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Yemen/ Saudi/ Bahrain update 4/03/2017..Could US role lead to Syria-style war in Yemen

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 19:16
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In Yemen, Could Growing U.S. Role Lead to Syria-Style Proxy War?

snipe four Saudis soldiers in different military sites in Jizan

UK Police May Probe Saudi War Crimes

Scotland Yard has reportedly launched a “scoping exercise” into allegations of Saudi war crimes in Yemen, and could launch a wholesale investigation into the matter. The British daily The Guardian cited a Scotland Yard spokesman as saying that the Metropolitan police service (MPS) had received |a referral of an allegation of war crimes, made against Saudi Arabia committed in Yemen.” “Following receipt of the referral, the MPS war crimes team began a scoping exercise and contacted those making the allegations,” the official added. The exercise is being carried out to see if there should be a proper probe into the allegations, the paper said.

The revelation comes as British Prime Minister Theresa May plans to visit Saudi Arabia this week to underline the UK’s close relationship with the royal family. Speaking in advance of the trip, May said she wanted to “herald a further intensification in relations between our countries and deepen true strategic partnerships”.

Saudi Arabia has been waging the war for more than two years now in support of Yemen’s former Riyadh-allied government. The campaign has killed about 13,000 Yemeni civilians. The kingdom has also imposed an all-out embargo on Yemen’s ports, pushing the country to the verge of a nationwide famine. According to The Guardian, the revelation may trigger a diplomatic row, especially after the spokesman for Saudi forces General Ahmad Asseri was pelted with an egg and threatened to be put under citizen’s arrest during a visit to London last week. The daily also said it had seen a letter from a detective inspector in the police’s Counter Terrorism Command, to which the war crimes team belongs, which confirmed the launch of the exercise. The letter also said that if detectives believed Asseri was in the UK “we will consider any opportunities to arrest or interview any individual, should we deem the action to be proportionate, legal and necessary as part of the scoping exercise.”

The United Kingdom and the United States have been selling copious amounts of weapons to Saudi Arabia during the course of the warfare, and providing advisory assistance to the Saudi forces. The UK has been urged to reconsider its arms exports to Saudi Arabia in light of the bloody air campaign but British leaders have ignored those requests.

Bahrain Court Commutes Sheikh Ali Salman’s Sentence

Bahrain’s senior opposition Shia cleric Sheikh Ali Salman has had his prison sentence commuted by five years. “After deliberations, the Court of Cassation canceled the nine-year ruling issued [earlier] by the Court of Appellation and reinstated the four-year verdict initially handed to him by the Division 4 Criminal Court in 2015,” one of Sheikh Salman’s defense attorneys said on Monday, presstv reported. Sheikh Salman, who has been in prison since 2014, was now given a two-year prison term over the charge of breaking the law and inciting hatred, and another two years on a charge of insulting the Ministry of the Interior, said Abdullah al-Shamlavi, the defense attorney. The court annulled Sheikh Salman’s five-year sentence that had been handed down to him by the Court of Appeals for allegedly conducting activities aimed at “regime change,” he further explained. Shamlavi added that the final four-year sentence imposed on the leading opposition figure by the regime’s high court was irrevocable and the cleric should be freed from jail on December 28, 2018.

The Court of Cassation’s reduction of Salman’s sentence from nine to four years came under pressure by international rights groups and the Bahraini people, who have been staging numerous anti-regime protest rallies on an almost daily basis across the country demanding the release of Sheikh Salman. He was the secretary general of the country’s now-dissolved al-Wefaq National Islamic Society. He has denied all charges against him. The unpopular Al-Khalifah regime, has staged a brutal crackdown on pro-democracy forces since a nationwide uprising started on the tiny Persian Gulf Arab island in 2011.


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