Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has just resorted the US media as a platform to spread propaganda and lies about what is happening in Yemen in an effort to mislead the public opinion, specially in the US, where his naiive lies seem to be more than anything else an insult to the knowledge and understanding of the American people and experts.
Among the lies he said that demand a closer look:
– The United Nations says thousands of civilian deaths in Yemen are the direct result of US-backed, Saudi-led airstrikes that target civilian objects and blockade of Hodeidah port that stop food and medicine from getting to hundreds of thousands of people. Salman claimed the blockade has been eased slightly although he knows full well that Saudis and its junior partners continue to block the delivery of commercial goods.
– Salman gave the false impression that the Houthi Ansarullah fighters are the ones that gutted Yemen after the resignation of pro-Saudi Hadi. He also blamed Ansarullah fighters as the principal cause of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Far from it. The Saudi blockade is the original problem of delaying and preventing the delivery of essential goods. The blockade is the principal cause of the humanitarian crisis. No wonder the UN Human Rights Council and many rights group and aid agencies dismiss his false claims that the blockade is no longer in place.
– Salman’s self-serving spin went even further. He claimed Houthis are using the humanitarian situation to their advantage in order to draw sympathy from the international community. He said they block humanitarian aid in order to create famine and a humanitarian crisis. Clearly, the man is desperate to shift the blame for the humanitarian crisis to everyone except his regime and their allies. The question is how come the UN Human Rights Council has issued several reports against Saudi Arabia specifically for strangling Yemen for three years, including delaying and diverting ships that were already inspected and found to have no weapons on board. The UN keeps telling us that the blockade is primarily responsible for driving more than eight million people to the brink of famine and millions more to suffer from severe malnutrition.
– The most shocking claim from Salman came when he accused Iran of playing a harmful role in the conflict. He even claimed the Al-Qaeda operatives are protected in Iran and it refuses to surrender them to justice, and continues to refuse to extradite them to the United States! As maintained by many Western government reports and officials, there are no signs that indicate Iran is militarily involved in Yemen. The US even tried to take Iran’s case to the Security Council with some pieces of metal that its ambassador Nikki Haley claimed were pieces of an Iranian missile fired by Houthis into Saudi Arabia. Guess what? No one bought their inaccurate story at the Council, all while dismissing the war as a “proxy war with Iran.”
The ignorant tribal ruler has apparently forgotten that Osama Bin Laden was a Saudi Prince joined by tens of friends, relatives and other Saudis in creating the monster of Al-Qaeda terrorist group. Or maybe, he is trying to hide that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL also known as ISIS, IS and DAESH) is the offspring of the same old Al-Qaeda that preaches Wahhabi thoughts dominating Saudi Arabia, that Riyadh has been the main backer of ISIL as once even admitted by former US Vice-President Joe Biden, and its Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi repeatedly stressed that their prime and main target is Iran and it was Iran that saved the world from the threat of ISIL, that he is rendering support – including arms, financial backup and training – to the Al-Qaeda on the Peninsula and that there are countless pieces of evidence and documents proving that Al-Qaeda and other barbaric extremist and terrorists outfits have been created and supported by Riyadh. He apparently doesn’t know that during the reign of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Al-Qaeda and their Taliban backers always chanted “Down with Iran” in their rallies. What he is not saying is that top Bush administration national security officials and diplomats have made several public announcements acknowledging that Iran arrested and extradited tens of Al-Qaeda terrorists to Saudi Arabia when the terrorists were seeking a way out of Afghanistan following the US invasion, and Bin Salman, rather, needs to let the world know what his country has done to those Al-Qaeda terrorists and where they are now.
– Salman claimed resistance to the Saudi-led coalition is fueled by ideology, Iranian or otherwise. This is also inaccurate. Yemeni people have always been hostile to foreign invaders and Saudis are not an exception here. Moreover, the absurdity of trying to link Al-Qaeda and Iran speaks for itself. Perhaps he is desperate to mislead the word community into taking his side in this failed warfare. But that won’t be of any help. Once again, by the US government’s own accounts, including statements from former and current officials at the White House, the Saudi regime is the biggest sectarian agitator in the world. It aids and abets its extremist Wahhabi ideology with a helping hand from militant groups like ISIL and Al-Qaeda.
– Lastly, Salman claimed Iran is an aggressive regime in the region. Again, it is the Saudi regime and its allies that are engaging in an aggressive invasion of a neighboring country. Iran has never invaded any country for two centuries. The Saudis further helped ISIL and Al-Qaeda to turn Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan into failed states and a breeding ground for various terrorist groups that have gone and threatened the entire planet. Simply put, Iran helped Iraq and Syria to defeat ISIL and other foreign-backed groups. Under International law and the UN Charter, that is not a crime, but a glory and a source of honor.
Which brings us to the subject of Yemen again, where the results of the US-backed, Saudi-led war and blockade have been and still are deadly. Marking the third anniversary, a coalition of international relief organizations and human rights groups have just issued a statement decrying the continued airstrikes and blockade, and suggested that more people, mainly children, will die if the airstrikes don’t stop and the blockade is not lifted.
Taken together, the crown prince has a lot on his plate these days. He is only fooling himself when he says Riyadh has nothing to do with the unrelenting violence and catastrophic human suffering. The whole world is in the know that without the much-needed help from the US military, including providing arms, intelligence and refueling support, the Saudi-led bombing campaign would have never been able to target Yemen’s hospitals, weddings, schools and residential areas – killing thousands of civilians so indiscriminately.
The world community is also in the know that the Saudi-led naval blockade – also abetted by US vessels – has cut off vital food and medical shipments, wreaking havoc on the country’s medical system and unleashing a famine and cholera outbreak. It’s difficult for the world community to see any role for Iran in this Saudi-made catastrophe, specially when they see the Saudis and their allies have failed after three years to show one single Iranian military killed or held captive in Yemen or one single military tool, equipment or weapon system supplied to the besieged nation.