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March 30, 2015 / 10 Nisan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Saudi Arabia’

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Dead at 90. King Salman Succeeds.

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has died at the age of 90, according to a statement read overnight (Jan. 23) on Saudi Arabian state-run television.

“His Highness Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and all members of the family and the nation mourn the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who passed away at exactly 1 am this morning,” the statement said.  Qur’anic verses were chanted on the air prior to the announcement, usually indicating the death of a member of the royal family.

In recent months the king was in and out of the hospital with breathing difficulties. In January the royal court announced he was suffering with pneumonia.

The monarch was in the hospital at the time of his passing at 1 am Friday local time, the BBC reported. Born around 1923 in Riyadh, Abdullah was the 13th of 37 sons of King Abdulaziz, also known as Ibn Saud, the founder of the modern nation of Saudi Arabia, an ally of the United States. He is survived by four sons and reportedly was married 13 times during his lifetime, although he never had more than four wives at one time, in accordance with Islamic law, The New York Times reported.

Abdullah rose to the throne in 2005 upon the death of his half-brother, King Fahd, but in actuality ruled the nation since his older brother was incapacitated by a stroke in 1995, when he was serving as deputy minister. He was seen by Saudis as a reformer, though one who made changes gradually. He allowed mild criticism of his government in the media, which placed him in stark contrast to most other Arab leaders in the region. Change is something that is perceived in a relative manner, depending on where you live: what is considered hypocrisy and repression to Western eyes may be seen as radical reform in the eyes of the Middle East.

The price of oil soared by more than two percent – one dollar – after his death was reported.

Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Abdullah’s’s 79-year-old half-brother, became the new king, despite the fact that it is believed the former defense minister and governor of Riyadh is suffering from dementia.

Last year King Abdullah also appointed his youngest surviving brother, 69-year-old Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, to become second in line for the throne. The move was seen as a way to ensure the monarchy would remain in the House of Saud for the foreseeable future, inasmuch as Salman and Muqrin are both sons of King Abdulaziz as well.

One of King Salman’s first acts was to immediately called on the Allegiance Council of the royal family to recognize Muqrin as his Crown Prince and heir.


Nasrallah Claims Turkey Deals With Both ISIS and al-Nusra

Monday, January 19th, 2015

In an interview aired on the Lebanese al-Manar news site on Monday, Jan. 19, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah made many of the standard blowhard assertions everyone expects. To wit: Hezbollah has much modern weaponry, Hezbollah’s military prowess and arsenal has increased and continues to increase in strength every year.

Nasrallah also claimed that his fighters are training day and night, that they will be ready to liberate the Galilee, and they will penetrate far into enemy territory “in case of a new Zionist aggression in Lebanon.”

No explanation for why this latest “Zionist aggression” was not the one they’ve been waiting for,  just more threats about the next time.

But in the course of the six minute interview, Nasrallah said something worth noting.

The interviewer asked Nassrallah whether Turkey has relations with either ISIS or the al-Nusra Front.

“It has relations with both of them,” Nasrallah replied.

The terrorist leader also claimed that despite what U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama “say in the media,” behind the scenes the U.S. administration has revealed in “confidential letters to some regional countries” that it is “not concerned with whether President Assad remains in power or departs.”

Nasrallah said that only Turkey and Saudi Arabia really care about dethroning Assad.

The terrorist leader also said that Hamas is very interested in having close and complete relations with Iran and with Hezbollah.

US to Send 400 Soldiers to Train ‘Moderate’ Rebels

Friday, January 16th, 2015

The Obama administration has announced that 400 U.S. Army soldiers will be deployed in Middle Eastern countries to train more than 5,000 “moderate” Syrian rebels.

Support systems and personnel also will be deployed at the training bases in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, according to Defense Dept. spokeswoman Elissa Smith.

President Barack Obama has maintained a policy that no American soldiers will set foot in Syria to help put an end to the civil war that has raged almost four years and has turned the Islamic State into a household world.

Obama apparently has decided on training rebels since the American-led aerial campaign against ISIS has not stopped the beheaders from actually taking over more territory in Syria.

The war has attracted the participation of almost every big-name terrorist group in the world, and each rebel group has appeared to be as barbaric as the army of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

There are apparently enough surviving “moderates” whom officials in the Obama administration  want to train, but Reuters reported that it will take 15,000 rebels to take back territory held by the Islamic State (ISIS), which has become Obama’s favorite target in the Middle East, even more than the ‘peace process.”

He also has authorized 3,000 troops to act as advisers in Iraq, which was supposed to have become a freedom-loving democracy long ago as a result of the American foreign policy program.

Now all the U.S. Army has to do is figure which rebel is a fighter and not a terrorist, meaning which one is “moderate” by not belonging to ISIS or Al Qaeda.

“We … know the Syrian opposition better now than we did two years ago through the programs we’ve had providing non-lethal assistance,” Smith said.

In the understatement of the day, an unidentified senior defense official told Defense One, “This is going to be hard. We have to recruit the guys; we have to assume that there are a lot of guys who are recruitable; there’s got to be some vetting. This is not going to be an easy enterprise here.”





Mideast Stability in Question as Saudi Arabia Looks for Heir to King

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Who will lead Saudi Arabia next?

That is the question silently occupying the leaders of world capitals — not to mention the heads of Arab nations in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, 90, is arguably the most powerful monarch in the Middle East, partly because his nation is one of the world’s largest oil exporters. The king also exerts a strong grip over political affairs in the region as well, blocking much of the influence of the radical Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, and Iran.

During Israel’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge against Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization last summer, King Abdullah aligned with Jordan and Egypt to neutralize the influence of Qatar, Turkey and Iran during Israel’s indirect cease-fire talks with Hamas, brokered by Cairo.

Last Wednesday Abdullah was admitted to the King Abdulaziz Medical Center in Riyadh after suffering breathing difficulties. By Friday, he required temporary assistance of a tube to help him breathe, but his condition has since stabilized, according to the royal court.

Nevertheless, Friday’s procedure increased speculation about who will be next in line for the throne, despite the fact that the monarch’s condition has stabilized.

The king appointed his half-brother, Prince Salman, to be heir apparent in June 2012. But Salman, 78, is reputed to be in poor health.

Last year Abdullah also appointed Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz to be deputy crown prince as well, ensuring an heir already in place to succeed Salman if the need arises.

Mit’ib, youngest son of King Abdulaziz, the founder of Saudi Arabia who is known as Ibn Saud, is a minister and commander of the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG.) There is speculation by analysts that Abdullah may have arranged with Muqrin to appoint Mit’ib as his crown prince, thus securing the monarchy for the House of Saud.






Watch Saudi Arabian Woman Break the Law by Driving a Car [video]

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Saudi Arabia has extended by 25 days the detention of two women who had the audacity to challenge the kingdom’s ban on women drivers.

Perhaps Saudi officials think women drivers are dangerous and that giving them a license would hike insurance rates. More likely, they are afraid that allowing women behind the wheel would freak out males, for whom the illusion of being superior is sacred.

The women so far have succeeded in driving the kingdom mad.

A relative of one of the women drivers, 25-year-old Loujain al-Hathloul, told the Associated Press that “she wanted to highlight the absurdity” of the Saudi anti-women driver law.

A grassroots camping on behalf of the right of women to drive has drawn 355,000 followers on Twitter, and Loujain al-Hathloul filmed herself last week as she drove from the United Arab Emirates across the Saudi border.

Border guards took her passport and detained her.

It is not yet known if the women will be charged a criminal violation.

UPDATE: Oil Prices Plunging, Saudis May (Or May Not) Even Sell to Israel

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

With oil prices going down, Saudis may begin selling even to Israel. Or it may not.

Saudi Petroleum Minister Ali Al-Naimi was supposedly quoted in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Kuna news that the Kingdom is willing to sell oil to any country that wants to buy it, including Israel.

“We do not hold a grudge against any nation and our leaders promote peace, religious tolerance and co-existence,” Al-Naimi was quoted as saying by the Kuwaiti news agency KUNA.

“His Majesty King Abdullah has always been a model for good relations between Saudi Arabia and other states – and the Jewish state is no exception.”

The Oil Minister was reported to have made the statement at a press conference held in Vienna on Sunday, Nov. 30. It was reported by several Arab and Israeli media outlets, but it may have been a hoax.

Even so, if it sent more shivers down the spine of Vladmir Putin, who is watching the ruble collapse and the Russian economy dive in a tailspin because of plunging oil prices on top of American economic sanctions, the false report was worth it.


Pro-Hezbollah Singer Arrested for Incitement in Lebanon

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

In Lebanon, a pro-Hezbollah vocalist has been arrested on charges of incitement, according to the singer’s father and judicial officials who spoke with media.

If indicted, tried and convicted, Barakat could face a sentence of six months to three years in prison for the crime of inciting sectarian sentiments, and attacking a friendly nation.

Known as “Hezbollah’s nightingale” Ali Barakat was detained by authorities when he went to collect his passport from the Directorate of General Security in the southern Lebanese town of Nabatiyeh.

“This move violates democracy,” charged Mohammed Barakat, the singer’s father.

The vocalist received a summons in April for releasing sectarian songs that “harm Lebanon’s relations” with other Arab nations, authorities said, according to a report by ABC News that quoted the Associated Press.

One song was titled “Your Terror, Saudi Arabia,” referring to rival Arab regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia, which backs the Syrian rebels. The Hezbollah terrorist organization backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Several glorified Hezbollah, including one released on the 14th anniversary of the Israeli army’s withdrawal from Lebanon. He sang about Hezbollah conquering the Galilee — a goal the terrorist group has said it will reach in the next war — and of bombing the Golan Heights.

“We are coming to blow up the volcano in the Galilee and the Golan,” he sang. “Hezbollah’s fighting in Syria is the greatest proof.” The backdrop video images flashed during the song included a map of the Galilee and shots of damage to Syrian rebels caused by Hezbollah

“Your turn will come, occupier,” he sang. “In the next war, you will disappear.”

Barakat was apparently warned prior to his arrest that his incitement could endanger him.

An official linked to Hezbollah who spoke with media on condition of anonymity said, “When we heard some of his songs that we found not suitable we objected. Still, he went on with them.” He added that Barakat is not a member of the terrorist group.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pro-hezbollah-singer-arrested-for-incitement-in-lebanon/2014/11/26/

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