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Showing posts from April 20, 2015

Houthis vow resistance as Saudis claim 80% of priority targets in Yemen destroyed

Fighters loyal to Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi call for help for a comrade who sustained injuries during clashes with Houthi fighters outside Hadi's house in the country's southern port city of Aden April 19, 2015 (Reuters / Stringer)

Yemeni people have a full right to resist “Saudi aggression” and a planned occupation by “all means and options,” the Houthi rebel leader said, as Riyadh wraps-up the “first phase” of an operation that saw more than 2,300 airstrikes in less than a month.

“It’s the right of our people to resist the aggression and face the aggressor by any means,” the leader of Yemen’s Houthi militia Abdel-Malek al-Houthi said in a televised speech.

Saudi Arabia’s goal is the “invasion” and “occupation” of Yemen, in order to “place this country again under its feet and hegemony,” al-Houthi said as the Saudi-led airstrike campaign entered its 26th day.

“Our Yemeni people will never give in – it will resist in the face of the savage aggression,” the rebel…

ANALYSIS: Soma trial shows the blood price of Turkish coal

As the Soma trial begins, MEE examines Turkey's ever-expanding neoliberal economic policies that have led to escalating mining deaths

Relatives carry a list of the of Soma mining disaster victims' name as they arrive at the Akhisar High Criminal Court for the trial of the Soma mine disaster case in Manisa, Turkey on April 15, 2015. (AA)

Cagri Ozdemir

On the first day of the trial of the worst mining accident in Turkey that claimed the lives of 301 people in May 2014, national attention in the country is directed at Akhisar, Manisa. The small town, home to around 100,000 residents, is under the spotlight of national and international media coverage.

Relatives of the lost miners, a total of 487 people, filed 139 individual cases against the proprietor of the mine, Soma Mining Inc. Out of the 45 defendants, eight of them are currently in custody and charged with wilful homicide of 301 victims.

Last week, Akhisar Heavy Penal Court, the body that will hear the suit, announced that the d…

France provides first weapons to Lebanon paid for by Saudi Arabia

A $3 billion programme funded by Saudi Arabia seen as an attempt to counter Iranian influence in the Mediterranean country

Lebanese armed forces take cover behind an armoured personal carrier in Tripoli (AFP)

The first French weapons from a $3 billion Saudi-funded programme will arrive in Lebanon on Monday.

Anti-tank guided missiles are set to arrive at an air force base in Beirut, overseen by French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his Lebanese counterpart, Samir Mokbel.

France is expected to deliver 250 combat and transport vehicles, seven Cougar helicopters, three small corvette warships and a range of surveillance and communications equipment over four years as part of the $3 billion (2.8 billion-euro) modernisation programme.

It is being entirely funded by Saudi Arabia, which is keen to see Lebanon's army defend its borders against militant groups, particularly the Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra, instead of leaving the job to Hezbollah militants, who are b…

Intelligence leaks suggest Israeli secret service believe Iran is not producing nuclear weapons

Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, uses a diagram of a bomb to describe Iran's nuclear programme (AFP)

Israel's secret service had long believed Iran was not making a nuclear weapon, according to a tranch of documents leaked from various spy agencies.

A new joint report produced on Monday by Al-Jazeera and the Guardian shows top secret files - correspondances with the South African intelligence services - suggesting that Mossad, the Israeli security agency, has believed since 2012 that the Islamic Republic of Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons,” according to the leak.

The revelation would seem to undermine claims by other branches of the Israeli state – including the prime minister – that Iran presented a threat to Israelis through its desire to produce nuclear weapons.

The date of the cables is particularly ironic, as it came just a month after a speech made by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations General Asse…

‘Peace doesn’t pay the bills’: Profiting from a war-torn Middle East

There is a heightened sense of threats across the Middle East and states have focused on military power to address their newly found challenges

Secretary of State John Kerry said 9 April the US would support any Middle Eastern state that felt threatened by Iran, and would not "stand by" if Tehran destabilised the region. It would be naive to think that this is a display of American altruism. This is about money, particularly in the form of weapons sales. After all, war - or even just the threat of it - is profitable, especially for those supplying arms but not actually fighting.

Weapons exports provide massive economic benefits, which translate to political benefits, domestically and in terms of influence with clients. The Middle East and North Africa has long been a theatre of combat - often on numerous fronts - and hence among the most lucrative markets on the planet. However, weapons purchases have skyrocketed in recent years as unrest, tension and war between and within st…