William's Feed
Nov 19, 2014

Saudi Arabia leans on Gulf states to close ranks as region boils

DUBAI/DOHA (Reuters) – Gulf Arab states have shelved a bitter row among themselves, hoping to repair an alliance that has been sorely tested by chaos in the Middle East and the prospect of an Iranian nuclear deal that could tilt the regional balance of power toward their old foe Tehran.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain agreed at a meeting on Sunday to return their ambassadors to Qatar, signaling an end to an eight-month dispute over Doha’s backing of Islamist militants in Syria and elsewhere and its promotion of Arab Spring revolts.

Oct 14, 2014

Yemen on the brink as rebels oust the old guard

SANAA/DUBAI (Reuters) – The Houthi rebels who stunned the Arab world with the sudden seizure of Yemen’s capital will have to strive to cement their power in the face of well-armed rivals, a test of strength that could tip the unstable country deeper into turmoil.

A suicide bombing last Thursday that killed 47 in Sanaa is an example of the indiscriminate tactics Yemenis fear some armed groups are prepared to employ to check the ascent of the Shi’ite Muslim movement that swept into the city on Sept 21.

Oct 14, 2014

Insight – Yemen on the brink as rebels oust the old guard

SANAA/DUBAI (Reuters) – The Houthi rebels who stunned the Arab world with the sudden seizure of Yemen’s capital will have to strive to cement their power in the face of well-armed rivals, a test of strength that could tip the unstable country deeper into turmoil.

A suicide bombing last Thursday that killed 47 in Sanaa is an example of the indiscriminate tactics Yemenis fear some armed groups are prepared to employ to check the ascent of the Shi’ite Muslim movement that swept into the city on Sept 21.

Sep 30, 2014

Syria raids show Saudi, UAE ambition to extend regional authority

DUBAI/RIYADH (Reuters) – The decision by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to join air strikes in Syria reflects an increasingly muscular foreign policy by the Gulf Arab heavyweights that has already started to reshape the balance of power in the Middle East.

With Egypt, Syria and Iraq – where the Arab world’s armed might has usually rested – all now immersed in civil wars or internal political turmoil, the emergence of Gulf states as military players asserting an unremitting hostility to Islamists could alter the region’s political equation.

Sep 23, 2014

Islamic State blows away Gulf qualms about joining US military action

RIYADH/DUBAI (Reuters) – It is more than 23 years since Arab countries last made common cause to join U.S.-led military action, and it has taken the threat of Islamic State to persuade them that any public backlash in an already turbulent region is a price worth paying.

    Of the five Arab states named by Washington as supporting U.S.-led strikes against the jihadist group in Syria, Bahrain, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) confirmed they had actually flown sorties. Saudi Arabia said it had “participated in military operations”, and Qatar was believed to have offered only logistical or political support.     But association with the attacks, after years of U.S.-led wars that have antagonized Muslims around the world, is a risk these states are ready to run to quash a group that promises to refashion the Middle East as an Islamic caliphate.

Sep 9, 2014
via FaithWorld

No Saudi ban over Ebola for Nigerians going on haj – Arab News

Photo

(Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba at the Grand mosque during the annual Haj pilgrimage, in the holy city of Mecca October 17, 2013. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa )

Saudi Arabia, which has barred pilgrims from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea from the haj due to Ebola concerns, will allow Nigerians to attend, an official was reported on Monday as saying, suggesting the smaller outbreak there was less worrying.

Sep 3, 2014

Al Qaeda announces India wing, renews loyalty to Taliban chief

DUBAI, Sept 3 (Reuters) – Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahri
on Wednesday announced the formation of an Indian branch of his
militant group he said would spread Islamic rule and “raise the
flag of jihad” across the subcontinent.

In a 55-minute video posted online, Zawahri also renewed a
longstanding vow of loyalty to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah
Omar, in an apparent snub to the Islamic State armed group
challenging al Qaeda for leadership of transnational Islamist
militancy.

Sep 2, 2014

Islamic State issues video of beheading of U.S. hostage

DUBAI (Reuters) – The Islamic State released a video purporting to show the beheading of American hostage Steven Sotloff, a monitoring service said on Tuesday, raised the stakes in its confrontation with Washington over U.S. air strikes on its fighters in Iraq.

A masked figure in the video also issued a threat against a British hostage, a man the group named as David Haines, and warned governments to back off “this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State”, the SITE monitoring service said.

Aug 28, 2014

Iraq and Syria pose Saudi dilemma – failed states or Iran proxies

RIYADH/DUBAI (Reuters) – With militant Islamists gaining the upper hand in Syria’s rebel movement and grabbing big tracts of Western Iraq, Saudi Arabia’s ruling family faces an increasingly uncomfortable dilemma.

The Al Saud have long seen the conflicts in Iraq and Syria as a pivotal battle for the future of the Middle East, pitting Sunni Muslims against a radical, revolutionary, Shi’ite Iran.

Aug 27, 2014

Libyan raids could herald bolder Arab action as U.S. wavers

DUBAI (Reuters) – Air strikes against Libyan Islamist militants that U.S. officials had said were staged by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates could mark an escalation of a regional struggle over the future of the Arab world.

Arab responsibility for the attacks would add to a picture of the West’s regional allies acting increasingly independently in the absence of decisive U.S. involvement, seeking security goals with which Washington might not agree.