Saleh’s death jeopardises Saudi-led Yemen war, Alkhalifa finances dwindle

The hopes of the Saudis and Emiratis of an internal coup in Yemen that would lead to fragmentation of the resistance against their illegal aggression have been dashed. The deposed former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, was killed on Monday, few days after he had shown signs of capitulation to the Saudi-led aggression against his country. His former allies, Ansarullah (also known as the Houthis) pre-empted his defection to the Saudi side and fought with his supporters for three days. On Monday the rebellion was defeated and Abduallah lost his life with another aide as they tried to escape from the capital, Sanaa. The UAE claimed to have hit his entourage while some reports suggested that local fighters killed him. This brings to an end any hope for the Saudis and their allies of defeating Yemen.
Last week the The European Parliament renewed its call for an EU-wide arms embargo against Saudi Arabia the day after Theresa May visited the country with a pledge to build a close relationship with its regime. MEPs voted by 368 to 221 to back an embargo against the autocratic petro-state, whose intervention in Yemen has been blamed for causing thousands of civilian deaths and exacerbating a severe shortage of food. The UK is one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest arms suppliers, having sold £4.6 billion worth of controlled arms since the bombardment of Yemen started in 2015. Of that figure, £1.9 billion is said by the Government to be bombs or missiles and £2.7 billion worth is aircraft. Christos Stylianides, the European Commissioner for humanitarian aid, told the Parliament that “most Yemenis no longer have the means to get food or fuel. Such escalation has worsened an already dire humanitarian situation.” More pressure is now mounting on USA not to supply nuclear technology to aggressor Saudis.
Bahrain has asked Gulf allies for financial assistance as it seeks to replenish its foreign-exchange reserves and avert a currency devaluation that could reverberate across the region, according to people with knowledge of the talks. The central bank’s foreign reserves, including gold, have tumbled about 75 percent since 2014 to just above 522 million dinars ($1.39 billion) in August, according to the most recent official data. Without aid or a recovery in oil revenue, authorities may struggle to keep the currency’s peg to the U.S. dollar — maintained at 0.376 Bahraini dinars. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates were approached. The countries responded by requesting the Alkhalifa regime do more to bring its finances under control in return for the money, the people who exposed these news insisted on anonymity because the discussions were private. The talks are at an early stage, one person said.
Standard and Poor (S&P) Global Ratings on 1st December lowered Bahrain’s long-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Bahrain to ‘B+’ from ‘BB-‘. S&P said the downgrade reflected Bahrain’s weak external liquidity and increasing financial risk due to more limited access to international capital market financing. It said its outlook on Bahrain was stable, reflecting an expectation of financial support from neighboring sovereigns, despite the risk of the central bank not meeting a surge in foreign currency demand or tempering the effects of a worsening of investor sentiment, S&P said. In November, Fitch Ratings revised Bahrain’s outlook to ‘negative’ from ‘stable’.
Yesterday the case of Nabeel Rajab was, once again, postponed until 7th December after the regime suddenly brought the original trial date of 27th December forward to 4th December. Nabeel was too ill to attend the court. He is being tried for tweeting against the aggressive war on Yemen waged by Saudis, UAE and Alkhalifa. There is mounting international pressure to release Nabeel Rajab and the regime which has become notorious for its dictatorial rules has rejected this. There is speculation that the regime may be defeated in this case which has embarrassed its closest supporters in Washington and London.
On Sunday 3rd December regime’s forces raided many homes in several towns including Aali, Buri, AlHamala, Karbabad, AlEkr, Muharraq and AlDair. At least five native Bahrainis were snatched from AlDair; Hussain Abdulla Khalifa, 23, Hussain Mohammad AlSanabsi, 20, Redha AlHamar, 20, Mohammad Jihad, 18 and Saleh Ali Saleh, 20. The night raiders were masked in ISIS style.
On Monday Bahrain’s top religious cleric was taken to hospital after his situation caused enormous concern. He is undergoing several tests as people throughout the country prayed for his speedy recovery. Despite calls from the UN and US on Bahrain’s dictator to allow proper medical care for Sheikh Isa Ahmad Qassim, masked men in ISIS style continued to blockade his house in Duraq. Sheikh Qassim is being persecuted relentlessly by the regime. In March five people were killed at his house when it was stormed by regime’s forces.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
6th December 2017 (info@vob.org, www.vob.org)

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