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Default Evolving Middle East Crisis, Israel, SA Setting Preconditions for War with Hezbollah - 11-17-2017, 04:12 AM

The crisis in the Middle East is developing further.

In Saudi Arabia, the purge continued. According to Middle East Eye, senior Saudi figures were tortured and beaten in the purge under the banner of an anti-corruption movement, conducted by current Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

He has overseen arrests of hundreds of people, including senior royals, ministers and tycoons, with some of them reportedly being tortured so badly during their arrest or subsequent interrogations that they required hospital treatment. Even Prince Bandar bin Sultan — Saudi Arabia’s most famous arms dealer, longtime former ambassador to the US, and recent head of Saudi intelligence — was reported to be among those detained as part of the purge.

If confirmed, this will be the most significant and high profile case of this purge, even above that of high profile billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, considering Bandar’s closeness to multiple US administrations.



This comes amidst rumors that King Salman was set to make his son king. Speculation peaked when Al-Arabiya tweeted, then quickly deleted, details of the allegedly imminent Mohammed bin Salman’s ascension ceremony. These rumors were not confirmed. However, Prince Mohammed already plays a key role in decision making at almost all levers of government.

The Crown Prince also accused Tehran of delivering missiles to Yemen’s Houthi forces for use against the kingdom that he described as “direct military aggression”.

The United States also chimed in and said “there have been Iranian markings on those missiles.”

The Arab League will hold an extraordinary meeting on November 18 at the request of Saudi Arabia to discuss “violations” committed by Iran in the region, with Saudi Arabia rumored to mobilize fighter jets.

Houthi forces have threatened to attack oil tankers and warships of Saudi Arabia and its coalition in response to the Saudi-led naval blockade of Yemen.

Ex-Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is still in Saudi Arabia, with his movements reportedly controlled by the Saudis.

An oil pipeline between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain exploded, with Bahrain accusing Iran of blowing it up. Israel is beyond itself with Iran and Hezbollah increasing their influence in the region and in Syria. The Israeli media claimed that the US and Russia have reached an agreement, which would push Iranian-backed forces from an area close to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. However, this likely an example of wishful thinking. Iran is reportedly building a permanent military base in Syria. Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Tel Aviv “will not allow the Shi‘ite axis to establish Syria as its forefront base” and threatened to bomb it. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tel Aviv has informed Moscow and Washington that Israeli forces will continue to take action in Syria according to its interests despite any ceasefire established there.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah accused Saudi Arabia of encouraging Israel to attack Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council, Mohsen Rezaei, said that the US, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Israel are planning a war against Lebanon.

Lacking a clear strategy for their involvement in the Middle East, Washington is forced to play second fiddle to its “allies”. Trump’s administration’s bold claims against the 2015 Iran nuclear accords and Iran in general only stir up the anti-Iranian block in the region.

The conflict is developing in its own way, with the conflicting sides immersed so deep that it proves more and more difficult for them to stop even if they wanted to. Now, the sides are finalizing the coalition, which may participate in the expected standoff and blame each other setting preconditions for a war.


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Default 11-17-2017, 04:23 AM

Its pretty obvious that KSA is preparing for an all-out war. Their massive purchase of weapons, their political purge, the arrest of several clerics, KSA and Israel joint condemnation of Qatar, Al Jazeera, Iran and the Houthis, the kidnapping of Lebanon´s Prime Minister, Hariri.. and now, two days ago, Israel announced that its willing to share intelligence with the Saudis and other "moderate" Arab states lol

Israel 'willing to share' Iran intelligence with Saudis | Saudi Arabia News | Al Jazeera

Tomorrow an extraordinary meeting of the Arab League will be hold. KSA will blame Iran and Hezbollah for some "aggressions" such as the latest ballistic missile attack by the Houthis which Saudis called an "act of war".

I believe, now that Shias have won in Iraq and Syria, with full support by the USA and other Arab countries such as Jordan, UAE and Egypt, KSA and Israel will open a new front in Lebanon or/and may be Southern Syria. KSA will give billions$ in "aid" to Israel in order to crush Hezbollah in there.

This is a win-win for Israel. Israel is right now since its inception in the "safest" and "best" moment of his history. All their neighbors and potential enemies are butchering each other. They even managed to form an alliance with KSA, UAE, Egypt and Jordan. But at the same time, they know this won't last forever. Israel´s alliance with the Araba countries is temporary. They are not natural allies. Israel knows that the West is descending into growing instability and crisis, so they can't rely on them anymore. Within ten to fifteen years, Israel won't be able to defend herself by her own.. so its now or never. And they will even get paid by their enemies in order to fight against their "other enemies" lol


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Default 11-17-2017, 08:47 AM

This new Saudi crown prince is very sinister. But he doesn’t seem to realize that with every aggressive action there will be a reaction. First the disastrous Yemen war, then the boycott of Qatar, and now meddling in Lebanon. All of this is going to backfire big time. The social reforms he is implementing inside the country, especially this new focus on “moderate Islam” as cover for the liberalization and weakening of the conservative old guard, will serve to undermine Saudi Arabia’s legitimacy. I predict that when King Salman dies it will trigger the inner wranglings that are now behind closed doors to spill out into the open. For the first time in a long time there will be political instability and open feuding within the “royal family”. If the Army decides to get involved we have the recipe for a civil war. And let me tell you this; the enemies of Saudi regime are just waiting to jump into the fray at the first inkling of internal dissension. I’m talking about the Shi’ites in the Eastern Province, the radical Takfiris, Qaeda and Daesh. The Huthis will be emboldened to launch a new offensive, Iran will seize every opportunity it gets to further destabilize the country. For too long, Saudi regime has quietly signalled some of its own radical citizens to take up arms and infiltrate destabilized countries like Iraq and Syria. Now forces in those countries and elsewhere may pay them back in the same coin – poetic justice. Imagine Iraqi Shi’ite militiamen crossing the border and heading into Saudi, and likewise Shi’ite fighters from Syria and of Lebanon’s Hizbullah. Iran will be the main backer, financing this new Jihad in Arabia. Don’t think this is too far-fetched, we live in very uncertain times.
Of course, Saudi’s own allies like America, Pakistan and Egypt will send troops to protect their own interests and to make sure the Saudi regime doesn’t fall. They will most likely back Ibn Salman in such a civil war but that is not necessarily a given. Pakistan will send troops to protect the sacred cities Mecca and Medina as it has previously pledged to do so in the event of any danger. The arrival of all these foreign forces and troops in Arabia will make it another Syria. And who knows what Israel’s involvement will be, but you can be sure they too will be covertly involved in protecting whatever they feel is in their national interests.
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Default 11-17-2017, 09:43 AM

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Originally Posted by ذو الفقار View Post
This new Saudi crown prince is very sinister. But he doesn’t seem to realize that with every aggressive action there will be a reaction. First the disastrous Yemen war, then the boycott of Qatar, and now meddling in Lebanon. All of this is going to backfire big time. The social reforms he is implementing inside the country, especially this new focus on “moderate Islam” as cover for the liberalization and weakening of the conservative old guard, will serve to undermine Saudi Arabia’s legitimacy. I predict that when King Salman dies it will trigger the inner wranglings that are now behind closed doors to spill out into the open. For the first time in a long time there will be political instability and open feuding within the “royal family”. If the Army decides to get involved we have the recipe for a civil war. And let me tell you this; the enemies of Saudi regime are just waiting to jump into the fray at the first inkling of internal dissension. I’m talking about the Shi’ites in the Eastern Province, the radical Takfiris, Qaeda and Daesh. The Huthis will be emboldened to launch a new offensive, Iran will seize every opportunity it gets to further destabilize the country. For too long, Saudi regime has quietly signalled some of its own radical citizens to take up arms and infiltrate destabilized countries like Iraq and Syria. Now forces in those countries and elsewhere may pay them back in the same coin – poetic justice. Imagine Iraqi Shi’ite militiamen crossing the border and heading into Saudi, and likewise Shi’ite fighters from Syria and of Lebanon’s Hizbullah. Iran will be the main backer, financing this new Jihad in Arabia. Don’t think this is too far-fetched, we live in very uncertain times.
Of course, Saudi’s own allies like America, Pakistan and Egypt will send troops to protect their own interests and to make sure the Saudi regime doesn’t fall. They will most likely back Ibn Salman in such a civil war but that is not necessarily a given. Pakistan will send troops to protect the sacred cities Mecca and Medina as it has previously pledged to do so in the event of any danger. The arrival of all these foreign forces and troops in Arabia will make it another Syria. And who knows what Israel’s involvement will be, but you can be sure they too will be covertly involved in protecting whatever they feel is in their national interests.
Well, there is no need to wait until he dies. He is already ready to step down:

Saudi King Salman to step down next week: report - The Express Tribune

As usual, you made very good points. But I disagree with some of your claims:

1) KSA involvement in Yemen was necessary. Although this war has reached a stalemate and must be solved through negotiations, I do believe KSA achieved some of his goals: Houthi-Saleh expansionism was halted. Many of their achievements were actually reversed by the Arab coalition. And the massacre of civilians has been widely exaggerated by the anti-Saudi enemies. Come on, this might sound a bit harsh, but 7k civilians killed in three years is not a big number. If you compare it with the civilians butchered by Psycho Assad, the Iranian regime and that chinky Putin b astard, 7k is nothing.

2) KSA/UAE move on Qatar was s-tupid AF. Now Qatar is openly cooperating with Turkey, Iran and Russia and the Arab blockade has failed. I believe Trump played Arabs badly and now the GCC is f-ucked up.

3) There are already plenty of Pakistani and Egyptian troops deployed along KSA´s northern and southern orders. But Saudis shouldnt take Pakistani support guaranteed. Gulf monarchies have been cozying up to India. That something intolerable to Pakistan who doesn't want to get too involved in the sectarian fights of the ME which would create further instability in the Pakistan. KSA should only rely on Egypt which as has become a de facto Saudi colony.

4) I don't think Iranians want the Saudi regime to collapse. I mean someone more aggressive and more radical than the Saudis might eventually fill the gap. Iran can reach agreements with the Saudi regime but do you think that would be possible with ISIS or AQ? No way.

5) I do believe this guy, Salman, has lost a bit his mind. He his too hardcore, too radical, too aggressive. He is making too many people angry, he is taking things too far. Not all ir measures are bad or wrong. I mean his economic measures were smart. KSA shouldn't rely too much on oil.


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Default 11-17-2017, 09:47 AM

I forgot to mention that KSA, Kuwait and UAE have asked their citizens to leave Lebanon ASAP.

Something is brewing. I know KSA can't actually start a military campaign in Lebanon, because they are too far and Saudi army is a joke. But I am quite sure they will try their best to impose economic sanctions and some sort of blockade on Lebanon just like they did in Qatar. After all 400k Lebanese live in the GCC, that would be a huge blow for Lebanon who unlike Qatar is economically much weaker.

All the military actions will be carried out by Israel. Saudis will definitely pay for it.


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Default 11-17-2017, 11:56 AM

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Originally Posted by Firdousi View Post
Well, there is no need to wait until he dies. He is already ready to step down:
He will still be the ceremonial head of the State, while de facto power is exercised by the crown prince. But once that crown prince is formally crowned king, I think it could spark a reaction from those disillusioned with the change in succession within the 'royal family'. Alternatively, it may be that since in principle the other branches of the family do not dispute Salman being the king and therefore giving de facto power to whoever he wants, they will only openly question Ibn Salman when he is formally crowned king in obvious contravention of the unwritten rules of succession.

Quote:
1) KSA involvement in Yemen was necessary. Although this war has reached a stalemate and must be solved through negotiations, I do believe KSA achieved some of his goals: Houthi-Saleh expansionism was halted. Many of their achievements were actually reversed by the Arab coalition. And the massacre of civilians has been widely exaggerated by the anti-Saudi enemies. Come on, this might sound a bit harsh, but 7k civilians killed in three years is not a big number. If you compare it with the civilians butchered by Psycho Assad, the Iranian regime and that chinky Putin b astard, 7k is nothing.
50,000 Yemeni children are expected to die because of the famine, only being made worse due to the Saudi blockade not to mention the ongoing armed conflict. This is a major humanitarian disaster which the rest of the world is looking away from simply because the Saudis have bribed everyone to be their friend. But in terms of popular world opinion, Saudi is way down there with Israel.

The Saudi backed coalition is beginning to fragment. Saudi also made the mistake of designating many of the armed factions that were the most effective against the Huthis as 'terrorists'.
Quote:
TAIZ, Yemen - Abu al-Abbas commands the largest Salafi force inside Taiz's Popular Resistance. He controls most major routes in and out of the city, dominates most public institutions as resistance finance manager and has for three years been armed and paid by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

But that could soon change - earlier this week, Abu al-Abbas was designated an al-Qaeda and Islamic State supporter by the Saudis, their Gulf allies, Qatar and the US.
Quote:
2) KSA/UAE move on Qatar was s-tupid AF. Now Qatar is openly cooperating with Turkey, Iran and Russia and the Arab blockade has failed. I believe Trump played Arabs badly and now the GCC is f-ucked up.
How is that a disagreement with what I initially said?

Quote:
3) There are already plenty of Pakistani and Egyptian troops deployed along KSA´s northern and southern orders. But Saudis shouldnt take Pakistani support guaranteed. Gulf monarchies have been cozying up to India. That something intolerable to Pakistan who doesn't want to get too involved in the sectarian fights of the ME which would create further instability in the Pakistan. KSA should only rely on Egypt which as has become a de facto Saudi colony.
Pakistan has made it clear that it will defend the sacred cities Mecca and Medina, no matter how much the level of influence Saudi has on Pakistan has deteriorated, especially after Pakistan's refusal to openly participate in Saudi's disastrous adventure in Yemen. If Pakistan senses a potentially dangerous conflict brewing within Saudia, I have no doubt they will immediately dispatch troops to Mecca and Medina. This will also be a popular demand from within Pakistan to do so.

Quote:
4) I don't think Iranians want the Saudi regime to collapse. I mean someone more aggressive and more radical than the Saudis might eventually fill the gap. Iran can reach agreements with the Saudi regime but do you think that would be possible with ISIS or AQ? No way.
That is true that the Iranians aren't necessarily eager to topple the Saudi regime, but they surely want to weaken it. If Saudi is internally weakened it will be weakened in its influence in the region too. Qaeda and Daesh will never be able to seize control of Arabia as a whole, but they can contribute to destabilizing the country from within. We already know that Iran was secretly backing Qaeda and the two had something of a sort of non-aggression pact with each other. Though Qaeda people initially fled to Pakistan when NATO invaded Afghanistan, they soon realized they couldn't trust the Pakistanis and so opted for seeking asylum within Iran itself, which isn't subject to American pressure.

Also, perhaps Iran knows that if Saudia is too destabilized the Saudi military will step in to take control of the country, it won't really fall to the hands of radical terrorist groups like Daesh.
Quote:
5) I do believe this guy, Salman, has lost a bit his mind. He his too hardcore, too radical, too aggressive. He is making too many people angry, he is taking things too far. Not all ir measures are bad or wrong. I mean his economic measures were smart. KSA shouldn't rely too much on oil.
Yes but a lot of economists are skeptical if the Vision 2030 can truly be realized, or if Saudi is gambling and taking a huge risk and making these massive investments which will not yield any substantial fruits. Its a race against time, because they know they have to implement these major reforms in order to keep the country from spiraling into eventual bankruptcy. So they may even be on the right path with making such massive reforms in such a short period of time, but I still doubt they can reach their goals before its too late. Certainly, going out on these tangents and lashing out at other states thereby making more enemies isn't going to do them any favors either.
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Default 11-17-2017, 12:06 PM

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I forgot to mention that KSA, Kuwait and UAE have asked their citizens to leave Lebanon ASAP.

Something is brewing. I know KSA can't actually start a military campaign in Lebanon, because they are too far and Saudi army is a joke. But I am quite sure they will try their best to impose economic sanctions and some sort of blockade on Lebanon just like they did in Qatar. After all 400k Lebanese live in the GCC, that would be a huge blow for Lebanon who unlike Qatar is economically much weaker.

All the military actions will be carried out by Israel. Saudis will definitely pay for it.
Something certainly is brewing. I definitely see Hizbullah being set up for the slaughter. The stage is being set by creating this dissension within Lebanon itself. But perhaps the Saudis didn’t realize there would be a backlash from non-Shiites within Lebanon since Saudi has so transparently meddled in Lebanon’s internal politics. Lebanese people are upset that their State has no real sovereignty and this has hurt their ego and they are upset with Saudis for pressuring Hariri to resign. Maybe it is Israel that is really pulling the strings on this one and simply using Saudi as its agent of chaos as far as Lebanon is concerned.

If Israel goes after Hizbullah now, hard and fast, who will come to the latter’s rescue? Certainly not Assad who is bogged down and doesn’t want to risk losing everything he gained, and certainly not Iran which pretty much has the same attitude. Hizbullah will then be wiped out and Israel will get another opportunity to flex its muscles which it must do from time to time to remind everyone who is the big guy on the block.

Israel's strategy is basically to make sure no one side in this regional conflict between Saudis/Sunnis and Iran/Shiites ever gets too much power and dominance over the other. It has to ensure that both sides are more or less balanced against each other. In recent years, Iran and the Shiites have made too many gains and become too powerful, Israel has decided it is time to put them back in their place.
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Default 11-17-2017, 12:29 PM

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Originally Posted by ذو الفقار View Post
Something certainly is brewing. I definitely see Hizbullah being set up for the slaughter. The stage is being set by creating this dissension within Lebanon itself. But perhaps the Saudis didn’t realize there would be a backlash from non-Shiites within Lebanon since Saudi has so transparently meddled in Lebanon’s internal politics. Lebanese people are upset that their State has no real sovereignty and this has hurt their ego and they are upset with Saudis for pressuring Hariri to resign. Maybe it is Israel that is really pulling the strings on this one and simply using Saudi as its agent of chaos as far as Lebanon is concerned.

If Israel goes after Hizbullah now, hard and fast, who will come to the latter’s rescue? Certainly not Assad who is bogged down and doesn’t want to risk losing everything he gained, and certainly not Iran which pretty much has the same attitude. Hizbullah will then be wiped out and Israel will get another opportunity to flex its muscles which it must do from time to time to remind everyone who is the big guy on the block.

Israel's strategy is basically to make sure no one side in this regional conflict between Saudis/Sunnis and Iran/Shiites ever gets too much power and dominance over the other. It has to ensure that both sides are more or less balanced against each other. In recent years, Iran and the Shiites have made too many gains and become too powerful, Israel has decided it is time to put them back in their place.
The thing is I don't believe dealing with Hezbollah will be a walk in the park for Israel. Its true that the Shia movement has been heavily hurt in the Syrian war, with some key commanders and thousands of soldiers dead, but they still have a huge influence in the Lebanese establishment and the government. If Israel wants to wipe out that movement, they must also destroy a huge degree the Lebanese state, and also some key allies of them such as the Christians. Its also pretty well known that Hezbollah got up to 150k missiles in Lebanon (confirmed by the Israeli army and the Israeli media), So it will be quite messy.

Assad can't do s-hit. He can't even retaliate when Israel bombs the hell out of Quneitra or the airport of Damascus.. let alone helping Hezbollah.

The moment is now or never. If Israel waits for too long the Shia axis will recover and grow bigger and stronger. They must strike now. I just wonder whats going to happen with the Shia militias deployed by Iran in the eastern provinces of Syria, will they be redeployed in the southern provinces in order to counter Israel now that ISIS has been almost defeated? Bumpy times ahead.


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Default 11-17-2017, 12:45 PM

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He will still be the ceremonial head of the State, while de facto power is exercised by the crown prince. But once that crown prince is formally crowned king, I think it could spark a reaction from those disillusioned with the change in succession within the 'royal family'. Alternatively, it may be that since in principle the other branches of the family do not dispute Salman being the king and therefore giving de facto power to whoever he wants, they will only openly question Ibn Salman when he is formally crowned king in obvious contravention of the unwritten rules of succession.

50,000 Yemeni children are expected to die because of the famine, only being made worse due to the Saudi blockade not to mention the ongoing armed conflict. This is a major humanitarian disaster which the rest of the world is looking away from simply because the Saudis have bribed everyone to be their friend. But in terms of popular world opinion, Saudi is way down there with Israel.

The Saudi backed coalition is beginning to fragment. Saudi also made the mistake of designating many of the armed factions that were the most effective against the Huthis as 'terrorists'.



How is that a disagreement with what I initially said?



Pakistan has made it clear that it will defend the sacred cities Mecca and Medina, no matter how much the level of influence Saudi has on Pakistan has deteriorated, especially after Pakistan's refusal to openly participate in Saudi's disastrous adventure in Yemen. If Pakistan senses a potentially dangerous conflict brewing within Saudia, I have no doubt they will immediately dispatch troops to Mecca and Medina. This will also be a popular demand from within Pakistan to do so.



That is true that the Iranians aren't necessarily eager to topple the Saudi regime, but they surely want to weaken it. If Saudi is internally weakened it will be weakened in its influence in the region too. Qaeda and Daesh will never be able to seize control of Arabia as a whole, but they can contribute to destabilizing the country from within. We already know that Iran was secretly backing Qaeda and the two had something of a sort of non-aggression pact with each other. Though Qaeda people initially fled to Pakistan when NATO invaded Afghanistan, they soon realized they couldn't trust the Pakistanis and so opted for seeking asylum within Iran itself, which isn't subject to American pressure.

Also, perhaps Iran knows that if Saudia is too destabilized the Saudi military will step in to take control of the country, it won't really fall to the hands of radical terrorist groups like Daesh.


Yes but a lot of economists are skeptical if the Vision 2030 can truly be realized, or if Saudi is gambling and taking a huge risk and making these massive investments which will not yield any substantial fruits. Its a race against time, because they know they have to implement these major reforms in order to keep the country from spiraling into eventual bankruptcy. So they may even be on the right path with making such massive reforms in such a short period of time, but I still doubt they can reach their goals before its too late. Certainly, going out on these tangents and lashing out at other states thereby making more enemies isn't going to do them any favors either.
Now that Salman has purged most of his main rivals, only some weaker stand out there. They can't do much basically because they will face either arrest and torture or death like that prince mysteriously killed in an accident along the southern border a week ago.

Its a war. People die and suffer. KSA needs to impose a blockade in order to weaken the Houthi militia. KSA shouldn't take it too far, I do agree, but we should consider that people will die whether we like it or not.

I would support a Pakistani intervention too. Every Muslim country should support Pakistan in that task, no matter our regional rivalries, there is a red line, a limit for everything.

KSA is already weakened. Every time they do s-hit against Iran, there is a stronger backlash. Of course Iran will try his best in order to further weaken the Saudis but not too much. Saudis are eager to destroy the Iranian state, but Iranians are not. Of course the only behind this is pure realpolitik. Not that Iranian are better people than Saudis lol

At the end of the day, this is a war Saudis can not win. Their huge resources can't really change their geopolitical location, their low population, their weak army and harsh weather. KSA can't compete with Iran. I feel a bit sad for the Arabs, but If they can't get their s-hit together they are doomed to be ruled by Turks, Persians Jews or the West. Darwinism at work.


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Default 11-17-2017, 01:01 PM

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Originally Posted by Firdousi View Post
Now that Salman has purged most of his main rivals, only some weaker stand out there. They can't do much basically because they will face either arrest and torture or death like that prince mysteriously killed in an accident along the southern border a week ago.
Purged doesn't necessarily mean they've all been liquidated. I have a feeling some of them can make a comeback like Muhammad bin Nayef, who was their security genius.


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I would support a Pakistani intervention too. Every Muslim country should support Pakistan in that task, no matter our regional rivalries, there is a red line, a limit for everything.
I would oppose a Pakistani intervention, but that is due to my apocalyptic outlook. I wish to see the sacred cities liberated from Saudi control. I am hoping for a Mahdist movement to emerge which will first require something cataclysmic.
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