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America Stands by Its Medieval Cutthroat 'Friends' in Riyadh

As long as the Saudis work hand in glove with the CIA, Washington is willing to turn a blind eye to the kingdom's gross human rights violations

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Originally Appeared at Translated from German by Werner Schrimpf

The latest article from New York Times addressing the old connections between the CIA and Saudi Arabia’s intelligence services basically does not provide any substantial news.

The interesting thing is that for the first time, an important U.S. news magazine seizes the story of multiple crimes committed by the Saudis, so that many other transatlantic media might follow. Maybe Saudi Arabia will try to break the connection to the U.S. services now. The above-mentioned author Manilo Dinucci discloses in his article that while New York Times covers Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the Syrian war, they unfortunately don’t mention any facts about the Saudi’s war in Yemen.

Codename „Timber Sycamore“ – that is the title of the armament and training program for the Syrian „rebels,“ which has been approved and promoted by U.S. President Obama. New York Times published an investigation on this topic last Sunday.

When CIA got the orders from President Obama to organize this undercover operation, the CIA folks immediately had in in their minds who they would be working with, and who would provide the necessary funding:  Saudi Arabia!  In a joint effort with Qatar, the Saudis provided weapons and some billions of US dollars while CIA staff organized and conducted training measures for the “rebels.”

The procurement of weapons for the “rebels,” including radicals like al-Qaida, started in the summer of 2012. Special agents from Saudi Arabia purchased thousands of AK-47 assault rifles and millions of rounds by means of a CIA network in Croatia. Parallel to that, Qatari officials were quite active on international arms markets and acquired portable FN-6 missiles, a third generation passive infrared homing man portable air defense system. It was developed by China and is their most advanced surface-to-air missile offered in the international market. These weapons were provided in the Syrian theatre through Turkey.

Over the course of the year 2012, when the weapon transports were steadily running, U.S. general Petraeus involved the U.S. ally, Jordan. A few months later, President Obama ordered CIA to organize training camps at U.S. bases in Jordan and Qatar, in order to get the “rebels” trained, to hand over these weapons, and to deliver advanced TOW anti-tank missiles. Everything was sponsored by “big spender” Saudi Arabia. This procedure is pretty much standard for CIA operations of this nature.

Looking back on history, Saudi Arabia was helpful to the CIA during a series of operations in Africa over the last few decades. In Angola, Saudi Arabia financed CIA-trained rebels who fought against a Soviet backed government. In Afghanistan, the CIA trained and equipped Mudschadehin in their battle against Soviet Union. This operation generated costs of approximately billions of U.S. dollars per year and this funding was provided by Saudi Arabia as well, who transferred the funds via Switzerland to a CIA account with a Swiss Bank. Different country – similar procedure: when the Reagan administration supported the so-called Contra rebels in order to overthrow the legitimate Nicaraguan government, Saudi Arabia paid 32 million US dollars for this operation, with assistance from a Cayman Island bank.

These undercover operations lasting for decades, comprising the latest coup in Syria, have established and fostered the good and fruitful relations between secret services from the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. Despite the diplomatic rapprochement between the U.S. and Iran, which is opposed by Saudi Arabia, the liaison is still alive – financed by constant streams of Saudi cash and a common understanding of mutual interests.

This explains pretty much why the U.S. is blind towards the human rights violations on the part of Saudi Arabia, blind towards the torture and ill treatment of women, and blind towards a broad support from Saudi Arabia for an extreme version of Islam, the so-called Wahhabism, which is influencing a variety of terrorist groups.  And this explains why U.S. President Obama has remained silent on the beheading of shaik Nimr al-Nimr, a religious dissident who had allegedly challenged the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia.

And one should not forget to mention the fact that during his last visit in Riyadh, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed that the U.S. would remain steadfast and true to their “friends from Saudi Arabia” in their war on the Huthi rebels in Yemen. Regrettably, this event was completely concealed by the New York Times.

One year since then, the “friends from Saudi Arabia” are massacring civilians in Yemen and are shelling hospitals with a little help from the U.S. provided intelligence services, i.e. target coordinates, weapons and ammunition like cluster bombs and a bulk of logistic services. In November of 2015, Italy’s Minister President Matteo Renzi visited the “friends” as well.  He reaffirmed Italy’s support and the delivery of bombs in order to support Saudi Arabia’s “fight on terror.”

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