Saudi Arabia, Egypt Lead Arab States Cutting Ties With Qatar

A  number of Arab nations cut ties with Qatar.  The move escalates a dispute over Qatar’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood and accusations it backs the agenda of Iran.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain, and Maldives severed their ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting terrorism and opening up the worst rift in years among some of the most powerful states in the Arab world.

Iran — long at odds with Saudi Arabia and a behind-the-scenes target of the move — immediately blamed President Donald Trump for setting the stage during his recent trip to Riyadh.

Gulf Arab states and Egypt have long resented Qatar’s support for Islamists, especially the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood, which they regard as a dangerous political enemy.

The coordinated move, with the Maldives and Libya’s eastern-based government joining in later, created a dramatic rift among the Arab nations, many of which are in OPEC.

Announcing the closure of transport ties with Qatar, the three Gulf states gave Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave. Qatar was also expelled from the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

Oil giant Saudi Arabia accused Qatar of backing militant groups — some backed by regional archrival Iran — and broadcasting their ideology, an apparent reference to Qatar’s influential state-owned satellite channel al Jazeera.

“(Qatar) embraces multiple terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at disturbing stability in the region, including the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS (Islamic State) and al-Qaeda, and promotes the message and schemes of these groups through their media constantly,” Saudi state news agency SPA said.

It accused Qatar of supporting what it described as Iranian-backed militants in its restive and largely Shi’ite Muslim-populated eastern region of Qatif and in Bahrain…

Iran saw America pulling the strings.

“What is happening is the preliminary result of the sword dance,” Hamid Aboutalebi, deputy chief of staff of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, tweeted in a reference to Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia. CNBC

Jordan also downgrades ties with Qatar

Jordan will downgrade its diplomatic representation with Qatar, it said on Tuesday, standing with several Arab powers that have cut ties with the tiny Gulf state.

The decision was made after Amman examined the “cause of the crisis” between Doha and the other Arab states, government spokesman Mohammed al Momani said.

He added that Jordan also revoked the TV license for Al Jazeera, Qatar’s influential state-owned satellite channel. Haaretz

Struggle For Regional Dominance

The decision by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt to punish the Gulf Cooperation Council member over its support for Islamist groups — as well as their key rival, Iran — pits some of the world’s richest nations in a struggle for regional dominance. Qatar’s population is smaller than Houston’s, but it has a sovereign wealth fund with stakes in global companies from Barclays Plc to Credit Suisse Group. It’s also a home to the forward headquarters of the U.S. military’s central command in the region. Bloomsberg

FLASHBACK: Obama Sent Taliban Terrorists To Qatar

In May of 2014, then President Barack Obama released five Islamic terrorists from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility into Qatar’s custody in exchange for the Taliban’s return of Bowe Bergdahl; the Taliban partly operates its international diplomatic operations via representatives in Qatar…

The New York Post reported that the five Islamic terrorists released to Qatar – dubbed “The Taliban 5” – received a “hero’s welcome” upon arrival in the Islamic Gulf State. DailyWire

Palestinian Authority Threaten Against Opposition To UNESCO Jerusalem Vote

Ahead of Wednesday’s vote, PA and Jordan warn of “other options” if full support is not received on controversial Jerusalem resolution.

The Wailing Wall or Western Wall is in Jerusalem, Israel
The Wailing Wall or Western Wall is in Jerusalem, Israel


This is not the first time Palestinians has threatened other counties to get them to do their bidding, although not as blatantly.  The UNESCO World vote on Wednesday would deny the Jewish and Christian connection to the Temple Mount.

The resolution, which refers to the Temple Mount solely by its Muslim name of Al-Haram Al Sharif, is expected to be approved by the committee at its 40th session.

But in light of public statements on such resolutions made last week by Italy, Mexico and Brazil, the Palestinians want the resolution to pass by consensus, with the full support of all 21 member states of the World Heritage Committee (WHC).

On Monday, they sent a letter to committee members asking them to submit their positions on the resolution by noon Tuesday.

“Otherwise, the delegation of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the delegation of Palestine would and according to the rules of procedure be obliged to consider other options,” they stated.

Without pledges of a consensus approval, the Palestinians and Jordanians plan to resubmit a text with language that was even more problematic to Israel, explained Israel’s Ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-Hacohen. JPost

Jordan Shuts Syria Borders And Warns ISIS Is infiltrating The Syrian Refugees

Syrian refugees at the Rakban camp-2015
Syrian refugees at the Rakban camp-2015

Tuesday’s suicide car bombing killed six members of Jordan’s security forces and injuring 14 others, Jordan has temporarily designated the border areas with Syria as “closed military zones.”

A car laden with explosives killed a number of Jordanian border guards outside the Rakban refugee camp June 21, 2016, the Jordanian army said. VOA

“The terrorist — the attacker — actually used the humanitarian small opening that is used in order to send humanitarian aid to the group of people on the other side of the border. So he used that area in order to drive fast and get to our soldiers and blow the car.” CNN

Terming the steps “sovereign procedures,” Jordan’s minister of state for media matters, Mohammad al-Momani, told reporters that the government was taking “immediate steps,” including closing the border crossing near the site of the incident.

He said Jordan was also halting the building and expansion of any refugee camps.

“We call upon the international community to understand our sovereign measures and to understand the need for us to take these measures in order to maintain our security and stability,” Momani said at a press conference. CNN

Jordan Prime Minister:  ISIS Is Infiltrating The Syrian Refugees

Deputy Prime Minister of Jordan Nasser Judeh says that ISIS is infiltrating Syrian refugees.

In the wake of a suicide car bombing on the Jordanian border with Syria, Judeh appeared on CNN with Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday and said, “This is the first attack of its kind on our borders. This is the first time we have a car, a suicide car bombing.”

“As you know, the world will vouch for the proficiency and efficiency of our armed forces and our border guards and our security services but this is a war,” Judeh said.

“This is a dangerous area,” Judeh said, explaining that the terrorists came from the “north and northeastern part of Syria, from Raqqa, from Hasakah… many have been infiltrated by Daesh.”  DailyCaller

Jordan’s King Abdullah II Appoints Prime Minister With Strong Ties To Israel

The Jordanian Parliament
The Jordanian Parliament

On Sunday, Jordan’s King Abdullah II dissolved  parliament and appointed a new prime minister to ready the country for new elections. The man picked by King Abdullah as the new prime minister is Hani Mulki.

Under Mulki, the possible strengthening of Israeli-Jordanian relations could encourage Israeli investment in Jordan’s economy said Tareq al-Fayed, a Jordanian policy analyst and a journalist at the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabinewspaper.

Although Jordan’s government has a peace treaty with Israel, a majority of the outgoing Jordanian parliament’s members held anti-Israel views. But the newly appointed prime minister, Hani Mulki, chaired the Jordanian government committee that negotiated peace with Israel from 1994-1996. He is expected to now join the effort to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

“Mulki will be working to bring Palestinians and Israelis to the negotiation table and work to bring a final solution to the Palestinian cause which most likely will be at the expense of the Palestinian people,” Husam Abdallat, a former senior government aide within the Jordanian prime minister’s office, told Al Jazeera. Algemeiner

Jordan Cancels Security Cameras Project On Temple Mount

Israel-Aerial-Jerusalem-Temple_Mount-Temple_Mount_(south_exposure)Jordanian prime minister stated Palestinian opposition as the reason for nixing the security camera program on the Temple Mount.  The Palestinians must fear the cameras would show their lies and wrong-doing to the world.

“We were surprised since our intention to carry out the project, by the response of some of our Palestinian brethren to the project, adding that they voiced their concern and cast doubt on its aims and objectives,” Prime Minister Ensour said.

Amid rising Palestinian opposition to the plans by Jordan and Israel to install security cameras on the Temple Mount, Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour announced on Monday that his country would not proceed with the installations.

According to Ensour, the Hashemite Kingdom backed out of the joint initiative due to a lack of Palestinian support for the initiative. YNetNews

Middle East Refugees

As people flee war zones in the Middle East some may be innocent victims (some may be terrorist).

Amnesty International has pointed out that,  “The six Gulf countries [GCC] – Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain – have offered zero resettlement places to Syrian refugees.”  The five wealthiest Gulf States refuse to accept large numbers of refugees as they might be terrorist.


The hordes of people from the Middle East swarming into Europe are being called ‘migrants’ instead of ‘refugees’ because the U.N. has not designated them refugees. Even with a refugee designation the Gulf countries still would not take them in.

Three of the GCC countries –Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UEA- have bankrolled militant groups in Syria to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  None of these countries signed the United Nations’ 1951 Refugee Convention treaty that defines who is a refugee, sets out the rights of refugees, and responsibility of nations to refugees.

The international treaty initially defined the status of refugees on conditions of “the incidents that happened in Europe before 1951”. However, in 1967, this limitation was lifted in 1967 with the Protocol on the Legal Status of Refugees. Turkey approved this amendment in 1968 but only under the condition of “geographical boundaries”. Turkey is currently the only country that effectively implements a difference between European and non-European refugees. bianet

Turkey is not issuing exit visa’s to refugees (they do not have passports) that are in Turkey.  Lebanon and Jordan have closed their borders.  The GCC countries have taken in zero refugees.  The thousands of refugees in Turkey have no legal option but to take a risky boat ride to Europe.

Between 10 and 12 million Syrians have been displaced by the bloody civil war raging in their country. Most still remain within Syria’s borders, but around four million have fled over the borders into neighbouring countries, mostly Turkey Jordan and Lebanon, and beyond.

Lebanon, which has 1.1 million Syrian refugees, shut her borders to the Syrians in June of last year. Jordan, host to another 630,000, followed suit in August last year, preventing more Syrians from abandoning their country. BreitBart London

The Gulf States have a far greater ability to take the Muslim refugees in.

The region has the capacity to quickly build housing for the refugees. The giant construction companies that have built the gleaming towers of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Riyadh should be contracted to create shelters for the influx. Saudi Arabia has plenty of expertise at managing large numbers of arrivals: It receives an annual surge of millions of Hajj pilgrims to Mecca. There’s no reason all this know how can’t be put to humanitarian use. Washington Post

Twenty-five years ago, hundreds of thousands of Kuwaitis fleeing Saddam Hussein’s invasion were given refuge. According to Arabian expert Sultan Sooud al-Qassemi: “in Abu Dhabi, the government rented out entire apartment blocks and gave them to families for free.” BreitBart London

The five wealthiest Gulf State countries refuse to accept large numbers of refugees as it “is a threat to their safety”.

Yet amidst cries for Europe to do more, it has transpired that of the five wealthiest countries on the Arabian Peninsula, that is, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, not one has taken in a single refugee from Syria.

Instead, they have argued that accepting large numbers of Syrians is a threat to their safety, as terrorists could be hiding within an influx of people. Sherif Elsayid-Ali, Amnesty International’s Head of Refugee and Migrants’ Rights, has slammed their inaction as “shameful”. BreitBart London

No Evidence, But UNESCO Says Jesus Baptized On Jordan’s Side Of River, Not Israel’s

Yardenit Baptism site photoThe Bible never tells us the exact location of Jesus’ baptism. UNESCO, the U.N. cultural agency ,  has officially designated as a World Heritage site the location of the baptism of Jesus Christ on the eastern bank of the Jordan River.

Jodi Magness, an archaeologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said that UNESCO’s decision “has nothing to do with archaeological reality.”

“We don’t have any sites with evidence or archaeological remains that were continuously venerated from the first century on,” he added. ChristionPost

The Israeli site of the baptism draws larger crowds than the Jordan site.

For years, Christian pilgrims have waded into the Jordan River from both its eastern and western banks to connect with a core event of their faith — the baptism of Jesus. The parallel traditions allowed Jordan and Israel to compete for tourism dollars in marketing one of Christianity’s most important sites.

But now UNESCO has weighed in on the rivalry, designating Jordan’s baptismal area on the eastern bank a World Heritage Site. The UN cultural agency declared this month that the site “is believed to be” the location of Jesus’ baptism, based on what it said is a view shared by most Christian churches.

The decision drew cheers in Jordan, where the number of tourists has dropped sharply since the 2011 Arab Spring and the rise of the Islamic State group.

Israel has kept silent while a Palestinian official said the western baptismal site, located in the West Bank, should have been included.

The UNESCO decision also raised eyebrows among some scholars. TimesOfIsrael

Photo by karen horton

Jordan Foiled Iran-backed Major Terror Plot

Flag of Jordan

Khaled Kazem al Rubai an Iraqi-Norwegian dual citizen was arrested in northern Jordan, and found to be in possession of 45 kilograms (about 99 pounds) of explosives.  This week Rubai is set to be tried behind closed doors in a Jordanian court.

The Jordanian newspaper Al Rai reported Monday morning that Jordanian security forces had foiled a terror plot by a member of an Iranian-backed group.

According to the report, the suspect belongs to the Iranian Bayt al-Maqdis group – which is unrelated to the identically named Egyptian group that has recently changed its moniker and sworn allegiance to Islamic State.

The suspect reportedly holds Iraqi and Norwegian citizenship, was arrested in northern Jordan, and found to be in possession of large amounts of explosives…

The Jordanian source told the newspaper that a major terror operation had been averted. “This is the most serious case in a decade in terms of the quantity of explosives discovered and their quality,” said the source. YNetNews

White House Refused Information to Jordan and Egypt on ISIS Targets

Oliver North told Greta Greta Van Susteren that the governments of Egypt and Jordan have asked the U.S. to relay to them information on ISIS targets.  Egypt asked for information on ISIS targets in Libya.  Jordan asked for information on ISIS in Syria after the Jordanian pilot was burned alive.  Both  request were refused by the current White House administration.

After the Jordanian pilot, Lt. Moath al-Kasasbeh, was burned alive by ISIS terrorists Israel and Jordan have shown signs of smoothing over their recent tensions.  For support Jordan could expand its close intelligence relationship with Israel.

And while Israel isn’t a member of the anti-ISIS coalition and isn’t actively combating the group, Israeli officials have said they consider ISIS a regional threat. That threat is only becoming more real as heavy fighting rages along the Israeli-held Golan Heights, where stray artillery fire has hit in recent months. The Israeli military has become increasingly focused on its border with Syria in recent months, concerned that the civil war could spillover as Hezbollah, which is fighting alongside the Syrian government, is gaining territory in Syria alongside the Israeli border.

As Israel looks to Syria with a more watchful eye, Jordan is becoming even more committed and determined to defeating ISIS. Jordan’s resolve was only strengthened by the brutal murder of one of its pilots and public support for the fight has swelled in the aftermath.

Now, Jordan could be looking to expand its role and it could lean its close intelligence relationship with Israel for support.

Israel has already flown drone sorties over the Jordanian-Syrian border to help Jordan thwart potential attacks from ISIS. But that and other intelligence assistance could be the extent of Israeli support, said Israeli officials who promise to be “as supportive as we can be” of the Jordanians.

And the Washington Institute’s David Schenker, the Pentagon’s former top policy aide on the Levant, said it may be difficult for Israel to provide even more support to bolster an already stalwart relationship. Israel is certainly committed though, viewing the Jordanian monarchy as a bastion of stability, he added.

“The relationship between the Jordanian military establishment and Israel is deep. It is very deep,” Schenker said. KVIA-ABC

UK Set Up Special Forces Unit To Rescue Downed Jordanian Pilots

The U.K. has set up a Special Forces Unit in an effort to prevent coalition pilots from being taken by ISIS. It is a good that other nations are stepping forward to combat ISIS. The current administration in the White House must think that if the U.S. doesn’t do it, no country will.  Good for Jordan and the UK.

Britain’s Special Forces have set up a crack unit to rescue pilots who crash in Islamic State territory before they can be captured. (snip)

Defence sources confirmed last night that the UK has stepped up efforts to prevent another coalition pilot being taken by the enemy should their aircraft be shot down.

The Joint Personnel Recovery (JPR) units will be 12-man teams. The troops are poised to board armour-protected Chinook helicopters and will be accompanied on rescue missions by jets providing ‘top cover’.

A Special Forces source said: ‘We may have very little time to respond but we can go in with a lot of firepower and, depending on where he lands, we can hopefully get a downed pilot back before he is snatched by IS. This could be on the ground in Syria or in parts of Iraq occupied by the insurgents. Read more at the Daily Mail.

Jordan Executes Two ISIS Prisoners

Jo-mapIt is morning in Jordan and two ISIS prisoners have been executed by hanging by Jordanian authorities.   One was Sajida al-Rishawi the jailed terrorist whose release had been demanded by ISIS.

The other executed prisoner was Ziad Karbouli, a former top aide to the deceased leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the spokesman said. CNN

Responding to the killing of the pilot, whose death was announced on Tuesday, the Jordanian authorities also executed another senior al Qaeda prisoner sentenced to death for plots to wage attacks against the pro-Western kingdom in the last decade.

Sajida al-Rishawi, the Iraqi woman militant, was sentenced to death for her role in a 2005 suicide bomb attack that killed 60 people. Ziyad Karboli, an Iraqi al Qaeda operative, who was convicted in 2008 for killing a Jordanian, was also executed at dawn, the source said.

Jordan, which has been mounting air raids in Syria as part of the U.S.-led alliance against Islamic State insurgents, said it would deliver a “strong, earth-shaking and decisive” response to the killing of pilot Mouath al-Kasaesbeh.

The fate of Kasaesbeh, a member of a large tribe that forms the backbone of support for the country’s Hashemite monarchy, has gripped Jordan for weeks and some Jordanians have criticized King Abdullah for embroiling them in the U.S.-led war that they say will provoke a militant backlash.Reuters

Jordan To Execute ISIS Prisoners

Jordan has moved five ISIS prisoners to a prison for death sentences and Sajida al-Rishawi the terrorist Jordan agreed to exchange for Pilot Lt Muath al-Kaseasbeh.  After the release of the video showing Jordanian Pilot Lt Muath al-Kaseasbeh burned alive Jordan announced “it will execute all prisoners convicted of association with ISIS ‘within hours’. This includes Sajida al-Rishawi – the female failed suicide bomber whom ISIS had originally demanded Jordan release in exchange for Kasasbeh.” DailyMail