A Terrific Day For U.S. Target Intelligence In Syria And
By Moon Of Alabama
May 02, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" - The U.S. military and intelligence
groups involved with Central Command in the Middle East celebrated May 1 with a
little competition and two terrific target
US-led air strikes targeting the Islamic State group killed
at least 52 civilians in a village in northern Syria, a
monitoring group said on Saturday.
"Air strikes by the coalition early on Friday on the
village of Birmahle in Aleppo province killed 52 civilians," said Rami Abdel
Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
"Seven children were killed, and 13 people are still
trapped in the rubble," he said.
Abdel Rahman told AFP that Kurdish militiamen and Syrian
rebel fighters were clashing with IS in a town roughly two kilometres (1
"But Birmahle is only civilians, with no IS positions and
no clashes," he said.
Abdel Rahman said "not a single IS fighter" was
killed in the strikes on the village,...
Well done. But the CentCom military intelligence group
supporting the Saudi war on Yemen showed that it
could do better:
A series of Saudi airstrikes hit a hospital and medical camp
in southwestern Yemen on Friday, killing at least 58 civilians
and injuring at least 67, two local Yemeni government officials said.
Most of the dead and injured were medics and patients,
Raheda Hospital is one of the largest and busiest in the
area. The medical camp is part of the hospital.
Three local Yemeni government officials said the hospital was not being used
by Houthi rebels and that none of the dead was a rebel fighter.
Seems like the war on Yemen targeting group won the sixpack.
best overall briefing on the war of Yemen comes in today's Independent. It
is a bit speculative on the Saudi motive though when it suggest that King Salman
and his son saw the war on Yemen "as a way of securing their power and removing
rival factions in the royal family from power." That may be a side motive but
the real is more likely the one
suggested by Hillary Mann Leverett:
[W]hat we’re seeing is a product of Saudi disorientation and
terror at a region that could become more representative in terms of its
governance, more independent in terms of its foreign policy. The Saudis are
trying to prevent that kind of independence in foreign policy from emerging
in Yemen, and they have yet again gone down this road with the United States
to a war that has no end.
That description fits the fact that the Saudis started the
just in the moment a UN brokered power sharing deal in Yemen was about to be
signed. As the Independent piece describes it:
[T]he beginning of the Saudi air war five weeks ago put a
stop to negotiations which were about to succeed in establishing a power
sharing government in the capital Sanaa according to the UN envoy Jamal
Benomar. He told The Wall Street Journal in an interview that “when this
campaign started, one thing that was significant but went unnoticed is that
the Yemenis were close to a deal that would institute power-sharing with all
sides, including the Houthis.”
The U.S. supported the bombing
from the very beginning by giving the Saudis the necessary intelligence.
This stopped the peaceful solution of the political competition in Yemen. No
wonder that the UN envoy resigned in protest. From March 26:
Saudi Arabia told the Obama administration and Persian Gulf
allies early this week that it was preparing a military operation in
neighboring Yemen, and relied heavily on U.S. surveillance images
and targeting information to carry it out, according to senior
American and Persian Gulf officials.
Since than the U.S. intelligence support for the Saudis
has increased. From April 10:
The United States is expanding its intelligence-sharing with
Saudi Arabia to provide more information about potential targets in the
kingdom's air campaign against Houthi militias in Yemen, U.S. officials told
The U.S. officials said the expanded assistance includes sensitive
intelligence data that will allow the Saudis to better review the kingdom's
targets in fighting that has killed hundreds and displaced tens of thousands
What will those Yemenis who's relatives were killed in the
hospital strike yesterday think about such U.S. targeting support?
The Independence piece linked above also includes this
sentence which is I believe as a first in the main stream media:
[King Salman] has not only started an air war in Yemen but
has given stronger backing to Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qa’ida affiliate, and
other jihadi groups in Syria. These have recently won several victories in
Idlib province over the Syrian army and forces loyal to President Bashar
The Saudis are also supporting Al Qaeda in Yemen and are even
to join them:
Haykal Bafana @BaFana3
Journalists need to wake up & write about the pressure being applied by
Saudi Arabia on tribes & leaders in Hadhramaut to accept AQ rule.
The Saudis rush more support to Al Qaeda and U.S. intelligence
is selecting civilian targets to be bombed.
Is there anyone who believes that this will end well?