Skip to main content


Showing posts from November 3, 2016

‘Saudi Arabia one of top repressive countries’: What’s behind US special ties with Riyadh?

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks with Saudi Arabia's King Salman © Kevin Lamarque / Reutersudi Arabia has become by far the number one purchaser of US weapons, with $115 billion deals under the Obama administration alone. Congress has just rubber-stamped every single one, says author and activist Medea Benjamin.

Chris Hedges discussed US-Saudi relations with Medea Benjamin.

Saudi Arabia carried out 158 executions, 63 for non-violent drug crimes last year, often through public beheadings. Early this year, it executed 47 men for terrorism-related offenses, including the prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. It practices gender apartheid against women, who are not allowed to drive, are banned from most jobs, and are controlled by male guardians. It prohibits freedom of expression, including freedom of religion. Homosexuals can be put to death.

It promotes a fundamentalist form of Sunni Islam throughout the Muslim world known as Wahhabism, which sanctifies violence against those …


The Russian general staff announced on November 2 that President Vladimir Putin had ordered a humanitarian pause in Aleppo from 9am to 7pm on November 4.

General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff reported that joint militant forces failed to break the government forces’ defenses in the city and lift the siege from militant-controlled areas.

“Considering that our American colleagues were unable to separate the opposition from terrorists, we are addressing all militant leaders directly, urging them to cease hostilities and leave Aleppo with their arms,” he said. “Two corridors will be opened, from which Syrian troops and weapons would be pulled back.”

The corridors for militants will lead to the Turkish-Syrian border and the province of Idlib. Six additional corridors will be opened for civilians.

Since November 1, the fighting in the area has become stationary. The western part of the al-Assad Neighborhood is contested. The al-Nusra led coalition, Jaish al-Fatah, con…


Click to see full-size image

The Destert Hakws Brigade (or Liwa Suqur al-Sahara), the Syrian Arab Army’s Tiger Forces and Hezbollah are playing a crucial role in the ongoing clashes in western Aleppo where the al-Nusra Front-led coalition, Jaish al-Fatah, seeks to break the government forces’ defenses and to lift the siege from the militant-controlled areas of the city.

The Desert Hawks Brigade and The Syrian Arab Army’s Republican Guard were in the al-Assad Neighborhood and in the Minyan area November 2 morning: While the Tiger Forces and Hezbollah are widely known among the international audience, the Destert Hakws Brigade remains a dark horse of the Syrian war. Meanwhile, it’s one of the most capable units affilated with the Syrian Arab Army. It’s one of the formations that operate advanced T-90 main battle tanks, donated by Russia to the Syrian military.