Saturday, 21 September 2019

MILEIKOWSKI (“NETANYAHU”) DESPERATE FOR ANY DIVERSION; TERRORISTS REDEPLOY AROUND TOWNS IN IDLIB, OSTRACIZE ONE ANOTHER

Ziad Fadel / 
Image result for Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Mileikowski adopted his father’s alias, Netanyahu, and tried to dispel any suggestion that he was an illegitimate Jew by having a DNA test performed which, according to him, showed that he had a trace of Sephardic Jewish genes, which, of course, means nothing other than he has a miniscule amount of Spanish blood.  Yawn.  Desperate for any connection to Jewish tradition, he regularly appears in front of the star of David, which is nothing more than a 12th Century phenom used by Muslims and Christians as an ornament. (Photo: USA Today)
Mileikowski just announced that he is going to annex the entire Jordan Valley if elected PM of the Zionist Settler State.  He has declared that the Iranians had a secret nuclear facility at Abaadeh which he said the Iranians destroyed after learning of its disclosure.  He has sent drones into Lebanon to attack HZB, who retaliated so effectively that his vaunted Zionist trash soldiers were found by Turkish journalist to have abandoned their positions for safer grounds.  Even though HZB filmed the direct hit on a Zionist military unit and subsequent medvac exfiltration, Mileikowski tried to cover up the disaster by suggesting his troops staged the medvac in order to convince HZB not to fire any more missiles.  Oh, really?
And, then, we had the announcement by a Zionist military reporter that the Russian Air Force intercepted a wing of Zionist bombers preparing to strafe an “Iranian base” which Mileikowski suspected had fired rockets at Zionist occupation forces in Palestine.  What drama!
And, then, Mileikowski met up with Putin after Trump unceremoniously fired John Bolton, the Washington chicken hawk, who loves to send other people’s children off to war. Bolton is married with one daughter who is unlikely to join any impending war.  He, himself, openly supported the Vietnam War but, conveniently, managed to join the Maryland National Guard to avoid going there and fighting for his country.  George W. Bush did the same thing.
Image result for Hezbollah fight with Israel after downing drone
Mileikowski is going all out to present himself as the Savior of the Zionist Apartheid State.  By staying in office, he can delay going to prison.  In the meantime, he uses anti-Palestinian rhetoric to fire up his base, deploying language that would be considered unacceptable here in the United States.  Heck, Facebook just took down his site just for that reason.  That’s gotta count for something, don’t you think?
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IDLIB:
  • Image result for ABu Muhammad Al-Jawlani
Trust me, he’s not smiling anymore.  According to my sources and all other sources close to the situation, Abu Muhammad Al-Jawlaani is livid.  Because of his castigating all other groups except his own, the ranks of the terrorist criminals are riddled with invective and disdain.  He has accused Al-Jabha Al-Wataniyya Li-Al-Tahreer (CIA controlled) and Al-Jaysh Al-Watani (Ankara’s boys) of failing to send in sufficient reinforcements to blunt the SAA’s assault on Khaan Shaykhoon.  He has railed against them while his mentor, sponsor and all-around pimp, Recep Tayyip Erdoghan, is fighting for his political life, just like Mileikowski.
He has ordered all terrorists to leave their positions inside towns and villages in order to redeploy in surrounding areas.  This military genius thinks that by “heading for the hills”,  of which Idlib has many, he can attack Russian, Syrian and Iranian forces more effectively.  He couldn’t be more misguided.  Now, with those criminals outside towns and villages, the Russian Air Force will have a field day bombing them into the 3rd Century where they belong.
Russia has also sent whole units of Speznaz commandos to assist the Syrian Army underlining Moscow’s determination to rid Syria of all these miscreants.  Gee, I sure hope they can make it to Germany before Mrs. Merkel gives up the ghost.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Spy vs Spy vs Spy: The Mysterious Mr. Smolenkov

By Philip Giraldi
Global Research, September 19, 2019
A new spy story has been making the rounds in Washington, but this time it involved a brave Russian official who allegedly was allegedly recruited while in the Russian Embassy in Washington in 2007 and then worked secretly for the CIA until he was exfiltrated safely in 2017 lest he be discovered and caught. The tale was clearly leaked by the Agency itself to CNN by way of “multiple Trump administration officials.”
The CNN headline Exclusive: US extracted top spy from inside Russia in 2017 landed like a bombshell but then pretty much disappeared as journalists noted a number of inconsistencies in the government-produced account of what had taken place. Matt Taibbi observed succinctly that “Seldom has a news story been more transparently fraudulent…the tale of Oleg Smolenkov is just the latest load of high-level BS dumped on us by intelligence agencies.”
The account that appeared in the mainstream media went something like this: A midlevel Russian official named Oleg Smolenkov was recruited decades ago by the CIA. He eventually wound up in an important office in the Kremlin that gave him access to President Vladimir Putin. Smolenkov was the principal source of information confirming that Russia, acting on Putin’s instructions, was trying to interfere in the 2016 presidential election to defeat Hillary Clinton and elect Donald Trump.
It was claimed that Smolenkov was actually able to photograph documents in Putin’s desk. CIA concerns that a mole hunt in the Kremlin resulting from the media revelations concerning Russian interference in the election might lead to Smolenkov resulted in a 2016 offer to extract him and his family from Russia. This was successfully executed during a Smolenkov family vacation trip to Montenegro in 2017. The family now resides in Virginia.
The CNN story and other mainstream media that picked up on the tale embroidered it somewhat, suggesting that although Smolenkov was the CIA’s crown jewel, the US has a number of “high level” spies in Moscow. It was also claimed that the timetable for the exfiltration was pushed forward by CIA in 2017 after it was noted that Donald Trump was particularly careless with classified information and might inadvertently reveal the existence of the source. The allegation about Trump carelessness came, according to CNN, after a May 2017 meeting between Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in which the president reportedly shared sensitive information on Syria and ISIS that had been provided by Israel.
Variants of the CNN story appeared subsequently in the New York Times headlined C.I.A. Informant Extracted From Russia Had Sent Secrets to US for Decades, which confirmed that the extraction took place in 2017 though it also asserts that the decision to make the move came in 2016 when Barack Obama was still president.
Taibbi observes, correctly, that CNN and the other mainstream elements reporting the story elaborated on it through commentary coming from anonymous “former senior intelligence officials.” As the networks have all hired ex-spooks, it raises the interesting possibility that employees of the media are themselves providing comments on intelligence operations that they were personally involved in, meaning that they might deliberately promote a narrative that does not cast them in a bad light.
Next morning’s Washington Post story US got key asset out of Russia following election hacking touched all bases and also tried hard to implicate Trump. It confirmed 2016 as the time frame for the decision to carry out the exfiltration and also mentioned the president’s talk with Lavrov in May 2017, though the meeting itself was not cited as the reason for the move. As Taibbi observes, “So why mention it?”
The Russians have denied that Smolenkov was an important official and have insisted that the whole story might be something of a fabrication. And the alleged CIA handling of the claimed top-level defector somewhat bears out that conclusion. Normally, a former top spy is resettled in the US or somewhere overseas in a fake name to protect him or her from any possible attempt at revenge by their former countrymen. In Smolenkov’s case, easily public accessible online county real estate records indicate that he bought a $1 million house in Stafford Virginia in 2018 using his own true name.
If the Russians were truly conducting a mole hunt that endangered Smolenkov it may have been because the US media and their anonymous intelligence sources have been bragging about how they have “penetrated the Kremlin.” A Washington Post June 2017 articled called “Obama’s Secret Struggle to Punish Russia for Putin’s Election Assault is typical. In that article, the author describes how CIA Director John Brennan secured a “feat of espionage” by running spies “deep within the Russian government” that revealed Russia’s electoral interference.
So, the Smolenkov story has inconsistencies and one has to question why it was deliberately leaked at this time. The only constant in the media coverage is the repeated but completely evidence-free suggestion that the mole was endangered and had to be removed because of Donald Trump’s inability to keep a secret. One has to consider the possibility that the story has been leaked at least in part due to the continuing effort by the national security state to “get Trump.”
Highly recommended is former weapons inspector Scott Ritter’s fascinating detailed dissection of Smolenkov’s career as well as a history of the evolution of CIA spying against Russia. Scott speculates on why the leak of the story took place at all, examining a number of scenarios along the way. Smolenkov, who, according to former CIA officer Larry Johnson, has oddly never been polygraphed to establish his bona fides, might have been a double agent from the start, possibly a low level functionary allowed to work for the Americans so the Russian FSB intelligence service could feed low level information and control the narrative. It is a “dirty secret” within the Agency that many agents are recruited by case officers for no other reason than to enhance one’s career. Such agents normally have no real access and provide little reporting.
Or alternatively, Smolenkov might have been someone who was turned after recruitment or a genuine agent who was trying to respond to urgent demands from his controller in Washington, who was de facto John Brennan, by producing a dramatic report that was basically fabricated. Or the story itself might be completely false, an attempt by some former and current officials at CIA to demonstrate a great success at a time when the intelligence community is under considerable pressure.
Scott also believes, as do I, that the story was leaked because John Brennan and his associates knew that they were deliberately marketing phony intelligence on Russia to undermine Trump and are trying to preempt any investigation by Attorney General William Barr on the provenance of the Russiagate story. If it can be demonstrated somehow that the claims of Kremlin interference came from a highly regarded credible Russian source then Brennan and company can claim that they acted in good faith. Of course, that tale might break down if anyone bothers to interview Smolenkov.
Another theory that I tend to like is that the CIA might be making public the Smolenkov case in an attempt to lower the heat on another actual high-level source still operating in Moscow. If Russia can be convinced that Smolenkov was the only significant spy working in the Kremlin it might ratchet down efforts to find another mole. It is an interesting theory worthy of spy vs. spy, but one can be pretty sure that Russian counterintelligence has already thought of that possibility and will not be fooled.
The reality is that spying is a highly creative profession, with operational twists and turns limited only by one’s imagination. In this case, unless someone actually succeeds in interviewing Oleg Smolenkov and he decides to tell the complete truth as he sees it, the American public might never know the reality behind the latest spy story.
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Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism on Palestinians (12 – 18 September 2019)



Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine Territory (12 – 18 September 2019)
Israeli violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory 
12 – 18 September 2019

  • Palestinian Woman killed at Qalendia Checkpoint at the northern entrance to occupied East Jerusalem, claiming she attempted to stab an Israeli soldier.
  • Great March of Return in Eastern Gaza Strip: 78 civilians injured, including 34 children, a woman and a journalist. 
  • During 82 incursions into the West Bank: 49 civilians arrested, including 8 children and 2 women. 
  • 2 limited incursions and 7 shooting incidents reported in the border area, east of the Gaza Strip. 
  • 5 water wells destroyed and 250 olive trees and 120 forest trees levelled in northern Jordan Valley; a house, agricultural rooms and a street demolished in al-Walajah village, northwest of Bethlehem.                                           
  • 64 temporary checkpoints established in the West Bank, where 4 Palestinian civilians were arrested. 
  • Israeli border crossings with the Gaza Strip closed for one day, and a Palestinian arrested at Erez Crossing, north of the Gaza Strip.

Summary 
During the reporting period, PCHR documented 165 violations of the international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by Israeli forces and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory.
As part of the Israeli violations of the right to life and bodily integrity, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian woman, who was not identified, at Qalendia Checkpoint at the northern entrance to occupied East Jerusalem, and wounded 78 civilians, including 34 children, 2 women and a journalist at the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip.
In a new crime of excessive use of lethal force, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian woman at Qalendia Checkpoint at the northern entrance to occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday, 18 September 2019.  The Israeli forces claimed that the victim attempted to stab one of the Israeli soldiers. Meanwhile, a footage published on social media showed one of the Israeli forces shooting at a woman who was few meters away from them and not posing any threat to their lives.  Therefore, the soldiers could have used less lethal force and arrested or interrogated her.
As part of the Israeli incursions and house raids, Israel carried out 82 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and raided civilian houses, attacking and enticing fear among residents in addition to shooting in many incidents. As a result, 49 Palestinians were arrested, including 8 children and 2 women.  In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces carried out 2 limited incursions into eastern Rafah and Khan Younis and levelled agricultural lands along the border fence.  Meanwhile, 7 shooting incidents were reported at the agricultural lands, east of the Gaza Strip; mostly in eastern Khan Younis.
Under the settlement expansion activities in the West Bank, PCHR documented 6 violations, including destroying 5 water wells, uprooting 250 olive trees and 120 forest trees, and demolishing a barrack and a caravan in the northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas, in addition to a house, an agricultural room, retaining walls and a street in al-Walajah village, northwest of Bethlehem.  Further, as part of the settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property in the West Bank, the Israeli settlers carried out 3 attacks at the Palestinian civilians and their property in the West Bank.
In terms of the Israeli closure policy, the Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the History of the Israeli occupation in the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods and ongoing isolation of the Gaza Strip from the West Bank and the rest of the world. Meanwhile, the West Bank is divided into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilians’ movement is restricted and others are arrested.
  1. Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity

  1. Excessive Use of Force against the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip
The 74th Great March of Return took off in eastern Gaza Strip on Friday, 13 September 2019, titled “Erase the Oslo Accords from Our History,” which coincided with the 26th anniversary of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). The Israeli attacks resulted in the injury of 78 civilians, including 34 children, a woman and a journalist.
The incidents were as follows: 
  • Northern Gaza Strip: At approximately 16:00 on Friday, 13 September 2019, hundreds of civilians marched towards the central tent of the Great March of Return (GMR) in Abu Safiyah area, northeast of Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces stationed behind sand berms and in military vehicles along the border fence, fired live and rubber bullets as well as teargas canisters at a number of protesters, who threw stones at them. As a result, 15 civilians injured, including 5 children: 6, including 2 children, were shot with live bullets and their shrapnel; 3, including 2 children, were hit with tear gas canisters; two of the were children; and 6 were shot with rubber bullets, including a child.
  • Gaza City: at approximately 17:00 on Friday, hundreds of civilians marched in eastern Malakah area, east of Gaza City. Speeches, theatrical performances and other segments were performed at the protest central encampment. Dozens of protestors approached the fence and threw stones with slingshots at Israeli soldiers. The activities continued until 19:00 on the same day. Despite the peaceful nature of the demonstrations, Israeli forces directly stationed along the border fence fired live, rubber bullets, and tear gas canisters at the participants. As a result, 11 civilians injured, including 5 children: 5 were shot with live bullets; 4 were shot with rubber bullets and 2 were directly hit with tear gas canisters.
  • Central Gaza Strip: at approximately 15:00, hundreds of civilians, including women, children and families, took part in the eastern Bureij refugee camp protests; tens of them gathered adjacent to the border fence at a range varying between 3 – 300 meters. A number of protestors approached the fence and threw stones with slingshots at Israeli soldiers. The Israeli soldiers, reinforced with several military SUVs, fired live and rubber bullets in addition to teargas canisters at them. As a result, 28 civilians were wounded, including14 children and a journalist: 13 were shot with live bullets and their shrapnel, 10 was shot with a rubber bullet and 5 were hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded freelance journalist, Zakaria Rawhi Bkair (24), from al-Maghazi, was hit with a rubber bullet to the left hand.
  • Khan Younis:  hundreds participated in Khuza’ah protests. Tens approached the border fence, set tires on fire, attempted to throw stones and firecrackers, set tires on fire, and raised Palestinian flags in addition to chanting national songs. Israeli forces fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at protesters, wounding 8 civilians, including 2 children and a woman: one of them was hit with shrapnel; 2 were hit with rubber bullets and 5 were hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded woman, Sabreen Ismail Ibrahim al-Najjar (42), sustained minor wounds after being hit with a rubber bullet to the head. Sabreen was previously injured on 16 August 2019.
  • Rafah: hundreds participated in the eastern Shokah protests, where folklore songs and speeches were held. Dozens approached the border fence and threw stones and fireworks at the shielded Israeli soldiers, who responded with live and rubber bullets and teargas canisters against the protestors. As a result, 16 civilians were injured, including 8 children; one child deemed in extremely critical condition: 10 were shot with live bullets and their shrapnel and 6 were shot with rubber bullets. Ahmed Naji Sa’ed Abu Qamar (17) sustained serious wounds after being shot with a live bullet to the head.
  1. Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity
  • At approximately 18:10 on Thursday, 12 September 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis. The shooting continued for half an hour; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Friday, 13 September 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis. The shooting continued for half an hour; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:40, Israeli forces stationed in “Kissufim”military site along the border fence opened fire at agricultural lands in eastern al-Qararah, east of Khan Younis. The shooting continued for about 15 minutes; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:15 on Saturday, 14 September 2019, Israeli soldiers stationed at the border fence between Gaza and Israel, east of al-Shoka, eastern Rafah, opened fire at agricultural lands. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 22:30 on Saturday, 14 September 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence opened fire at agricultural lands in eastern Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis. The shooting sporadically continued for few minutes; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:10 on Sunday, 15 September 2019, Israeli forces along the border fence fired live bullets and sound bombs at agricultural lands and shepherds in eastern al-Fukhari village, east of Khan Younis. The shooting sporadically continued for few minutes; no casualties were reported.
  • In a new crime of excessive use of lethal forces, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian woman at Qalandiya checkpoint at the northern entrance to occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli forces claimed that a woman attempted to stab a solider. A recorded videotape was published on news websites and social media where a soldier shot the woman, who was few meters away, before she approach him or pose any danger to the soldiers’ lives. Therefore, Israeli forces could have used a less lethal force against the woman like arresting her and investigate with her.
According to PCHR’s investigations and eyewitnesses’ statements, at approximately 06:00 on Wednesday, 18 September 2019, a Palestinian woman arrived at Qalandiya checkpoint in early morning and walked through the vehicles lane rather than the pedestrian lane and she seemed hesitant as if she lost her way. The soldiers then opened fire at the woman, who was few meters away from the soldiers, though she did not pose any threat to their lives. As a result, she was shot with a live bullet and was left to bleed for a long time before a Megan David Adom (MDA) ambulance transferred her to Hadassah Hospital in Western Jerusalem, and succumbed to her wounds shortly after arriving to the hospital. Israeli media claimed that a woman in the fifties arrived at the checkpoint and attempted to stab a border guard’s officer. The woman was naturalized after being shot and deemed critical. The Palestinian Ministry of Health did not declare the woman’s name or mentioned any details about her, but only mentioned her death after her arrival at the hospital. Israeli authorities also did not declare the dead woman’s name until the reporting period.
  • At approximately 21:15 on Wednesday, 19 September 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence opened fire and tear gas canisters at agricultural lands in eastern ‘Abasan al-Kabirah, east of Kham Younis. The shooting continued for few minutes; no casualties were reported.
  1. Incursions and Arrests
Thursday, 12 September 2019:
  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Kafer ‘Aqab village, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Tahadi Nidal al-Toukhali (28) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces backed by more than 8 military vehicles, moved into Ramallah, and stationed at al-Manarah Square. They raided and searched the head office of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Meanwhile, another Israeli force moved into Um al-Sharayet neighborhood in al-Birah. They confiscated the DVRs of the surveillance cameras at entrances of commercial shops. The incursion of the two cities continued for 3 hours; no more incidents were reported.
  • At approximately 02:10, Israeli forces moved into al-Zalazopun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Tahrir Zaid al-‘Araishah (26) and then arrested him.
  • At the same time, Israeli forces moved into Sarda village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Othman Salamah al-Bazar (22) and the arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:15, Israeli forces moved into ‘Iraq Burin village, south of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to Malek Fateh Qadous (32) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into al-Thaheriyah village, south of Hebron. they raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested 3 civilians namely: Khawlah Bader Abu ‘Ellan (44), her son Ibrahim (19) and ‘Oudai Shaher Abu ‘Ellan (28).
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Bethlehem and stationed on al-Saf street in the center of the city. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested Mohammed Jamal al-‘Ezzah (25), Mohammed Ahmed Abdullah al-Haremi (21), Muhanned Khader Abu ‘Ahour (22), and ‘Ala’a Mohammed al-Haremi (21).
  • At approximately 15:00, Israeli forces arrested Na’el (23) and Khalil Habes Abu ‘Aqil (35), from al-Samou’ village, south of Hebron after detaining them at a temporary military checkpoint in the abovementioned village.
  • Israeli forces carried out (3) incursions in Nablus, Dura and Surif villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.
Friday, 13 September 2019:
  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Dura, southwest of Hebron, and stationed in al-Shurfah neighborhood. A number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at shielded military vehicles. A number of soldiers stepped out of the vehicles and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the young men. As a result, a number of them suffered tear gas canisters. Israeli forces withdrew later from the village; neither casualties nor injuries were reported.
  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Bethlehem and stationed in al-Fawakhrah neighborhood in the center of the city. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Mahdi Omer Ziyadah (23) and Montaser Husein Shakhtour (26) and then arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Adeeb Abu al-Humus (25) and then arrested him.
  • Israeli forces carried out (3) incursions in al-Shoyoukh and Beit Ummer villages, north of Hebron; Zeta village, north of Tulkarm. No arrests were reported.
                                      
Saturday, 14 September 2019:
  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Qifin village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Mahmoud Dawoud Te’mah (22) and then arrested her.
  • At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into Bethlehem and stationed in al-Mawaleh Mount area in the center of the city. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Mousa Hejazi (17) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 11:00, Israeli forces moved into Hadab al-Fawar area, south of Hebron. They patrolled the streets. Meanwhile, they detained Suhieb ‘Adnan ‘Asfour (14) for 2 hours claiming that he threw stones at them. ‘Asfour was released after the Palestinian military Liaison. The Israeli forces withdrew later from the area; no arrests were reported.
  • Israeli forces carried out (6) incursions in Yetma and Qablan villages, south of Nablus; Karmah and Deir Razeh villages, south of Hebron; Tulkarm and ‘Azzoun villages, east of Qalqiliyah. No arrests were reported.
Sunday, 15 September 2019
  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Aqabet Darwish neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Fayzah Mahmoud Zeyadah (43) and then arrested him.
  • At the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Nasim Amjad Moheisen (20) and Mohammed Mousa Hamdan (20) and then arrested them.
  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Hebron. They raided and searched several houses belonging to Maher ‘Ayed Barqan, Hamzah Mohammed Shabanah, Mahmoud al-Rajbi and Hatem Mousa Qafishah, whom the Israeli forces handed him a summons to refer to Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 07:30, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem for the second time within few hours and stationed in al-Arba’een Mosque in the center of the city. They stopped civilians’ vehicles, checked their ID cards and them arrested Nabil Mohammed Abu al-Humus (12) and heavily beat him.
  • At approximately 09:00, Israeli forces backed by a number of military construction vehicles moved about 100 meters from the border fence into al-Shoka village, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, amidst opening fire at the area; no casualties were reported. The vehicles also leveled lands adjacent to the border fence. At approximately 13:30, the Israeli forces redeployed along the border fence.
  • At approximately 16:00, Israeli forces established a temporary military checkpoint on Nablus – Jenin near al-Mas’oudiyah square, northwest of Nablus. The soldiers stopped Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their ID cards and then arrested a Palestinian civilian. The Israeli forces claimed that they found a gun with the civilian, whose identity was not known.
  • At approximately 18:30, Israeli forces moved into Kafel Hares village, north of Salfit. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested 3 children namely Amal Hamad Buziyah (17), Akram Jaber Abu Ya’qoub (17) and Akram Mohammed Murtada Abdul Jalil (16).

  • Israeli forces carried out (8) incursions in Tal village, southwest of Nablus; ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqiliyah; Tarqumiya, al-Thaheriyah and Emrish villages in Hebron; Beit Rema; Birzeit and Silwad villages in Ramallah and al-Birah. No arrests were reported.
Monday, 16 September 2019:
  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Islam Tayseer Banat (14) and Mohammed Jamal Abu Sil (15) and then arrested them.
  • At approximately 01:15, Israeli forces moved into Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to Husam Issam al-Qinna (17) and then arrested him.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Balata refugee camp east of Nablus. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed ‘Issam Mas’oud Salama (19) and Mohanned Ahmed Salama Duwaikat (22) and then arrested them.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into ‘Askar refugee camp, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ahmed Nabhan Saqer Abu Basir (58) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Beit Kahel village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched several houses, and then arrested (4) civilians namely; Omer Mahmoud Abdul Hadi ‘Asafra (23); Bassam Ateya al-Zohour (30); Amir Bassam Ateya al-Zohour (23); and Montaser Mahmoud Ismael Abryoush (22).
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Eyad Mahmoud Taqatqa (40) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem and stationed in the vicinity of al-Arb’een Mosque in the center of the city. They raided and searched a house belonging to  Ahmed Jamal Abu Ryala (21) and then arrested him.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Anabtah village, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Yazeed Issam Melhem (22) and Mu’taz Emad Balawna (28) and then arrested them.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Kafel Hares village, north of Salfit. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mahmoud Abdul Ra’ouf al-Khatib (43) and then arrested him.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Kafer ‘Ain, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ali Saleh Abu ‘Arqoub (25) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:20, Israeli forces moved into Hablah village, south of Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Samer Ghaleb Mirdawi (35) and then arrested him.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Amar Mahmoud Dwaikat (26) and then arrested him.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Bait Led, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to Yousri Saleem Mahmoud Rashed (23) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Ahmed ‘Alami (30) and then arrested him.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Fawar refugee camp, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Sami Mohammed Janazra (46) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 09:00, Israeli forces backed by several construction military construction vehicles moved about 100 meters into east of Khuza’a village, east of Khan Younis, south of Gaza Strip. The vehicles leveled the lands adjacent to the border fence and then redeployed along the border fence.
  • At approximately 02:00, Safi Abdulhamid al-Tamimi (52) from Deir Nizam village, northwest of Ramallah. The Israeli forces stationed in the main entrance of the village, attacked him and he sustained bruises in his legs and chest and the head while driving to Ramallah. Safi said to PCHR’s fieldworker:
“At approximately 02:00, on Monday, while I was driving to Ramallah, 10 Israeli soldiers were stationed at the entrance of the village. One of the soldiers stopped me and ordered me to step out of the car but I refused. He hit me with the barrel of the gun on my head, then opened the door of the car and forced me out of it. Afterwards, the soldiers cuffed me and started beating me to the point where I lost my consciousness until I woke up at the hospital.”
  • At approximately 16:00, Israeli forces based at Erez crossing (Beit Hanoun), north of Gaza Strip arrested a Palestinian woman from Rafah after returning from a visit to her son who is imprisoned by Israel. The woman suffered from heart disease, and was investigated with for more than 4 hours. According to her statement, an Israeli intelligence officer claimed that he had two-year-old voice recordings for her talking to with a former prisoner who was her son’s cellmate. She denied his claim and he threatened her she will not be allowed to visit her son in the future. She was later released at Erez checkpoint, after she felt tired and exhausted and was allowed to take her medication.
  • At approximately 19:30, Israeli Intelligence Services stationed at Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing arrested Yusuf Jawas Khamis Husam (30), from al-Zaytoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City. According to the statement of Ysusf’s brother, Khamis (35), at approximately 08:00 on Monday, 16 September 2019, Yusuf went to Erez checkpoint after the Israeli Intelligence Services summoned him. Yusuf had previously applied for a travel permit to work in trade. Khamis continued contacting his brother until 19:00 on the same day after which Yusuf closed his phone. At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 17 September 2019, Khamis received a phone call from the Palestinian Liaison informing him that the Israeli Intelligence Service arrested Yusuf.
  • Israeli forces carried out (4) incursions in Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah; al-Fawar refugee camp and al-Mawreq village in Hebron. no arrests were reported.
Tuesday, 17 September 2019:
  • At approximately 12:00, Israeli forces established a military checkpoint at ‘Ain al-Mezrab road at the southeastern entrance to Tal village, west of Nablus. They stopped Palestinians’ vehicles, checked civilians ID cards and then arrested Salem Hani Abu Hamadah (20), who was driving his father’s vehicle, and took him to the Israeli forces’ site in the southeastern side of the village.
  • At approximately 15:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron, stationed in al-Tawq area and patrolled between houses. Meanwhile, a number of young men gathered and threw stones at the soldiers, who responded with sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the young men. As a result, a number of young men suffered tear gas inhalation; no arresrs were reported.
  • Israeli forces carried out 9 incursions into the following areas with no reported arrests: Tal village, southwest of Nabuls, Jenin, Qabatya village, Tarqoumia village, Sourif, Beith Kahel, Tubas, Tayyaseer and Akaba villages.
Wednesday, 18 September 2019:
                   
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Aydah refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohanned Mahmoud Ja’arah (22) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 18:00, Israeli forces stationed at Za’tarah checkpoint, south of Nablus, arrested Mohammed Asa’ad Badad (45), from Jaba’a village, south of Jenin. Eyewitnesses said that Israeli forces stationed at the abovementioned checkpoint, stopped the vehicle driven by , ordered him to step out  and then arrested him.
  • Israeli forces conducted (5) incursions Silwad, al-Moghir, Betin, al-Janiyah and Deir Netham villages in Ramallah and Hebron.
III. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank including occupied East Jerusalem

  1. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities

  • At approximately 07:00 on Thursday, 12 September 2019, Israeli forces backed by several military vehicles and a vehicle of the Civil Administration moved into Kherbet ‘Atouf and Ras al-Hahmar, southeast of Tubas. They demolished 5 water wells and bulldozed 250 olive trees that were planted 4-7 years ago, in addition to 120 forest trees. The fence surrounding these lands was also demolished. The attacked lands, and demolished property, belong to:
1- Rashid Mostafa Bani ‘Owda: a water well, 100 olive trees and a fence.
2- Morshed Rashid Bani ‘Owda: a water well, 50 olive trees and a fence.
3- Hussni Mostafa Bani ‘Owda: a water well and 100 olive trees.
4- Hussain Mostafa Bani ‘Owda: a water well.
5- ‘Abed al-Latif Mohamed Basharat: a water well.
6- Um Kbaish Reserve: 120 forest trees and a fence surrounding the land.
  • On Monday, 16 September 2019, Israeli forces demolished a residential house, agricultural rooms and retaining walls, and bulldozed a road in al-Walajah village, northwest of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Khader al-A’raj, a member of village council, said that an Israeli force reinforced with several military construction vehicles moved into al-Walajah village and stationed in ‘Ain Jowizah and Khelet al-Hour areas. The Israeli military vehicles then demolished a 2-story residential house belonging to Mostafa ‘Abed Rabbu. Furthermore, 2 agricultural rooms, property of Halimah al-‘Arj, were demolished, in addition to retaining and concrete walls. Additionally, a road connecting the mentioned areas with other neighborhoods was bulldozed. Al-‘Araj pointed out that the ongoing demolition operations in the village aim at displacing its residents which is part of the Israeli ethnic cleansing policy. It should be noted that over 30 houses were destroyed in al-Walajah village and 180 others are threatened to be demolished under the pretext of non-licensing. The Israeli authorities seek to annex ‘Ain Jowizah and Khelet al-Hour areas to Jerusalem Municipality boundaries.
  • At approximately 09:30 on Wednesday, 18 September 2019, Israeli forces backed by a bulldozer and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Kherbit ‘Atouf in northern Jordan Valley. The bulldozer demolished a 50-sqaure-meter barrack built of tin plates and a 20-sqaure-meter caravan belonging to Rami Mohamed Nimer Qalawlah in Al-Jadida village, southeast of the city. It should be noted that the barrack and caravan were designated for workers, guards and equipment storage. Another Israeli force moved into a nearby plot of land in Kherbit Ras al-Ahmar, where they confiscated an excavator belonging to Mowafaq Fakhri Daraghma, and arrested his brother, Moayad (29).
  1. Israeli Settler Violence

  • At approximately 14:00 on Saturday, 14 September 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, under the tight Israeli forces’ protection, moved into Tarousa area, west of Dura in southern Hebron, where they performed prayers and later withdrew.
  • At approximately 15:30 on Saturday, a group of Israeli settlers moved into Kafur Laqif village, east of Qalqiliyia. The settlers attacked Ibrahim Ameen Jaber’s house and attempted to raid it, but they could not because its door and windows were tightly locked. Jaber said to PCHR’s fieldworker that: “a friend phoned and told me that he saw a group of Israeli settlers raiding my house at the entrance to the village. I quickly headed there and called the Israeli police while I was on my way. I told the police officer that they should come and intervene or I will not hesitate to defend my property come what may. When I arrived at the area, I saw 4 young settlers attempting to enter the house. Meanwhile, the Israeli military forces arrived and took the settlers in order to protect them. This was not the first settler attack, as they previously caused damage to the water network and pipes as well as electricity wires. As a result, we were forced to move into another house in the center of the village due to the ongoing settlers’ attacks. The settlers then left the area under the Israeli forces’ protection.”
  • On Monday, 16 September 2019, a group of Israeli settlers sneaked into the northern entrance to Doma village “al-Howmah area”, southeast of Nablus. The settlers wrote slogans against Arabs on a wall belonging to Murad Ahmed Dawabsha’s house. They also punctured his vehicle tires before their withdrawal. It should be noted that Doma village is exposed to the ongoing and recurrent Israeli attacks. The most prominent of these attacks was the crime of burning Sa’d Dawabsha’s house on 31 July 2015 killing his wife and their infant child.

Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods
                          
The Gaza Strip
As the Israeli closure of the Gaza Strip enters its 14th consecutive year this July, severe restrictions on the freedom of movement of persons and goods enhance the de facto separation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
From time to time, the Israeli authorities close the crossings with the Gaza Strip as a collective punishment policy against Palestinians or due to Israeli holidays. Furthermore, patients and their companions as well as businessmen are arrested while travelling via Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing in the northern Gaza Strip. In this week, Erez and Kerem Shalom Crossings were closed for one day due the Israeli elections. A Palestinian citizen was arrested while heading to an interview with the Israeli Intelligence Service in Erez Crossing. Moreover, Israeli naval forces imposed a blockade on the Gaza Sea, chased fishermen, opened fire at them, and confiscated their fishing equipment.
  1. West Bank
In addition to permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals movement between villages and cities and deny civilians’ access to their work. Israeli forces established 64 temporary checkpoints, where 4 civilians were arrested.

The military checkpoint were as follows:
Hebron:
  • On Thursday, 12 September 2019, Israeli forces established 4 checkpoints at the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp, at the entrances to Raboud and Ethna villages, and at the southern entrance to Halhoul village.
  • On Friday, 13 September 2019, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints on Abu Rish road, ‘Ayoun Abu Said and at the entrance to Beit Ummer village.
  • On Saturday, 14 September 2019, 3 similar checkpoints were established at the entrances to Dura, al-Majd and Dir ‘Asal villages.

  • On Sunday, 15 September 2019, Israeli forces established 5 checkpoints at the entrance to Dura, at the entrances to Tarousa and Beit ‘Awaa villages, at the southern entrance to Halhoul village, and at the southern entrance to Hebron (al-Fahs).
  • On Tuesday, 17 September 2019, Israeli forces established 4 temporary checkpoints at the entrances of Doura, Beit Ummar, Sa’ir and al-Shoyoukh villages.
Ramallah and al-Bireh:
  • On Thursday, 12 September 2019, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Senjil, Um Safa and Dir Nizam villages.
  • On Friday, 13 September 2019, 6 similar checkpoints were established at the entrances to al-Nabi Saleh, Silwad, Serda, al-Tiba and Dir Nizam villages, and at the entrance to al-Jalazoun refugee camp.
  • On Sunday, 15 September 2019, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Ni’lin and ‘Atarah villages.
  • On Monday, 16 September 2019, 4 similar checkpoints were established at the entrances to Serda, al-Nabi Saleh, Dir Nizam, and ‘Aboud villages.
  • On Tuesday, 17 September 2019, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to al-Nabi Saleh village, at the intersections of Ras Karkar and Dir Baziegh villages, and in ‘Ain Sina Square.
Jericho:
  • On Thursday, 12 September 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Friday, 13 September 2019, 2 similar checkpoints were established at the northern and southern entrances to the city.
  • On Saturday, 14 September 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to al-Zubidat village, north of the city.
  • On Sunday, 15 September 2019, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Jericho and at the entrance to Zubidat village, north of the city.
  • On Monday, 16 September 2019, 2 similar checkpoints were established in the above-mentioned areas.
  • On Tuesday, 17 September 2019, a similar checkpoint was established in “Ma’ale Ephraim “settlement square, northwest of the city.
Nablus:
  • At approximately 07:00 on Thursday, 12 September 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint on ‘Asirat al-Qabaliyia village, south of Nablus.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Sunday, 15 September 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint on ‘Asirat al-Qabaliyia- ‘Oreef villages’ road, south of Nablus.
  • At approximately 22:00, a similar checkpoint was established on Nablus-Jenin road, near the intersection of “Homesh“settlement, north west of the city.
  • At approximately 14:45 on Monday, 16 September 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the western entrance to ‘Aqrabah village, where they prevented Palestinian civilians’ vehicles from entering or exiting the village. This coincided with imposing restrictions on Palestinians’ movement at Za’tarah checkpoint, south of Nablus.
Qalqiliyia:
  • At approximately 18:00 on Thursday, 12 September 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to ‘Azoun village.
  • At approximately 23:00, a similar checkpoint was established at the northern entrance to ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb village, east of Qalqiliyia.
  • On Friday, 13 September 2019, Israeli forces established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Kafur Qaddoum and Heblah villages, at the northern entrance to ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb village, and between ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb and ‘Azoun villages.
  • At approximately 14:40 on Saturday, 14 September 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Qalqiliyia.
  • At approximately 19:00, a similar checkpoint was established at the entrance to ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb village, east of the city.
  • At approximately 20:30 on Sunday, 15 September 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqailiyia.
  • At approximately 18:00 on Monday, 16 September 2019, the same checkpoint was re-established at the entrance to ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqailiyia
Salfit:

  • At approximately 13:10 on Friday, 13 September 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Qarawet Bani Hassan village, northwest of Salfit.
  • At approximately 16:50 on Saturday, 14 September 2019, a similar checkpoint was established at the southern entrance to Kaful Hares village, north of the city.
  • At approximately 16:30 on Monday, 16 September 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Kaful Hares village, north of Salfit.
  • At approximately 23:30, a similar checkpoint was established at the entrance to Kafur al-Deek village, west of the city.
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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

The Ansarullah’s Aramco Drone Strike versus “The Real Act of War” against Yemen

By Andrew Korybko
Global Research, September 19, 2019
Pompeo’s provocative pronouncement that the Ansarullah’s drone strike on Aramco’s oil facilities was an “act of war” is extremely hypocritical because it ignores the fact that the Saudis were the ones to initiate the international dimension of the War on Yemen as part of the US’ long-running Hybrid War on Iran, and any conventional US and/or Saudi attack against the Islamic Republic in response to its alleged involvement in the attack would amount to an “act of war” against the entire world due to the global economic consequences that such a move would very likely trigger.
US Secretary of State Pompeo provocatively described the Ansarullah’s drone strike on Aramco’s oil facilities last weekend as an “act of war“, thus making many observers fear that his country and the Saudis are plotting a reciprocal response against them and their Iranian political supporters that both also blame for complicity in the attack, therefore potentially leading to a larger regional conflict. There are reasons to doubt that such a scenario will actually transpire, but the arguments thereof will be explained after elaborating on the hypocrisy of the “act of war” pronouncement.
It was the Saudis, not the Ansarullah, that initiated the international dimension of the War on Yemen out of their serious concern that this rebel group’s rapid successes in the neighboring country would eventually lead to their Iranian rival making military inroads on their doorstep (whether conventional or more likely unconventional) if its political allies captured control of the coast. The Saudis, however, sold their intervention to the public as an attempt to restore Hadi’s internationally recognized government to power following his request for military assistance to this end, which was technically true but didn’t officially touch on the Iranian angle even though the authorities have since emphasized it to the extreme.
Seeing as how no evidence has emerged in the past 4,5 years to corroborate the Saudis’ suspicions about Iran’s future plans to tilt the regional balance of power against it in the event that the Ansarullah were to have taken full control of Yemen, it can be said that their formal intervention was predicated on the concept of “preemptive war” to offset that seemingly impending scenario that they convinced themselves (whether rightly or wrongly) was on the brink of unfolding had they not actively thwarted it. Critics allege that perspective is nothing more than the paranoid delusions of a crumbling Kingdom, but it should be pointed out that Iran has never made a secret of exporting its Islamic Revolution, with its justification for going on the counter-offensive against Iraq in the First Gulf War of the 1980s being a case in point that continues to send chills down the back of its royalist rivals. They, however, weren’t completely innocent in that sense either because they fully supported Iraq’s war of aggression against Iran, as did many other countries in the world at that time including interestingly also the US and USSR. The reason why so many feared the Islamic Revolution is because it presented a credible “third way” for Muslim countries to follow in the Old Cold War and thus upset bipolarity.
To simplify a very complex series of events, the 1979 Islamic Revolution set off a regional — and to an extent, even a global — security dilemma that continues to influence International Relations to this day, most recently when forming the implied basis behind the Saudis’ “preemptive” War on Yemen that eventually led to the Ansarullah asymmetrically responding out of self-defense through their massive drone strike against Aramco’s oil facilities last weekend. Even in the unlikely event that Iran somehow contributed to the attack through logistics, military, or other forms of support like the US and Saudi Arabia allege, that wouldn’t change the fact that it would have been a response to the Hybrid War that those two have been incessantly waging against it since 1979 and which markedly intensified in nearly the past 1,5 years since the imposition of the anti-Iranian sanctions. Even so, many observers fear that the US and Saudi Arabia are prepared to strike (back at?) Iran and ominously climb the conventional escalation ladder to dangerously new heights, but while that certainly can’t be discounted, there are valid reasons for arguing that it probably won’t happen owing to Iran’s control of the asymmetrical escalation one that could impose unacceptable costs to them and the world if that ever occurs.
Irrespective of whether there really was a secret Iranian hand behind the Aramco attack or not, few doubt that the country has the drone and missile capabilities to turn that incident into child’s play and carry out something far more devastating if it were ever attacked. The US’ Patriot missiles failed to intercept the Ansarullah’s ten drones, revealing a glaring regional security shortcoming that therefore means that practically every oil processing facility in the Gulf is vulnerable to this sort of attack unless they’re able to rapidly improve their defensive capabilities, which can’t realistically happen for some time even if they were to purchase Russia’s S-400s and anti-drone equipment to complement or partially replace their inefficient American systems. World-renowned geopolitical analyst Pepe Escobar is correct in predicting that
“The real reason there would be no ships traversing the Strait of Hormuz (author’s note: if the US and Saudi Arabia attack Iran) is that there would be no oil in the Gulf left to pump. The oil fields, having been bombed, would be burning”, which would collapse the Gulf economies and also instantly trigger the world’s worst economic crisis in history.
With this in mind, a US-Saudi strike on Iran would be an actual “act of war” against both their target itself and the rest of the world.
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This article was originally published on OneWorld.
Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

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Saudi Arabia up in Flames: Riyadh Is Headed for a Major Disaster


Image result for Saudi Arabia up in Flames: Riyadh Is Headed for a Major Disaster


Federico Pieraccini
September 19, 2019
On Saturday September 14, Yemen’s Houthi rebels announced that they had conducted a massive attack on several Aramco plants in Saudi Arabia, including the largest oil refinery in the world in Abqaiq, using 10 drones. On Twitter, dozens of videos and photos showed explosions, flames and the resulting damage.
The move is part of a retaliatory campaign by the Houthis in response to the indiscriminate bombings conducted by the Saudi air force over more than four years. UN estimates speak of more than 100,000 deaths and the largest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War.
The Saudi kingdom finds itself in an increasingly dangerous situation as a result of the retaliatory capacity of the Houthis, able to inflict severe military and economic damage on Riyadh with their missile forces. Estimates suggest that Riyadh is losing something in the region of $300 million a day from the Houthi attacks. On Sunday September 15, a spokesman for the Saudi oil ministry spoke of damage that is yet to be calculated, possibly requiring weeks of repair. Meanwhile, Saudi oil production has halved following the Saturday attack. With a military budget of $200,000, the Houthis managed to inflict damage numbering in the billions of dollars.
House of Saud Isolated
The withdrawal of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates from the conflict in Yemen, driven by their desire to improve relations with Tehran, and the impossibility of the United States intervening directly in the conflict, has created significant problems for the House of Saud. The conflict is considered by the UN to be the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, and Trump has no intention of giving the Democratic presidential contenders any ammunition with which to attack him. Bolton’s dismissal could be one of those Trump signals to the deep state stating that he does not intend to sabotage his re-election hopes in 2020 by starting a new war.
This reluctance by Washington to directly support Israel and Saudi Arabia has aggravated the situation for Riyadh, which now risks seeing the conflict move to its own territory in the south of the country. The Houthi incursions into Saudi Arabia are now a daily event, and as long as Riyadh continues to commit war crimes against innocent Yemeni civilians, the situation will only worsen, with increasingly grave consequences for the internal stability of the Saudi system.
Saturday’s retaliation is the real demonstration of what could happen to the Saudi economy if Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) refuses to sit down and negotiate a way out of one of the worst military disasters of the contemporary era.
The invincibility of US weapons systems is only in Hollywood movies
The Houthis have in recent months managed to strike their targets in Saudi Arabia dozens of times using different aerial means. This highlights once again the total failure of American air-defense systems in the country.
In contrast, the multiple Russian anti-aircraft systems in Syria have achieved a 100% success rate with regard to interceptions, managing to disable (through electronic warfare) all the drones, mortars and missiles launched by jihadists against Russia’s bases in Tartus bases and Latakia.
Blame Iran!
Pompeo blames Tehran for the Yemeni attack on Saudi Arabia, of course without offering any proof. Riyadh and Tel Aviv are increasingly isolated in the Middle East. Washington is only able to offer tweets and paranoia about Iran to help its allies, given that a direct intervention is seen as being too risky for the global economy, not to mention the possibility of the conflict becoming a wider regional conflagration that would sink any chance of reelection in 2020 for the present administration.
Trump, Netanyahu and MBS are concocting a witches’ brew that will bring about a disaster of unprecedented proportions to the region. It is only a matter of time before we see the baleful consequences of their handiwork.
A hypothesis to be discarded
There is some talk doing the rounds that the Saudis conducted a false-flag attack on their own oil refineries, a hypothesis that enjoys a superficial plausibility. The resulting increase in the price of oil could be seen as having a positive effect on Aramco’s share price, it is true. But for the reasons given below, this hypothesis is actually not plausible.
The Houthis develop their own weapons, assisted by the Yemeni army. Used drones would cost less than $20,000 a piece. The military embargo on Yemen (enforced by the US and UK) has created a humanitarian disaster, limiting food and medicine. The delivery of weapons by sea therefore seems unlikely. As repeatedly stated by Mohammad Javad Zarif, the foreign minister of Iran, as well as representatives of Ansarullah, Tehran has no influence on the Houthis.
The Yemeni response is part of an increasing asymmetric logic, which has as its primary objectives the halt to Riyadh’s bombings of Yemen by increasing the costs of doing so such that they become unsustainable. The obvious pressure point is the 20 billion barrels in strategic reserves.
There is no need for a false flag to blame Iran for the work of the Houthis. The corporate media is enough to have the false accusations repeated without the help of the Israelis or US-based neocons.
The Saudis are more cautious, even if unable to decide how to proceed. In Yemen, they have no more cards to play: they do not want to sit down and deal with Ansarullah, Tehran is unassailable, while Tel Aviv is pushing for a conflict, with Riyadh offered to be sacrificed.
I have been writing for months that, sooner or later, an event will occur that will change the regional balance in a possible conflict with Iran. This happened on Saturday, when half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production was brought to a halt by an attack.
Conclusion
There could not be any worse news for the neocons, Wahhabis and Zionists. If the Houthis could inflict such damage using 10 drones, then Tel Aviv, Riyadh and Washington must be having conniptions at the thought of what the Iranians would be capable of doing in the event that they themselves were attacked.
Any power (in this case the US and their air-defense systems) and its close ally would do everything to avoid suffering such a humiliation that would only serve to reveal their military vulnerabilities.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu’s visit to Moscow is seen by many in Israel as a failure. It is confirmed in Tel Aviv that the Zionist state’s recent attacks in Syria have been quashed by Russian intervention, sending an unambiguous message to Netanyahu.
Netanyahu and MBS, I reiterate, are heading towards the political abyss. And given their inability to handle the situation, they will do everything in their power to draw Washington into their plans against Iran.
It is all certainly vain. But in the coming weeks, I expect further provocations and tensions in the Middle East.

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!