Analysis, Side Feature

Views on the News – 17 May 2017


  • $100 Billion Deal between Trump and Saudi Arabia
  • Bashar’s Crimes Continue
  • US Murders Continue


$100 Billion Deal between Trump and Saudi Arabia

As Trump makes his first set of foreign visits, he will start off his visits to one of his most loyal partners in arguably the most important region for the US, Saudi Arabia. The maintenance of security has been the main reason cited by the White House of a $100 billion military deal between the two countries which sees the provision of military equipment, maintenance systems alongside strategic intelligence. What is most ironic that whilst Saudi feels that it obtains “special treatment” from the USA, the US spokesperson explicitly said containing the deal that “Israel will maintain a competitive edge”. In other words, it will always be given a better deal in comparison to Saudi Arabia.


Bashar’s Crimes Continue

The US administration has accused the Syrian government of installing a crematorium in a military prison in order to destroy the remains of thousands of murdered prisoners. “Beginning in 2013, the Syrian regime modified a building within the Saydnaya complex to support what we believe is a crematorium,” said Stuart Jones, acting assistant secretary for the state department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs referring to a military jail north of Damascus. He did not give an official estimate for the total number killed, but cited an Amnesty International report that between 5,000 and 11,000 people had died during the 2011-2015 period in the prison. President Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian government, he alleged, had detained between 65,000 and 117,000 people over the same period. This is old news and the regimes crimes are well known, but the US is well known for highlighting the obvious to shape opinions on future strikes on Syria or to divert attention from the fact that their president is being accused of leaking classified information to Russia, an act viewed as treason.
US Murders Continue

The US has undertaken airstrikes in the Syrian border town of Abu Kamal, along the key Iraqi border crossing, killing at least 30 civilians in the process on Tuesday 15 May 2017. The US carried out the strikes at 3:00 am, targeting a series of apartment buildings in the town’s residential area. The apartments were full of sleeping civilians. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, ISIS is believed to have been using some of the apartments in the targeted area. There is, however, no sign that the apartments the US bombed contained any of the ISIS fighters in question. This is the latest in a growing number of US strikes around Syria which have killed civilians, with reports of at least 87 civilians killed in the last five days from US and coalition strikes.