Pubblicato in: Medio Oriente, Stati Uniti

Iran. Missili su al-Asad.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-01-08.

2020-01-08__Al-Asad 001

«Da Teheran il corpo delle Guardie Rivoluzionarie Iraniane ha annunciato come “la feroce vendetta” per l’uccisione del generale Soleimani è iniziata e ha affermato che l’operazione iniziale si è conclusa con successo e che la base di al-Asad, contro cui sarebbero stati lanciati almeno 35 missili, “è stata completamente distrutta”.»

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Iran lancia l’attacco agli Usa, colpite due basi in Iraq. Primo bilancio, almeno 80 morti

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Non sono ancora disponibili informazioni sicure: alcuni menzionano 80 morti, altre nessun caduto.

A quanto potrebbe sembrare:

– l’Iran dispone di missili in grado di colpire almeno le basi americane in Medio Oriente;

– non sappiamo se gli americani abbiano o meno cercato di intercettare tali missili: sappiamo solo che li hanno individuati quasi al decollo con i radar;

– «gli uomini si sarebbero rifugiati in appositi bunker»: questo è un segno che l’allarme è stato dato con sufficiente preavviso e che i missili iraniani non viaggiavano a velocità elevate.

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Iran lancia la rappresaglia contro gli Usa, attaccate base in Iraq

L’Iran ha lanciato l’operazione ‘Soleimani Martire’ sferrando un attacco missilistico in Iraq contro due basi che ospitano le truppe americane e quelle della coalizione, tra cui militari italiani. Una pioggia di cruise e di missili balistici a corto raggio partita dal territorio iraniano e che si è abbattuta contro la base di al-Asad e contro quella di Erbil, come prima rappresaglia per l’uccisione del generale Qassem Soleimani da parte degli Usa.

Secondo la tv di Stato iraniana, ci sarebbe stata anche una seconda ondata di attacchi. Al momento non si hanno notizie di vittime, feriti o danni. Il personale del contingente militare italiano ad Erbil si è radunato in un’area di sicurezza – secondo quanto appreso dall’ANSA – e gli uomini si sarebbero rifugiati in appositi bunker. Risultano tutti illesi.

Il Pentagono, in una nota, ha affermato che dopo aver messo al corrente dei fatti il presidente americano Donald Trump sta ancora valutando le conseguenze dell’offensiva. Intanto a Washington si è riunito il consiglio per la sicurezza nazionale alla presenza del segretario di Stato Mike Pompeo e del numero uno del Pentagono Mark Esper.

Da Teheran il corpo delle Guardie Rivoluzionarie Iraniane ha annunciato come “la feroce vendetta” per l’uccisione del generale Soleimani è iniziata e ha affermato che l’operazione iniziale si è conclusa con successo e che la base di al-Asad, contro cui sarebbero stati lanciati almeno 35 missili, “è stata completamente distrutta”.

L’Iran minaccia quindi “azioni ancor più devastanti” se gli Usa dovessero decidere di rispondere. “Se l’Iran dovesse essere attaccato sul suo territorio – avvertono le Guardie Rivoluzionarie – Dubai, Haifa e Tel Aviv verranno colpite in un terzo round di attacchi da parte dell’Iran”. Intanto volano le quotazioni del petrolio, balzato del 3,4% a 65 dollari, e dell’oro, a quota 1.600 dollari l’oncia ai massimi dal 2013.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Diplomazia, Medio Oriente

Oro. Schizzato a 1,553.25. Più che paura sembrerebbe terrore.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-01-03. h 16:30.

2020-01-03__Gold 001

Nel gennaio 2019 l’oro era quotato attorno ai 1,200 euro l’oncia.

A giugno le quotazioni erano salite a 1,330.

Oggi sono schizzate da 1,513.38 fino a 1,553.25.

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Nessuno intende generalizzare alcunché: tuttavia questo è un chiaro segno di quanta tensione vi sia sui mercati a seguito degli eventi politici, i sbocchi dei quali sembrerebbero essere impredicibili.

Di certo, senza forze armate efficienti è impossibile fare la minima politica estera.

Pubblicato in: Medio Oriente, Senza categoria

Arabia Saudita. Una nazione difficile da comprendere. La miseria.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-01-01Mecca 001

Per quanti abbiano assorbito la mentalità occidentale, comprendere i problemi dell’Arabia Saudita è operazione ai limiti della fattibilità. Usualmente si cerca di inquadrare gli arabi usando le categorie mentali occidentali, che nei loro confronti non solo non hanno valore, ma sono anche fuorvianti.

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Il primo problema è la comprensione del retaggio storico arabo. Nato come popolo organizzato agli inizi del seicento, ossia millequattrocento anni or sono, ha avuto il suo apice tra il settecento e l’ottocento: ma era uno splendore amministrativo e militare. Molti dei grandi autori dell’epoca usavano la lingua araba come noi adesso usiamo l’inglese, ma non erano arabi, così come noi non siamo inglesi. Buona quota di questi autori era cristiana oppure ebrea.

Un secondo problema è l’indirizzo culturale arabo. Hanno sviluppato una scuola giuridica di tutto rispetto e di grande interesse, che meriterebbe di essere meglio conosciuta in occidente. Non hanno invece sviluppato né tanto meno importato la logica, che alla fine divenne in occidente il substrato su cui edificare ciò che adesso intendiamo per ‘scienza’. È un procedimento mentale che richiede generazioni per essere metabolizzato ed interiorizzato. Un Newton non nasce come un fungo: è sicuramente una persona geniale, ma è pur sempre figlia del proprio tempo.

Un terzo problema inerisce la concezione della schiavitù, espressamente prevista dal Corano. Mentre il mondo latino vede la schiavitù come una condizione quasi esclusivamente economica, per cui lo schiavo può riscattarsi e, in quel momento, può diventare cittadino a tutto gli effetti, tranne alcune limitazioni iniziali, nel mondo greco lo schiavo, δούλος, era il prigioniero di guerra che, essendosi arreso, aveva abiurato la sua condizione umana, tramutandosi in una cosa. Anche se liberato, non godeva di diritti civili e doveva sempre appoggiarsi ad un tutore, spesso digerito peggio del padrone. Orbene, Maometto nel Corano ha recepito il concetto greco della schiavitù, cui è deputato il lavoro manuale.

Così, nei secoli, gli arabi sono diventati ottimi mercanti, del tutto refrattari al concetto occidentale di manifattore. Il lavoro manuale è roba servile.

Un quarto problema è la religione islamica ed ancor di più il come essa sia vissuta. In ogni caso, gli arabi hanno da millequattrocento anni i sunniti nel loro nordovest e li sciiti nel loro nordest, essendo loro wahhabiti. Sono quattordici secoli che appena possono si sgozzano vicendevolmente. È questa una situazione esacerbante, irredimibile. Hanno la mentalità degli assediati.

Un quinto problema resta davvero ostico alle menti occidentali. L’Arabia Saudita è un coacervo di tribù ove quella saudita ha al momento il sopravento, obbligata quindi a gestire la politica interna con pugno di acciaio. Se la Tribù Saud prospera felice e ricca, le altre languono nella miseria o, quanto meno, in uno stato di mera sopravvivenza: questo è l’unco mezzo per dominarle. Ma diventando lo stato sempre più complesso, i Saud non hanno figli a sufficienza per ricoprire tutte le alte cariche burocratiche e, soprattutto, i ranghi militari. Nessun saudita sano di mente metterebbe nelle mani delle tribù avverse un qualsiasi tipo di armamento.

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Se si riuscisse a comprendere codeste problematiche, o almeno a capire che esse esistono per gli arabi sauditi, tutto diventa immediatamente lineare e semplice.

Lo studio che alleghiamo soffre del fatto che l’autrice è profondamente occidentalizzata, e quindi impossibilitata a cogliere l’essenza.

Ignora quasi totalmente il problema tribale e religioso, e si illude che gli arabi la pensino come gli occidentali.

Un esempio per tutti.

«There will have to be transparency and accountability for how the taxpayers’ money is spent, for taxation without representation is tyranny»

Chiunque abbia anche solo i primi rudimenti dell’arabo classico, quello medievale, sa che non esiste un vocabolo che identifichi il concetto di ‘tirannia‘, oppure quello di ‘libertà‘, oppure ancora quello di ‘democrazia‘.

Ma i vocaboli sono la espressione di un pensato: è impossibile dare un termine ad un pensiero inesistente. Un greco antico non avrebbe saputo cosa farsene di un termine quale ‘radio‘, oppure ‘buco nero‘.

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Nota Importante.

Dobbiamo al terzo califfo ʿUthmān b. ʿAffān l’aver disposto la prima versione scritta del Corano. Come di abitudine all’epoca, tranne la prima, tutte le sure furono ordinate in base al numero di caratteri contenuti in ciascuna.

A ciò consegue che la lettura dl Corano da inizio a fine è di impossibile comprensione. Non a caso, le versioni coraniche ad uso professionale riportano anche la numerazione storica. Se letto in questa maniera, dalla sura più antica a quella più recente, il testo diventa immediatamente comprensibile e ben chiaro.

Per dirla in modo elegante, se molti autori avessero seguito codesta semplice procedura non avrebbero scritto le bestialità che spesso si leggono nei loro trattati.

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Aljazeera. 2019-12-24. Vision 2030 and poverty in Saudi Arabia

MBS’s Vision 2030 will not alleviate poverty among Saudis and its austerity plan could lead to upheaval.

Growing up in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s, I was acutely aware that Saudi society was divided along class lines. There was the royal family and the super-rich, the middle class and the poor masses – all strictly segregated socially and culturally.

Like many other Saudi cities, Jeddah, where I lived and worked as a journalist between 2005 and 2010, was divided in two: the northern part of the city was reserved for royalty and upper middle-class families, while the southern part was where migrant workers, undocumented migrants and poor and middle-class Saudis lived.

Not being a member of the wealthy class, I too lived in the southern neighbourhoods.

Every morning, on my way to the office of the daily al-Madina newspaper, where I worked, I would pass by a street vendor, Om Mohammed, a widow and a mother of five. The death of her husband, the main breadwinner of the family, had forced her to start selling second-hand clothes on the street in order to make ends meet. Two of her sons had had to drop out of school because she could not afford to support their education. While public schools are free in the kingdom, the state does not cover additional costs for students, including school materials and food.

She herself had not received a proper education and was semi-illiterate, which made it difficult for her to go through the heavily bureaucratic process of applying for financial aid from the Ministry of Labour and Social Development. Another hurdle was that such payments could only be made into a bank account, which she could not open because she did not have the money for the minimum deposit required to open one. In Saudi Arabia some 7 million citizens do not have bank accounts, almost 60 percent of whom are women.

Om Mohammed lived in the Kilo 6 slum which had no proper sewage system or running water and flooded every time it rained. She, like her neighbours, was reduced to carrying water from the ablution fountains of the nearby mosques, to drink and wash with.

Om Mohammed is one of millions of Saudis stuck in a vicious circle of poverty on the peripheries of cities whom the world rarely sees or hears about.

Although the government rarely releases statistics, it is estimated that around 20 percent or more of the 34 million Saudi citizens live in poverty. Many of them are women or members of female-headed households.

For decades, successive Saudi governments have done little to alleviate the suffering of their country’s poor. They have been reluctant to openly talk about their existence because recognising poverty necessitates recognising income inequality and the unfair distribution of wealth in the oil-rich country. 

Under King Salman and the reform project of his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the situation is no different. Vision 2030 not only is unlikely to help uplift the poor, but the austerity measures it comes with are likely to push parts of the middle class into poverty.

Addressing poverty with charity

Throughout Saudi history, charity has been the central approach to addressing the issue of poverty. Being a Muslim country and the custodian of the two holy mosques, Saudi Arabia obliges every individual and corporation to donate 2.5 percent of their wealth to the government as part of the Islamic system of zakat. The government, in turn, is supposed to distribute it to poor families.

Needless to say, this approach was never successful in addressing the root causes of poverty in the kingdom.

In 2002, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who at that time was crown prince, paid a visit to the poor neighbourhood of al-Shemaysi in Riyadh. The move was unprecedented for a royal and marked the beginning of various initiatives by the state to address poverty.

After he became king in 2005, Abdullah created the National Poverty Reduction Strategy and the Supplementary Support Programmes which started to distribute monthly and one-time payments to poor families through the labour ministry. It was this programme that Om Mohammed was hoping to access but could not because of its bureaucratic hurdles.

Despite King Abdullah’s efforts, poverty persisted. In 2013, amid the Arab Spring, Saudi Arabia had its own public self-immolation incident. Mohammed al-Huraisi, a watermelon seller, set himself on fire after he was told he did not have permission to sell his produce at a street corner of a poor neighbourhood in Riyadh.

According to a 2017 UN report, the anti-poverty measures taken by the Saudi government over the past decade were “inefficient, unsustainable, poorly coordinated and, above all, unsuccessful in providing comprehensive social protection to those most in need”.

At the same time, the Saudi authorities continued to ignore the problem and keep public attention away from it. Saudi officials would avoid using the word “poor” in public statements and substitute it for vulnerable or needy persons or low-income families.

They would also clamp down on those publicly criticising the government for not taking adequate action. In 2011, bloggers Firas Buqna and Hussam al-Darwish were arrested for posting a video documenting the tough living conditions in al-Jaradiyaa, a poor neighbourhood of Riyadh.

In 2014, the government played down a report by Sami bin Abdul Aziz Al-Damigh, a professor at King Saud University in Riyadh, on the poverty problem in the kingdom. Al-Damigh proposed setting a poverty line for the country, which the government rejected.

Vision 2030

When King Salman came to power in 2015, the Saudi economy was going through the shock of a major oil price slump. In a matter of months, the oil price had gone done from $100 to $50 per barrel, cutting in half oil export profits, which accounted for about 87 percent of Saudi budget revenues.

The kingdom needed to take major austerity measures and the king decided to empower his son, Mohammed bin Salman (also known as MBS) to spearhead them. In 2016, the then deputy crown prince announced Vision 2030, a reform project based on a report produced by the controversial US-based consulting company McKinsey.

Vision 2030 is supposed to transform Saudi Arabia by weaning it off oil. It proposes ambitious steps to diversify its economy by growing the private sector and scaling down the public one. The main pillar of the project is the privatisation of Aramco, the Saudi state oil company, which has garnered much attention internationally.

But the less-publicised economic initiatives include privatising important public service institutions, like hospitals and schools, slashing public sector employment and increasing taxation. Currently two-thirds of employed Saudis work for the state; under Vision 2030, it is supposed to go down to 20 percent.

Soon after the project was announced, MBS started to implement some of its harshest provisions. In September 2016, the government announced pay cuts for public sector employees. In 2017, it released a timetable for decreasing subsidies for fuel, natural gas, electricity and water over the next few years. In 2018, the government introduced a value-added tax of 5 percent on most goods and services.

These economic decisions sent prices of basic commodities, including fuel, soaring, which not only hit hard the Saudi poor, but also affected middle classes, who have been dependent for generations on state largesse. All of a sudden, middle-income households found themselves unable to pay for housing and their basic necessities. This caused a wave of public anger and capital flight; many Saudis decided not only to transfer money out of the country but also to emigrate.

In 2016, the government estimated that as many as one million Saudis had left the country to seek livelihoods abroad in a short period of time. The crackdown on dissent that the government unleashed under the guidance of MBS further worsened the situation.

MBS’s anti-poverty measures

Despite purporting to transform Saudi Arabia, Vision 2030 does not mention in any significant way the issue of poverty in Saudi Arabia. Among its many different programmes, there are only two which seem to focus to some extent on socio-economic ills.

The National Transformation Program (NTP) has a number of declared goals, including “increase the percentage of residential areas, including peripheral areas, covered by health service from 78% to 88%” and “increase the percentage of population with access to water services from 87% to 92%”. The Housing Program aims to “increase the percentage of home ownership among Saudi citizens to 60%”.

But, needless to say, none of these measures can alleviate the structural causes of poverty in Saudi Arabia. And as Saudi economist Ihsan Bu Haliqa pointed out in 2016 after the unveiling of Vision 2030, “there is an urgent need to restructure the social safety net” in Saudi Arabia which should have happened before the reduction of public spending on subsidies.

Because it did not, there was no buffer to protect lower-income households when cuts in public spending were implemented that could muffle the reaction of the public. Growing dissatisfaction and the risk of social unrest forced MBS to roll back some of his plans, bring back bonus payments for public sector employees and introducing a new Citizen Account Program disbursing money to families in need.

These direct cash transfers may help some families cope with the sudden rise in prices of basic commodities and rent, but it will not help pull them out of poverty or provide them with financial security in the long-term.

Charity did not alleviate Saudi Arabia’s poverty problem in the past and it won’t now, either. These stop-gap measures do not address structural inequality. They may defuse tension in the short term but will not stave off the storm that is coming. The World Bank itself has warned that the country faces a “looming poverty problem“.

Examples in other countries abound of how neoliberal policies, privatisation of public services and austerity measures worsen structural poverty and lead to social upheaval. Even if Saudi Arabia manages to achieve economic growth under Vision 2030, this would not alleviate the socio-economic problems the majority of Saudis (the poor and the middle classes) face. We already know that the idea of wealth “trickling down” to the poorer layers of society without major wealth distribution policies does not work.

As lawyer Yahya al-Shahrani has pointed out, if the government really wanted to protect the poor, it would have taxed the rich instead of imposing a flat tax on everyone and cutting subsidies.

We have to remember that Vision 2030 is implemented in a society rife with patronage networks and by a state that does not have proper separation of powers. This means that wealth will not necessarily change hands with privatisation and the privileged few at the top of the Saudi society will continue to disproportionately benefit from the economic transformation.

And as Bu Haliqa has mentioned, in the absence of labour protections, pushing more Saudis to the private sector would expose them to even more exploitation and abuse. Private companies already pay on average 60 percent less than public ones for the same job.

What Vision 2030 envisions is dismantling the Saudi “rentier” state. While in theory, this may be a positive step, in practice, it undermines the basis of the unwritten social contract between the Saudi population and the house of Saud. Loyalty to the ruling family has been predicated on redistribution of the country’s oil wealth.

If this contract has to change and wealth has to be extracted from the population through taxation, then political and social reforms will also have to be undertaken. There will have to be transparency and accountability for how the taxpayers’ money is spent, for taxation without representation is tyranny.

That of course is not part of Vision 2030, which is why any criticism of its provisions has been met with repression. Saudi economist Essam al-Zamil and Al-Watan columnist Saleh al-Shehi, among many others, have already been imprisoned for their public criticism of the plan. In fact, anyone who has dared express anything but praise for the crown prince has been pressured, jailed or exiled.

For now, repression and monetary handouts might work to suppress public anger but they will not do away with it.

And there are already cracks showing. The Saudi middle class, which has long been a supporter of the political status quo, is increasingly dissatisfied. The austerity measures could impact significantly its political orientations, and lead to political and economic unrest. One form this dissatisfaction is taking is the increasing number of Saudis fleeing the country and some of them are already starting to organise politically in exile.

If Vision 2030 is not revised to address major socio-economic ills and poverty, inequality and injustice will continue to grow and Saudi Arabia will likely face major political instability in the future.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Medio Oriente

Giappone. Navi da guerra e forze aeree nel Golfo a protezione delle navi.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-12-31.

2019-12-28__ Giappone Portaerei 001

Helicopter Destroyers-(DDH). La chiamano ‘cacciatorpediniere portaelicotteri’, ma a tutti gli effetti è una portaerei leggera pesantemente armata.


«Japan, a US ally, is launching its own operation rather than join a US-led mission to protect shipping in Gulf region.

Japan will send a warship and patrol planes to protect Japanese ships in the Middle East as the situation in the region, from which it sources nearly 90 percent of its crude oil imports, remains volatile, a document approved by the cabinet showed on Friday»

«Under the plan, a helicopter-equipped destroyer and two P-3C patrol planes will be dispatched for information-gathering aimed at ensuring safe passage for Japanese vessels through the region»

«Under the plan, a helicopter-equipped destroyer and two P-3C patrol planes will be dispatched for information-gathering aimed at ensuring safe passage for Japanese vessels through the region»

«If there are any emergencies, a special order would be issued by the Japanese defence minister to allow the forces to use weapons to protect ships in danger»

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Il mondo civile sta iniziando a perdere ogni pazienza residua.

Le importanti rotte commerciali sono vitali per le industrie ed i commerci di tutti i paesi.

Ma sono anche troppo importanti per delegarne ad infidi terzi la difesa.

Come tutti i popoli orientali, i giapponesi sono molto pazienti, ma quando sono in ballo i loro interessi essenziali diventano anche delle belve.

Era dalla fine della guerra mondiale che in Giappone non si sentivano parole come queste:

«a special order would be issued by the Japanese defence minister to allow the forces to use weapons to protect ships in danger».

Le armi sono l’ultima ratio: il permesso al loro uso è segno evidente che la misura sia colma.

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Nota.

A nessuno sfugge il fatto che l’unica risposta possibile ad un attacco missilistico contro delle navi sia il fuoco di controbatteria sulle postazioni a terra donde sia partito l’attacco. Con tutte le logiche conseguenze.

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Aljazeera. 2019-12-27. Japan to send warship, aircraft to Middle East to protect vessels

Japan, a US ally, is launching its own operation rather than join a US-led mission to protect shipping in Gulf region.

Japan will send a warship and patrol planes to protect Japanese ships in the Middle East as the situation in the region, from which it sources nearly 90 percent of its crude oil imports, remains volatile, a document approved by the cabinet showed on Friday.

Under the plan, a helicopter-equipped destroyer and two P-3C patrol planes will be dispatched for information-gathering aimed at ensuring safe passage for Japanese vessels through the region.

If there are any emergencies, a special order would be issued by the Japanese defence minister to allow the forces to use weapons to protect ships in danger.

Friction between Iran and the United States has increased since last year, when US President Donald Trump pulled the US out of a 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran and re-imposed sanctions on it, crippling its economy.

In May and June, there were several attacks on international merchant vessels, including the Japanese-owned tanker Kokuka Courageous, in the region, which the US blamed on Iran.

Tehran denies the accusations.

Japan, a US ally that has maintained friendly ties with Iran, has opted to launch its own operation rather than join a US-led mission to protect shipping in the region.

Last week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe briefed visiting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tokyo’s plan to send naval forces to the Gulf.

The planned operation is set to cover high seas in the Gulf of Oman, the northern Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden, but not the Strait of Hormuz, the cabinet-approved document showed.

The Japanese government aims to start the operation of the patrol planes next month, while the destroyer will likely begin activities in the region in February, a defence ministry official said.

A European operation to ensure safe shipping in the Gulf will also get underway next month when a French warship starts patrolling there.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Medio Oriente

Siria. Situazione al 14 ottobre. Mappa delle forze in campo.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-10-19.

2019-10-17__Siria 001

Handelsblatt ha pubblicato una interessante mappa, ripresa e rielaborata da Liveuamap, che sembrerebbe essere molto chiara ed intuitiva per comprendere l’attuale situazione.

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The Current Situation in Syria

The situation is tense in Northern Syria after President Trump ordered U.S. troops into a shock withdrawal to facilitate a Turkish incursion across the border. The move abandons Kurdish fighters who bore the brunt of the long fight against ISIS. Ankara has threatened to attack Kurdish militias along the border on numerous occasions and it considers the YPG a terrorist organization.

Turkey’s offensive marks the end of an arrangement which saw soldiers from both countries carrying out joint patrols along the border which kept Kurdish and Turkish forces apart. This push from Turkey sets up a potential clash with the Syrian army as both forces advance into the Kurdish-controlled area. The following map is based on Liveuamap data published by the German newspaper Handelsblatt, and shows the current situation in Syria, focusing on which territory is controlled by which faction.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Medio Oriente, Problemia Energetici

Petrolio. Potrebbe salire a prezzi inimmaginabili. – Mohammed bin Salman.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-10-01.

2016-04-04__Attenti a Moḥammad bin Salmān.__002

Sulla scacchiera sono schierate da una parte l’Arabia Saudita e dall’altra l’Iran. I primi sono wahabiti ed i secondi sono sciiti: si odiano vicendevolmente da millequattrocento anni.

Ambedue sono ricchi in petrolio, ma l’Iran è vicino a disporre di armamenti atomici, sempre che già non li abbia.

Ma questo sarebbe nulla, se con fosse che dietro l’Arabia Saudita di sono gli americani e dietro l’Iran ci sono i russi e, ben defilati ma presenti, i cinesi.

Lo scontro è quindi tra le superpotenze: Arabia Saudita ed Iran sono solo le comparse sul palcoscenico.

«Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has called for global action against Iran, warning of “unimaginably high” oil prices otherwise»

«Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called for global action against Iran and warned that oil prices could otherwise rise astronomically»

«If the world does not take a strong and firm action to deter Iran, we will see further escalations that will threaten world interests»

«Oil supplies will be disrupted and oil prices will jump to unimaginably high numbers that we haven’t seen in our lifetimes»

«The crown prince said he would prefer a political rather than a military response to Iran, as a war between Saudi Arabia and Iran would collapse the global economy»

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Herr Otto von Bismarck diceva che non si dovrebbe mai portare l’avversario alla disperazione. Ma cerchiamo di metterci nei panni dei sauditi che si son visti bombardare i propri impianti petroliferi.

Il mondo avrebbe una enorme necessità di quiete politica ed economica, ma un nuova crisi petrolifera di ampia portata potrebbe innescare una serie di reazioni a catena del tutto incontrollate ed incontrollabili.

Resta solo una ultima domanda senza risposta.

Quale è la posizione dell’Unione Europea?

Ha cercato di mantenere i piedi in dodici scarpe, ma né Mr Juncker, né Mr Tusk, né Frau Merkel, né tanto meno Mr Macron, hanno la stoffa di Talleyrand-Périgord.

L’unica cosa certa è che una crisi petrolifera travolgerebbe un’Unione Europea in piena rcessione.

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Saudi prince warns of ‘unimaginable’ oil prices

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has called for global action against Iran, warning of “unimaginably high” oil prices otherwise. He also described the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as “a mistake.”

In a television interview, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called for global action against Iran and warned that oil prices could otherwise rise astronomically.

Bin Salman blamed Iran for the September 14 attack on Saudi oil facilities that cut its production by half and led to a spike in oil prices.

“If the world does not take a strong and firm action to deter Iran, we will see further escalations that will threaten world interests,” he told CBS program 60 Minutes.

“Oil supplies will be disrupted and oil prices will jump to unimaginably high numbers that we haven’t seen in our lifetimes,” he said in the program aired late on Sunday.

The US, France, Germany and Britain have backed Saudi assertions that Iran was behind the attack, as opposed to the Houthi rebel group that has claimed responsibility.

The crown prince said he would prefer a political rather than a military response to Iran, as a war between Saudi Arabia and Iran would collapse the global economy.

In the same interview, bin Salman — also known by his initials MBS — also denied ordering the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey, but said that as leader of the country he bore responsibility.

“This was a heinous crime,” he told the program. “But I take full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia, especially since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government.” Prince Mohammed said he was “absolutely not” behind the killing, calling it “a mistake.”

Khashoggi’s murder in October 2018 triggered an international backlash against Saudi Arabia, with the US Congress blaming the crown prince for the killing, and the United Nations calling for an investigation into his role in the slaying.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Guerra Civile, Medio Oriente, Senza categoria

Droni yemeniti distruggono due impianti petroliferi sauditi. Produzione dimezzata.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-09-14.

2019-09-14__Arabia Saudita 001

Saudi oil plant fire: Blaze rages in Abqaiq after drone attack

«Drone attacks have set alight two major oil facilities run by state-owned Aramco in Saudi Arabia, state media say.

One was at Abqaiq, which has the world’s largest oil processing plant.»

*

«At 04:00 (01:00 GMT), the industrial security teams of Aramco started dealing with fires at two of its facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais as a result of… drones,” the official Saudi Press Agency reported»

«Abqaiq is about 60km (37 miles) south-west of Dhahran in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, while Khurais, some 200km further south-west, has the country’s second largest oilfield»

«Saturday’s attack was one of the biggest operations the Houthi forces had undertaken inside Saudi Arabia and was carried out in “co-operation with the honourable people inside the kingdom”»

«Saudi Arabia’s oil production has been severely disrupted by drone attacks on two major oil facilities run by state-owned company Aramco»

«TV footage showed a huge blaze at Abqaiq, site of Aramco’s largest oil processing plant, while a second drone attack started fires in the Khurais oilfield»

«The Saudis lead a military coalition backing Yemen’s government, while Iran backs the Houthi rebels»

«The Houthi spokesman, Yahya Sarea, told al-Masirah TV, which is owned by the Houthi movement and is based in Beirut, that further attacks could be expected in the future»

* * * * * * *

Quanto successo meriterebbe molti commenti.

– Lo Yemen è da decenni in regime di guerra civile, fattasi decisamente virulenta nell’ultimo lustro.

– I sauditi appoggiano le forze regolari, mentre gli iraniani quelle ribelli. Oltre le diatribe politiche e militari, si dovrebbero anche considerare quelle religiose: i sauditi sono wahhabiti e gli iraniani sciiti. Si odiano mortalmente da millequattrocento anni.

– Tutte le grandi potenze sono coinvolte nella guerra nello Yemen: talune in modo discreto, altre in modo plateale. In fondo, sono loro a pilotare i giochi e, a quanto sembrerebbe, proprio a nessuno farebbe piacere avere una pace in quel settore geopolitico.

– L’Arabia Saudita ha un fenomenale budget militare ed un esercito che, almeno sulla carta, dovrebbe essere di tutto rispetto. Ma che poi i Saud possano fidarsi dell’esercito sarebbe cosa davvero molto discutibile, ma la Tribù Saud non ha figliato a sufficienza per avere persone fidate nei ranghi militari, e le guerre le fanno gli uomini. Pochi uomini, nessuna guerra degna di quel nome.

– I ribelli yemeniti versano in condizioni misere, essendo gli alimentari e gli armamenti le loro spese principali.

– Si resta sorpresi, ma non troppo, che abbiano potuto disporre di una decina di droni di attacco, sempre poi che a pilotarli da postazioni remate siano stati i ribelli e non truppe straniere particolarmente addestrate. Ma su questo argomento non è stato possibile rintracciare informazioni credibili e corroborabili.

– I droni sono penetrati in grande profondità nel territorio saudita e questi, che sono intrinsecamente lenti, sono sfuggiti al rilevamento radar saudita, anche a quello particolarmente potente e moderno dell’aeroporto di Riyadh.

* * * * * * *

Come si constata, vi sono molti fatti che al momento sembrerebbero essere inspiegabili.

Una ultima considerazione.

Le guerre o si fanno oppure non si fanno, ma, nel caso, occorrerebbe dispiegare immediatamente la massima potenza.

L’unica vera opzione che avrebbe l’Arabia Saudita sarebbe l’invasione dello Yemen e lo sterminio fisico di tutti i ribelli, sia quelli veri sia anche quelli presunti.

Ma forse il colpo ora subito non è ancora quello sufficiente per far prendere decisioni drastiche.


Bbc. 2019-09-14. Saudi Arabia oil production reduced by drone strikes

Saudi Arabia’s oil production has been severely disrupted by drone attacks on two major oil facilities run by state-owned company Aramco, reports say.

Sources quoted by Reuters and WSJ said the strikes had reduced production by five million barrels a day – nearly half the kingdom’s output.

The fires are now under control at both facilities, Saudi state media say.

A spokesman for the Houthi rebel group in Yemen said it had deployed 10 drones in the attacks.

The Saudis lead a military coalition backing Yemen’s government, while Iran backs the Houthi rebels.

The Houthi spokesman, Yahya Sarea, told al-Masirah TV, which is owned by the Houthi movement and is based in Beirut, that further attacks could be expected in the future.

He said Saturday’s attack was one of the biggest operations the Houthi forces had undertaken inside Saudi Arabia and was carried out in “co-operation with the honourable people inside the kingdom”.

TV footage showed a huge blaze at Abqaiq, site of Aramco’s largest oil processing plant, while a second drone attack started fires in the Khurais oilfield.

United Nations envoy Martin Griffiths described the attacks as “extremely worrying” in a statement in which he called on all parties in the Yemen conflict to exercise restraint.

Saudi officials have yet to comment on who they think is behind the attacks.

“At 04:00 (01:00 GMT), the industrial security teams of Aramco started dealing with fires at two of its facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais as a result of… drones,” the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

“The two fires have been controlled.”

There have been no details on the damage but AFP news agency quoted interior ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki as saying there were no casualties.

Abqaiq is about 60km (37 miles) south-west of Dhahran in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, while Khurais, some 200km further south-west, has the country’s second largest oilfield.

Saudi security forces foiled an attempt by al-Qaeda to attack the Abqaiq facility with suicide bombers in 2006.

Who are the Houthis?

The Iran-aligned Houthi rebel movement has been fighting the Yemeni government and a Saudi-led coalition.

Yemen has been at war since 2015, when President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi was forced to flee the capital Sanaa by the Houthis. Saudi Arabia backs President Hadi, and has led a coalition of regional countries against the rebels.

The coalition launches air strikes almost every day, while the Houthis often fire missiles into Saudi Arabia.

Mr Sarea, the Houthi group’s military spokesman, told al-Masirah that operations against Saudi targets would “only grow wider and will be more painful than before, so long as their aggression and blockade continues”.

Houthi fighters were blamed for drone attacks on the Shaybah natural gas liquefaction facility last month, and on other oil facilities in May.

There have been other sources of tension in the region, often stemming from the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Saudi Arabia and the US both blamed Iran for attacks in the Gulf on two oil tankers in June and July, allegations Tehran denied.

In May four tankers, two of them Saudi-flagged, were damaged by explosions within the UAE’s territorial waters in the Gulf of Oman.

Tension in the vital shipping lanes worsened when Iran shot down a US surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz in June, leading a month later to the Pentagon announcing the deployment of US troops to Saudi Arabia.

——-

An attack method open to all

This latest attack underlines the strategic threat posed by the Houthis to Saudi Arabia’s oil installations.

The growing sophistication of the Houthis’ drone operations is bound to renew the debate as to where this capability comes from. Have the Houthis simply weaponised commercial civilian drones or have they had significant assistance from Iran?

The Trump administration is likely to point the finger squarely at Tehran, but experts vary in the extent to which they think Iran is facilitating the drone campaign.

The Saudi air force has been pummelling targets in Yemen for years. Now the Houthis have a capable, if much more limited, ability to strike back. It shows that the era of armed drone operations being restricted to a handful of major nations is now over.

Drone technology, albeit of varying degrees of sophistication, is available to all – from the US to China, Israel and Iran – and from the Houthis to Hezbollah.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Medio Oriente, Russia, Stati Uniti

Gerusalemme. Summit dei servizi segreti degli Usa, Israele e Russia.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-06-19.

Animali. Bocca aperta. Civetta. 002

I servizi segreti traggono il loro nome proprio dal fatto che devono lavorare nell’ombra, in modo del tutto illegale. Nessun governo mai ammetterà che i servizi del proprio stato siano solo una banda criminale al servizio della ragion di stato, ma nei fatti sono segreti proprio perché le loro azioni sono tutte illegali.

Il loro personale è composto da gente pratica, che sa come funziona il mondo e di quale razza sia il cuore e la mente umana.

Scoperto un reato, la polizia e la magistratura si attivano per identificare il colpevole e processarlo. I servizi segreti al contrario registrano tutto e tengono in archivio: useranno quei documenti per ricattare la persona. Sempre poi che non siano stati loro stessi ad indurla al reato. Il caso Stracher dovrebbe essere ben chiaro, così come il caso Palamara in Italia.

Il termine russo ‘kompromat‘, компромат, indica un dossier contenente informazioni, documenti, o altri materiali riguardanti un uomo politico, o altro personaggio di rilevanza pubblica, il cui contenuto, se divulgato, sarebbe in grado di denigrarne la figura o metterla in cattiva luce, magari portarla alle dimissioni, se non a processo. Negli Stati Uniti questa tecnica va sotto il nome di opposition research.

Si resta soltanto esterrefatti della grande moltitudine di gente importante che cade in trappole tutto sommato banali: lo honey trapping è proprio trappola per pollastri, parlare ‘liberamente’ al cellulare o con persone sconosciute è appannaggio dei presuntuosi pieni di sé stessi.

Da molti punti di vista, sono più potenti i capi dei servizi segreti che gli stessi governanti, tranne i rari casi in cui le due figure siano assommate nella stessa persona, come nel caso di Mr Putin.

* * * * * * *

«A summit of the three national security advisors from the United States, Israel and Russia will be held in June 2019 in Jerusalem. This unique event has already given rise to numerous «revelations» and «denials» about the subjects which will be discussed. Almost all commentators are spreading erroneous ideas which are then copied in unison.»

«Russia has been present in the Levant (except for the period 1991-2011) since Tsarina Catherine II, who, at the request of the inhabitants of the region, sent its Navy to defend Beïrut»

«In 2011, Russia was the only state which distinguished the colour revolutions in the Maghreb (the «Arab Springs») from the wars against Libya and Syria.»

«The Western powers, who have their own explanation of these events, still have not made the effort to understand their interpretation by Russia»

«there are two totally different readings of the facts»

«it was not the Russians, but Western imperialism which created the problem we are facing today.»

«Finally, Washington and Moscow met in Geneva, in presence of the Western powers but the absence of the Middle Eastern actors, to formalise a shared suzerainty over the Middle East. That was in June 2012. The honeymoon lasted no more than a few days. It was destroyed by France, acting on behalf of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.»

«Finally, Washington and Moscow met in Geneva, in presence of the Western powers but the absence of the Middle Eastern actors, to formalise a shared suzerainty over the Middle East. That was in June 2012. The honeymoon lasted no more than a few days. It was destroyed by France, acting on behalf of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.»

«From the beginning of the Cold War, the United States, busy with their policy of containment of the Soviets, were perfectly aware of this Israeli expansionism which upset the stability of the region. They armed Syria so that it could resist Israel – not attack it – and also armed other forces, including Iraq. It was Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, and no-one else, who created the « Axis of Resistance ». In this way, he guaranteed that Syria and Iraq would not turn to the USSR in order to defend themselves and to obtain its military assistance»

«The religious leaders of Iran often use the expression «Axis of Resistance» to designate the alliance against Israel. Yet there exists no treaty formalising this axis. The leaders have never held a summit to discuss it»

*

«John Bolton (USA), Meir Ben-Shabbat (Israel) and Nikolaï Patrouchev (Russia), the three national Security advisors, have the same functions, but not the same experience.»

«Bolton is persuaded of the ontological superiority of his country over all others …. he is quite capable of stepping back when he thinks he is wrong»

«Meir Ben-Shabbat is a man of faith, persuaded, in his case, that he belongs to a chosen but cursed people. He is not a diplomat, but an expert in counter-espionage. However, he directed the Shin Bet,»

«Nikolaï Patrouchev is a lord of the superior Russian public civil service. Of the three advisors, he is without doubt the man who has the clearest view of the world chess-board. When he succeeded Vladimir Putin at the head of the FSB, he had to face up to attempts by the United States and Israel to steal his directors»

«He then had to handle the destabilisation of Ukraine by the United States and the European Union, which was finally terminated by the adhesion of Crimea to the Russian Federation.»

«He will not be negotiating one dossier against another, but on the contrary, will take care that all the decisions taken will be coherent»

* * * * * * *

Cosa abbia prodotto questo summit non è dato saperlo.

Ma se in questa evenienza fosse valido il proverbio ‘post hoc, ergo propter hoc‘, si potrebbe trovare una spiegazione dell’inusitata attività diplomatica di queste tre nazioni.


Oriental Review. 2019-06-16. Secret Tripartite Summit In Jerusalem

A summit of the three national security advisors from the United States, Israel and Russia will be held in June 2019 in Jerusalem. This unique event has already given rise to numerous « revelations » and « denials » about the subjects which will be discussed. Almost all commentators are spreading erroneous ideas which are then copied in unison. We have to rectify this situation before evaluating what is at stake in the summit.

The game of the major Powers in the region

During the Cold War, the US strategy of containment managed to counter Soviet influence in the Middle East. After the collapse of the USSR, Russia withdrew from the region, and only returned during the Western war against Syria.

Russia has been present in the Levant (except for the period 1991-2011) since Tsarina Catherine II, who, at the request of the inhabitants of the region, sent its Navy to defend Beïrut. Its policy was aimed primarily at protecting the the foundation of Russian culture, the cradle of Christianity (which is in Damascus, not Jerusalem). By doing so, Russia extended its influence in the Eastern Mediterranean and entered into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.

In 2011, Russia was the only state which distinguished the colour revolutions in the Maghreb (the « Arab Springs ») from the wars against Libya and Syria. The Western powers, who have their own explanation of these events, still have not made the effort to understand their interpretation by Russia. The point here is not to determine who is right and who is wrong – that is another subject – but to admit that there are two totally different readings of the facts. We should note that the Western powers agree that Moscow has not accepted the way in which they violated the resolution intended to protect the civil populations in Libya. They therefore recognise that it was not the Russians, but Western imperialism which created the problem we are facing today.

On the basis of its own analysis, Russia began to oppose its veto to the Western resolutions concerning Syria at the Security Council. Simultaneously, at the request of Syria, it began negotiations with Damascus with a view to deploying peace-keeping troops from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Syria. Finally, Washington and Moscow met in Geneva, in presence of the Western powers but the absence of the Middle Eastern actors, to formalise a shared suzerainty over the Middle East. That was in June 2012. The honeymoon lasted no more than a few days. It was destroyed by France, acting on behalf of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Seven years later, Moscow demanded its due. Indeed, it was Russia – not the CSTO – which had deployed its military in Syria and, together with the Syrian Arab Army and Hezbollah, had defeated the jihadists – and absolutely not Washington and its allies who, on the contrary, had armed them. Russia claimed its part from Jerusalem, because a million Russian- speakers are Israeli citizens, and because one of them, Avigdor Lieberman, has recently caused the fall of Netanyahu’s government – twice.

This evolution is difficult to admit for those who are still thinking in terms of the US/Israeli alliance which characterised the Bush Jr. era. Nonetheless, since the defeat of Daesh, the Israeli authorities have visited Moscow much more frequently than Washington.

The game of the regional powers facing Israel

It is accepted as self-evident that the forces of the « Axis of Resistance » (Palestine-Lebanon-Syria-Iraq-Iran) are determined to annihilate the Israelis just as the Nazis were committed to destroying the Jews. This is a grotesque mash-up of copy and paste.

In reality, Hezbollah was originally a network of Chiite Resistance to the Israeli occupation of Lebanon. It was at first armed by Syria, then, after the withdrawal of the Syrian peace force from Lebanon, by Iran. Its objective was never to « push the Jews into the sea », but on the contrary, it has never ceased to affirm its intention of establishing equality for all according to the Law. The Israeli occupation of Lebanon was a reality that massively surpassed the intentions of the Israeli government, which was overtaken by General Ariel Sharon’s initiative to seize Beïrut. It was also due to the Collaboration between the Christian militias and the Lebanese Druzes, including those of Samir Geagea and Walid Joumblatt.

In the same way, Syria reacted to Israeli expansionism first of all by defending itself, then by moving to support the Palestinian populations. This was perfectly legitimate, given that what are now Palestine and Syria formed a single political entity before the First World. No-one, not even the United States, denies that for seventy years, Israel has been stealing land from its neighbours, and continues to do so.

From the beginning of the Cold War, the United States, busy with their policy of containment of the Soviets, were perfectly aware of this Israeli expansionism which upset the stability of the region. They armed Syria so that it could resist Israel – not attack it – and also armed other forces, including Iraq. It was Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, and no-one else, who created the « Axis of Resistance ». In this way, he guaranteed that Syria and Iraq would not turn to the USSR in order to defend themselves and to obtain its military assistance.

The Dwight Eisenhower administration knew that Israel was the fruit of the wishes of Woodrow Wilson and David Lloyd George, but he considered it to be a crazy horse which had to be both protected and controlled.

Washington therefore allied itself with the British ideas: the Military Assistance Programme between Damascus and Teheran, then, in 1958, the Baghdad Pact which enabled the creation of CenTO (the regional equivalent of NATO). The context has changed, the actors have changed, but the motives remain the same.

The case of Iran is the main problem today. Indeed, the majority of its leaders do not approach this question from a political point of view, but from a religious standpoint. A Chiite prophecy assures that the Jews will reform a state in Palestine, but that it will quickly be destroyed. The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, holds this text to be canon law. He follows the countdown, and has affirmed that Israel will have disappeared within six years (in 2025).

The growing tension of positions, in Iran concerning this prophecy, and in Israel concerning the « Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People » (2018), is the source of the continuation of this conflict, which could be unblocked with a minimum of intelligence. This is what Donald Trump and Jared Kushner tried to do, and it is here that they failed: while economic development might do away with the question of reparations, no progress could be possible without the evolution of the world visions professed by the Jews, the Arabs and the Persians.

What is the « Axis of Resistance »?

The religious leaders of Iran often use the expression « Axis of Resistance » to designate the alliance against Israel. Yet there exists no treaty formalising this axis. The leaders have never held a summit to discuss it.

Since the US invasion of Iraq, in 2003, the forces of this Axis have slowly split apart so that today, their internal conflicts have become more important than their exterior combat.

In 2003, the chief Iraqi Chiite leader, Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr, was assassinated. Rightly or wrongly, his followers believed that the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani was responsible. al-Sistani is an Iranian living in Iraq, from whence he directs Chiite seminars. Progressively, the Iraqi Chiite community has become divided between al-Sistani’s pro-Iranians and the pro-Arabs of the dead man’s son, Moqtada al-Sadr, who successively broke with Damascus, then with Teheran in 2017, and then went to Riyadh to side with Prince Mohamed ben Salmane.

In 2006, profiting from its victory during the legislative elections in the Palestinian Territories, Hamas carried off a coup d’état against the Fatah, and proclaimed that it was autonomous in the Gaza Strip. In 2012, its political directors, who were living in exile in Damascus, suddenly moved to Doha, while Qatar was financing the jihadists against Syria. Hamas declared itself to be the « Palestinian Branch of the Muslim Brotherhood », a political party which is forbidden in Syria. Its men and agents of the Israeli Mossad entered the Syrian city of Yarmouk in order to assassinate their Marxist rivals of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command. The Syrian army encircled the town, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas assured them of his support.

It is absurd for the Western powers to seek to destroy the « Axis of Resistance », which they wanted and created, if only because they have lost control of it. All they need to do is wait, it will collapse on its own.

The Iranians are faithful friends, but they have a cultural tendency to drag their friends into their own affairs. The Syrians have never expelled the Iranians, who protect them from Israeli expansionism, and to whom they owe their resistance at the start of the war (2011-14). But if the Iranians were truly the friends of the Syrians, they would operate a military withdrawal from the country, leaving it to Russia, so that the United States could recognise the legitimacy of Bachar el-Assad’s government. Instead of which, they are using the presence of their troops to provoke Israel and fire rockets from Syria on Israeli territory.

The three national Security advisors

John Bolton (USA), Meir Ben-Shabbat (Israel) and Nikolaï Patrouchev (Russia), the three national Security advisors, have the same functions, but not the same experience.

Bolton is persuaded of the ontological superiority of his country over all others. He acquired his experience of international relations during the disarmament negotiations, and above all, while he was the ambassador to the Security Council (2005-06). Although he can sometimes adopt flamboyant initiatives, he is quite capable of stepping back when he thinks he is wrong. It is in fact because he has this capacity of assuming personal responsibility for the errors of his side that President Trump has maintained him in this function.

Meir Ben-Shabbat is a man of faith, persuaded, in his case, that he belongs to a chosen but cursed people. He is not a diplomat, but an expert in counter-espionage. However, when he directed the Shin Bet, he showed genuine finesse in fighting Hamas, manipulating it, and finally negotiating with it. His excellent knowledge of the multiple forces in the Middle East enables him to understand instantly what can last and what will fade away.

Finally, Nikolaï Patrouchev is a lord of the superior Russian public civil service. Of the three advisors, he is without doubt the man who has the clearest view of the world chess-board. When he succeeded Vladimir Putin at the head of the FSB, he had to face up to attempts by the United States and Israel to steal his directors. In the end, though, after years of turbulence, he was able to regain control over the FSB machine. He then had to handle the destabilisation of Ukraine by the United States and the European Union, which was finally terminated by the adhesion of Crimea to the Russian Federation. He will not be negotiating one dossier against another, but on the contrary, will take care that all the decisions taken will be coherent.

These three strategies will have to define the boundaries of a new deal which will thereafter be negotiated by diplomats. Their role is to imagine a viable long-term agreement, while the role of the diplomats will be to compensate the losses of the vanquished in order to make this agreement acceptable for them.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Medio Oriente, Problemia Energetici

Cina & Arabia Saudita. Accordo da 10b$ forniture materiale per petrolio.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-03-05.

Gufo_019__

«Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman continued a charm offensive in a two-day visit to China, signing off on a $10 billion oil deal, and pledged assistance in the “de-radicalisation of extremist thinking.”»

*

«Saudi Arabia on Friday signed the next multi-billion oil refinery investment deal during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s tour of Asia, this time in China»

*

«Riyadh’s state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco announced a $10 billion (€8.82 billion) joint venture to develop a facility in China’s north east»

*

«This, among other deals hashed out in 35 memorandums of understanding, could see it regain its place as China’s main oil exporter. The countries saw a 33 percent increase in bilateral trade last year, according to the crown prince»

*

«Over such long periods of exchanges with China, we have never experienced any problems»

*

«All countries in the world have the right to develop, and Saudi Arabia is an emerging market country with enormous potential»

* * * * * * * *

Cina. 1000TTP. Ne ignorate la esistenza. Domani vi mangerete le dita.

La guerra della Cina all’islam. Spie nelle famiglie e repressione

Cinesi, gente pratica. Risolto il problema dell’integralismo islamico.

*

Come si constata, questo è un ottimo esempio di Realpolitik.

I Sauditi si sono dimenticati del milione di mussulmani internati nel Laogai per essere rieducati (usciranno quando parleranno fluentemente il mandarino), e la Cina si è dimenticata che era stata proprio l’Arabia Saudita che finanziava i terroristi islamici.

In fondo, la Cina ha bisogno di petrolio e l’Arabia Saudita, che lo estrae, ha ben bisogno di acquirenti.

Si vorrebbe forse cavillare sui problemi interni di un paese amico?


Deutsche Welle. 2019-02-22. Saudi Arabia crown prince strikes oil deal in China

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman continued a charm offensive in a two-day visit to China, signing off on a $10 billion oil deal, and pledged assistance in the “de-radicalisation of extremist thinking.”

*

Saudi Arabia on Friday signed the next multi-billion oil refinery investment deal during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s tour of Asia, this time in China.

Riyadh’s state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco announced a $10 billion (€8.82 billion) joint venture to develop a facility in China’s north east.

This, among other deals hashed out in 35 memorandums of understanding, could see it regain its place as China’s main oil exporter. The countries saw a 33 percent increase in bilateral trade last year, according to the crown prince.

“Saudi Arabia’s relations with China can be traced back a very long time in the past,” bin Salman said.

“Over such long periods of exchanges with China, we have never experienced any problems.”

His counterpart, Chinese President Xi Jinping, expressed a similar sentiment. “China is a good friend and a partner to Saudi Arabia,” he said.

Bin Salman and his party arrived in the Chinese capital on Thursday after stops in India and Pakistan.

China for its part, was hoping to tap into the “enormous potential” of the Saudi economy and “deepen cooperation.”

“All countries in the world have the right to develop, and Saudi Arabia is an emerging market country with enormous potential,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

The two countries have been pursuing separate, but equally ambitious economic plans. China has been securing partnerships for its Belt and Road Initiative – a $900 billion trade corridor from Asia to Europe.

Likewise, Riyadh has been pursuing the “Saudi Vision 2030”, to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy from oil.

Talking terror

The two sides also discussed increased cooperation in areas like anti-terrorism, law enforcement and security. China expressed interested in exchanging experiences about de-radicalization, a likely reference to “internment camps” in the country’s west, set up to “educate” Muslims and Uighurs.

Such camps have drawn sharp condemnation, a UN committee describing the autonomous region as “something that resembles a massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy”, housing some one million Uighurs.

But the Saudi crown prince said his country was against “interference by external forces in China’s internal affairs”, saying that it “firmly supported” Beijing’s so-called security efforts.

The Saudi visit comes amid global criticism over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashogghi as well as the country’s human rights record and its role in the conflict in Yemen.

The crown prince is expected to leave Beijing Friday night, moving on to South Korea.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Medio Oriente, Senza categoria

Siria. Difesa antiaerea. Un mistero.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-01-24.

siria. hamadan. 001

Il mistero è un qualcosa al momento inspiegabile, ma che potrebbe essere logicamente spiegato se si potesse disporre di tutti gli elementi. Enigma identifica invece un concetto oscuro, velato, logicamente inspiegato ed inspiegabile.

Cosa stia succedendo realmente in Siria è un mistero.

Non che manchino le notizie, tutt’altro: solo che sono quasi tutte faziosamente di parte, costruite ad arte attorno ad un nocciolo di verità, tutte tese a mettere in mostra la presunta feroce bestialità del nemico.

Che poi mica che si possa comprendere bene chi sia il ‘nemico‘: si direbbe che siano tutti contro tutti.

Una cosa che resta davvero misteriosa è capire come facciano a procurarsi qualcosa da mangiare, tutti presi dai combattimenti.

*

Di questi tempi vi sono molte notizie delle quali sappiamo ben poco:

– qualcuno lancia missili contro la Siria;

– talora la Siria risponde con i suoi missili anti – missile, abbattendone un certo quale numero.

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Quasi tutti gli osservatori sarebbero concordi nel dire che a lanciare i missili siano americani ed israeliti, ma anche una coralità di simili voci non genera certo una certezza.

Similmente, se i siriani siano o meno riusciti ad abbattere dei missili in arrivo è tutto da verificare: notizie e smentite arrivano in simultanea, anzi, talora arriva prema la smentita dell’affermazione.

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Forse, ma lo esprimiamo nel modo più condizionale possibile, la contraerea siriana entra in azioni solo per proteggere obiettivi di particolare importanza e, quasi certamente, almeno per il momento, senza usare gli £-300 dei quali è dotata.


Reuters. 2018-09-12. Syrian air defenses intercept missiles fired at Latakia: state media

Missiles were fired from the sea at several locations in the Syrian coastal city of Latakia on Monday but were intercepted by air defenses, Syrian state media said.

The official SANA news agency said the Technical Industry Institution in the state-controlled city had been targeted. SANA added that it was not immediately known who fired the missiles.

“Air defenses have confronted enemy missiles coming from the sea in the direction of the Latakia city, and intercepted a number of them,” SANA quoted a military source as saying.

State-run Ikhbariya TV said 10 people were injured in the attack. Eight were discharged shortly after being admitted to a nearby hospital.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based war monitor, said huge explosions were heard in the city.

The missiles targeted ammunition depots of the Technical Industry Institution in the eastern outskirts of Latakia, the Observatory said. It was not immediately clear what activities the state institution was engaged in.

A witness in Latakia told Reuters that he spotted four missiles downed by Syrian air defenses.

One of the missiles fell in an open area to the west of central Homs city causing a fire in an orchard, Ikhbariya TV said.

It said electricity was later fully restored to Latakia province, a stronghold of President Bashar al-Assad, after there was partial blackout due to the attack.

The source of the missiles was not immediately clear. Israel has launched frequent attacks in Syria. On Saturday, Syrian air defenses downed several missiles that Israel fired near Damascus airport, state media reported.

When asked for comment about Monday’s attack, an Israeli military spokeswoman said Israel did not comment on foreign reports.

During the Israeli cabinet weekly meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country will “constantly taking action to prevent our enemies from arming themselves with advanced weaponry”.

A U.S. Central Command spokesman said the United States did not carry out strikes in that part of Syria on Monday.

Early in September, missiles targeted several positions in the provinces of Tartous and Hama, SANA said.

During the more than seven-year conflict in neighboring Syria, Israel has grown deeply alarmed by the expanding clout of its arch enemy Iran – a key ally of Assad.

Israel’s air force has struck scores of targets it describes as Iranian deployments or arms transfers to Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah movement in the war.

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The Economic Times. 2018-12-25. Syrian air defences shoot down Israeli missiles: state media

«Syrian air defences shot down Israeli missiles near the capital Damascus on Tuesday, local state media reported, while Israel said it was protecting itself from anti-aircraft fire.

The official Syrian news agency SANA said air defences “intercepted hostile missiles launched by the Israeli warplanes” from over Lebanese territories, citing a military source.

It added that the majority of them were downed before reaching their targets near the capital Damascus. Three soldiers were injured and an ammunition depot damaged.

Israel has previously carried out several bombings in Syria against what it says are Iranian military targets and advanced arms deliveries to Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese group, both enemies of the Jewish state.

Many of them have been in the area south of Damascus.

An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to comment on reports of a strike in Syria when contacted by AFP.

But it added in a statement: “An aerial defence system went off against an anti-aircraft missile launched from Syria. No damage or injuries were reported.”

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor also reported “an Israeli raid”.»

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Adnk. 2019-01-20. “Damasco intercetta missili lanciati da Israele”

La difesa aerea siriana ha intercettato missili lanciati da Israele verso aree nel sud della Siria. Lo riferisce l’agenzia Sana. I missili, secondo l’agenzia Sana, avrebbero dovuto centrare obiettivi nell’area della capitale Damasco, ma sono stati distrutti prima di raggiungere i target.