An attack at Yemen’s Aden airport left at least 26 dead and more than 50 injured. The images from the airport in Aden, a port city in the south of the country, show huge columns of smoke. The causes of the explosions are not yet known, but some witnesses describe machine gun fire and the launching of mortars.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announces that the number of children who have been unable to go to classes has risen again, and warns that school closures are the wrong response to the Coronavirus pandemic. UNICEF said that nearly one in five students worldwide were unable to go to school at the beginning of this month.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) informed its members in a confidential report on Friday (December 4th) that Iran intends to install more than 500 new centrifuges at the Nazanar nuclear facility in southern Iran. Reuters reports that it has seen the confidential report of the agency.
Following an agreement with UAE, a peace treaty with another Arab country Bahrain is a new step in a cherished dream of Israel and America to win recognition of the Jewish State of Israel without having to complete negotiations for the two state solution which has been most difficult considering the objection of the Palestinians to any type of compromise.
The Southern Transitional Council in Yemen said that it had suspended its participation in the ongoing consultations regarding the power-sharing agreement in the south, known as the “Riyadh Agreement.” The council stated that the decision to suspend its participation in the consultations came for several reasons.
The inflation rate in the Middle East is now estimated to be 8.8% in 2020. With Egypt, possibly the fastest growing Arab country, growing at only 2%, most oil producing countries in the region are seeing economic contractions. The combination of Covid-19 hitting the local population and the oil decline has severely affected this region.
Arab oil exporters are forecasting oil supply cuts of about 50% in 2020 and 2021, levels that have been approved by OPEC agreements. The combination of significant cuts in production, $42 a barrel for oil, and Covid affecting local marketplaces, will have a significantly negative impact on regional economies.
Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said that his country had submitted “legitimate requests” to acquire F-35s. On Thursday, CNN cited US State Department sources and members of Congress stating that Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of US President Donald Trump, was behind the push to complete the deal.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that US and allied forces seized a ship carrying Iranian weapons for Houthi rebels in Yemen on June 28. The names of all the passengers are not mentioned. Pompeo also renewed his call for the U.N. Security Council to extend its arms embargo on Iran.
In a report, the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, warned that the severe shortage of humanitarian aid in Yemen, due to the COVID-19 virus, threatens additional numbers of children with malnutrition in the war-torn country. UNICEF said today that the number of children suffering from malnutrition in Yemen may rise to 2.4 million by the end of the year.
The Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen announced Tuesday the interception and destruction of booby-trapped drones and ballistic missiles launched by the Houthi rebels into the Kingdom. That including a ballistic missile launched towards the capital, Riyadh, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.
The atmosphere of Eid Al-Fitr is different this year in almost all Arab countries. This changes the aspects and ceremonies of holidays in different countries, due to the closure restrictions and the bans imposed by the expanding coronavirus epidemic. Eid‘s Day this year is expected to be quieter.
The UN warned Tuesday that a pandemic of the new coronavirus could lead to “major” famines around the world. David Beasley, director of the World Food Program (WFP), points out that urgent steps need to be taken to avoid catastrophes. According to the World Food Crisis Report released by WFP, at least 135 to 250 million people may be starved.
At least 36 people have died and 42 others injured by floods in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The DRC’s eastern provinces, especially South Kivu, have been hard hit by heavy rains in recent days. As per the UN’s estimates, more than 1.2 million people have been displaced by the catastrophe and are in dire need of food, as well as the other basic amenities.
Saudi Arabia has declared a two-week ceasefire in response to UN efforts to end years of war in Yemen. Saudi Arabia is in command of a military coalition fighting Shiite Houthis in Yemen. Turki al-Maliki, a spokesman for the military coalition, told the Saudi state news agency that the ceasefire would begin at midnight on Thursday.
With the news of a shut down in California, the most highly populated state in America, there is no other way to receive this news in Israel but with shock. Israel and America are partners in the work of building this world to last for another thousand years with peace and health. President Trump began his administration with the goal of reaching global peace but received opposition from the liberal Democrats.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Saudi Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud met in Berlin Friday. Maas said that Germany and Saudi Arabia agreed to prevent Iran from possessing a nuclear bomb. At a joint press conference with Prince Faisal, Maas said that talks between the two sides centered on conflicts in the region, including Libya, Syria, and Yemen, and Iran’s violation of the nuclear agreement.
At least 31 civilians were killed in air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen on Saturday. The attacks in Yemen came the day after the Houthis claimed to have shot down one of the Saudi coalition’s planes. The attack was confirmed by the UN coordinator in the country, Lise Grande.
The Minister of Information in the Yemeni government, Muammar Al-Iryani, denounced the Houthi militias for recruiting children and pushing them to the front lines, saying that the militia’s approach coincides with Iran’s behavior. The minister’s statements came at a time when the Yemeni parties supporting the legitimacy of the government expressed surprise at the calls of the UN envoy Martin Griffiths to hold new consultations with the Houthi militias before implementing the Stockholm Agreement.
The latest report of the UN Security Council’s team of UN experts on Yemen described the Houthi secret security weapon known as the “Preventive Security” as the group’s most influential organ. It also revealed its most repressive tasks, stressing that it operates outside known security structures, and the group’s leader, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi directly.
US President Donald Trump confirmed on Thursday that Qassem al Rimi, leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), was killed in an American military operation in Yemen. “At the direction of President Donald J. Trump, the United States conducted a counterterrorism operation in Yemen that successfully eliminated Qasim al-Rimi, a founder and the leader of al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and a deputy to al-Qa’ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri,” the White House said in a statement.
The Houthi militia’s losses were exacerbated in confrontations with the joint forces in al-Dhale governorate, while the National Army affirmed that the battle to liberate Sanaa was an irreversible option. Military sources said to reporters that the Houthi militia suffered great human and material losses when the joint forces responded to a major attack launched by the Houthi militia in the western al-Dhale governorate.
Martin Griffiths, the UN Special Envoy to Yemen, arrived today in Sana’a to discuss halting the military escalation and ways to hold a round of Yemeni political consultations. A news source at Sanaa International Airport said that Griffiths arrived with his assistant, Muin Shreim. Political sources confirmed that Griffiths will meet with the leaders of the Houthi militia to discuss reducing the military escalation, as part of his attempts to persuade the parties to the conflict to move towards a new round of consultations, without conditions to discuss arrangements for a political solution to the crisis in Yemen.
There has been a tug of war for geopolitical influence and attempts to disrupt the already established balance throughout 2019. We also saw the formation of interesting and very invasive social media polices around the globe. Hence, there were ramifications and changes to the social media landscape:
- France implementing new measures to track and monitor the social media of its citizens.
- Russia is working to complete their digital iron curtain.
- China implementing draconian verification process impacting social credit and privacy.
- UK to ruthlessly start collecting DNA.
- We’ve also seen the rise of deep fake technology that could have a great impact on the US 2020 Presidential elections as well as on the global scale.
Let’s look at the world’s main players and regions:
Hоuthіѕ іn Yеmеn hаvе rеlеаѕеd Sоuth Kоrеаn аnd Sаudі vеѕѕеlѕ ѕеіzеd оvеr thе wееkеnd, the South Korean government ѕаіd Wеdnеѕdау іn a ѕtаtеmеnt. Thе Yemeni Hоuthіѕ hаd соnfіrmеd оn Tuеѕdау thе dеtеntіоn оf a Sаudі tugboat аnd ѕhір аnd a Sоuth Korean drіllіng rіg nоrth оf thе сіtу оf Hоdеіdаh, оn thе Rеd Sеа coast, ѕіnсе Sundау. “The three ships were released after the necessary legal measures,” the Houthi military source said.
Yеmеn’ѕ Houthis аnnоunсеd thеу had seized thrее ѕhірѕ іn thе Rеd Sеа, іnсludіng one frоm Sаudі Arabia. On Mоndау, a ѕеnіоr оffісіаl оf the Yеmеnі Hоuthі grоuр Anѕаr Allаh ѕаіd hіѕ fоrсеѕ hаd dеtаіnеd a “suspected ship” іn thе Rеd Sеа. However, he іndісаtеd thаt hіѕ mоvеmеnt wоuld rеlеаѕе it if іt turnеd out to bеlоng tо Sоuth Kоrеа аftеr the соmрlеtіоn оf lеgаl рrосееdіngѕ.
A Sаudі оffісіаl hаѕ аnnоunсеd an “open channel” bеtwееn the Kіngdоm аnd the Hоuthіѕ since 2016 to ѕuрроrt реасе in Yеmеn. Thе comment саmе аftеr Sаudі Arabia helped brоkеr a роwеr-ѕhаrіng dеаl bеtwееn Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi’ѕ government and ѕоuthеrn separatists.
The government of Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Southern Transitional Council signed an agreement Tuesday in Riyadh to halt infighting. The agreement was signed in the presence оf Sаudі Crown Prince Mohammed bіn Sаlmаn аnd his UAE соuntеrраrt. Thе Unіtеd Nаtіоnѕ was ԛuісk tо wеlсоmе and аnnоunсе іtѕ ѕuрроrt fоr the agreement.
Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Saudi Arabia Monday to meet with Saudi leaders. Putin also held talks with King Salman, as well as with Saudi Arabia over Iran and Syria. The leaders’ talks focused on the issue of oil production and the price of the product in world markets. Political analysts believe that tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, as well as Turkey’s progress in Syria, are among the issues to be discussed at the summit of the leaders of the two countries.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who traveled to Tehran to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia, met with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday. The Supreme Leader praised the Pakistani government’s concern for peace and security, saying, “the Islamic Republic of Iran has for a long time presented a four-point plan to end the war in Yemen.” He added, “the end of this war in the proper way can have positive effects on the region.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has described relations with neighbors, and facilitating economic affairs, as Iran’s “top foreign policy priority.” Mr. Zarif made these remarks while answering questions from members in the Iranian Parliament. He cited his trip to Pakistan to congratulate Imran Khan after he became Prime Minister, saying he was the first foreign minister to do so.
Saudi Arabia is considering a proposal by the Houthi rebels for a ceasefire in Yemen, Reuters reported on Friday. Three other diplomatic sources and two well-informed sources told Reuters that the Kingdom was seriously considering some form of a ceasefire in an attempt to halt the escalation of the 4-year conflict in Yemen.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said he assumed “full responsibility” for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the regime, but denied ordering the murder. “This was a heinous crime but I take full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia especially because it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government,” the Crown Prince said in an interview with the US TV program 60 Minutes on Sunday.
A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen accused the Houthis of waging a “misleading media campaign.” The accusation was the coalition’s first response after two days of silence on the Houthis’ announcement of a major offensive near the Saudi border and the taking of prisoners.
Houthi militants claim to have captured many militants during a massive attack on the southern border of Saudi Arabia. So far, no independent sources have confirmed the news, and Saudi Arabia has been silent. Yemeni Houthis say they conducted the largest military operation against the Saudi-led coalition forces during the three days ending on Saturday, and have “liberated” hundreds of square kilometers of areas under their control.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s efforts to arrange a meeting between the US and Iranian leaders continued in New York on Tuesday. Hassan Rouhani described Mr. Macron’s efforts to lift US sanctions against Iran as a success, but Donald Trump said in a speech at the UN General Assembly that sanctions would not be lifted as long as Iran’s threatening behavior continues. Mr. Macron first met with Mr. Rouhani on Monday night. He said on Tuesday evening that Mr. Rouhani was accompanying British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to meet with the British Prime Minister.
In his speech to the UN General Assembly, US President Donald Trump is expected to explain his policy towards Iran. At the same time, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has praised Western powers’ statements on the Saudi oil facility attack and has demanded Iran’s international condemnation. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has rejected talks with the United States.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attack on Aramco. The United Kingdom is one of the countries participating in the US-led offshore Gulf security mission. According to the Associated Press, Prime Minister Johnson made his announcement and accusation on Sunday.
Saudi authorities said they were ready to take any necessary measures in response to an attack on its oil facilities. Riyadh continues to insist that Iran is responsible for last week’s attacks. The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had reviewed the preliminary results of the investigation after the attack on oil facilities, in which it claims Iranian-made weapons were used in the attack.
Yemeni Houthis have offered to halt all attacks against Saudi Arabia if Saudi Arabia stops its attacks and the coalition it leads. The United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen welcomed the proposal, and described it as a first step towards ending the six-year war in Yemen. “This proposal could send a powerful message of the will to end the war,” Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths said on Saturday.
The Commander in Chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hossein Salami, warned against attacking his country, saying that any such attack would result in the destruction of the invader. The statement of Gen. Salami comes after Washington’s announcement to send troops to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, following the attack on Saudi oil installations last week. Tehran denied the allegations of involvement in the attack.
The US has announced plans to send forces to Saudi Arabia in the wake of attacks against the country’s oil infrastructure. Historically, before a war there is a provocation. However, looking at the attack trajectory, there are a few odd details in the scenario.
On Friday, US Department of Defense officials planned to present military options against Iran at a meeting with President Donald Trump. Last Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities were attacked and severely damaged in two locations north of the country. The attack cut half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production and had an immediate impact on world oil prices. Although the Yemeni Houthi group claimed responsibility for the attacks, and said they carried out the simultaneous flight of ten UAVs, Saudi and US officials said the attack was carried out by Iran.
Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said today that it would be “all-out war” if Saudi Arabia or the United States dared to carry out a military attack on Iran. The already frosty relationship between the US and Iran has escalated in recent days, following attacks on two Saudi oil plants that Washington and Riyadh have attributed to Tehran. However, Tehran has maintained its innocence in as far as the attack is concerned, and it denies any involvement in any way whatsoever.
The Iranian Foreign Minister has wrarned that any attack on his country would be considered “all-out war,” after the US Secretary of State supported Saudi Arabia’s defense after the attack on Saudi oil facilities. Javad Zarif has said this after his US counterpart, Mike Pompeo, said that the attack on Saudi oil facilities was an act of war, that Iran’s actions were unbearable, and that the United States was following the recent attacks on Saudi Arabia’s crude oil facilities.
The Saudi monarchy experienced attacks against their oil production facilities in the last week. Tensions in the Middle East escalated following the drone attacks on the two largest oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The global economic impact will be felt, since Saudi Arabia lost more than half of their crude output via the attacks. The nation is the number one oil producer in the world, holds 5% of the global oil supply, and cut output by 5.7 million barrels per day. last year, Aramco’s net income was $111.1 billion.
Saudi Arabia’s new ambassador to the UK has warned against hurrying to respond to Saturday’s attack on oil facilities in his country. Speaking to reporters, Prince Khalid bin Bandar Saud said the attacks were a blow to the world and their economy but warned that the Middle East could not afford more conflict.
The United States says it is assessing evidence of attacks on two Saudi oil facilities and stands ready to defend its interests. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Saudi Arabia today to discuss the US response to attacks on Saudi oil facilities, Vice President Mike Pence said.
Tensions in the Persian Gulf have increased following Saturday’s drone strike on Saudi Arabia, the United States’ closest ally in the region. Critics of President Donald Trump say he needs to work with his western allies to ease tensions in the Middle East.