Saudis Using “Al-CIA-da” As An Excuse To Kill Huthis In Yemen?

[SEE: The Eleven Saudi Guantanamo Veterans Returning to the Fight]

[The Saudi bombing of Yemen could best be understood as the periodic Saudi clean-up of their threatening militant problem, i.e., “Al-Qaeda,” were it not for the obvious attempts to make Yemen all about Iran.  King Salman seems to be a little more aggressive than his brother was, preferring action to threats.  The danger of this is the entanglement of royal militant house-cleaning with the Zionist war on Iran.

In order to counter Iranian breakthroughs on the diplomatic battlefield, proxy warfare is underway in Yemen, as it is in Syria, Lebanon, Libya and other choice locations.  This is a chess move, intended to endanger the Iranian queen.  Iran must not be allowed equilibrium.  Situations between Sunni and Shia cannot be allowed peaceful resolution, other than the sweeping, absolute peace obtained via holy war throughout the region.  The Saudis have acted as the hands of the CIA in all of this, channeling their radical Sunni militants into Yemen and Iraq, where they have served the Empire’s strategy of regime change and sowing sectarian warfare.  The Saudis have created the most radical Islamic militants in the world, their leadership spawning the most notorious of all Sunni terrorist cells in the Middle East and N. Africa. 

The cell known as “Al-Qaeda In Yemen (Arabian Peninsula)” is a direct creation of the Saudi terrorist rehabilitation/reconditioning program, whether that is inadvertent or intentional.  The Eleven top leaders in the terrorist organization  (branded most dangerous by US Govt) have all graduated with honors from the Saudi rehab program, after spending years in Guantanamo prison.  If anybody has reason to be pissed-off at the royals and us, it is these guys.  Same goes for the so-called “Islamic State” bitches, their top guys all went through the Saudi rehab program at Camp Bucca prison camp in Iraq.  Whatever the Saudis did to these guys, it made them determined to kill Saudis and Westerners.  One of the grads of this program, who claimed that he wished to “repent”, personally, to the head of the rehab program, where he blew himself up with an internal bomb (ass) as he stood near Prince Nayef/Naif, on August 31, 2009.
King Abdullah, left, meets Prince Mohammed bin Nayef after the attack on him in Jeddah.
Prince Mohammed bin Nayef 

Hunting the Al-Qaeda Eleven and their friends has served the Pentagon well, justifying Special Forces and drone bases in Yemen.  Huthi rebels recently forced the Americans to abandon these bases.  The Saudi Air Force and friends are now allegedly trying to dislodge the Huthis from the same bases.

Al Anad air base, Yemen

For many years, Western researchers have been charging that the Saudi royals have paid Al-Qaeda millions as “protection money,” buying immunity from terrorist attacks by exporting the militants to their neighbors…like Yemen.  The entire deranged arrangement may be unravelling.]

peter.chamberlin@hotmail.com

 [The following originates at Wash. Post, so perhaps the map is the only informative part of the article.]

Fears of all-out civil war in Yemen as rebels eye oil-rich province

  yemen foxYemen Fox

HUGH NAYLOR AND CAROL J. WILLIAMS
The Shiite insurgents who have toppled Yemen’s government are threatening to take over a key oil-producing province to the east of the capital, triggering fears that the country could explode in all-out civil war.
The rebels, known as Houthis, have already seized much of the country’s north with relative ease. But they are likely to encounter stiff resistance if they move into Marib province. Already, the largely Sunni tribes in the region are arming themselves with tanks and rocket-propelled grenades, according to tribal leaders, and the governor has ringed the area with tribal fighters and military units.
“It will be civil war if they come here,” said Mohammed al-Wills, a leader of the Murad tribe in Marib, who has begun coordinating with fellow tribesmen and soldiers to defend the province.
The Houthis say they want to protect residents of Marib from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, whose fighters have launched periodic attacks in the province. But diplomats and analysts say a conflict could wind up strengthening Yemen’s franchise of al Qaeda, which has plotted high-profile attacks on the United States. A battle could also draw in tribesmen and Sunni fighters from other provinces.
Sectarian tensions are inflaming the situation. The Houthis follow the Zaydi branch of Shiite Islam, but the majority of Yemen’s 24 million citizens are Sunni. While Yemen has a history of conflict, it has been spared the kind of Sunni-Shiite rivalry that has torn apart Syria and Iraq.
Many Yemenis believe that the Houthi rebels are backed by Iran, a majority-Shiite nation. Neighbouring Saudi Arabia – a Sunni powerhouse – has long seen Yemen as within its sphere of influence. Now, Houthi officials and Western diplomats say, Saudi Arabia is providing cash to Marib residents to arm themselves for a confrontation.
“This is becoming a sectarian-driven war because of these outside powers,” said Ali Saif Hassan, a Yemeni political analyst.
The Houthis swept into Sanaa in the fall and effectively forced out the pro-US government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in January. The rebels recently seized a military base on the way to Marib, and they have taken over parts of the province to its south, heightening speculation that they might soon move on to the important oil-producing province.
Marib is a strategic prize. Yemen is a small petroleum producer compared with some of its neighbours. But the national government’s budget is overwhelmingly dependent on oil sales. Marib is also home to power plants that provide electricity to Sanaa and other areas of the country, giving whoever controls the province a chokehold over Yemen’s energy supply.
“Everybody’s bracing for a clash there. It’s about the resources,” said a Western diplomat who until recently was based in Yemen, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The governor of Marib, Sultan al-Arada, said in a telephone interview that the Houthis had carried out an Iranian-backed “coup” against the Yemeni government. He said his office is coordinating the defense of the province and its oil installations with local tribes as well as military units that are not loyal to the Houthis. He denied that the Saudis were pouring money into the area to parry a rebel advance.
Tribesmen from neighbouring regions have pledged to help the province hold off the Houthis, he said.
“We have thousands of people from the tribes forming a security belt on the edges of the province, and the military is coordinating with us and preparing to defend us, too,” he said.
The Houthis have called on Arada to step down. Last month, before forcing the resignation of the national government, the insurgents’ leader, Abdulmalik al-Houthi, warned that his fighters could intervene in Marib. He said the potential operation might be necessary to fight al Qaeda and “support the honorable people of Marib.”
Located about 120km east of the capital, Marib is poor even by Yemeni standards. The government in Sanaa has long been accused by residents of taking the area’s resources but offering few public services in return. In the political void created by the government’s collapse, the role of the area’s already powerful tribes appears to have been strengthened.
Hussein Hazeb, 50, another leader of the Murad tribe, said that tribesmen in the Marib area had armed themselves in part by seizing weapons from a military unit that recently passed through the province.
Some tribal leaders have long received financial support from Riyadh, the Saudi capital, he said, but the recent influxes of cash have been noticeably large.
“All of a sudden you’re seeing people with brand-new pickup trucks and new guns, and you know that they’re getting this from Saudi (Arabia),” Hazeb said.
An official at the Saudi Embassy in Sanaa declined last week to comment on the issue. The embassy closed its operations in Yemen on Friday.
Houthi officials also say that cash is being smuggled from the Saudi border to Marib. The Houthis deny that they are backed by Iran.
Analysts, diplomats and many Yemenis fear that the escalating violence could strengthen al-Qaeda’s franchise here by enabling it to portray itself as a champion of the Sunnis. Already, AQAP fighters may be moving from other parts of Yemen into Marib in advance of a fight, diplomats and analysts say.
On Thursday, militants from the radical Sunni group stormed a military base about 100km from Marib in a southern province, saying that they wanted to protect it from Houthi attacks.
In Marib, some tribes have fought AQAP, but the extremist group’s sectarian rhetoric appears to be resonating even among those Sunnis who have been its enemies.
The Houthis “are Shiites and they reject Islam,” said Hamed Wahaed, a Marib tribal leader. He has been storing weapons in preparation for a Houthi assault; he boasted by telephone that he owns 10 Toyota pickup trucks mounted with machine guns, two artillery pieces, and rocket-propelled grenades.
He added that Marib has “to fight the Shiite-Iranian terrorists.” Still, he said he opposed al Qaeda and wouldn’t accept its support.
Some tribal officials have threatened to blow up power lines and oil installations in the province to deter a Houthi attack. That would be a serious blow to Yemen’s already weak economy.
“There is no doubt that such an attack on the oil and gas pipelines, as well as on the power plant, will cause a huge crisis for Yemen,” said Hassan Thabet, a professor of economics at Sanaa University.
Wills, the tribal leader, said he opposes damaging the oil and power lines, but he described the threats as a last-resort measure against the Houthis.
“Some of the tribes see this as something like, ‘You may try to take us down, but we’ll take down the whole country if you try,’ ” he said.
REJECTING UN RESOLUTION
Also Monday, Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi militia rejected a unanimous appeal from the UN Security Council to restore constitutional order in the country after months of chaos, Middle Eastern media reported.
At a special meeting of the 15-member Security Council on Sunday, the diplomats adopted a resolution calling on the Houthis to return control of the government to elected leaders and release President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, who has been under house arrest since January 22.
The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council also met over the weekend in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and warned that Yemen’s neighbors would take action themselves if the Shiite militants continue to engage in clashes with other Yemenis and fail to allow government functions to resume.
“Yemen is collapsing before our eyes. We cannot stand by and watch,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned during a Security Council briefing last week.
On Monday, the Houthi rebels refused either to cede power or to release Hadi, the Al-Arabiya news agency reported from Sanaa, the Yemeni capital.
It quoted a Houthi statement as saying the outside world needed to “respect the will and sovereignty of the Yemeni people, and to be accurate and objective”. The Houthis also reportedly warned the Security Council “not to follow the lead of regional powers that aim tirelessly to eliminate the will of the Yemeni people in a flagrant violation of international conventions that criminalize meddling in internal affairs,” the news agency reported.
A UN special envoy visited Hadi at his Sanaa home Monday to discuss the international efforts to secure his freedom and avert further bloodshed in a country where badly deteriorating security has prompted an exodus of diplomats.
Special UN adviser Jamal Benomar told Yemen’s Saba News Agency that he assured Hadi that the international community was working for his release. He also urged all parties to Yemen’s turmoil to engage in negotiations to avert a full-scale sectarian war.

“Either the country will descend into civil war and disintegration, or the country will find a way to put the transition back on track,” Benomar was quoted as saying by Saba. “This largely depends on the political will of Yemeni leaders. They all bear responsibility for the current state of affairs, as well as responsibility for finding a way to pull the country from the brink.”
Nadia Sakkaf, who was information minister in the government, announced via Twitter on Monday that Hadi needs to travel abroad “immediately” for medical treatment of a heart condition that has been aggravated by his detention.

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Saudi ‘Decisive Storm’

[The article claims that 150,000 ground forces are involved in “Decisive Storm,”  but doesn’t clarify the status of those forces, whether they have begun to move, or even if this Arab army actually exists on the ground, and not just promises put to paper.  Despite the following claims made by the Saudi press, we have no way of knowing who the Saudi bombers are really striking.  Are these strikes actually upon Huthis only, intended to weaken the Shia fighters, giving “Al-Qaeda In Iraq” time to recruit more killers?  Is this an anti-Shia war, or a war against both Sunni and Shia streams of extremism?] 

Saudi ‘Decisive Storm’ waged to save Yemen

al arabiya

Yemen air space is currently under full control of the Saudi Royal Air Force. (File photo: AP)

Saudi Arabia waged early Thursday “Operation Decisive Storm” against the Houthi coup in Yemen and in support of legitimate President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

A Saudi air campaign was launched overnight which has already resulted in the elimination of several Houthi leaders.

Yemen air space is currently under full control of the Saudi Royal Air Force.

As the operation continues, a coalition of all GCC countries, barring Oman, is taking part in the campaign, including Sudan, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Pakistan.

Saudi Arabia has deployed 100 fighter jets, 150,000 soldiers and other navy units, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

Meanwhile, Yemen shut its major seaports on Thursday while Saudi Arabia halted flights to seven airports south of the Kingdom, Reuters news agency reported.

Infographic: The ‘Decisive Storm’ coalition

(Design by Farwa Rizwan/ Al Arabiya News)

White House backs campaign

The White House has voiced support for the campaign against the Houthis. Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Washington Adel al-Jubeir announced the kingdom had launched a military operation involving air strikes in Yemen against Houthi fighters who have tightened their grip on the southern city of Aden where Hadi had taken refuge.

WATCH: Ambassador al-Jubeir: ‘Having Yemen fail cannot be an option’

Jubeir told reporters that a 10-country coalition had joined in the military campaign in a bid “to protect and defend the legitimate government” of Hadi.

“We will do whatever it takes in order to protect the legitimate government of Yemen from falling,” Jubeir said.

The U.S. has said it is coordinating closely with Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel Al-Jubeir. (Reuters)

“President Obama has authorized the provision of logistical and intelligence support to GCC-led military operations,” National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said in a statement, referring to the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The Saudi-led military coalition declared Yemen’s airspace as a “restricted area” after King Salman bin Abdulaziz ordered the airstrikes on the Iran-backed Houthi militia on Thursday at 12 a.m. Riyadh time.

Yemeni forces and loyalists to Hadi have already managed to take control of Aden airport from Houthi militias, Al Arabiya News Channel reported citing sources.

Hadi, who has remained in Aden, is in high spirits after the launch of the operation against the Houthi rebel group opposed to his rule, an aide said.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry condemend the operation on Thursday and demanded an immediate halt what it described as “military aggression,” semi-Official Fars news agency reported.

‘Repel Houthi aggression’


Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, commander of the Republican Guard Forces

Saudi Defense Minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman had warned Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, the son of Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, against advancing toward Aden.

The Houthis had joined forces with the loyalists of former President Saleh in their offensive to take control of Yemen.

Operation ‘Decisive Storm’ to continue

Yemeni Foreign Minister Riad Yassine told Al Arabiya News Channel that the operations would continue until the Houthis agreed to join peace talks and backtrack on all measures taken since their occupation of the capital Sanaa last September.

“We do not recognize any of what happened after September 21,” Yassine told Al Arabiya News, saying the military operation would help the southern Yemenis “regain confidence.”

Demonstrations reportedly broke out in Yemen’s Hadramout and Aden in support of the Saudi airstrikes on the Houthi militia.

The military operation came shortly after Arab Gulf states, barring Oman, announced that they have decided to “repel Houthi aggression” in neighboring Yemen, following a request from Hadi.

In a joint statement Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait said they “decided to repel Houthi militias, al-Qaeda and ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] in the country.”

The Gulf states warned that the Houthi coup in Yemen represented a “major threat” to the region’s stability.

The Gulf states also accused the Iranian-backed militia of conducting military drills on the border of Saudi Arabia with “heavy weapons.”

In an apparent reference to Iran, the Gulf statement said the “Houthi militia is backed by regional powers in order for it to be their base of influence.”

The Gulf states said they had monitored the situation and the Houthi coup in Yemen with “great pain” and accused the Shiite militia of failing to respond to warnings from the United Nations Security Council as well as the GCC.

The statement stressed that the Arab states had sought over the previous period to restore stability in Yemen, noting the last initiative to host peace talks under the auspices of the GCC.

Call for U.N. action

In a letter sent the U.N. Security Council seen by Al Arabiya News, Hadi requested “immediate support for the legitimate authority with all means and necessary measures to protect Yemen, and repel the aggression of the Houthi militia that is expected at any time on the city of Aden and the province of Taiz, Marib, al-Jouf [and] an-Baidah.”

In his letter Hadi said such support was also needed to control “the missile capability that was looted” by the Houthi militias.

Hadi also told the Council that he had requested from the Arab Gulf states and the Arab League “immediate support with all means and necessary measures, including the military intervention to protect Yemen and its people from the ongoing Houthi aggression.”

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has halted flights at seven airports near the Yemeni border, the civil aviation department said.

“The General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia announced a temporary suspension of international and domestic flights to and from airports in the south of the kingdom,” from dawn on Thursday, the department said in a statement.

The U.S. and Gulf are confused over Yemen and Iraq

The U.S. and Gulf are confused over Yemen and Iraq

yemen fox

Raghida Dergham
Writes/ Raghida Dergham

The return of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to bloodily shaping the country’s history has not come overnight, on the eve of the house arrest imposed by the Houthis on current President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi before they allowed him to flee to Aden – the capital of South Yemen before reunification. Ali Abdullah Saleh, since he agreed to step down three years ago, has been planning to return to power either on the Houthi bandwagon or through elements in the military establishment, not to mention deploying his huge influence and financial assets to buy loyalty and empower his party, family, and son to retake power at any cost.
Another man in the Arab region preparing behind the scenes and plotting in secret to return to his devastating role in Iraq’s history is former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
The common denominator between Yemen’s strongman and Iraq’s strongman is that they both left power as a result of regional and international pressures and bargains in which the United States and the GCC countries, as well as Iran, played important roles. The difference is that the Iraqi event attested that Tehran had to sacrifice Nouri al-Maliki in what appeared as signs of strategic accords between Iran and key Gulf powers, especially Saudi Arabia, as well as the United States. By contrast, the event in Yemen is a clear indication of the absence of accords and reconciliatory strategies.
Parallels
The Iranian role backing the Houthis in Yemen emerged in parallel with the Iraqi event, in tandem with the determination of Ali Abdullah Saleh to enter into an alliance with the Houthis and Iran to settle scores with Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries, which had helped remove him from power. The two men have an ugly agenda for Iraq and Yemen. If the Gulf leaders are serious and vigilant, they must develop a comprehensive strategy for both Iraq and Yemen, two majorly important countries for the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf. Otherwise, the GCC countries will pay a heavy price, and not just Iraq and Yemen.
The common denominator between Yemen’s strongman and Iraq’s strongman is that they both left power as a result of regional and international pressures and bargains in which the United States and the GCC countries, as well as Iran, played important roles
This week, a U.N. Security Council expert team said in a report that Saleh had amassed close to $60 billion in 30 years as Yemen’s president, through corruption, embezzlement, and commissions imposed on oil companies. According to the experts, he has stashed away these funds across 20 countries using other figures and companies as fronts.
The experts who report to the U.N. Yemen sanctions panel told the Security Council that Saleh facilitated it for the Houthis and al-Qaeda to expand their control in northern and southern Yemen, and that he continues to run a broad network of financial, security, military, and political interests in Yemen that allowed him effectively to avoid the effects of the sanctions imposed on him under U.N. Security Council resolution 2140. The panel’s report said, “It is also alleged that Ali Abdullah Saleh, his friends, his family and his associates stole money from the fuel subsidy program, which uses up to 10 per cent of Yemen’s gross domestic product, as well as other ventures involving abuse of power, extortion and embezzlement.” “The result of these illegal activities for private gain is estimated to have amounted to nearly $2 billion a year over the last three decades,” it adds.
Changing loyalties
These funds were instrumental in changing the partisan loyalties to the extent of forming “unexpected alliances between former enemies, such as the Houthis and former President Saleh; the weakening of dominant political parties like the Islah party; the departure of leading political and influential figures like Hamid al-Ahmar and Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar from Yemen; an increase in al-Qaeda activities in the south and Hadramaut; and an increased call for separation by the south,” the report argues.
So how did a panel of experts with a specific mission manage to understand the equations and developments in Yemen, while Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia were not able to ascertain and prepare for what was obvious in Yemen?
The question is important to identify whether the flaw is fundamental, or whether it was an exception, and – as it is being said – was possibly related to the health of the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and the transition in the kingdom.
Either way, what happened is extremely dangerous, not only for Yemen, but also for Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. However, if the events in Yemen are the result of a deliberate policy based on mutual attrition, then this is an unwise policy similar to the unwise policy on Syria. Its risks would be twofold for Yemen and the Gulf region, led by the Saudi kingdom.
Mutual attrition
Indeed, mutual attrition or destruction has failed in Syria, and has helped destroy the present, future, and even past of the nation – if we consider the archaeological and cultural heritage of the country now in ruins – at the hands of the regime and the terrorists like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Nusra Front, with local, regional, and international enablement from which no-one emerges innocent. Attrition is a foolish policy because it helped terrorism grow, and created an opportunity for ISIS to proliferate until it drew attention away from what is happening in Syria.
If an international team was able to obtain detailed information and produce a logical and realistic analysis of the Yemeni situation, while the Gulf countries – as it is claimed – were taken by surprise by the events in Yemen and are still unable to develop a strategy to deal with them, then this is a frightening testimony of the utter lack of intelligence and analysis capabilities in the Gulf region.
The international report to the U.N. Security Council stated that according to a confidential source, al-Qaeda is taking advantage of such sensitivities and is recruiting Sunni tribesmen to fight on its side against the Houthis. The report also states, “The geographical proximity of Eritrea to Yemen lends itself to licit and illicit activities, and several trusted interlocutors mentioned confidentially the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) training of Houthi forces on a small island off the Eritrean coast.”
Close ties
According to the same report as well, there is a close relationship between Saleh, his family and al-Qaeda. The report quotes sources as saying that Mohammad Nasser Ahmed, the former Minister of Defense, saw al-Qaeda leader Sami Dayan in the-then President Saleh’s office with the president, in 2012. This is in addition to the quasi-alliance between Saleh and the Houthis.
That’s right. The paragraph may need to be read two or three times to comprehend the strange alliances in Yemen today, with a central role played by a former president who wants to return to power. He is completely disregarding the sanctions imposed on him under a U.N. Security Council resolution, moving ahead with a clear strategy and goals, with a calculated cost.
If the Gulf countries have a deliberate strategy to address the agendas of Saleh, the Houthis, and al-Qaeda – the three are enemies and not allies – then this strategy requires elucidation. The GCC countries appear today in a state of loss, denial, and dithering. This carries a bad message on multiple levels.
Today, Saleh in Yemen, and tomorrow Maliki in Iraq both intend to return to power. Both have partners or allies in Iran. In Yemen, there is a transitional alliance between the Revolutionary Guard in Iran, Saleh, and al-Qaeda for transient mutual interests, and a structural alliance between Tehran and the Houthis. The Houthis can claim to be the party that defeated a major regional power like Saudi Arabia, and that it can threaten it at its border. The Houthis are the group that toppled a legitimate government and put Yemen on the road to secession and fragmentation. Yet this is not the sin of the Houthis alone, because of the failure of the Gulf and the U.S. in Yemen contributed greatly in stoking its internal tragedies and exacerbating geopolitical risks beyond its borders.
Faltering policies
U.S. and Gulf policies are faltering in both Yemen and Iraq. Iranian policies in Iraq and Yemen will either produce strategic advantages with huge benefits for the regime in Tehran, or could implicate Iran in one quagmire after the other, from Yemen to Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.
The pace of the coming shifts in the balance of achievements vs. implication will be dictated to some degree by the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 countries (the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China).
No one knows accurately if these negotiations are on the brink of collapse or are on the eve of making history. If they produce an agreement, this would be the first time both the West and the East agree to give a non-nuclear state the right to possess military nuclear capabilities in return for postponing the manufacturing date of said capabilities. In turn, this will give Iran the euphoria of belonging to the nuclear club, which will most likely increase its confidence in fulfilling its regional ambitions, however, there is a small possibility that reining in regional ambitions would be part of the nuclear accords.
However, if the nuclear deal fails, the United States will lay trap after trap to implicate Iran in regional quagmires, to create Iran’s own version of Vietnam in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.The region is entering a critical phase soon, during which men addicted to power are aligning with tribes taking advantage of alliance in the regional absence of strategies.
This article was first published in al-Hayat on Feb. 27, 2015 and was translated by Karim Traboulsi.