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Monday, August 22

As soon as US pulls back from Saudi war in Yemen a claim of a chemical attack surfaces

Just days after the airstrike on MSF hospital in Hajjah, the US military announced it has withdrawn from Saudi Arabia its personnel who were coordinating with the Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen, and sharply reduced the number of staff elsewhere who were assisting in that planning.

Readers know that I like Syrian battle reports from the Iranian state news agency FARS. There is a precipitous drop-off in how much stock I put in FARS reports that concern other of Tehran's interests, including its proxy war with Saudi Arabia in Yemen. 

However, the claim of chemical warfare is so serious that I'm going to pass along the report as something to flag, and with the hope that the source for the report is blowing smoke or simply wrong.  

If the source is right -- if Saudis are using the opportunity of the U.S. pullback to start funneling chemical weapons to mercenaries they're using in Yemen, the U.S. has to lean on Al Saud to stop, and the U.S. has to completely distance itself from the Yemen war. It should be the same for the British but there's no talking to them about modifying their relationship with the Saudis. If Al Saud tells the British government to jump off a cliff, they'll jump.   

Source: Saudi Arabia Launches Chemical Attack on Sana'a, Killing Civilians
Monday, August 22, 2016 - 12:50
FARS

TEHRAN (FNA)- A Yemeni military source disclosed that Saudi Arabia has attacked the civilians in Sana'a with chemical weapons, killing and injuring a number of people in the capital city's Ninth district.

"A number of Yemeni people have been killed as a result of inhaling poisonous gases in the chemical attack," Military Expert Major General Abdel Sattar al-Sa'deh told FNA on Monday.

He reiterated that Sana'a's Ninth district has been under artillery attacks of the pro-Saudi forces, yet it seems that the Saudi forces have been recently supplied with chemical weapons to exert more pressure on the district.

Al-Sa'deh said that the Yemeni citizens felt weakness, unconsciousness and tiredness after the Saudi forces attacked them with artillery shells containing white-colored substances.

"This is for the first time that this kind of poisonous artillery shells are fired at residents of the Ninth district and the villages of Qoubareh, Qoul Ali, al-Ma'di, al-Asarat and al-Aqran," he added.

Al-Sa'deh reiterated that the chemical warfare used by Saudi Arabia only targets humans and animals. 

On Sunday, fighter jets from the Saudi-led coalition hit Sana’a during a massive rally that attracted millions of people rallied in strong support for a political body recently formed to run the country in the face of a Saudi military campaign to reinstate a former president.

During the demonstration, Saudi fighter jets bombed Yemen’s capital, including the area around the Presidential palace.

The bombardment resulted in an “unknown number of casualties,” local officials said. People on Twitter said that at least three civilians were killed and a number were wounded.

Saudi Arabia has been repeatedly slammed for causing civilian casualties during its bombing campaign. In the latest case on August 13, at least ten children were killed in an airstrike blamed on the Saudi-led coalition that hit a religious school in Northwestern Yemen.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) confirmed that 28 youngsters were also injured in that attack. After Saudi jets hit their hospital, killing 19 people, MSF announced on Thursday that it was pulling its staff out of northern Yemen.

Just days after the airstrike on MSF hospital in Hajjah, the US military announced it has withdrawn from Saudi Arabia its personnel who were coordinating with the Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen, and sharply reduced the number of staff elsewhere who were assisting in that planning.

[END REPORT]
   

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