With the increasingly illogical, contradictory and downright insane Russiagate stories dominating the headlines, here are some important stories you may have missed.
1. Saudi Arabia’s War On Yemen
Saudi Arabia has confirmed that missiles fired from the Houthi backed Yemeni government have hit Saudi Arabia near the capital Riyadh. The strike comes as Donald Trump visits the Wahhabi Kingdom on a trip that includes a visit to Israel.
According to so-called Saudi activist Jassem bin Mohammed,
“A huge explosion shook (the) Riyadh area before Trump’s visit amid panic, fear and rumours that this was a Yemeni ballistic missile, and it comes right before the arrival of the American guest (Donald Trump), and this is the message they wanted to deliver to us”.
Saudi Arabia with American and British assistance has been bombing Yemen in a war that has caused mass civilian casualties, infrastructural collapse in Yemen and mass starvation resulting from a man-made famine. Reports have also surfaced that cholera has broken out in the besieged state.
2. America Attacks Syrian Again
America has confirmed an air to ground attack on a convoy in southern Syria.
The attack near a small US-coalition base in At Tanf targeted a convoy which according to Syria was made up of soldiers from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), National Defence Forces (NDF), Hezbollah, and Imam Al-‘Ali Battalions.
America continues to quote jihadist rhetoric in saying that the fighters were Iranian when in fact they included Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis and possibly an unconfirmed contingent of Iranian irregulars.
Russia has condemned the attack while Syria referred to it as government terrorism.
3. One-Belt–One Road
The early part of the week was dominated by an historic conference between heads of state and government in Beijing where countries as diverse as China, Russia, Turkey, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Pakistan (to name a few) participated in a forum where leaders expressed their commitment to one of the largest logistics, trade and commerce projects in modern history.
The Chinese spearheaded initiative seeks to create modern land and sea trade corridors linking East Asia to Africa, Eurasia and Europe.
This groundbreaking project which could shift the balance of world economic power has been totally ignored by the western mainstream media.
4. US Military Leaders Softening Tone On Russia
While Russiagate dominates the domestic media circus, US Defence Secretary James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis and Joint Chiefs Chairman Marine General Joseph Dunford have said that the US is eager to engage in a process they call “deconflict”.
According to General Dunford, both Russia and America are keen on minimising any conflict between the two sides in order to focus on fighting ISIS around Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor.
5. Saudi Weapons Deal
The United States is about to finalise the sale of military hardware to Saudi Arabia in a deal said to be worth $110 Billion. It has been reported that Ivanka Trump’s husband Jared Kushner has personally intervened to seal the deal.
Far from breaking with the time tested US tradition of selling the Saudis expensive weapons systems that their poorly trained army can barely operate, the Trump administration is keen to use the deal as a symbolic expression of US commitment to the Gulf states’ continued aggressive posturing towards Iran.
This of course came on the eve of Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia.