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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Allying against Iran: US is creating Arab NATO While the US envisages a new military alliance as a tool to counter potential threats from Iran towards the Gulf monarchies and the Middle East, there are a number of obstacles in the way of creating an Arab military bloc. According to Defense News, an Arab NATO would consist of six Gulf states, i.e. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, plus Egypt and Jordan. The commander of the Royal Bahraini Air Force, Maj. Gen. al-Khalifah, said that this is an American idea which was approved by the Arab Gulf countries, "but didn't take shape yet." He expects this alliance to be successful, although "we are still at the beginning." Back in October, the Bahraini foreign minister said that the Gulf security alliance could be formed by next year. Defense News sees at least one sign of progress there, as the Gulf countries are already involved in the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen that fights against Houthi rebels, mainly by carrying out airstrikes. "We have been sharing information between coalition fighters all along the operations [in Yemen], and we have been training alongside with the Gulf countries through joint exercises, and this enhances our capabilities," al-Khalifah said. Incompatible with Iran On the other hand, there are clear and tangible challenges on the way to creating this new military alliance, not least of them being the issues of interoperability. All the potential members operate different types of weapons and military equipment: the Egyptian Air Force operates the Russian MIG and the American F-16, while the Saudi Air Force has the American F-15SA and the European Eurofighter Typhoon, and the UAE is equipped with the F-16 and the French Mirage. But the issue of interoperability is not the only impediment for creating an Arab NATO as the relations between Qatar and other Gulf countries have not been fully restored since 2017 when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar. All eight potential members of the new military alliance have concerns related to Iran and Iranian-backed armed groups operating in numerous countries across the Middle East. "Iran continues to cause risks to other nations and act as a destabilizing agent across this region. They aim to disrupt the balance of power and place at risk the livelihood of citizens," Commander of the US Air Forces Central Command Lt. General Joseph Guastella said during the 2nd Manama Airpower Symposium. According to Guastella, the experience of setting up and operating NATO itself could prove useful in establishing an Arab version of the alliance: "There is value in looking at what NATO has been able to do and the successes of an alliance that has guaranteed essentially stability for the region there for decades." Adding America and Israel into the mix "People have been talking about an Arab NATO for several years now," said Vladimir Sazhin, Senior Researcher at the Middle East Department of the Institute for Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. According to him, there are plans to get Israel to participate in the alliance that would bring together six monarchies of the Persian Gulf, Egypt, and Jordan. However, instead of becoming a full-fledged member of the Arab NATO, Israel would supply intelligence to the alliance. The US is expected to participate in a similar manner, providing all the necessary resources without officially joining the organization. "The idea to call it an 'Arab NATO' is something journalists came up with. In all of the relevant areas, this potential new alliance will be very much inferior to NATO. I don't believe that it will ever reach the level of NATO," said Sazhin. According to him, even if the bloc is ever established, it is unlikely to resemble NATO at all. There may be some formal organizational structures established, but there are serious doubts regarding their effectiveness and efficiency. Ultimately, all we see is propaganda and media noise, and not much actual progress, Sazhin said. Just how capable the Gulf monarchies are in terms of setting up a united front against Iran remains to be seen. "I very much doubt they would go through with this without the support of other countries. There is a very broad range of attitudes towards Iran among the Gulf states," Sazhin stressed. On one end of the spectrum, there is Saudi Arabia, on the other – countries like Qatar and Oman. The last two are not particularly anti-Iran. As for economic relations, the United Arab Emirates have very close ties with Iran. Tehran's relationship with Abu Dhabi provides it an opportunity to evade US financial and economic sanctions, the expert stated "I think that if there were an Arab military organization then it would most likely be lacking in efficiency and decision-making, but would be very active publicity-wise," Vladimir Sazhin said. "A summit with US President Donald Trump and monarchs of the Gulf countries was expected to take place back in autumn this year in the United States. It was believed that the main topic on the agenda would be the creation of a strategic Middle East alliance that experts already call an Arab NATO for the sake of simplicity," Elena Suponina, adviser to the director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, said. That summit was postponed until the first half of 2019. One of the reasons was the scandal around the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi political analyst. It created an atmosphere that compelled the US to refrain from any discussions regarding strategic cooperation. According to Suponina, that is not the only obstacle that stands in the way of creating such an organization. Firstly, relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar are somewhat clouded; secondly, there is still too much turbulence in the region. The plans are in place, but it would be very difficult for the Americans to make them come true, Suponina believes. Nevertheless, there is every reason to believe that the US is not giving up on these plans since in the upcoming years the main goal of the US in the region will be to contain Iran. This is exactly why America pursues the creation of, if not a full-fledged military organization, then at least something very close to it. Even that kind of alliance would be very useful for the US, the expert thinks. "Donald Trump's idea is to form an Arab NATO that would include Arabian monarchies and – by a long stretch of the imagination – Israel. This idea may sound benevolent, but so do many other plans that are not meant to happen," Evgeny Satanovsky, president of the Institute for Middle East Studies, said. Satanovsky believes that the new military alliance is meant to zero in on Iran. There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia wants to establish that alliance. However, it is very unlikely that the US will succeed in convincing Israel to join the club. Israeli society will never accept that offer. There is zero chance that an Arab NATO will become a reality, he said, adding that Israel doesn't really need any military help from the Arab countries to fight Iran. The Arab armies do not constitute any significant military power nor they are organized enough to be a force others can rely on if it comes to that. For the Arab countries, it is absolutely out of the question to be part of the same military alliance with Israel due to the kind of narrative that permeates their societies. The State Department and the White House – unsurprisingly – do not understand this, Satanovsky claims. It is absolutely clear that Saudi Arabia seeks to create an Arab or Islamic military alliance and to be at the helm. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has already damaged relations with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, cut relations with Qatar, and raised tensions between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan – all in pursuit of this goal. ARAB NATO
Asslamoalaikum, As you sow so shall you reap. It is a harsh reality that Saudi Arab has been involved in sectarian hatred and sectarian killings throughout the world. We Pakistani Shia have been a big victim of Saudi funded terrorism in Pakistan. Similarly, Saudi Arab is involved in Zaria massacre in Nigeria. Who funded Taliban? The government of Taliban in Afghanistan was recognized by Pakistan, UAE and Saudi Arab but after their fall now Saudi Arab and its media is blaming Iran of having strong ties with Al-Qaida and Taliban. Do they still think that the world is fool? I am noticing continuous struggle from Saudi Arab's side to connect Iran with terrorism in one way or the other firstly as a propaganda against Iran and secondly being puppet of American interest in middle east. I am sick of lies and deception spread by Saudi Arab against Iran in its media. They have no shame in telling and spreading lies like Zionist media. They are muslim Zionists. Wrath of Allah be upon liars. Dear Saudi Arab you have the blood of millions of Muslims throughout the world in your dirty hands since the creature of your illegitimate Saudi regime. So stop turning the blame on Iran who had never supported terrorism. Yes Iran supports Palestinian movement and Hamas. You even call it terrorism only because you have strong apparent ties with America and hidden ties with Israel.
(salam) In spite of the fact that Nawaz Sharief is considered puppet of Saudi Arab and Saudi Arab helped him a lot in his personal capacity, Pakistan is only providing assurance for support for Saudi Arab if its integrity is endangered. What Saudi Arab was/is/will be expecting is that Pakistan send its troops in Saudi Arab for fight against Yemen Houthi group and other enemies of Saudi regime. It is good that in spite of so much international pressure Pakistan has chosen its way intelligently and refused to be part of any international game. The drama of Islamic coalition forces was made to trap countries like Pakistan to force them to work for Saudi regime but amazingly a wise decision from Pakistan came that Pakistan is with the integrity of Saudi Arab but not with the Saudi Arab regime.
UNITED NATIONS, United States: (AFP) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned Friday that the use of cluster bombs in Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition may amount to war crimes. Ban said he had received "troubling reports" of cluster bomb attacks on January 6 on the rebel-held capital Sanaa. "The use of cluster munitions in populated areas may amount to a war crime due to their indiscriminate nature," the UN chief said in a statement. Cluster bombs are banned under a 2008 international convention, although Saudi Arabia and the United States are not signatories. The office of the UN high commissioner for human rights said Tuesday that its staff in Yemen had found remnants of 29 cluster bombs during a field visit in Haradh district in the northwest. The warning over possible war crimes was a clear sign of mounting frustration at the UN with Saudi Arabia s 10-month military campaign in Yemen. It came in response to the decision by Yemen s Saudi-backed government to expel the leading UN rights official, George Abu al-Zulof. Ban is urging the Yemeni government to reverse its decision to expel Zulof, who was declared persona non grata for an alleged lack of impartiality in his reporting. The UN chief said he was "deeply concerned about the intensification of coalition airstrikes and ground fighting and shelling in Yemen, despite repeated calls for a renewed cessation of hostilities." He is "particularly concerned about reports of intense airstrikes in residential areas and on civilian buildings in Sanaa, including the Chamber of Commerce, a wedding hall and a centre for the blind," said the statement. UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed was in Riyadh on Friday for talks on renewing a ceasefire in Yemen, which faces the threat of famine amid the dire humanitarian crisis. Yemen descended into chaos when the coalition began airstrikes in March to push back Iran-backed Huthi rebels who had seized Sanaa. More than 5,800 people have been killed and 27,000 wounded since then, according to UN figures. Yemen s government sat down with the rebels and their allies in Switzerland last month for six days of talks that ended with no major breakthrough. The UN envoy has called for a new round of talks on January 14 but the sides have yet to confirm that they will attend. http://dunyanews.tv/en/World/316821-UN-warns-cluster-bomb-use-in-Yemen-may-amount-to-w
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