Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Saudi Arabia warns of "military confrontation" while Trump takes sides

The latest from Pepe Escobar

BREAKING; IS THE GCC PETRODOLLAR GANG ABOUT TO BREAK UP - FOR GOOD?

It's morning in Asia - and the 24-hour ultimatum issued by the House of Saud against Qatar expires today. It's reported without details in Arab media; Qatar must fulfill 10 conditions - not specified (Dump al-Jazeera? Dump Qatar Airways? Dump buying half of London and Paris?) The emir of Kuwait relayed the package to the emir of Qatar. What if they say no? Warrior Prince MBS - make no mistake, he's behind it all - will switch from bombing Yemen (where he's losing) to bombing malls in Doha?

There are infinite reasons to rejoice at those GCC entities cannibalizing each other.

Saudi Arabia Gives Qatar 24 Hour Ultimatum As Analysts Warn Of "Military Confrontation"


Developing: Saudi Arabia issues ultimatum to demanding it end all ties Muslim Brotherhood & Hamas
6 June, 2017

Shortly after imposing a naval blockade in the immediate  aftermath of the Qatar diplomatic crisis, one which left the small Gulf nation not only politically isolated and with severed ties to its neighbors but potentially locked out of maritime trade and crippling its oil and LNG exports, on Tuesday 

Saudi Arabia gives 24 hr ultimatum to fulfill 10 conditions that have been sent to
مصادرنا: أبلغت بـ10 شروط يجب أن تطبقها الدوحة خلال 24 ساعة بدءا من هذه الليلة

SkyNews Arabia reported that Saudi Arabia has given Qatar a 24 hours ultimatum, starting tonight, to fulfill 10 conditions that have been conveyed to Kuwait, which is currently involved in the role of a mediator between Saudi and Qatar.

According to media report, among the key demands by Saudi Arabia is that Qatar end all ties Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.
While there was little additional information on the Ultimatum and more importantly what happens should Qatar not comply, Al Jazeera reported that Kuwait's emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, left Saudi Arabia on Tuesday after holding mediation talks with the Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz to try to defuse an escalating crisis between Arab countries and Qatar. No details were given on the talks.

In addition to Saudi Arabia's aggressive approach, Egypt's Foreign Ministry accused Qatar of taking an "antagonist approach" towards Cairo and said "all attempts to stop it from supporting terrorist groups failed". Qatar denied the allegations, with a Foreign Ministry statement describing them as "baseless" on Monday.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, analyst Giorgio Cafiero of Gulf State Analytics, a geopolitical risk consultancy based in Washington, DC, said: "I think the Kuwaitis as well as Omanis ... fear the prospects of these tensions escalating in ways which could undermine the interest of all six members of the GCC.

"There are many analysts who believe that a potential break-up of the GCC has to be considered right now."
"If these countries fail to resolve their issues and such tensions reaches new heights, we have to be very open to the possibility of these six Arab countries no longer being able to unite under the banner of one council," said Cafiero.
He added that if tension escalates, some have warned of a "military confrontation".



Washington (CNN)US investigators believe Russian hackers breached Qatar's state news agency and planted a fake news report that contributed to a crisis among the US' closest Gulf allies, according to US officials briefed on the investigation.

The FBI recently sent a team of investigators to Doha to help the Qatari government investigate the alleged hacking incident, Qatari and US government officials say.

Intelligence gathered by the US security agencies indicates that Russian hackers were behind the intrusion first reported by the Qatari government two weeks ago, US officials say. Qatar hosts one of the largest US military bases in the region.


The alleged involvement of Russian hackers intensifies concerns by US intelligence and law enforcement agencies that Russia continues to try some of the same cyber-hacking measures on US allies that intelligence agencies believe it used to meddle in the 2016 elections.


RT

With the Gulf state of Qatar facing isolation by its neighbors, the US media are seeking a simple and familiar explanation to the complex diplomatic rift. The country is accused of supporting terrorism, but according to CNN, it's Russian hackers who are to blame.


On May 23, the official Qatari state news agency QNA and its social media accounts published remarks attributed to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, in which he allegedly discussed Iran's role in the Middle East, his views on the presidency of Donald Trump and the role of Hamas and Hezbollah in the region




With the Gulf state of Qatar facing isolation by its neighbors, the US media are seeking a simple and familiar explanation to the complex diplomatic rift. The country is accused of supporting terrorism, but according to CNN, it's Russian hackers who are to blame.
On May 23, the official Qatari state news agency QNA and its social media accounts published remarks attributed to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, in which he allegedly discussed Iran's role in the Middle East, his views on the presidency of Donald Trump and the role of Hamas and Hezbollah in the region

While QNA quickly retracted the news and claimed it has fallen victim to a cyberattack by an “unknown entity,” the statements revived disagreements between Qatar and a number of key Arab countries.
Eventually, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and several other 

While QNA quickly retracted the news and claimed it has fallen victim to a cyberattack by an “unknown entity,” the statements revived disagreements between Qatar and a number of key Arab countries.



Eventually, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and several other countries cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of backing terrorist groups.

Now, according to an ‘exclusive’ CNN report, those Qatari and US investigators allegedly found traces of Russian involvement the Arab rift.

Without providing any names or direct quotes from its sources, CNN asserted that “intelligence gathered by the US security agencies indicates that Russian hackers were behind the intrusion first reported by the Qatari government two weeks ago.”

According to unnamed US officials, the alleged motive for the hack was “to cause rifts among the US and its allies.” And since nothing happens in Russia “without the blessing of the government,” the Kremlin was likely involved, another CNN source alleged.

The FBI and CIA predictably declined to comment on the CNN report. Meanwhile, the director of the Qatari Government Communications Office, Sheikh Saif Bin Ahmed Al-Thani, said only that the FBI and the United Kingdom's National Crime Agency is helping Qatar investigate the incident and that the findings will be revealed when the probe is complete.


The latest allegations of Russian involvement seem to fall in line with the relentless Russian hacking hysteria that has been making headlines across mainstream Western media in the past year.

Legal analyst and media critic Lionel told RT that the latest CNN report follows a well-established tactic – where the report starts off with “US sources say” without ever naming the persons behind the allegations, or even clearly explaining what the Russians are being accused of this time

The American news consumer has apparently been so habituated with this, that they have forgotten to ask, 'Wait a minute, what news source? Who was told this? What agency?”

And you always say within the article itself: CIA, FBI never answered this,” Lionel told RT, stressing that these kind of reports are groundless unless they offer some concrete proof.


While Moscow categorically denies its involvement in any of the alleged hacking activities, CNN has repeatedly accused Russia of hacking and interfering with the US and a number of EU elections. The latest report seems no different, with a number of US media outlets and even a respected news agency AFP rushing to repeat the baseless claims.

CNN in particular just wants to hear anything that uses the word Russia and leaked, Russia and hacked,” Lionel stressed. “No investigation. No critical thinking. No analysis of the allegation.”



U.S. President Donald Trump took sides in a deep rift in the Arab world on Tuesday, praising Middle East countries' actions against American ally Qatar over Islamist militants even though the tiny Gulf state hosts the largest U.S. air base in the region.

Trump wrote on Twitter that his recent trip to the Middle East was "already paying off" and cast an anti-Islamist speech he made in Saudi Arabia as the inspiration for a decision by Arab powers to sever ties with Qatar in protest at what they say is the Gulf nation's support for terrorism.

"So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!" Trump wrote on Twitter.




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