Saudi Arabia is responding to the recent Russian air strikes on Syrian rebels by stepping up its supplies of lethal weaponry to three different rebel groups, a Saudi government official has told the BBC.
The well-placed official, who asked not to be named, said supplies of modern, high-powered weaponry including guided anti-tank weapons would be increased to the Arab- and western-backed rebel groups fighting the forces of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian, Iranian and Lebanese allies.
He said those groups being supplied did not include either Islamic State (IS) or al-Nusra Front, both of which are proscribed terrorist organisations. Instead, he said the weapons would go to three rebel alliances – Jaish al-Fatah (Army of Conquest), the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Southern Front.
The official added that Qatar and Turkey have been instrumental in maintaining Saudi support for Sunni rebels fighting both Assad’s forces and, at times, the extremists of IS. Russia brands as terrorists all rebels opposing its ally, President Assad, including those trained by the US.
The Saudi official did not rule out supplying surface-to-air missiles to the rebels, a move resisted by many in the West for fear that they would fall into the hands of IS and end up being used to shoot down warplanes of the US-led Coalition or even civilian airliners.
Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34479929
India’s foreign ministry has complained to the Saudi Arabian authorities following an alleged “brutal” attack on a 58-year-old Indian woman in Riyadh.
Kasturi Munirathinam’s right arm was chopped off, allegedly by her employer, when she tried to escape from their house last week, reports say.
Ms Munirathinam was working as a domestic help. She is recovering in hospital.
Her family has alleged that she was being tortured by her Saudi employers.
Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-34483504
At least 65 people have died after a crane collapsed on the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia’s civil defence authority has said.
About 154 people were injured, the civil defence authority tweeted.
It is not known what caused the accident, but images from the scene showed part of a huge red crane had crashed through the mosque roof.
Mecca is preparing for the annual Muslim Hajj pilgrimage.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to arrive in the Saudi city from all over the world later this month.
Saudi authorities began a major expansion of the site last year to cope with ever-growing numbers of worshippers.
The crane that collapsed on Friday was part of the construction work taking place at the site.
Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34226003
By: Faiz Al-Najdi
Muhammad Naeem Khan – the Pakistani Ambassador to Saudi Arabia – has said that Saudi Arabia has emerged as a “peninsula of stability” in the region. He was speaking as the Chief Guest on the occasion of investiture ceremony of the newly elected office bearers of Pakistan Investors Forum-Riyadh (aka: PIF) – at Riyadh Palace Hotel on Tuesday evening. This event was attended by about 500 persons that included several high officials from SAGIA (Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, Riyadh Chamber of Commerce & Industries (aka: RCCI), Saudi officials from various Saudi departments that included: Passport, Labor, Police departments and several noted Saudi businessmen. Many Pakistani professionals and members from the Pakistani community also attended.
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U.S. Ranks No. 6 in Best And Worst Countries For Women
By: Anushay Hossain
Canada is the best place to be a woman, and India is the worst according to a new poll by Thomson Reuters Foundation. The legal news service launched a global poll of experts this week ranking countries for women in the G20, putting the US, which “polarised opinion due to issues surrounding reproductive rights and affordable healthcare,” in sixth place.
Access to healthcare and policies that advocate gender equality are amongst the factors that places Canada at the top of the poll, while issues such as child marriage and female infanticide drag India down to the very bottom. Germany, Britain, Australia and France joined Canada in the top five. Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, South Africa and Mexico led by India rounded up nations at the bottom of the list. Released on the heals of the G20 Summit in Mexico on June 18, the survey analyzes how women are faring in G20 countries, the largest economies in the world. ….
Read more » Forbes
Hameed Gul (Retired General) joins Dr Pirzada’s Talk show to discuss Afpak (Afghanistan & Pakistan) situation. The language of the talk show is Urdu/ Hindi.
Courtesy: Dunya TV, >> via – Siasat
by Omar Ali, USA
Lets see what happens. My guess is that the US embassy will do what the US president does with congress, bribe them by increasing the unmonitored goodies (announced or unannounced). But will the army bite? On past performance, one would guess they will. Its hard to see how a rift with their paymasters and a revival of jihadism will help the property values in sector E-7, but one must keep in mind that these are generals who think of themselves as amazing trapeze artists who can fly through the air and grab that handhold at the last possible moment. They may be calculating that Obama has absolutely no choice in this matter since a face-saving exit from Afghanistan depends mostly on ISI cooperation. This perception has probably been bolstered by Obama’s very public wavering over Afghanistan, but the problem I see is that even if they are correct and Anne Patterson gives them their India-specific Jihadis and even their “good taliban”, it is the jihadists who will not stick to the script. In the long run, this extortion is a recipe for disaster (some would argue that so is meek acceptance of the American plans, but we may have to compare disaster to disaster and see which nasty medicine tastes a shade better)….
I can hear some people saying “China will bail us out” or “Saudi Arabia will take up the slack”. Well, we will see. I don’t think so…
If anyone has any doubts left about who is orchestrating the opposition to the Kerry Lugar bill, they should read Kamran Khan’s column. It seems the main sticking point is not the Kashmiri Jihadis or even the blessed “good Taliban”. Its the fact that bloody civilians may try to “interfere” in the army that is supposedly subservient to the same “bloody civilians”. Unfortunately, the short sighted Mian brothers have opted for the politically expedient and suicidal route of supporting the corpse commanders on this issue….
Courtesy: CRCP yahoo groups