestinian society are under greater pressure from parents and must endure societal constraints. Dr. Zaqout goes on to say, that this statistic is not strange given the tragic reality. And we are seeing a rise in prostitution, since life has lost it’s value and a large number of people have not enough money to eat. She also said, “There is alienation within the family unit, due to a great need for a shift in cultural awareness.”

Sheikh Abdul Bari, a lecturer at the Faculty of Islamic Call, said that suicide is not in any way acceptable, whether it is social, economic or other reasons, and that “Allah has forbidden killing oneself. ”

Dr Jennifer Leaning, Director, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University said, “in all studies of disaster and in war crisis, the fundamental feature that protects the children from serious psychological stress is “their certainty and their confidence that their parents or grandparents will be able to protect them and hold them. If they can get the sense that the parent is OK, then they will be able to be ok in the long-term. But in Gaza, there is a deliberate and total destruction of the structures for psychological stability of the parents, and grandparents are also suffering greatly. The ongoing Israeli violence and lingering occupation keeps uncertainty for any normal future for Gaza. With Gaza, there is an extraordinary series of acute stress on top of chronic stress.”

Journalist, Mohammed Matter recalls his experience of the Israeli assaults on Gaza

“I still remember how people used to say good bye instead of good night before they go to sleep, I remember my sister who used to smuggle into my room because she was too scared to stay in hers alone. I remember when I heard the news about the death of my cousin and then the death of my second cousin and then the death of my third cousin and then the death of my neighbor and then the death of my best friend and then the death of my first girl friend ever and then the death of another friend and then the death of another neighbor; it was a cycle that has never ended and with every loss I cried, my family cried, my friends cried and Gaza cried.”

And I cry too, for the inhumane suffering of Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza. Palestinians are not caged animals, but caged human beings.

ADDITIONAL SOURCES:

30 attempt suicide every month in the Gaza Strip

Suicide attempts girls and youth in Gaza .. transient condition or pervasive phenomenon

30 attempt suicide every month in the Gaza Strip

(Source / 09.04.2015)

Written by altahrir

April 9, 2015 at 7:35 pm

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How the Israeli Army “Helps” Palestinians

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It seems that the Israeli Defense Forces, far from repressing Palestinians under their control, are just trying to help. This is what we learn from a recent report by Isabel Kershner in The New York Times. In the occupied West Bank, she writes, the military is making an effort to provide Palestinians with “economic stability and revive the local economy.”

In “Israel’s Military Faces Delicate Balance in West Bank,” Kershner quotes an Israeli general who claims that the army has allowed freer movement of Palestinians in an effort to “offset the growing economic hardship.” This, says Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, is being done even though it involves “some security risks.”

Readers who pay even minimal attention to alternative media will sense serious dissonance here. This talk of easing the burden contrasts with accounts of some very different activities on the part of Israeli forces: the demolition of homes, the confiscation of equipment, the destruction of water systems, the uprooting of olive trees and other activities that directly threaten the livelihoods of Palestinians.

Just last week, for example, the army entered Khan al Ahmar, a Bedouin community outside Jerusalem, and removed a dozen solar panels. The panels had been donated by an organization that promotes sustainability and were the only source of electricity for the village and a school serving all the Bedouin communities in the area. B’Tselem, an Israeli rights organization, reported that the last of the panels had been put in place the same day the army arrived to take them away.

The following day Israeli officers uprooted and confiscated 120 olive trees near Salfit in the northern West Bank, claiming that the farmers who owned the trees had been told to evacuate their land. This came on top of a one-week period last month when the armydestroyed 492 trees in three communities across the West Bank. The orchards, according to the army, had been declared “state land.”

The same week that Israeli forces were uprooting nearly 500 olive trees, officersconfiscated water tanks in the northern Jordan Valley farming community of al Farisiyah, which is not connected to a water supply network. Another Jordan Valley community lost its water supply in late January when the army confiscated all its recently installed water pipes.

The IDF is responsible for all of this, whether in its role as the Civil Administration (a branch of the military) or as troops guarding the agency’s workers.

Yet Kershner reports in the Times that these same Israeli forces who are devastating homes, fields, solar panels and water tanks are trying to bolster the economy of the West Bank. Without a hint of irony she quotes General Alon as saying that the government has instructed his army to “maintain security, civilian and economic stability as much as we can.”

Kershner blames at least part of the West Bank’s economic problems on the Israeli government’s decision to withhold tax revenue from the Palestinian Authority, a punitive measure taken after Palestinians joined the International Criminal Court at the beginning of this year. There is no mention of the fact that army officials are tasked with destroying the most basic amenities in West Bank communities.

Nor is anything said about home demolitions, which have driven East Jerusalem families out of their neighborhoods and forced a number of West Bank Palestinians to take shelter in caves. Some 15 families in the village of Al Mafqara near Hebron are now living in mountainside caves after the army destroyed the homes they were building. The army raids also destroyed a generator, the only source of electricity for the village.

It would take only minimal efforts to alleviate the burdens of Palestinians who now live without electricity or piped water, but this is not part of the mitigation plan described by General Alon. Israel’s “effort to offset economic hardship” involves two policy changes: allowing Palestinians with permits to enter Israel simply by showing their identity cards and by lowering the age of permit applicants from 24 to 22.

Even this is a “risk,” according to Alon, but apparently it is seen as a safety valve, a way to prevent Palestinian unrest. Readers would never know from this story and others in theTimes that Palestinians are the ones at constant risk of harassment, loss and damages.

Kershner writes that her interview with General Alon was a “rare” opportunity and came only as he was leaving his tour of duty as top commander in the West Bank. Here was a chance to ask some urgent questions concerning army abuses in the territory—the arrest,mistreatment and detention of Palestinian children, for instance, and the excessive use ofdeadly force during demonstrations, both well-documented by monitoring agencies.

But none of this was on Kershner’s radar. General Alon was allowed to hold forth on his efforts to “offset the economic hardship” in the West Bank, apparently without any unwelcome questions from the Times’ reporter. The result is a story with blinders on, one that turns away from the facts on the ground and gives voice to a claim that is ultimately absurd.

(Source / 08.04.2015)

Written by altahrir

April 8, 2015 at 7:59 pm

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The calm that preceded the ‘Decisive Storm’

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Faisal J. Abbas

As Operation Decisive Storm continues to successfully degrade the military capabilities of the Houthi militias and emasculate their illegitimate power grab campaign in Yemen, it is worth reflecting a bit on the quiet period that preceded the swift and sudden Saudi-led intervention.

In fact, it would be fair to argue that Operation Decisive Storm came as an absolute surprise to most observers as it portrayed a Saudi ability and willingness – when required – to implement a rapid military ‘Shock and Awe’ strategy.

As columnist Nawaf Obeid puts it in a recent Washington Post article, the sudden launch of the recent operation in Yemen ‘Should serve notice to the world that a major generational shift underway in the kingdom is sure to have far-reaching geopolitical ramifications’.

According to Obeid, who is a visiting fellow and associate instructor at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, the new Saudi leadership — centered on a cadre of youthful, dynamic royals and technocrats — is developing a foreign policy doctrine to address long-standing regional tensions. This doctrine is based on the legitimacy of the Saudi monarchy and the centrality of the kingdom to the Muslim world.

Evidently, the Saudi-led campaign against the Houthis and militias loyal to the deposed former leader Ali Abdullah Saleh garnered massive Arab, Muslim (apart from Iran which continues to back the Houthi coup) and international support – and perhaps deserves recognition for being one of the very few topics to get bipartisan support at the U.S. Congress as well as from the White House.

Operation Decisive Storm came as an absolute surprise to most observers as it portrayed a Saudi ability and willingness – when required – to implement a rapid military ‘Shock and Awe’ strategy

Faisal J. Abbas

However, despite Saudi Arabia’s strategic position and its incredible religious, political and economic importance, obtaining such global support and forging such a solid alliance is not a coincidental matter nor could it be achieved overnight.

Nevertheless, the coalition was still brought together in record time, namely within the few weeks that fell in between King Salman’s ascension to the Saudi throne late January and preceded the inauguration of Operation Decisive Storm on 25 March. (Record time is note-worthy, given that for years, Saudi Arabia wasn’t known for its ability to make rapid decisions or take quick action).

In the weeks that followed his inauguration, King Salman met – almost on a daily basis – with tens of world leaders and delegates. Evidently, the meetings – particularly with the likes of Egypt’s Sisi, Turkey’s Erdogan and Sudan’s Bashir, were about much more than the official statements he had announced at the time.

Saudi King Salman held meetings with (From L clockwise) Turkey’s Erdogan, Sudan’s Bashir and Egypt’s Sisi in the run up to ‘Decisive Storm’.

During these rapid, back-to-back meetings, the Saudi leadership managed to successfully convince traditional rivals such as Turkey and Egypt to put aside their differences and get them both to commit to a common cause. It also managed to bring Sudan back into the Arab fold after years of warming up to Tehran. (Sudan – with its vital geographic proximity to Yemen – is fully backing the coalition and has contributed three fighter jets).

Furthermore, following a casual get-together where GCC leaders over a weekend gathering with King Salman at the Auja traditional palace; it seems the infamous Gulf rift has been – at least for now – resolved, with Qatar contributing 10 fighter jets and seemingly being in full-support of Operation Decisive Storm (Oman, typically, didn’t contribute militarily but it didn’t oppose the air campaign. Its non-interference has been reportedly agreed on with other Gulf countries.)

Gathering of officials at the Auja palace: Saudi King Salman (L) greets Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan (R), Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa (2nd L), Qatari Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani (3rd L) and Kuwait’s Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.

Let us not forget the Saudi-backed announcement of the formation of a joint Arab military force at the recent Arab League summit in Sharm El-Sheikh and the fact that within hours of announcing the commencement of military strikes, Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) pilots managed – almost instantly – to take control of Yemeni airspace and target andeliminate a number of senior Houthi leaders (apart from the courage and excellent training of RSAF pilots, this is also a very good sign of successful intelligence sharing which was coordinated and agreed prior to the attacks.)

With the situation continuing to develop in Yemen, the Houthi militias will be well-advised to accept King Salman’s invitation to come back to the negotiating table without prior conditions, accept the legitimacy of President Hadi and work together with him and the global community to re-build Yemen. Indeed, Abdulmalik al-Houthi, his backers in Tehran and their fox ally, deposed leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, must understand that they have entered a war they simply can’t win and that with such a coalition, they are literally surrounded and helpless in the face of a new, pro-active and determined Saudi Arabia.

(Source / 05.04.2015)

Written by altahrir

April 5, 2015 at 8:04 pm

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