Tag Archive | Middle East

U.S. Aircraft Directly Transporting ISIS Fighters Out of Raqqa*

U.S. Aircraft Directly Transporting ISIS Fighters Out of Raqqa*

By Rachel Blevins

As the death toll climbs in the city of Raqqa, the United States is now being accused of transporting ISIS fighters to safety, before embarking on an offensive that has included reports of cluster bombs and white phosphorus.

Iranian news agency Fars News reported that Ammar al-Assad, a senior Syrian lawmaker, said the U.S. has “allowed over 120 [ISIS] members to leave Raqqa with their weapons and go towards al-Sukhnah to create insecurity in Palmyra.”

“The U.S. is highly coordinated with the Syrian Democratic Forces as some of the group’s commanders are from the U.S., Britain, France and certain regional states,” al-Assad reportedly said.

“Actually what is happening in the battlefield is against what the media says. Many surprising events happen.”

Al-Assad claimed that “three weeks ago, the U.S.-led coalition planes staged heliborne operations in Raqqa and transferred a number of ISIL ringleaders to unknown places.”

He also questioned how groups such as ISIS and Syria’s Democratic Forces could arrive at such an agreement, given their ideological differences.

One of the most notable things Ammar Al-Assad reportedly told Fars News was that the leaders “were not Syrian, Iraqi or Chinese, but were the western commanders” of ISIS.

Reports of the U.S.-led coalition transporting ISIS leaders out of the city of Raqqa is especially interesting, given the fact that the city they are fleeing from is the same city that has been a direct target of the coalition’s wrath in recent weeks.

The Syrian Democratic Forces, an army backed by the U.S.-led coalition, began its effort to capture Raqqa on June 6, with an onslaught of airstrikes and ground troops.

As The Free Thought Project has reported, there have been multiple claims that the coalition dropped a cluster of airstrikes on Raqqa—a city housing at least 200,000 people—containing chemicals such as white phosphorus, which is illegal in residential areas.

Xinhua News, China’s state press agency, reported that

“Tens of civilians were killed on Thursday when the U.S.-led airstrikes targeted Syria’s northern city of Raqqa with white phosphorus,” citing a report from Syria’s Sham FM radio.

After just one week, Paulo Pinheiro, chairman of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry, told the Human Rights Council on Wednesday that the coalition’s sharp increase in attacks has led to a “staggering loss of civilian life,” and has “led to 160,000 civilians fleeing their homes.”

“Coalition air strikes have intensified around the city,” Pinheiro said.

As the operation is gaining pace very rapidly, civilians are caught up in the city under the oppressive rule of ISIL, while facing extreme danger associated with movement due to excessive air strikes.”

Karen Abuzayd, an American commissioner, told the council that the independent panel has documented around 300 deaths in the region since March.

“We have documented the deaths caused by the coalition air strikes only and we have about 300 deaths, 200 in one place, in al-Mansoura, one village,” Abuzayd said.

Reuters noted that the death toll could be much greater, but because U.N. investigators do not have access to Syria, they are limited to conducting interviews with “survivors and witnesses in neighboring countries or by Skype with those still in Syria.”

If the latest claims out of Syria are found to be true, it would mean that the United States has now been accused of transporting the leaders of the enemy it claims to be fighting to safety, and then using chemical weapons to torturing the innocent civilians of that city—which is arguably a war crime.

If these types of accusations were made against Russia or Syria, the U.S. government would band together with the mainstream media to demand WAR. However, when the claims are made against the United States, both entities fall eerily silent.

Source*

Related Topics:

U.N. Reveals U.S. Massacred 300 Civilians in Raqqa Last Week*

U.S. Coalition Cause ‘Staggering loss of civilian life’ during U.S.-backed siege of Raqqa*

Syrian Troops Move Closer to Raqqa as the U.S. Drops Chemical Weapons on the Citizens*

Cabal’s New Tool Measures Resilience in Adolescent Syrian Refugees*

Cabal’s New Tool Measures Resilience in Adolescent Syrian Refugees*

A brief and reliable survey tool to measure resilience in children and adolescents who have been displaced by the brutal conflict in Syria has been created by an international team of researchers.

Finding what makes a person resilient, can lead to what makes a person less resilient. There are more immediate actions to improve the lot of Syrians

 

Researchers from Yale University, together with partners at universities in Canada, Jordan, and the United Kingdom, have developed a brief and reliable survey tool to measure resilience in children and adolescents who have been displaced by the brutal conflict in Syria. Over 5 million people have been forced to flee the six-year-old conflict in Syria, and over 650,000 Syrians are now rebuilding their lives in neighboring Jordan. Building resilience in people affected by war is a priority for humanitarian workers, but there is no established measure that could help assess the strengths that young people in the Middle East have in adversity. This makes it difficult to assess the nature of resilience and to track changes over time.

The researchers, in partnership with humanitarian organizations working on the Syrian-Jordanian border, have designed and tested a culturally relevant tool in English and Arabic languages. They describe their findings in an article published June 15 in Child Development.

“Humanitarian organizations strive to alleviate suffering and also nurture the resilience of refugees — their ability to overcome adversity,” said Catherine Panter-Brick, professor of anthropology and global affairs at Yale University and the study’s lead author.

“If you only focus on the negative — people’s trauma — then you’re missing the full picture. We have developed a tool for accurately measuring resilience in Arabic-speaking young people.

This survey will help researchers and service providers to craft effective interventions that bolster people’s strengths.”

The tool is useful for quickly measuring resilience in both refugee and host communities. It identifies strengths at the individual, family, and cultural level, thus including individual, interpersonal, and collective sources of resilience. It asks respondents to rate 12 statements, including “I have opportunities to develop and improve myself for the future,” “my family stands by me in difficult times,” and “education is important to me,” on a five-point scale from “not at all” to “a lot.”

In consultation with groups of young Syrian refugees and Jordanian hosts, the research team first examined local understandings of resilience. Then they adapted and translated a tool that has been successfully used in other cultures with vulnerable populations — the Child and Youth Resilience Measure (CYRM) — to make it contextually relevant for use in Arabic-speaking refugee communities. To test the tool, the researchers interviewed 603 11- to 18-year-old boys and girls, including refugees and non-refugees, living in five towns near the Syrian-Jordanian border.

As expected, they found that higher levels of resilience were associated with less stress and fewer mental health problems. They also found interesting differences in sources of resilience within the populations surveyed. Boys and girls placed a different emphasis on the importance of family support, participation in religious activities, and education as a gateway to “the future.” And while Jordanians identified role models as important to resilience, Syrian refugee youth drew strength from overcoming their traumatic experiences, feeling re-settled, sustaining ambition, and believing that formal education was still important. For all these young people, reliance on family ties was paramount, more so than relationships with peers, the researchers noted.

“This new survey tool measures an important aspect of well-being, one that examines positive strength, rather than vulnerability and difficulties,” said co-author and team leader, Rana Dajani, professor at the Hashemite University in Jordan. “It will help humanitarian organizations evaluate their programs for young people and their families.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Syrian Education Ministry Launches the Psychological and Social Support Guide*

Israelis Trafficking in Syrian Children’s Body Organs*

Syrian Soldier Breaks Down In Tears Upon Reunification With His Family in Aleppo*

Rights Group Sues Trump Admin for Legal Explanation of Syria Missile Strike*

Syria, and Why Your Patriotism is Misguided*

Unity on U.S. Hands Off Syria Coalition*

Desperate Cabal Use UFO to Attack Caught Over Syria, Countless Structures Destroyed*

The Occult Reasoning behind the Cabal’s Battle for Syria*

U.N. Reveals U.S. Massacred 300 Civilians in Raqqa Last Week*

What the Media Won’t Tell You about Syria*

Goldman Sachs Financial Tricks to Prop Up “The Economy is Great!” Claim, Fund Syrian War*

Ramadhan in Gaza*

Ramadhan in Gaza*

Ramadhan, a time of worship and joy for Muslims around the globe, is mixed with sadness in Gaza.

During Ramadhan three years ago, Israel launched a massive military offensive that would last 51 days and claim more than 2,200 Palestinian lives.

The many families in Gaza who lost loved ones during that offensive, and the ones that came before it, feel little joy in their absence.

Successive Israeli military offensives, and a decade of blockade, have destroyed Gaza’s economy, further clouding Ramadan.

But Palestinians in Gaza try to carry on with Ramadhan traditions – sharing meals with family and visiting neighbors after a long day of fasting, enjoying qatayif sweets and and carob and tamarind drinks.

Video by Ruwaida Amer for The Electronic Intifada.

Source*

Related Topics:

Gaza Teen Uses Candle Heat to Generate Electricity*

On Gaza, Gaza, Defense Minister Says ‘Next War Will Be The Last’*

Israel Attacks All-Women Solidarity Flotilla to Gaza*

Gazan Down Syndrome Teacher Inspires her Disabled Students*

One Palestinian Man’s Mission to Make Urban Agriculture More Sustainable*

Palestinian Prisoners end Hunger Strike with Historic win against Israeli Mass Incarceration*

Muslims ‘protecting Christians’ against ISIS by Lending them Hijabs in Marawi*

Muslims ‘protecting Christians’ against ISIS by Lending them Hijabs in Marawi*

In a desperate bid to protect themselves from an ISIS-linked terrorist group, Christians in the war-torn Filipino town of Marawi are borrowing the hijabs of their Muslim friends and disguising themselves, a new report has revealed.

The Daily Mail reports that nearly a month after the Maute extremist group overtook the town, kidnapping and killing Christians and cutting off running water and electricity, residents have taken “extreme measures” to ensure they stay alive.

Zia Alonto Adiong, a local politician managing rescue and relief efforts, told the outlet that in a text message pleading for help, one family said they had “started to eat their blankets”.

While thousands fled the Muslim-majority after Maute overtook it in May, it’s estimated that 300-600 civilians are still trapped or are being used as “human shields” in areas controlled by the terrorist group. Currently, there are believed to be about 100 militants in the city, and the organization’s news agency, Amaq, said its fighters controlled two-thirds of the city.

At least 100 people have escaped on foot, while still others have made it across the river to safety. On Tuesday, five Christians and five police officers braved sniper bullets to run across the town’s commercial district this morning to reach a government-controlled area on the Agus River western bank.

A doctor treating those who make it to safety revealed that Muslim residents are “protecting” Christians by lending them their religious head-coverings.

“Some of the stories that stuck were Muslims helping protect Christian workers by letting them borrow a hijab,” said Dr Gioia Ancheta, head of the psychosocial therapy team.

However, not everyone is so fortunate: when a group of 18 civilians attempted to flee Tuesday morning, “the terrorists ran after them and indiscriminately fired at them, killing five of the civilians and taking the remaining eight as hostages,” says the Mail Online.

Last week, authorities found the bloodied bodies of eight Christian men thrown in a ditch. Their hands were tied, and beside them was a cardboard with the word “munafiq,” which means hypocrite, according to GMA News.

The men were workers at a local bakery who were caught trying to escape to a nearby city, two witnesses told ABS-CBN. The militants reportedly separated from the group those whom they identified as Christians.

The ISIS-linked Maute group has been joined by Jihadists from other countries, sparking fears that ISIS could be trying to establish an Asian foothold as it weakens in Syria and Iraq.

“IS is shrinking in Iraq and Syria, and decentralizing in parts of Asia and the Middle East,” Rohan Gunaratna, security expert at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said according to Reuters.

“One of the areas where it is expanding in Southeast Asia and the Philippines is the centre of gravity.”

So far, the military has killed militants from Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi, Yemen, Chechnya, Pakistan, Turkey, Morocco and India.

Colonel Edgard Arevalo, spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said they are “exploring different means” to meet the deadline while considering the safety of the civilians, ABS-CBN reported.

Arevalo confirmed reports that the militants are separating the Christians from the Muslims.

“It’s sad that we are getting reports from the ground that the terrorists are separating fleeing Christians and Muslim,” he said.

“They are letting the Muslims go but not the Christians.”

On Wednesday, security official who is familiar with the region told Reuters the battle in Marawi does not appear to be ending anytime soon.

“At the very least, it is not at all clear that government forces are presently winning or even gaining significant ground,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“ISIS demonstrated significant determination and success in capturing and holding Mosul in Iraq and their effort in Marawi is of a similar notable quality.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Christians Join Forces with Muslim Group Hezbollah to Fight ISIS in Lebanon*

Iraqi Troops Free Yazidi, Christian Women Prisoners from ISIS*

Muslim Residents Help Rebuild Christian Church That Was Destroyed By ISIS*

Muslim Man Saves 64 Christians from being Executed by Terrorists in Philippines*

Arab Christians Pushed into Mass Exodus*

 

U.K. Arms Firm Sold Spyware to Repressive Middle East States*

U.K. Arms Firm Sold Spyware to Repressive Middle East States*

BAE Systems distributed the software which allowed governments to trace the activities, locations and traffic of pro-democracy activists

A BAE Systems booth at a trade show for naval and maritime safety in France (AFP)

 

A leading British arms company has been selling spy software across the Middle East, potentially risking the security of activists and dissident groups.

The findings come after a year-long investigation by BBC Arabic and a Danish newspaper, which revealed that BAE Systems had been selling a mass surveillance software called Evident, acquired after the purchase of Danish company ETI in 2011, to governments in the Middle East, including those involved in crackdowns on pro-democracy activists.

“You’d be able to intercept any internet traffic,” said a former ETI employee speaking anonymously to the BBC.

“If you wanted to do a whole country, you could. You could pin-point people’s location based on cellular data. You could follow people around. They were quite far ahead with voice recognition. They were capable of decrypting stuff as well.”

Among the clients for the software was the government of the former Tunisian president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who used it on opponents before being overthrown in the 2011 Arab Spring demonstrations.

“ETI installed it and engineers came for training sessions,” explained a former Tunisian intelligence official, speaking to the BBC.

“[It] works with keywords. You put in an opponent’s name and you will see all the sites, blogs, social networks related to that user.”

According to Freedom of Information requests made by the BBC and the Dagbladet Information newspaper in Denmark, other clients included Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Morocco and Algeria.

The rise in surveillance technology in the Middle East is thought to have had a serious impact on the activities of pro-democracy campaigners in the region since the beginning of anti-government protests in 2011.

Yahya Assiri, a former Saudi air force officer who fled the country following the posting of pro-democracy comments on social media, told the BBC he “wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said more than 90% of the most active campaigners in 2011 have now vanished.”

Marietje Schaake, a Dutch member of the European Parliament, described the sale of the technology as “unacceptable”.

“Each and every case where someone is silenced or ends up in prison with the help of E.U.-made technologies I think is unacceptable,” she told the BBC.

“The fact that these companies are commercial players, developing these highly sophisticated technologies… requires us to look again at what kind of restrictions maybe be needed, what kind of transparency and accountability is needed in this market before it turns against our own interest and our own principles.”

The U.K. government has, however, been keen to support BAE Systems, a major employer, with regards to its activities in the Middle East.

In particular, Saudi Arabia is a vital market for the company, which employs more than 80,000 staff worldwide and accounts for one percent of U.K. exports, according to the company.

The U.K. government has approved more than $4.2bn of arms to Saudi since the start of the conflict in Yemen 2015, and last month The Times reported that the British government threw its weight behind the company to secure a long-awaited Typhoon jet contract with Saudi Arabia for 48 new aircrafts.

Olly Sprague, Amnesty U.K.’s programme director for military, security and police, told MEE that BAE is hiding behind the U.K.’s “warped rules on arms exports”.

“BAE Systems acknowledge they have more than 6,000 people working in Saudi Arabia helping to strengthen the country’s arms capability – so it is outrageous that they continue to hide behind the UK Government’s warped ‘rules’ on arms exports as a justification for their work,” he said.

The U.K. Department for International Trade issued the following statement:

“The government takes its defence export responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust export control regimes in the world.

“All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against strict criteria, taking account of all relevant factors at the time of the application, including human rights considerations.”

Source*

Related Topics:

U.K. Base Used by U.S. to Kill Thousands in the Middle East*

Sorry European racial “purists,” it turns out your ancestors were African and Middle Eastern*

Former U.K. Ambassador Refers to the West Returning to their Own Vomit

How America Betrayed its Sunni Allies in Middle East?

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC Security Update Installs Chrome Spyware*

Microsoft Shifts Spyware Windows 10 to ‘Recommended’ Update, Automatic Download*

U.S. Computer Makers Lose Markets Courtesy of NSA Spyware*

Judy Malware Infects Over 30 Million Android Users Worldwide*

Leaked NSA Malware Threatens Windows Users Around the World*

Apple Records Your Messages from iMessage and Sends the Data to Police*

 

Jewish Nurse Feeds Palestinian Baby While Mother Is In Hospital

Jewish Nurse Feeds Palestinian Baby While Mother Is In Hospital

By Amanda Froelich

“They were really surprised and told me that no Jewish women would agree to nurse a Palestinian baby they did not know.”

Though feuds over religious differences have resulted in many wars, a Jewish nurse wasn’t about to let her own beliefs get in the way of saving a baby boy’s life. Last week, a Palestinian family was involved in a head-on car collision in Jerusalem. The father was killed instantly but the boy, Yaman Abu Ramila, was taken to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital by paramedics for his lighter injuries.

After the 9-month-old’s aunts showed up, he cried for several hours and refused to eat from a bottle. Distraught, they asked the hospital staff for help. That’s when a Jewish nurse named Ula Ostrowski-Zak informed them that she is breastfeeding and would feed him.

Ula has an 18-month-old child of her own, and told the women that it felt like “feeding her own son.” The aunts of the infant were stunned but grateful she would help, reports YNet News.

“I fed him five times,” said Ula.

“His aunts embraced me and thanked me. They were really surprised and told me that no Jewish women would agree to nurse a Palestinian baby they did not know.”

The nurse went one step further by taking to Facebook to find another woman who could feed the boy once he was discharged. The post accumulated over 1,000 responses and offers of help poured in. Eventually, another of Yaman’s aunts ended up volunteering to breastfeed him.

“Within two hours I received more than a thousand likes and responses from women who volunteered to help, women who were willing to travel even from Haifa to breastfeed him. In between, I continued to try to expose the child to the bottle but without success,” Ula explained.

Because Yaman’s mother is still in the hospital, he will stay with his grandparents in Hebron until she is fully healed. Please share this positive news and comment your thoughts below!

Source*

Related Topics:

Jews give Muslims Key to their Synagogue after Town’s Mosque Burns Down*

Albanian Muslims Risked Their Own Lives to Save Jews in the Holocaust

Jews caught staging “Muslim terror” again to hype up flagging support for their evil antichristian apartheid regime

Muslim and Jews Side By Side in the Bronx

Britain’s Hostile Elite: Fake Jews: Deceit and Double-Think*

Rape, Jews, and Bollywood*

The West’s Engineered Buddhist-Muslim Conflict in Thailand*

When Palestine was 85% Arab, 15% Israeli and U.K. and U.S. Paid the Jews from the Caucasus to Live There*

Israeli Geneticist: Ashkenazi Jews come from Turkey, not Palestine*

Interpol Reports 1 Percent of European Terrorism Was Carried Out by Muslims in 201

A Small Act of kindness Disarms anti-Muslim Protester.*

Schools in France Want Muslim Students to become Objects of Worthlessness*

Mother Ashkenazi, Father Muslim – Dahlia Wasfi Argues Against Illegal Occupation

Would Jewry Exist today if it Were not Muslims*

1 Million Protesting Orthodox Jews Block the Road from Jerusalem – Tel Aviv*

Israel Backs Saudi Arabia in Confrontation with Qatar*

Israel Backs Saudi Arabia in Confrontation with Qatar*

By Ali Abunimah

President Donald Trump and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, 20 May. Trump’s endorsement of Saudi-led anti-Iran alliance may have emboldened Saudi Arabia’s move to isolate Qatar. – Shealah Craighead White House Photo

 

Israeli officials have gleefully endorsed the position of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in a growing confrontation with Qatar, the most public acknowledgment yet of the deepening alliance between certain Gulf states and Tel Aviv over their common enmity towards Iran.

Meanwhile, evidence has emerged of close cooperation between the United Arab Emirates and a key Israel lobby group to pressure Qatar over its support for the Palestinian resistance organization Hamas.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia and several of its satellite states, including the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar and imposed a blockade, cutting land, sea and air links to the country.

Regional media reported that shelves in stores in Qatar, whose only land border is with Saudi Arabia, were quickly emptied as residents feared a prolonged closure could lead to food shortages.

Justifying its decision, Saudi Arabia has accused Doha of “grave violations” such as “adopting various terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at destabilizing the region,” including the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and al-Qaida.

Israel’s “opportunity”

Israeli officials were quick to offer their support to Saudi Arabia.

“New line drawn in the Middle Eastern sand,” Michael Oren, Israel’s deputy minister for diplomacy, proclaimed on Twitter.

“No longer Israel against Arabs but Israel and Arabs against Qatar-financed terror.”

Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman declared that the crisis was an “opportunity for cooperation” between Israel and certain Gulf states.

“It is clear to everyone, even in the Arab countries, that the real danger to the entire region is terrorism,” Lieberman claimed. He added that the Saudi-led bloc had cut ties with Qatar “not because of Israel, not because of the Jews, not because of Zionism,” but “rather from fears of terrorism.”

Chagai Tzuriel, a top official in Israel’s intelligence ministry, told The Times of Israel that Qatar was a “pain in the ass” to other “Sunni” Arab states allied with Israel.

Israel’s former defense minister Moshe Yaalon also expressed backing for the Saudi-led sectarian coalition.

“The Sunni Arab countries, apart from Qatar, are largely in the same boat with us since we all see a nuclear Iran as the number one threat against all of us,” he said at a ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Syria’s Golan Heights.

On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia continued to escalate the situation, suspending the license of Qatar Airways and ordering its banks to sell the Qatari currency.

Who supports “terror”?

While Saudi Arabia offered no evidence for its charges against Qatar, the accusations are rich coming from a regime that has been one of the biggest sources of funding to so-called jihadi groups going back decades.

But like Saudi Arabia, Qatar too has been accused of financing or allowing money to flow to ISIS and al-Qaida-affiliated groups in Syria.

Israel has also had no problem with al-Qaida linked groups, and even ISIS, in Syria, offering them various kinds of cooperation and material support.

So the source of Saudi ire must lie elsewhere. Qatar has for years, along with Saudi Arabia, been part of the counterrevolution to thwart or reverse the so-called Arab Spring uprisings.

Qatar was taking part in the Saudi-led war on Yemen, before being kicked out of the coalition this week.

The two-year bombing campaign in Yemen has killed thousands of civilians and brought the impoverished country to the brink of famine.

But Qatar has often found itself backing different horses: Doha supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, while Riyadh has backed the regime of Abdulfattah al-Sisi, the army chief who led the 2013 military coup that overthrew the elected Muslim Brotherhood president in Cairo.

These differences had soured relations between Qatar and Saudi Arabia for years.

But Saudi Arabia may have been emboldened to act now, after U.S. President Donald Trump gave full endorsement to strengthening a Saudi-led anti-Iran alliance during his visit to Riyadh last month.

Targeting Hamas and Iran

Qatar has continued to host the leaders of the Palestinian resistance group Hamas and has been under pressure to expel the group’s officials – Israeli media claims that Qatar did expel two officials are unconfirmed.

But the biggest difference appears to be that Qatar has not been willing to fully sign up to the Saudi-Israeli alliance against Iran.

A deal in April in which Qatar allegedly paid about $700 million in ransom to release members of its royal family abducted by an Iran-affiliated group in Iraq reportedly enraged officials in other Gulf states.

Qatar also reportedly paid about $300 million in ransom to several al-Qaida linked groups in Syria, according to The Financial Times.

Also in April, Qatar lifted a self-imposed ban on developing a major maritime natural gas field it shares with Iran, which would necessitate cooperation between the two countries, according to the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz.

Things came to a head around the time of Trump’s visit and his summit with regional leaders.

Qatar’s national news agency published comments attributed to the country’s leader Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, calling Iran “a regional and Islamic power that cannot be ignored” and asserting that “it is unwise to face up against it.”

Tamim also purportedly said his country’s relations with Israel were “good.” Qatar has flatly denied the statements are real, claiming that the news agency’s website and social media accounts were hacked.

Qatar has historically maintained relations with Israel, even welcoming its then foreign minister Tzipi Livni to Doha in 2008.

But the Qatar-based network Al Jazeera has cited the fake comments as a trigger for the crisis, accusing Saudi Arabia and its allies of using them as a pretext to move against Qatar.

UAE embraces Israel

Another factor is the close relationship between the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

Hacked emails published by The Intercept reveal coordination between the Emirates ambassador in Washington, Yousef Al-Otaiba, and the neoconservative pro-Israel think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

The emails reveal “a remarkable level of backchannel cooperation” between the Emirates and the think tank, which is funded by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a close ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to The Intercept.

The email exchanges included complaints from the Israel lobby group about Qatar’s support for Hamas “terrorists.”

An agenda for a meeting between leaders of the Israel lobby group and Emirates ambassador al-Otaiba scheduled for this month includes such items as “Qatar support for radical Islamists” including Hamas, Qatar’s “destabilizing role in Egypt, Syria, Libya and the Gulf” and the role of the Qatar-backed Al Jazeera network.

It also includes ways to reduce the influence Qatar gains from hosting a major US air base.

One of the items on the agenda is “Political, economic, security sanctions.”

The agenda is evidence that the Foundation for Defense of Democracies – a key player in Israel’s anti-Palestinian propaganda – was gearing up to deliver in Washington the anti-Qatar message coming from Riyadh and the United Arab Emirates.

U.S. role

The leaked documents reveal that the Saudi-led bloc is troubled by the influence Qatar gains by hosting the massive American al-Udeid air base.

But this is precisely why the U.S., the overall imperial power, has no interest in a squabble among states that it views as vassals.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson affirmed the importance of U.S. ties with all the states involved and offered to mediate, urging the feuding rulers to “remain unified.”

The U.S. military lauded Qatar for its “enduring commitment to regional security” and affirmed it had “no plans to change our posture in Qatar.”

Qatar has taken these messages as signs of strong U.S. support, but as ever Trump was quick to throw everything into doubt.

“During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar – look!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday, appearing to directly endorse the Saudi-led campaign against Doha.

“So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off,” he added.

They said they would take a hard line on funding extremism and all reference was pointing to Qatar.”

“Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism,” the president asserted. More likely, Trump is pouring gasoline on an already burning region.

A long-term goal of Israel has long been to divide Arab powers against each other, to “let them bleed,” as the official Israeli doctrine on Syria goes.

Whatever happens next, Israel will continue to benefit from the chaos and divisions that only strengthen its hand.

Source*

Related Topics:

Saudi Arabia Cuts Ties with Qatar for Not Wanting War with Iran*

After Riyadh Summit, Sunni Unity Crumbles*

Saudi Arabia Switching to BRICS in Response to U.S. Congress 9/11 Blackmail*

Saudi Airstrikes on Market Kills Civilians in Yemen*