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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Arabian Peninsula / Persian Gulf update 6/15/2017...Saudi Forces Intensify Attacks on Awamiyah

Shiaarea of Awamiyah targeted by Saudi forces

Saudi Forces Intensify Attacks on Shia Town

Saudi regime forces launched a fresh wave of attacks against a besieged town in Saudi Arabia’s Shia-populated Eastern Province, killing at least one person and injuring nearly 40 others over the past 48 hours.

The casualties came after Saudi troops, equipped with heavy weapons, waged a new offensive against Awamiyah, Northeast of the capital, Riyadh, London-based and Arabic-language Nabaa television news network reported.

There are reportedly several women and children among those injured in the raids.

Meanwhile, Abdulmohsin Abdullah al-Faraj, a prominent Shia activist, who was critically injured during an attack by Saudi troops, succumbed to his wounds on Thursday. Death toll is expected to rise as some of the injured are said to be in critical condition.

The developments come as a fierce crackdown on protesters there enters its sixth week.

At least a dozen people have lost their lives in the ongoing heavy-tactic crackdown by the Riyadh regime since then.

Residents have been forced to stay indoors as the regime has deployed snipers across the entire region.

Garbage has piled up as Saudi forces continue to prevent relevant authorities from collecting trash across several areas.

Security forces equipped with heavy weapons have been deployed in Eastern Province's Awamiyah since May 10, following fierce clashes between the regime forces and locals protesting against the destruction.

On May 24, UN experts criticized the ongoing attempts to demolish Mosara and accused the Saudi kingdom of erasing cultural heritage, violating human rights, and forcing residents to flee their homes.

According to a statement issued by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Karima Bennoune, the UN Special Rapporteur accused Saudi security forces of "irreparably burning down" historic buildings and forcing residents to flee their homes.

Bulldozers escorted by heavily armored military vehicles have demolished several houses, business and historical sites across the Shia-majority region over the past few weeks.

A number of human rights groups and activists have expressed deep concern about the living conditions of people in Awamiyah who are suffering from a severe water shortage and are using private generators to produce electricity.

Also in late May, a Saudi court handed down death sentences to over a dozen young Shia activists from the restive Qatif region, which has been the scene of peaceful protest rallies against the ruling Al Saud regime in recent years.

Eastern Province has been the scene of anti-regime protests since early 2011. Riyadh has stepped up security measures in the Shia-majority region. Protesters want freedom of speech, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination exercise by authorities.

Demonstrations intensified in the province after the January 2016 execution by the regime of respected Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. The protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime.

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35 Saudi Forces Killed, Wounded at Borders with Yemen

Yemeni military sources said that 35 Saudi military men were killed and wounded in two surprise attacks by Yemen's army and popular committees against their bases in Jazan region.

A military source was quoted by al-Masirah news channel as saying that the Yemeni forces launched offensive against al-Dafineh, Qaem Zobaid and al-Karas bases in the Southern region of Jazan, bordering Yemen, killing 15 Saudi military men.

The source added that in another attack against al-Khubeh base in Northern Jazan 20 Saudi forces were killed and wounded.

Also on Wednesday, Yemeni army and Popular Committees hit a Saudi-led warship in waters off the Southwestern province of Ta'iz.

Local military sources said that the warship was in the Yemeni territorial water, near the port city of Mocha in Taiz, when was targeted by the allied forces confronting the Saudi-led aggression on Yemen.

The source said that the warship was targeted with a qualitative and advanced weapon, noting that further details about this weapon will be announced later.

For his part, Head of Supreme Revolutionary Committee, Mohammad Ali al-Houthi announced the attack on his Facebook account, parsing maritime forces of the army and the committees as the defenders of the Yemeni people.

Yemen has been since March 2015 under a brutal aggression by Saudi-led coalition. Tens of thousands of Yemenis have been injured and killed in Saudi-led strikes, with the vast majority of them are civilians.

The coalition has been also imposing a blockade on the impoverished country’s ports and airports as a part of his aggression which is aimed at restoring power to fugitive former president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

However, the allied forces of the army and the committees have been confronting the aggression with all means.

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