Monday, June 18, 2018

The Great Game is Playing Out Right Before Us All

I left his comment at Syrian Perspective- In the comments Sigh, used to really enjoy that place- Ziad is still great. And I go and read his updates. After reading hundreds of really absurd comments- I decided to leave some geopolitical information. Much of it discussed here at the blog. Some additional information expanding on previous postings done here- My chatter is in blue- the rest is quoted from source

Well, I don’t know about everyone else but the ‘freemason’ “knights of malta’ secret society talk has run it’s course, in my opinion- so let’s talk geopolitics
Geography and Politics- Back in 2011, the topic of: Assad’s “Four Seas Strategy” Damascus converges with China
I used this source for that article: The Jamestown Foundation
Sorry to disappoint- no secret handshakes, or whistles. Published right in the public sphere

Assad’s Four Seas Strategy was integrated with the Silk Road
“Syria’s Four Seas Strategy- Geography and Politics

"While China is moving west towards the Caspian Sea, Damascus is concurrently moving eastward. Since 2009, Bashar al-Assad has been promoting a “Four Seas Strategy” to turn Damascus into a trade hub among the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf/Arabian Sea and the Caspian Sea. Aligning Syria with countries that lie on these shores—Turkey, Iran, and Azerbaijan (The Weekly Middle East Reporter, August 1, 2009)—Assad peddled this idea in May 2009 with Turkey, stating that “Once the economic space between Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran become integrated, we would link the Mediterranean, Caspian, Black Sea, and the [Persian] Gulf … we aren’t just important in the Middle East…Once we link these four seas, we become the compulsory intersection of the whole world in investment, transport and more.” He described Syria’s nexus of “a single, larger perimeter [with Turkey, Iran and Russia]…we’re talking about the center of the world” [17]. Syria can thus act as a means of access for EU countries to markets in the Arab world and western Asian countries [18]. Assad discussed this vision with Medvedev in May this year, and in August 2009 he received Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei’s blessing when he presented this strategy [19]"

We see Assad is a smart guy. He’s got good advisers. Probably Russian and Chinese in the mix. He wants to make Syria the center of the world.
Cue the Americans- who do not want this- nor Israel because they will lose their strategic influence. And as always the Kurds can be employed as they have been for decades/centuries to wage war. They want a nation state? And Israel and the US want to block the Silk Road and Syria’s rise as a regional power backed by both Russia and China.
So use the Kurdish proxies, and others, to destabilize 4 nations/ win for Israel/US
Not so good for Russia. China. Iran. Iraq. Turkey. Syria.


Continuing China’s Silk Road Strategy is linking up with Syria’s look east policy at the Caspian region. The region is a key source for feeding various pipeline projects: Azeri gas to the first stage of the Nabucco pipeline to Europe, which will eventually connect with the AGP to the Middle East; Turkmen and Kazakh gas via the Central Asia-China Pipeline and the Kazakhstan-China Pipeline to China; and Turkmen gas to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India via the TAPI pipeline to South Asia. Concurrently, a new Eurasian regional security architecture based on energy security appears to be emerging, with Turkey, Syria and Iran in the Four Seas Strategy to connect with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. In 2007 an Iranian Fars News Agency article, entitled “Inevitable Iran-Turkey-Syria-Russia Alliance,” discussed how this “union of four” would challenge U.S. policies in the Middle East (Fars News Agency, November 5, 2007). Likewise, Russia and China may be taking steps to use the SCO to build a new regional security architecture that reinforces each other’s territorial integrity while retrenching Western influences [20]. As Russia is steadily increasing its Black Sea Fleet (Reuters, July 12; Christian Science Monitor, May 19), gaining a foothold in the Mediterranean via the Syrian port Tartus and forming a Black Sea military alliance with Turkey and Ukraine to be signed in August 2010 (RIA Novosti, June 28; Vestinik Kavkaza, June 29; World Security Network, July 7), China is increasing its footprint in the Caspian region via the SCO and Silk Road of pipelines, rail and highways [21]. Once again, there appears to be a new “great game” around the Caspian region and the Greater Middle East”

The great game as been at hand for years and years now. This is why I speak always of the remake the region agenda– the moves and counter moves- As they extend into North Africa.
Which is why Tell Rifaat was one stop on the silk road. it’s a battle between the big powers. Who is going to reshape the region?
Who will succeed? Who will control resources?
What is going on in Syria has larger ramifications for the entire
region- reverberating in Europe, China, Russia.
It will affect how trade is conducted. How and where money is spent- Winners/Losers
Sadly much of this reality has been obfuscated by the media- fake alternatives and troll patrols that talk about rubbish when none of that is raising awareness of the geopolitics at play. 

 Geopolitics- Geography and Politics- 

Converging, Merging, Diverging 

What is occurring in the region of the Middle East/North Africa is not unrelated.
It's interconnected. 
Like a web with multiple strands spanning great spaces and many places. The web has multiple spiders spinning strand after strand. But each spider alters the pattern of the others.
Frustrating and impeding planned weavings, maybe for only for a short time? It's unknown. Until the repairing is done? Or perhaps an entirely new path has been embarked upon? Perhaps some spiders become permanently thwarted? As others continue on?
While the desired final weave was long planned it often takes a long, long time to accomplish. That's geo politics.

US-led coalition Attacks Syrian Military Positions al-Boukamal, Syria

Deir Ezzor, SANA-
The US-led International coalition attacked one of the Syrian Arab Army’s positions in the southeast countryside of Deir Ezzor, leaving casualties.
A military source said in a statement to SANA that the US-led coalition on Sunday targeted one of our military positions in the town of Al-Hiri, southeast of al-Boukamal city, leaving a number of martyrs and wounding other people.
The new aggression comes three days after that the Syrian army liberated an area extending from the road of Haqel al-Wared (field of roses) , al-M’aezleh and al-Tammah, to Ibn Muwain’e with 40 km-long axis and combed an area estimated at 2000 square kilometers in al-Mayadeen western Badiya.
The coalition has been targeting the military positions in a desperate attempt to raise the collapsed morale of the terrorist organizations due to the achievements of the Syrian army.
The field reports confirm that Washington provides Daesh organization with various kinds of support to prevent its collapse and invest it to keep its forces illegally in the Syrian territory and steal the economic resources in the eastern region through its mercenaries of terrorist groups.
Since it was illegally formed in 2014 under the pretext of combating terrorism, the US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what it claims are Daesh targets without any authorization from the Syrian government or a United Nations mandate and committing dozens of massacres in Raqqa and the villages of Deir Ezzor and Hasaka.

I will update or create a new post regarding this most recent coalition war crime 

Don't Miss:

Aleppo Citadel Reopens It's Doors- Triumph Over Adversity

Geo-strategically speaking: 

Russian/Turkish deal for Tell Rifaat. The Micro & Macro along the Silk Road: Pepe Escobar

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Aleppo Citadel Reopens It's Doors- Triumph Over Adversity

 Let's hope this is a good sign for Syria as a whole.

The citadel of Aleppo, the most important archaeological monument in the city and one of the most amazing places of Islamic architecture, has re-opened its doors for visitors and tourists after being rehabilitated and cleaned of the dust of terrorism.
The citadel is one of the oldest and largest castles in the world and has preserved its beauty throughout history as it walls and fortresses have stood in the face of invaders.
The citadel, which dates back to Ayyubid period, has been closed since mid-2012 to protect its unique designs from the inside. Today, it reopens its doors as the Eid (feast)’s gift to its visitors, renewing its glory and stories of heroism in defending its well-fortified walls against invaders and terrorism.
Entering the citadel for the first time after his last visit eight years ago, Mohammed Ahmed Maarouf talked about his feelings and desire to regain his memories inside the place, which has stood in the face of terrorism and looting.

The citadel has a great rank in the hearts of Aleppo people; Alaa-Eddin Hammami considers that reopening it to visitors enhances the feeling of safety which Aleppo missed during the years of crisis.

Meanwhile, Laila Kiali saw that the citadel embodies the history of the city’s people and reopening it brings back joy to the souls.
I was happy to read this news. Considering all that has occurred in Syria generally and in Aleppo specifically this opening is, in my opinion, pretty miraculous. 


Don't Miss!

Russian/Turkish deal for Tell Rifaat. The Micro & Macro along the Silk Road: Pepe Escobar

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Russian/Turkish deal for Tell Rifaat. The Micro & Macro along the Silk Road: Pepe Escobar

Going a little long- This post covers the micro and the macro

Earlier this week Southfront had delivered one of their usual vague news reports. With no link back to original source. They followed up with another one just the other day. I'm not a huge fan of Southfront. It's no different then any other source, in my opinion, information from Southfront needs verification, same as info from anywhere else.

Both  Southfront reports linked below:

From June 14/2018- Southfront
“Russia and Turkey have reached an agreement on the future of the city of Tell Rifaat in the northern Syrian province “

”The agreement is allegedly aimed at allowing the civilians to return to their houses in the northern city.”

While the agreement will facilitate the return of civilians to Tell Rifaat, Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups and fighters will not be allowed to enter the city at all, according to al-Araby al-Jadeed.

From June 15/2018- Southfront, again

“Under the agreement, units of the Turkish military will allegedly be deployed in Tell Rifaat side by side with the Russian Military Police, which was deployed there a few months ago”
I've been searching for additional information as to what may have transpired between Turkey and Russia at Tell Rifaat and why whatever occurred may have taken place?
  • - Besides Russia and Turkey cooperating on stabilizing this area of Syria while pushing terrorists out.
  • - Having to do with more then just the return of Syrians to their own country (which is a good thing in my book!)
  • - Agreeing to keep FSA out
Turkey definitely has an interest in getting Syrians back into Syria. They’ve been hosting millions of refugees for years. With an upcoming election being able to resolve that issue effectively through cooperative means would be a real vote getter.
  •  -It would also help to stabilize the situation in Turkey, internally.
  • - It also serves to impede the Usrael/Kurdish annexation agenda.

  • How exactly is this cooperative measure then being presented as a negative? 
  • Or should my question be WHY is this cooperation between Russia and Turkey being presented as something bad?
  •  Who/which parties would have a vested interesting in presenting this cooperation as a negative?
  • Clearly Usrael/Kurds would not want Syrians to return to Syria.
  • Clearly Usrael/Kurds do not want  his impediment to their remake the region agenda
Still there could be more going on in this area? And I think the more is what’s mentioned below! Just a tidbit from SOHR that caught my eye- And yah, I know it's SOHR, however, there have been previous reports regarding the securing of this highway for trade etc., at the blog before- I'm going to get to that- First up, SOHR

“The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights obtained information from reliable sources confirming that members and officers of the Iranian Forces; and of the forces loyal them have withdrawn from Tall Rifaat area and its surroundings in the northern countryside of Aleppo, after Russian – Iranian disagreements about Russian – Turkish consultations to deliver Tall Rifaat to the Turkish Forces and the Syrian military opposition, in return for the withdrawal of the Syrian opposition factions from the triangle of west Jesr al-Shughur – Sahl al-Ghab – the northeastern countryside of Latakia. 
The withdrawal of the Iranian officers and members loyal to them coincided with the arrival of the Russian military vehicles, accompanied by regime’s vehicles to Tal Rifaat area, where it is suggested that they came to switch regime’s military units in the area, also the sources added that the consultations are underway about completing the opening of Gaziantep road, which connects Turkey to the southern border of Syria with Jordan, and ending the presence of the Kurdish Forces in the northern countryside of Aleppo after their withdrawal from Afrin.

Requoting some of the above excerpt:

arrival of the Russian military vehicles, accompanied by regime’s vehicles to Tal Rifaat.....the consultations are underway about completing the opening of Gaziantep road, which connects Turkey to the southern border of Syria with Jordan, and ending the presence of the Kurdish Forces in the northern countryside of Aleppo after their withdrawal from Afrin”
Russian military vehicles arrive  accompanied by Syrian government vehicles in Tal Rifaat?!
Completing the opening of the Gaziantep road?!
And all the economic benefits for Syria that this would include?!

This has been discussed previously:

May 25/2018-Damascus- Gaziantep: Restoring Relations/Economic Interests or Both & More
Previous post : "The reopening of major roads in Syria will not only be good for relations with other countries, but will also come with major economic benefits.

Leaks from the Astana talks, between guarantor nations in Syria (Russia, Turkey and Iran), show that questions surround how the roads would be secured and the extent of economic interest for the conflicting parties
 It is completely sensible that Russia and Turkey would be the two guarantor nations for Gaziantep and it’s surrounding territory and the highway which joins Syria to Turkey. 
 SOHR is reporting that Syrian government vehicles were present alongside the Russians. Which indicates to me that Damascus is totally and completely aware of the situation.  
What seems sensible to me, based on all the information at hand, is that the Russian presence is guaranteeing Syrian interests. Because Syria can't guarantee the safety or security of this area. From terrorists. Nor can they keep safe the Syrians that could potentially return from being refugees in Turkey.  So Russia has to be present for this reason. While the Turks are guarantors of their own interests regarding this highway. Perfectly understandable.
From previous post: The highway is a major strategic route that connects the political capital, Damascus, and the country’s southern region to the north and the economic capital, Aleppo. Its restoration would have economic benefits for the Syrian regime, in addition to the major benefits that it would have for citizens in that it would reduce the price of foodstuffs and goods because of the ease of transporting them between Damascus and Aleppo.
 I’m also wondering if this major highway, a major strategic route that passes through all of Syria, from Turkey,  into Jordan is a part of the larger Silk Road project. Looking at a map it appears this is the M5 highway from Aleppo that connects Jordan and Turkey. The M5 also connects into the M4 which goes straight into Iraq. Which not coincidentally is all held by Usrael Kurds at this time.  I believe this highway would be extremely significant in the macro.
The macro being the Four Seas Strategy and the Silk Road Initiative 


To understand where I'm going with all this we need to return to a post from nearly 7 years ago! Flashback to 2011: Assad's "Four Seas Strategy" Damascus converges with China

Quoting from the post linked above:

“While China is moving west towards the Caspian Sea, Damascus is concurrently moving eastward. Since 2009, Bashar al-Assad has been promoting a "Four Seas Strategy" to turn Damascus into a trade hub among the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf/Arabian Sea and the Caspian Sea.

Aligning Syria with countries that lie on these shores—Turkey, Iran, and Azerbaijan (The Weekly Middle East Reporter, August 1, 2009)—Assad peddled this idea in May 2009 with Turkey, stating that “Once the economic space between Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran become integrated, we would link the Mediterranean, Caspian, Black Sea, and the [Persian] Gulf … we aren’t just important in the Middle East…Once we link these four seas, we become the compulsory intersection of the whole world in investment, transport and more.”

Image from 2011- note the pipeline from Syria to Iraq (Kirkuk) heavily disputed by the Usrael/kurds, again
We should understand that it’s entirely realistic that this most recent move by Russia and Turkey to guard this specific area in Syria, with an eye to opening this major highway is part and parcel of:
  • (1) Rebuilding Syria.
  • (2) Implementing the Four Seas Strategy peddled so long ago by Bashar Assad as part of 
  • (3) Expanding the silk road/belt initiative 
It seems sensible that when Bashar Assad was selling the 4 Seas Strategy he was selling it as part of the Silk Road initiative.  Which was why Damascus was converging with China, as mentioned in my 2011 post. When we look at the bigger picture, the macro, we understand why the US is attempting to reshape the region in order to impede the progress made on the Silk Road initiative.  It’s the total control of everything Eurasian and the competition for that control. Massive power grab- Taken from multiple nations and put under the control of one nation state. 

As mentioned in a post from January of this year: Kurdistan the Big Block on the Silk Road

The map directly below, which was included with the January post - The Usrael planned remake of the region with a “Kurdistan” that spans the four seas. The same 4 Seas Assad was hoping to connect in  his strategy. All 4 seas  controlled by the US & Israel.  Kurdistan is the clear block, as I’ve stated previously,  to both Assad’s 4 Seas strategy and the broader silk road project.

Not a coincidence that Usrael sees "Kurdistan" controlling the 4 Seas

Quoting from the January post:

Let's say this is the best case scenario map? Greater Kurdistan aka Israel 2.0 controlled by Usrael and allies. Stretching from the Mediterranean- (we know the Kurds, aided by Usrael, are trying to get to the Mediterranean sea) Through to the Black Sea. The shores of the Caspian. And, to the Persian Gulf.  The pot stirring in Iran will take them to the Caspian. Destabilizing Turkey will take the Usrael/ Kurds to the Black Sea. Breaking up Iraq to the Persian Gulf.
Because really it can't be a coincidence that Usrael is attempting to block/control the very area that Assad was selling as an economic partnership/initiative that would connect directly into the Silk road/belt that Russia and China have been working cooperatively towards. 
Not a coincidence in my book- that's a plan folks! That's a plan!
Before I get to Pepe's talk- Keep in mind that the push for Kurdistan is not a humanitarian one. It's not about righting a wrong. That's all rubbish for the masses.
 It's simple power/control/domination. China and Russia were willing to cooperate with nations as they existed. The US? Not so much.

Now I’m going to include the Pepe Escobar video via Saker

Friday, June 15, 2018

U.S. to take 'firm, appropriate measures' against so called Syria violations- Funding Terrorist White Helmets, Again.


Keep in mind that Syria is attempting to take back it’s territory- within it’s recognized borders.
The US, through it’s terror proxies is attempting to impede this.

(Reuters) - The United States will “take firm and appropriate measures” in response to Syrian government violations in a designated de-escalation zone in the country’s southwest, the State Department said on Thursday.

After seven years of conflict, the southwest of Syria, bordering Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, is one of the parts of the country still outside the state’s control.

President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have recovered swathes of territory from rebels with the help of Russian air power and Iran-backed militias, and he has repeatedly pledged to take back “every inch”.
Assad said on Wednesday his government was still pursuing a political solution for Syria’s rebel-held southwest, but would use military force if the effort failed.

“We are giving the political process a chance,” he told Iranian channel al-Alam News in an interview published in an English translation by Syrian state news agency SANA.
“If that doesn’t succeed, we have no other option but to liberate it by force.”
The state department said any Syrian government military actions against that zone risked broadening the conflict.

“We affirm again that the United States will take firm and appropriate measures in response to Syrian government violations in this area,” it said in a statement on Thursday.

An underpinning ceasefire arrangement and the de-escalation deal are intended to save lives and create conditions for the displaced to return home safely, it added.

“The ceasefire must continue to be enforced and respected,” it said.
The US has zero business enforcing anything in Syria. On Syrian territory.
The statement comes after Syrian jets struck rebel-held towns in the country’s south in March, rebels and residents said, the first aerial attacks on the area since the pact declaring it a “de-escalation zone.”

As a member of the U.N. Security Council, Russia “is duly responsible” to “use its diplomatic and military influence over the Syrian government to stop attacks and compel the government to cease further military offensives,” the state department said.

Early on Thursday, the State Department said the United States would release $6.6 million to the Syrian Civil Defence fund, commonly known as the White Helmets,
and the U.N. International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism, which collects and analyses evidence of violations of international human rights laws.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

What Solution for Syria Awaits East of the Euphrates? Manbij Deal, again?

We'll deal with Manbij first:

 There is no deal
 And there is never going to be one the US will be willing to make and stick with that will win the trust of Turkey back! 
Even if the US made a 'deal' could they be trusted to follow through?  
Did all of us not just witness the P5+ 1 deal go to the wayside? 
And that agreement involved many powerful nations!   Why would anyone, anywhere actually think the US would make a legitimate deal with Turkey?! 
Each side is buying time and playing perception management
Turkey’s election is coming up...
 My suspicion is that the US is going to try to heavily influence the election. There’s been little clues scattered throughout mainstream media reports that have raised my suspicions.

More of the latest "news" regarding the ‘Manbij deal”
“The U.S. and Turkish military officials who participated in the discussions agreed on a proposed Manbij implementation plan that will be recommended to senior U.S. and Turkish leadership for further discussions, it read.
Further discussions- If there was a done deal would there be further discussions?
Defense Post
“A State Department official told The Defense Post: “As we have said, the implementation of the road map will be based on the conditions on the ground in a phase by phase approach. We are committed to a sustainable long-term arrangement in Manbij that ensures stability and security, while also addressing Turkey’s concerns. Further details of that arrangement will be determined during the implementation process. I have nothing further to offer on diplomatic discussions regarding this ongoing process.”
An ongoing process does not a deal make!

Absolute rubbish from the YPG/PKK/SDF regarding their theatrical fight against ISIS

“We fought for all of humanity. We paid a lot to defeat ISIS in this area and in Syria so we are hopeful to find a political solution. “

Yup, they fought for all of humanity- Suuureeee....

Now that all of humanity has been saved by the fierce Kurdish warriors, I can sleep soundly knowing that peace, love and understanding will be the order of the day. Seriously? And people believe this garbage? Anywhere on this planet?

East of the Euphrates... 

 This area was discussed at the blog long ago as the most acceptable to all area to settle the Syrian situation- temporarily. That means no one party will be happy. There will not be a permanent peace. However, things could quiet down for a time. That’s it.

 That was then. At this point in time... based on the situation on going. To the best of my knowledge,  I suspect that East of the Euphrates as the Kurdish autonomous zone is off the table completely.  USrael entity can not abide by this. They want and need the Israel 2.0 entity to exist- complete to the Mediterranean.

I suspect east of the Euphrates as an offer to the Syrian government is a ruse. It may be the means in which the Kurds feel they can encourage the USrael war machine to fully commit to their unholy alliance. You know to take it all the way?! That said, it's doubtful the USrael needs this encouragement from the Kurds.
 More likely the Kurds are playing the Syrian government off against the Turks, perhaps Iran, with Usrael standing behind them.

To my mind Usrael is committed to going all the way. 

Which might be why I've been reading reports of more Kosovars making their way to Syria:
Link and Link

Think about the KLA. The KLA, Madeline Albright & Richard Holbrooke. The KLA and their myraid of ties to the Usrael war machine and human/organ smuggling.
What Solution Awaits East of the Euphrates?
 Details about the direction of the country’s northeast have started to become clearer. The so-called Syrian Democratic Council, which is the political face of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) supported by the United States, set out their position, explaining that they plan to take control over the eastern Euphrates in order to implement the Western project that aims to divide Syria.

A spokesman announced the council’s readiness for talks with the legitimate central government in Damascus, without preconditions, to reach a solution for the eastern Euphrates area.

This was a clear response to the comments made by President Assad in a recent interview with the Mail on Sunday, in which he said that now the Syrian Arab Army was in control of broad parts of the country, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were “the one remaining problem.” He added that the government has two options for dealing with them— either dialogue or a military solution. It seems that the Kurdish parties are heading toward the first choice, which Damascus has welcomed, while remaining in a state of readiness to head towards a military solution, which is not out of the question. This could quickly be resorted to in the event that Kurdish groups are not serious about returning the area to the embrace of the state.

Along with this development, the Kurdish parties are quickly grabbing on Damascus’s initiative and their position regarding foreign intervention in Syria, and it seems the Americans have tried to work through various avenues to derail the option of dialogue if it is opened, or the option of military action if it is resorted to. In recent hours a number of actions have been taken by America, either directly or through its proxies, to impede Syrian efforts to complete the liberation of remaining Syrian territory and restore security and stability to the country.

In the context of American aggression, attacks carried out by the Islamic State, which have clear American support and have targeted Syrian military centers between Deir ez-Zor and Albu Kamal. It is true that the Syrian Arab Army and its allies have crushed these attacks, but the fact they were carried out, with American support, has a meaning that cannot be ignored.

From another angle, America has very crudely put pressure on the Kurds in order to prevent them from entering into dialogue with the Syrian government because America views the opening of dialogue as an impediment to its efforts and plans to divide the country and retain a presence east of the Euphrates.

The area east of the Euphrates seems to have been put in the line of fire, between the Syrian government’s decision to liberate the area and the aggressive American decision to continue to occupy the region — but Syria’s determination to establish its regional unity whatever the obstacles has become clear and the coming days will certainly see the implementation of this determination.
It's will be interesting to say how this is going to play out?  The Manbij deal ruse is but one part of the entire potential scenario at play. The Turkish election is a factor. As for east of the Euphrates the PKK/YPG/SDF are most likely reaching out to Assad to encourage Turkey to opt out of it’s agreements with Russia and Iran. Sow discord. Nothing Usrael/Kurds would love more then to increase the conflict in the region. It's going to be an interesting June!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Biggest Assault on Yemen To Date: Attack on Main Port

Information from 3 sources
Yemen lies beside the southern mouth of the Red Sea, one of the world’s most important trade routes, where oil tankers pass from the Middle East through the Suez Canal to Europe. 
Hudaydah's port is the lifeline for just under two-thirds of Yemen's population

Hudaydah, 140km (90 miles) west of the capital Sanaa, was Yemen's fourth-largest city and a major economic hub

The city's deep-water port was one of Yemen's biggest and most important, handling more than half of the country's dry cargo imports.

Hudaydah's location also gave it great strategic importance. To the west of the city is the Red Sea and major international shipping lanes that are used to move goods between Europe, Asia and Africa via the Suez Canal.
original image included with BBC article - I'd saved it!
To the east is the fertile Tihama plain, Yemen's most important agricultural area.
Arab warplanes and warships pounded Houthi fortifications to support ground operations by foreign and Yemeni troops massed south of the port of Hodeidah in operation “Golden Victory”.

The assault marks the first time the Arab states have tried to capture such a heavily-defended major city since they joined the war three years ago against the Iran-aligned Houthis, who control the capital Sanaa and most of the populated areas.

The Houthis had deployed military vehicles and troops in the city centre and near the port, as coalition warplanes flew overhead striking a coastal strip to the south, one resident, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters. People were fleeing by routes out to the north and west.
The United Nations fears the assault could drastically worsen already desperate conditions in the region’s poorest country. The city and surrounding area are home to 600,000 people, and the port is the main route for food and aid to reach most Yemenis, 8.4 million of whom are on the verge of famine.
 Port workers told Reuters five ships were docked at Hodeidah port unloading goods, but no new entry permits would be issued on Wednesday due to the fighting. The Arab states say they will try to keep the port running and can ease the crisis once they seize it by lifting import restrictions they have imposed.
 Western countries, particularly the United States and Britain, have quietly backed the Arab states diplomatically and sell them billions of dollars a year in arms, but have mostly avoided direct public involvement so far in the Yemen conflict. A major battle could test that support, especially if many civilians are killed or supplies disrupted.
 As stated yesterday the US and Britain have been involved from the get go in destabilizing Yemen. Sure it's been off the radar, but, so what? They have been, are and will continue to be involved.
 “The liberation of the port is the start of the fall of the Houthi militia and will secure marine shipping in the Bab al-Mandab strait and cut off the hands of Iran, which has long drowned Yemen in weapons that shed precious Yemeni blood,” the Arab-backed government-in-exile said in a statement.
Bab al Mandab is an "chokepoint"  I've talked about this area as far back as 2009

Across from Yemen is Somalia.. Black hawk down and Pirates

Attempted Terrorism on Plane? Dec.26/2009

January 11, 2010: The Yemen Hidden Agenda: A Strategic Oil Transit Chokepoint

Houthi leader Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi, who has threatened attacks on oil tankers, warned the alliance not to attack the port and said on Twitter his forces had struck a coalition barge. There was no immediate confirmation from the coalition.

The Arab states’ aim is to box in the Houthis in Sanaa, cut their supply lines and force them to the negotiating table.

A Yemeni anti-Houthi military official said the alliance had brought to bear a 21,000-strong force. It includes Emirati and Sudanese troops as well as Yemenis, drawn from southern separatists, local Red Sea coast fighters and a battalion led by a nephew of late ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Cut throats, mercs and soldiers of fortunes- Killers can always be bought

 Related:  U.S. Continues to Dominate the Yemen Situation- Airstrike Targetting Assistance Guaranteeing Mass Casualties

 From earlier today: