News-2016-02-22

Published: February 22, 2016

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Daily news on Saudi Arabian and regional developments provided by our partner, the Saudi-US Trade Group (SUSTG.com). To keep up with “everything Saudi” be sure to subscribe to the SUSTG News Review through the Web site [Link]. Also check SUSTG.com/the-review for additional related news reporting.


SAUDI ARABIA
News, analysis, and more

SAUDI SYRIA POLICY
Interview with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir on Syrian War
Der Spiegel | Samiha Shafy and Bernhard Zand | 2.22.2016
We expressed our readiness to join the US-led, international coalition against Daesh with special forces. All of this, however, is still in the discussion phase …

SAUDI-LEBANON
Lebanese Trade Accusations Over Saudi Aid Suspension
ABC/AP | Zeina Karam | 2.21.2016
Lebanese politicians traded accusations Saturday over the decision by Saudi Arabia to halt deals worth $4 billion aimed at equipping and supporting Lebanese security forces, …

SECURITY
Saudi Arabia accuses 32 people of spying for Iran
Al Arabiya English | 2.21.2016
The Specialized Criminal Court of Riyadh on Sunday presented a list of accusations prepared by the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution (BIP) against 32 …

SAUDI SYRIA POLICY
Saudi prince says offer of troops reflects unease over Syria
Associated Press | Aya Batrawy | 2.22.2016
The prince said that because the majority of victims of terrorist acts are Muslims, “it is our responsibility as Muslim countries to play the primary …

SAUDI OIL POLICY
Saudi oil minister to face rival U.S. producers as price rout bites
Reuters | Luc Cohen | 2.21.2016
During his keynote on Tuesday at the annual IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston, Naimi will be addressing US wildcatters and executives who are stuck …

BARAKAH YOQABIL BARAKAH
Saudi Film “Barakah Yoqabil Barakah” Wins at Berlin Film Festival 2016
Asharq Al-Awsat | Mohammed Rouda | 2.22.2016
Sabbagh has previously called his movie a “coming of age story rather than a romantic comedy,” and said “my film is about public space, it’s …

OBESITY
Free treatment for obese citizens, expats
Saudi Gazette | 2.22.2016
Fifty hospitals and health centers all over the Kingdom will participate in a nationwide program titled “Obesity: The Silent Ghost” to fight the rising rate …

WOMEN
Hotel stays now OK for Saudi women without male guardian
News.com.au | Suleiman al Asad | 2.21.2016
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage has ratified a law allowing women to put up at hotels by themselves, amid frowns from the …

SATELLITE IMAGERY
DigitalGlobe and Saudi government sign joint venture on satellite imaging constellation
Space News | Peter B. de Selding | 2.22.2016
Westminster, Colorado-based DigitalGlobe operates a fleet of large high-resolution satellites whose imagery is sold worldwide. The company’s principal customer is the U.S. government, through a …

SAUDI DEFENSE INDUSTRY
Boost for Saudi-made defense equipment
Arab News | Mohammed Rasooldeen | 2.21.2016
Assistant Defense Minister Gen. Mohammed Al-Ayesh said Saudi Arabia plans to produce at least 10 percent of the military requirements locally and thereby reduce costs …

ANONYMOUS
Anonymous took down several government websites of Saudi Arabia
Security Affairs | Pierluigi Paganini | 2.22.2016
The #OpNimr campaign was launched in September 2015 to protest continuous violations of human rights. Anonymous targeted Saudi websites is in response to the death sentence handed …

LEGAL
Saudi Arabia’s residents can now report crime through an app
Al Arabiya English | 2.21.2016
It’s now easier for citizens and expatriates in Saudi Arabia to report crime thanks to an app launched Friday by the Public Security Department. …

HAJJ OPERATORS
Plan to merge small local Haj companies
Saudi Gazette | Saeed Al-Mansour | 2.22.2016
The minister said that the number of domestic pilgrims is determined by Mina’s limited geographical area which can not be extended according to the Shariah ..

 

 

 


 

SAUDI +
Regional and related topics

ANTI-ISIS CAMPAIGN
Airstrikes cutting into Islamic State’s cash supply, U.S. says
Los Angeles Times | Brian Bennett and W.J. Hennigan | 2.22.2016
Islamic State’s finances have been squeezed by falling oil prices and airstrikes on oil production sites and cash hoards, forcing salary cuts for its fighters …

SYRIA
Syria conflict: Homs and Damascus bomb blasts kill 140
BBC News | 2.22.2016
Bomb blasts in the Syrian cities of Homs and Damascus have left at least 140 people dead, monitors and state media say. …

CYBER SECURITY
The Cybersecurity Skills Shortage
The Cipher Brief | Luke Penn-Hall | 2.22.2016
According to Jon Olstik from Enterprise Strategy Group, in 2016 “46% of organizations now claim that they have a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills representing …

IRAQ
Iraq’s Abadi keeps Iran at arm’s length in war on Islamic State
Reuters | Maher Chmaytelli | 2.22.2016
Abadi has begun to push for reconciliation between Iraq’s Shi’ites and Sunnis, and for better relations with Sunni Arab neighbors like Saudi Arabia, they said. …

ASSEMBLY OF EXPERTS
Moderates could gain influence over choice of next leader in Iran vote
Reuters | Babak Dehghanpisheh | 2.22.2016
In terms of numbers, hardliners are almost certain to have the upper hand. The Guardian Council, a hardliner-dominated government body which reviews the eligibility of …

STOCKS AND OIL
The relationship between stocks and oil prices
Brookings Institution | Ben Bernanke | 2.22.2016
Much of this positive correlation can be explained by the tendency of stocks and oil prices to react in the same direction to common factors, …

BOEING
Boeing Cleared for Iran Talks After $27 Billion Airbus Haul
Bloomberg Business | Julie Johnsson, Rick Clough and Deena Kamel | 2.22.2016
The U.S. government cleared the manufacturer to begin talking with approved Iranian carriers about their fleet needs, a first step toward entering the country’s resurgent …

GLOBAL OIL MARKETS
Saudi-Russia Oil Deal Can’t Stop Biggest Bull Exodus in 7 Months
Bloomberg Business | Moming Zhou | 2.22.2016
Meanwhile, U.S. oil supplies keep swelling. They climbed to 504.1 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 12, the highest level in 86 years …

CHINA AND THE MIDDLE EAST
China Builds Middle East Ties Through Business
Aljazeera | Alice Su | 2.22.2016
Xi and his recently established Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank have already pledged $100 billion in financing for the One Belt, One Road initiative, an ambitious vision …

SPECIAL FORCES
Look Out, Special Operators in Syria, the Internet Has Spotted You and That’s a Problem
Defense One | Harry Oppenheimer and Aaron Picozzi | 2.22.2016
Why does the expansion of an isolated airstrip warrant attention? It is not only the improvement of the airstrip, but also how it was discovered. …

TURKEY
Turkish army presses crackdown on Kurdish militants, Europe worried over rights
Reuters | Humeyra Pamuk | 2.22.2016
Turkey’s military said on Monday it had killed 14 militants in a drive against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the southeast as an …

YEMEN
Al Qaeda militants seize southern Yemen town, kill militia leader: residents
Reuters | Mohammed Mukhashaf | 2.22.2016
The coastal city and surrounding district, in Abyan province, is home to more than 30,000 people and is an important geographic link between the major …

AFGHANISTAN
Afghan Army abandons another district in Helmand
Long War Journal | Bill Roggio | 2.22.2016
Yesterday, the Afghan National Army withdrew from two bases in the district of Musa Qala in Helmand. Today, we learn that the Afghan Army also …


 

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