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Monday, October 19, 2015

Yemen update 10/19\2015.. Saudi Dire Straits

Scenes of dead Saudis during an attempt to return villages in Jizan







Yemen rally for peace








Yemen: Bernard Leménager describes the injuries caused by unexploded ordnance
Médecins Sans Frontières Ireland








Watch US made cluster bombs dropped by #Saudi #UAE jets on village in Marran W Saada #Yemen








Facing Dire Financial Straits, Saudi Arabia Delays Contractor Payments To Preserve Cash | Zero Hedge



Riyadh is burning through its SAMA reserves and tapping the debt markets to offset the drawdown but at the end of the day, with crude prices this low the future doesn’t look particularly bright.



In fact, things have gotten so desperate that the Saudis are now trying to muscle in on Russia's Eastern European markets as Chinese demand decelerates along with the economy.



It’s with all of that in mind that we bring you the following from Bloomberg who reports that the kingdom is now delaying contractor payments by as much as six months in the face of the acute cash crunch. Here’s more:



Saudi Arabia is delaying payments to government contractors as the slump in oil prices pushes the country into a deficit for the first time since 2009, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.........



The bigger picture here revolves around the extent to which the House of Saud may be in terminal decline.



We've long said that if it should ever get to the point where Riyadh's self-inflicted wounds from manipulating crude lower end up triggering belt tightening that affects everyday citizens, the Saudis could end up experiencing an Arab Spring-type episode. Throw in the fact that Tehran looks hell bent on using the war in Syria as a kind of springboard for a regional power grab and you have the recipe for a major shift in Mid-East dynamics.







Amnesty International says Saudi Arabia is employing a "vague and abusive" law to silence human rights defenders and stifle free speech in the kingdom.

“By
using abusive counter-terrorism legislation and a deeply deficient
specialized court to intimidate and lock up human rights defenders,
Saudi Arabia is sending a chilling message that anyone who speaks out
will be purged,” James Lynch, the group's deputy Middle East and North
Africa director, said on Monday.


The
remarks by the official from the rights group came after Riyadh jailed a
number of human rights activists, including Abdulkareem al-Khoder, last
week.




“The Saudi Arabian
authorities today continued their cynical use of a repressive and overly
vague counter-terrorism law to purge the kingdom's small and embattled
civil society,” Amnesty said.


The
London-based watchdog said that the activist, who was jailed for 10
years, is one of 11 founding members of the Saudi Civil and Political
Rights Association (ACPRA) who are already incarcerated or on trial for
calling for political and human rights reforms.


Khoder,
a former professor at the Faculty of Islamic Jurisprudence in al-Qassim
University, was arrested under the accusation of disobeying the ruler,
inciting disorder by calling for demonstrations, and taking part in
founding an unlicensed organization, Amnesty says.


Khoder
was imprisoned by a Saudi criminal court for eight years in June 2013.
His sentence was overturned later, but he remained arbitrarily detained
and his case was re-heard by a Specialized Criminal Court, which handed
down the 10-year jail sentence, according to Amnesty International.


Another
ACPRA member, Abdulrahman al-Hamid, was sentenced by the court to nine
years in prison. In a separate case, the court sentenced human rights
defender Abdulaziz al-Senaidi to eight years in prison.


“The
outrageous convictions of ACPRA members for their human rights
activism, coming on top of Saudi Arabia’s already appalling human rights
record makes a further mockery of its obligations as a member of the UN
Human Rights Council to uphold the highest standards of human rights,”
said Lynch.


International human
rights organizations have lashed out at Saudi Arabia for failing to
address the rights situation in the kingdom. They say Saudi Arabia has
persistently implemented repressive policies that stifle freedom of
expression, association and assembly.




Iran says Saudi Arabia’s “destructive” policies “lead nowhere”, and that a country bombing its southern neighbor is not in a position to talk about the Islamic Republic’s role in the region.

Having
understood the Islamic Republic of Iran's "constructive and stabilizing
role,” the international community is calling for Iran's further
participation in the international arena, but Saudi Arabia
is “unfortunately the only country that is still looking at the regional
developments with the win-lose approach and is insisting on the removal
of others,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said on
Monday, adding that the unconstructive approach is doomed to failure.

Afkham
made the remarks in response to recent comments by Saudi Foreign
Minister Adel al-Jubeir, who threatened to confront Iran if the Islamic
Republic does not give up what he called “continuous aggression” against
the kingdom.

"It is difficult to have positive relations" with
Tehran "when Saudi Arabia and its people are the target of continuous
aggression" by Iran, Jubeir said at a Monday joint presser with his
German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Afkham
described such remarks as indecent and non-diplomatic, noting that such
an approach has plagued some regional countries, including Yemen and
Syria, with organized war and extremism.

The Saudi minister had
also said that it was difficult to envision a role for Iran in finding a
political solution to the Syrian crisis due to Tehran’s support for the
Syrian government.

In response, the Iranian official stressed
that Jubeir, whose country has adopted a military and extremist approach
toward the regional crises, is not competent to speak of Iran’s
regional role.



More than a dozen Saudi soldiers have been killed as Yemeni army troops backed by fighters from Popular Committees continue to gain ground in the kingdom’s southwestern border region of Jizan.

On
Monday, Yemeni soldiers and their allied forces launched a ground
offensive in the al-Khobe district of the region, located
966 kilometers (600 miles) south of the Saudi capital, Riyadh, killing
at least 13 Saudi troops in the process, the Arabic-language al-Masirah
satellite television network reported.

Saudi military officials have made no comment on the report so far.

Yemeni
soldiers and fighters of popular committees also advanced in Saudi
Arabia’s southwestern region of Asir, destroying a number of Saudi tanks
and armored vehicles in the city of al-Rabou'a.

The development
came as Yemeni forces launched seven rockets at a government compound in
the same Saudi city. There were no immediate reports about possible
casualties and the extent of the damage caused.

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