After Turkey’s Failed Putsch, Is Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed the Next in Line to Get Coup’d Over the Disastrous War in Yemen?

While all eyes in the Middle East have been on the civil society-military purge in Turkey after a failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, other important events have been taking place in the region.

In Syria, pro-government forces are handing the jihadists their ‘Stalingrad’ long planned by the Russian General Staff by blocking the last supply road into east Aleppo. While the Syrian Arab Army’s Tiger Forces beat back waves of jihadists and suicide VBIEDs attempting to break the ‘cauldron’, Russian air strikes continue to pummel jihadist arms caches and vehicles.

While the anti-Assad forces aren’t yet facing total defeat (they still control large parts of Idlib province and the northern Syrian countryside), the desperation of their situation is underlined by Secretary of State John Kerry’s extensive negotiations with Moscow. The U.S. is now in the position of supplicant towards Russia in Syria and not the other way around, as highlighted further by the Turks’ post-coup power shutoff to Incirlik Air Force base entering its fifth day

The leaks out of Washington last weekend were that the Obama Administration was finally prepared to countenance jointly directed air strikes against Al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria Jabhat al-Nusra — provided the Russians make their SAA allies ease the pressure on the encircled ‘moderate rebels’. The same ‘moderates’ including the CIA TOW missile equipped jihadists of Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki who beheaded a Palestinian boy this week because they suspected him of being a spy for the ‘rafidah’ — the Iranian backed Shi’a militias fighting for Assad.

The response out of Cold War 2.0 hardliners and neolibcons in D.C. led by The Washington Post which published the ‘leaked’ U.S.-Russian agreement points was predictably furious. But these think tankers and humanitarian war hawks’ collective humiliation was mercifully cut short for America’s upstanding NYT/WaPost consumers, thanks to Friday’s botched Turkish coup. The coup came as a long predicted (by yours truly as early as August 2015) but still shocking in its incompetence move, which many in the alternative media, including Team RogueMoney’s BanksterSlayer and Dr. Joseph P. Farrell, linked to Erdogan’s peacemaking with Putin.

How Russia’s Ongoing Negotiation for Joint Operations Against Al-Nusra Has Exposed the State Department’s Efforts to Protect the Jihadists from Bombing

Joint intelligence sharing and combined attacks on the Al-Qaeda terrorists Washington previously wanted to protect from bombing are in fact what Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called for since the start of Russian air operations in Syria last October. But the devil as my friend The Saker writes is in the details of implementation. The Russians are taking a “trust, but verify” approach after the protracted U.S. excuses made for months that Syrian ‘moderate rebels’ were inextricably embedded alongside the terrorists, and therefore the latter could not be targeted without harming the former. 

Such excuse-making of course led to all sorts of public relations headaches for the incompetents at the State Department, who would have enough trouble defending a coherent policy in good times rather than a manifestly contradictory one from a position of weakness. From the invitation of Ahrar-Al-Sham radicals to visit Washington reported after the fact by McClatchy, to awkward questions from the AP’s Matthew Lee followed by near-bureaucratic jibberish answers from Foggy Bottom spokesman John Kirby shown on RT, the last few months have been heart-burn inducing for the State Department bureaucrats.

We May Have to Wait for a President Donald Trump to Clean House at (al)CIA(aeda)

Now the PR nightmares for the State Department and supporters of the ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels will get even worse after the Zenki jihadists gleefully filmed themselves beheading a child. Who knows? We might even witness a CSPAN moment when CIA Director John Brennan, a longtime friend of the Saudi royal family, is finally grilled by members of the U.S. House or Senate Intelligence Committee about how the CIA can continue to send TOW missiles to such Salafist groups and what consequences if any Langley’s gun-runners face when their ‘moderate’ rebels show their true bloodthirsty jihadist colors.

Given the fear and awe that many lawmakers maintain for the ‘Cocaine Import Agency’, we won’t hold our breaths waiting for that ‘have you at last no sense of decency, sir?’ moment. If Brennan and the other Saudi/Qatari firsters at CIA and State are going to be ousted, it’s going to take a President Donald J. Trump and perhaps a director of national intelligence retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn to clean house. In the meantime…

Yemen: The Losing War the Langley/Neocon Wahhabi Lobby Can’t Hide Forever

Even if we set aside Washington’s ongoing pants-ing at the hands of the despotic neo-Ottoman Sultan who accuses the Americans of being behind Friday’s coup, or ignore the fact that D.C.’s ‘moderate rebel’ proxies are being crushed in east Aleppo, there’s another turd in the Mideast hummus bowl as the Guerrilla Economist would say: Yemen. Namely, Saudi Arabia’s losing war against Saleh loyalist and Houthi tribesmen that has gone beyond a mere debacle to become a potentially existential threat to the continued reign if not survival of certain haughty princes, most famously the 31-year-old Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud.

IF the Saudis really were one of the major players behind the coup that feared Turkish-Russian rapprochement based on throwing their and the Sultan’s beloved Syrian jihadis under the bus, then they have surely been carefully analyzing the reasons for its failure. And IF you are a Saudi Prince who sees the bloody writing on the wall that the sectarian proxy campaigns against the Allawite Assad and the Yemeni Shi’a are miserable failures draining the royal treasury, along with the Pyrrhic victory over U.S. shale oil, then there is only one conclusion to splash on one’s face like warm camel piss (a Saudi delicacy); either Riyadh cozies up to the Russians and Chinese while turning towards Beijing’s desire that it play nice with its hated Iranian rival…or else. And that ‘else’, given how weak and pathetic Washington now looks under the lame duck Obama, unable to stand up even to the same Erdogan that the Saudis once bossed around as a hireling, could include increasingly harsh penalties for those pro-Wahhabi Arabian hardliners who won’t get with the Eurasian peace in Syraq program.

How the Saleh Loyalists/Houthis Are Using Soviet and Iranian Made Ballistic Missiles to Kill Saudis and Pro-Saudi Mercenaries By the Bushel — and MSM Is Ignoring the Kingdom’s Thousands of Casualties

It would seem the hints are being dropped that if the Saudis won’t sincerely try to make peace in Syria, the price they will continue to pay in blood and humiliation at the hands of the Houthis will be increased. Including via the high explosive message delivered one Soviet made (and we suspect Russian ‘modernized’ since being pulled out of mothballs) Tochka ballistic missile at a time. According to Al-Masdar News Yemen correspondent ‘TonyToh’, the latest OTR-21 ‘Tochka’ ballistic missile strike on a Saudi forces run mercenary camp near Taiz killed 179 mercs and Saudi coalition troops near the strategic Bab-al-Mandeb strait that divides war-torn Yemen from the Horn of Africa. Below is video footage of the launch and a clip that purports to show the Saudi military base struck by the Tochka missile on fire:

According to ‘TonyToh’, many Saudi-hating Yemeni resistance fighters love the Soviet/Russian missiles so much they jokingly talk about naming their newborn sons ‘Ibn Tochka’. Nor are Tochkas the only type of rocketry raining down on Saudi and their Hadi forces allies. Iranian-made Zilzal (“Quake”) ballistic missiles have also been fired more often at Saudi troops, as well as a Yemeni/Iranian modified ballistic version of the venerable Soviet SA-2 SAM.

Saudi TV propaganda claims U.S.-made Patriot missiles can and nearly always do shoot down these incoming threats. But Al-Masdar News and reports from their ‘Saudi whistleblower’ say otherwise, as the death toll of African and Gulf Cooperation Council Sunni Muslim mercenaries continues to rise. The United Arab Emirates, for example, recently announced it was pulling its soldiers and aircraft out of the conflict while supporting the on again, off again peace talks between the two sides in Kuwait. The UAE’s leadership apparently knows a quagmire when they see one.

The latest reports from ‘TonyToh’ also confirm that Saudi troops are now calling in more air strikes to repel brazen raids inside the Kingdom’s border towns of Jizan province. The Houthis are killing Saudi border guards, seizing and burning the Kingdom’s ‘technicals’ and light armored vehicles, and despoiling bases they’re capturing on Saudi soil. 

The bottom line: the Saudis are stuck in a quagmire, their losses are several thousand soldiers and mercenaries, and there’s no end in sight sort of humiliating concessions which may not appease a hornet’s nest of Shi’a tribesmen who historically regard southwestern parts of the Kingdom as Yemeni territory. Yet thanks to erratic and often heavily censored coverage coming out of Yemen, the Saudis’ humiliating defeats and the billions they’ve sunk into the Yemen war with all the implications for their ability to indefinitely sustain Washington’s Syria jihadists have not been discussed.

This is likely due to the neoconservative and neoliberal Saudi lobby in Washington and London, well taken care of by their Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) patrons, and their desire to maintain a certain ‘frame’. Which is that Riyadh can support jihadists in Syria indefinitely and not pay a price for this in blood from greater covert Iranian/Russian (and according to the Guerrilla Economist, even French) support for the Houthis. That indeed, the Yemen war is simply an isolated conflict or an example of Saudi-Iranian/Sunni-Shia rivalry, rather than part of a larger power play that signals nothing less than a changing of the superpower guard in the Mideast.

As we’ve noted before in RogueMoney reports on the Yemen war, it’s no accident that China is establishing a military base in Djibouti near the Bab al-Mandeb Strait. Nor is it unlikely that whatever covert Russian technical and intelligence (read: SIGINT/ELINT) support is being provided to the Houthis and patriotic Yemeni resistance via the GRU is being done through China’s base in the region. 

Therefore, if the Saudis are looking to cut their losses — and we’ve seen largely fruitless negotiations in Kuwait to try and create a face saving ‘out’ for the Sauds — don’t be surprised if a palace coup finally removes Crown Prince Mohammed from the picture. And given that the lesson for every potential coup plotter in the Middle East was clear from last weekend’s debacle in Istanbul and Ankara (if you aim for the Sultan, don’t miss), we strongly suspect Saudi coup plotters won’t settle for merely trying to arrest the young prince, but will try to take him out. If we were Crown Prince ‘Mo’, we’d be seriously packing our bags and getting ready to permanently relocate to Switzerland or Paris. That is, before someone decides he needs to be removed from the picture in order for Saudi Arabia to follow its one time client Erdogan’s pivot to Eurasia.

8 comments

    1. Mark — I wouldn’t be quite that pessimistic. Chris Christie is just popping his big fat mouth off like when he said we should start shooting down Russian planes over Syria or at least threatening Putin with that. Christie wants to be Attorney General in part to cover his own ample posterior from the bridge scandal in New Jersey lawsuits. Hopefully Trump picks someone else and doesn’t appoint Christie to anything more important than dogcatcher.

      Trump caught hell for merely suggesting that NATO’s Article V isn’t some sort of doomsday machine trigger device that automatically goes off the second an alleged Russian ‘Little Green Man’ sets foot in Estonia. If you actually read the text of the Washington Treaty which created NATO online (which most reporters will never bother to do), you’ll see Article V the (in)famous attack on one is an attack on all provision still requires the allies to consult, even if said consultations take place after the President of the United States or the leader of any particular NATO ally makes a decision to act first. In other words, Trump did NOT say he would do nothing if Russia were to invade a NATO ally — which isn’t going to happen anyway, because Putin has already said Russia would be nuts to attack NATO. As for ‘hybrid warfare’ or covert action, any ‘little green men’ attack inside a Baltic state’s borders is 99.9% a false flag and in that scenario you’d better check the ‘Russian’ speakers for Kiev accents)

  1. I get a strong feeling that Israel is back in the drivers seat, with the Republicans, Trump has had to compromise with them and with the worst of the Anti-Russian forces to allow Christie’s speech, which I posted below..probably explains why he wasn’t assassinated yet.

    At this point, no doubt in my mind that war is coming.

  2. I agree with the two comments. I just watched the speech of Michael Flynn with anticipation of some common sense and realism. Boy was I disappointed. It was one of the most crappy speeches on foreign affairs I have ever watched. It was full of the same bullshit jingoism and "we are the exceptional nation" crap that one always hears from either political party. "Hey Michael get this through to your thick skull, your nation is not exceptional anymore! The world does not give a rat’s ass about your country. The only exceptional thing about your country is the amount of morons in both government and in the population". He says that a Trump administration will be tougher on terrorism than the wimpish Obama administration, blah blah blah without mentioning the fact that Obama and Clinton were responsible for ISIS (which he himself exposed just recently). He talked about vague red lines that Trump will honor. "Hey Michael does that mean you would have bombed directly Assad in 2013 over the false flag chemical use which was used by the anti-Assad forces". He mentions that we have to stop the one country that is causing terrorism against us. You think he would mention Saudi Arabia. Oh no! It’s none other than Iran, the country that is doing more in destroying ISIS and Al Qaida in both Syria and Iraq. So on and on and on. In reality as this election season progresses don’t expect anything better from Trump than Clinton.

    While we’re on the topic of the clown show called the Republican Convention, did you get to hear Mrs. Trump’s speech. It was really pathetic. You’d think with all the billions that Donald has he couldn’t have found someone, anyone, to write a speech other than plagiarizing from Michele Obama’s speech in 2008. Hell they could have paid minimum wage to a high school valedictorian to write the speech. "Hey Donald I heard you want to make America great again. Why don’t you start with making your wife’s speech great".

    While I naively thought good about Trump, the reality is penetrating my psyche. Guess who’s going to bankroll his campaign from now on. None other than Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers scumbags. Make America great again. MY ASS! I guess I’m going to sit home on election day and do something more productive with my time. If you want to know what that is just listen to George Carlin on the topic.

  3. Israel is joining Saudi to help defeat Yemen…

    "A Yemeni military source said that a Toschka Ballistic Missile fired by the Army and Public Committees Rockets Forces into the Operations Room of a Military Camp of the Saudi-led Coalition and their local mercenaries killed several foreign and local officers and troops. Among the dead foreigners is an Israeli Colonel named Vegedora Yagronovesky, a Data Analyst with the Israeli Army. The military camp is called Al-Hajf South of Ta’ez Governorate."

    https://yemenbreakingnews.wordpress.com/2016/07/17/israeli-colonel-killed-in-yemen/

  4. Here’s how it looks to me:

    THE GROUND HAS SHIFTED, BUT EVERYTHING STAYS THE SAME (WELL, A BIT WORSE ACTUALLY).

    1) TRUMP’S NASCENT ADMINISTRATION IS TALKING OF ‘DELETING’ RUSSIA (Christie’s speech), THIS WAS TO BE HILLARY’S JOB (WW3), BUT A DEAL WAS STRUCK…NEOCONS BACK IN CONTROL…GET YOUR BOMB SHELTERS READY..

    2) THE HORDES OF ARMED SOROS DEMONSTRATORS NEVER REALLY MATERIALIZED AT THE RNC, THE DOGS WERE CALLED OFF, AS SOON AS TRUMP WAS ‘TAMED’ BY THE ADDITION OF NEWT GINGRICH AND CHRIS CHRISTIE..

    3) HILLARY IS NOW UNDER 3 SEPARATE INVESTIGATIONS, PART OF THE DEAL, SHE’S THROWN UNDER THE BUS, AS ‘DAMAGED GOODS’, TRUMP BECOMES THE UNHAPPY FIGUREHEAD FOR NEW NEOCON WAR STATE. I BELIEVE HE WAS ‘PRESSURED’.

    4) THERE MAY BE MORE TO THIS, WILL PROBABLY SURFACE SOON.

  5. Just thinking what a pickle poor Trump is possibly in. He campaigned on making America strong again, what if the Incirlik Airbase situation isn’t fully resolved by the time he gets to office? If Turkey kicks out NATO, or is kicked out by NATO, then America’s influenced has waned as Trump takes office, and he’ll be under great pressure to ‘do something’, and the policy wonks will be all over him trying to get him to do things that are against his instincts. I think sometimes this is why Obama ‘goes fishing’, just walks away from intense competing directives that are unresolveable under real world constraints. Yet Obama is personally O.K. with being charged as ‘weak’, he campaigned as a ‘softer’ candidate right from the beginning. Trump is boxed in on that one.

    This is going to be one Hell of a mess. Trump will use his extended family to help him thread the needle, they seem strong as a unit, astute people overall, but they’ll be up against some totally strange and fierce demands from the Neocons on one side, and the promises to the voters on the other…when the public perception of him ‘giving in’ to the Russians or anyone else will be the public relations stick the controlled media will use to neuter him if he doesn’t ‘comply’. Sucks.

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