If KSA in Syria is defeated, it is against the background of failures in Yemen, the complication of relations with Egypt and distancing from the US Saudis will bury the dynastic ambitions of Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the main hawk of the regime today. He, the heir to the heir to the throne, will never become king. Consider as an illustration of what has been said a number of plots relating to intra-Saud processes in the military sphere, Cairo’s relations with Damascus and the state of affairs in Yemen, based on the work of experts from IBM P. P. P. Ryabov and Yu. B. Shcheglovina.
Shaken heir heir
The American private military company (PMC) Cochise MTS Inc has become a privileged partner of the ground forces of the OXA in a multi-year training and education program for personnel. Previously, its employees worked with Saudi paratroopers. The divisions of the Airborne Forces were then subordinated to the Minister of Defense KSA Sultan bin Abdulaziz Until 2013, his son, a former deputy defense minister, relied on these units. The current training program will focus on the development of automatism when using mortars and RPGs. The fighting in Yemen and Syria showed the inability of KSA special forces to master it. weapons.
Cochise MTS Inc (4335 Lynx Paw Trail, Valrico, Florida), founded in 2008, is closely affiliated with the Pentagon and is used to solve special tasks. Experts believe that the PMC staff are teaching and training Syrian and Yemeni opposition leaders loyal to Saudi Arabia. The KSA special forces detachment, which recently captured a number of checkpoints on Yemeni territory in Sa'da province, consisted of 90 percent of South Yemeni local warriors hired in Aden and trained under the guidance of specialists from Cochise MTS Inc.
The head of the company is Jess Johnson, a veteran of US special forces. He was deputy commander of the Delta squadron, located in Fort Bregg, North Carolina, participated in an unsuccessful operation to free American hostages in Iran in 1980, and in the war with Iraq in 1991, he commanded the US ground forces deployed in KSA. By that time, the first stage of fouling of his ties with the highest Saudi military men. After founding his own company, he was attracted by a subcontractor to a major American player in the private military services market - USA Environmental to ensure the destruction process of the army of S. Hussein’s army and search for its chemical arsenals.
The company's operational planning director, Robert S. Brooke, is a former high-ranking officer at Delta headquarters and served under the command of D. Johnson. Previously worked in Iraq - provided the search for chemical weapons. He is now the principal curator of the Cochise MTS Inc project for an agreement between the US and Afghan governments to prepare special forces. By the way, these forces are considered the most effective in the Afghan army and bear the brunt of the fight against the Taliban. Today there was a question about the extreme exhaustion of these units, they do not have time to reform and replenish personnel as a result of endless battles. Robert S. Brooke is called the curator of the training of Yemeni fighters for use in Yemen and Syria.
In addition to the contract with Riyadh, Cochise MTS Inc is contracted by the US State Department and USAID to guard their employees abroad and is a subcontractor of US PMCs, including SNC-Lavalin and Terraseis. Cochise MTS Inc has a subsidiary, Comanche, which specializes in logistical support in the interests of the Defense Ministry and the United States Air Force and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), as well as working under private contracts with the governments of India and Panama.
Cochise MTS Inc’s return to the Saudi market as a privileged player means that:
1. The rate of the Minister of Defense KSA M. bin Salman on Turkish PMCs close to President Erdogan did not justify himself. On them, the heir to the crown prince set in the preparation of special forces and the similarity of the private army. Most likely this is due to a change in relations between Turkey and KSA in the Syrian direction due to Ankara’s restraint in logistical support for the pro-Saud “Dzhebhat al-Nusra” banned in Russia (aka “Dzhebhat Fath ash-Sham”).
2. The positions of M. Bin Salman as a whole have been shaken, as evidenced by the return of the company not affiliated with it to the Saudi market. The main partner of Cochise MTS Inc in KSA was and remains the Sultanov clan. This means that the Minister of Defense is sharply criticized for his policies in Yemen, where the Saudi military were not noted, and also because of the low level of training of the armed forces of the kingdom.
It is against the background of the growing Shiite threat that makes the Saudi elite return to the old methods of modernizing the army, especially the special forces. Their training by Pakistani forces yielded mixed results (all unit commanders died in Yemen), and this cooperation was curtailed. But KSA requires strong special forces - it is actively involved in local conflicts of low and medium intensity, in which the classical military doctrines and the army prepared for their implementation do not work ...
The bride of Assad's successor
The one-day October visit to Egypt by the head of the Syrian National Security Bureau, General Ali Mamluk, became a signal for KSA. He held talks with the deputy chief of the national security apparatus, the head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate, General Khaled Fawzi, and other representatives of the security forces. The visit to Cairo of the head of the BNB Syria goes beyond the discussion of the fight against Islamist terror.
Cairo and Damascus have a lot of common topics in this area, including opposition from Turkey and Qatar, who stood behind the banned Islamic State in Russia. Egypt is facing this in Sinai, although “Vilayet Sinai” is an independent project of Ankara and Doha, working on other tasks than the Syrian-Iraqi IS. But the Sinai militants of the “workers” do not maintain relations with like-minded people in Syria. They are united by external sponsors, which makes it possible for Egypt and Syria to share their experience in countering the financing of Islamists from abroad.
So the visit of Mamluk must be viewed in a different light.
First of all, this is a signal from the KSA that Cairo has its own vision of the causes of the Syrian crisis and ways out of it. This also applies to Riyadh’s strategy of spreading influence in the Muslim world using the Islamist factor in general. The union of Cairo and Abu Dhabi seems to be more long-term, based on their general rejection of both the Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood. ARE application for the purchase of Russian helicopters for their "Mistral" is likely supported by the United Arab Emirates, and not KSA. Basing them in Berbera (Somaliland) or Eritrea, taking into account the strategy of the United Arab Emirates and Egypt to strengthen their power positions in the waters of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean suggests itself.
Mamluk’s visit to Cairo was coordinated with the United Arab Emirates, which are beginning to play a significant role in the Syrian conflict, looking for a scheme that would allow the Muslim Brotherhood to come to power and would be acceptable to the secular opposition. The Brothers are supported by Doha and Ankara, bowing to this Riyadh. The role of Egypt is important as an intermediary between the Assad regime and the Russian Federation, on the one hand, and the United Arab Emirates, on the other. Without Moscow, there will be no solution to the Syrian conflict, and Abu Dhabi understands this. There they report on the negative consequences of the implementation of the Saudi-Turkish-Qatari scenario of overthrowing the Assad regime.
In this regard, the compromise candidacy of Mamluk as a possible successor to Assad is beginning to manifest itself more and more (the topic is regularly thrown by French analysts). The Sunni and the ethnic Circassian Ali Mamluk are acceptable both for the moderate Syrian Sunni opposition and for a considerable part of the Alawite elite. He is not implicated in crimes, equidistant from the main confessional and ethnic groups, able to keep Syria's security forces under control and to guarantee Assad and his circle (alawites) security.
At the same time he is trusted in Moscow and accepted in the West. He was in the Russian Federation on September 6 and spoke with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, informing the Russian side about the resumption of working contacts with the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) of Turkey. With Mamluk, Moscow is also discussing the position of Damascus on current issues of negotiation formats in Vienna and Geneva. So his visit to Cairo can be viewed as peculiar bride. In the meantime, Assad continues to keep Mamluk as a reserve trump card in the event of an adverse development of the situation.
"Neutral power" ordered to live long
The world media paid enough attention to the air force’s mourning ceremony in Sanaa’s Yemeni rally, which was accompanied by significant casualties. The person who provided the command of the Arabian Coalition with false information about the meeting of the High Command of the Khousits and the former President of Yemen, A. A. Saleh, which was dealt a blow to another goal, was the stepbrother of the former President Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar. It was he and the leadership of the Islah party that once caused a confusion, which political scientists called the Yemeni revolution. The reason for the rebellion was Saleh’s intention to transfer power to his son Ahmed, and not to Al-Ahmar, whose candidacy as president was supported by the top Hashed tribes and the leadership of the Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood - Islah. Al-Ahmar led its military wing.
The Akhmarov v. Saleh Brothers Fronde was sponsored by Qatar, whose authorities planned to provide the basis of their influence in Yemen. This became the basis for Riyadh to unleash a campaign against Islah with the help of the Housits, with whom Riyadh is now at war. Later, in order to restore the trust of the Hashed tribal group and encourage them to fight against the Housits, they agreed in Riyadh with the proposal of the current President of Yemen, A. M. Hadi, to appoint Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar as vice president.
A blow to the mourning ceremony in Sanaa was inflicted by non-Saudi air forces. They bombed Sana and its environs, but did not strike at the procession. The Qatari Air Force fighter bombed. Al-Ahmar reported news about the meeting of the High Command of the Housits and the former President Saleh Doha, and not Riyadh. He continues to maintain confidential contacts with the Qatari military and special services. By transmitting information about the location of Saleh to Doha, he wanted to get paid and strengthened Qatar’s position in the Arabian Coalition. It turned out the other way, al-Akhmar was slipped into misinformation. The son of Saleh, Ahmed, left 20 minutes before the airstrike, but he did not appear at the ceremony. The chairman of the joint committee, which included five representatives from Salekh and the Housits, also departed in advance.
Most of the people who were considered “neutral power” in the United States died. Thanks to Qatar, this power is no more. As it is supposed, the plane of the Qatar Air Force was patrolling in the air, knowing the coordinates of the target and waiting for the signal. He was received by al-Ahmar from an informant who was substituted by the people of Saleh. But he received after all the "necessary" people left the mourning ceremony. Misinformation achieved the goals set by Saleh. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar is compromised in the eyes of KSA and Qatar. Eliminated "neutral force" of the Yemeni loyal to the Americans. Saudi Arabia and Qatar suffered reputational damage, which again struck the image of the Saudi Minister of Defense ...
US is not against the division of Yemen
Washington expressed satisfaction with the recognition by the command of the Arabian Coalition of the fallacy of the blow to the mourning procession in Sana'a. However, this is unlikely to change the format of US involvement in the Yemeni conflict, as, indeed, the launches of modernized Iranian missiles on the American destroyer. Washington will not intensify in the Yemeni direction. This is a great disappointment for Riyadh, where they hoped for a change in the American position after the shelling of the destroyer Mason.
The United States is beginning to reduce the volume of material and technical assistance to Saudi Arabia. This is a reaction to the KSA attempts to transfer the solution of the Yemeni crisis exclusively to military tracks. The United States recommends that Riyadh direct its efforts in this direction to a peaceful settlement of the crisis and resume the negotiation process. They do not welcome Riyadh’s intentions to storm Sanah and undertake offensive operations in the traditional control zone of the Housits of Sa'ad province. At the Pentagon, the Saudi army raided 11 in October to this province, during which KSA seemed to be able to seize the town-checkpoint, through which the main route of smuggling people and goods from Yemen to KSA, was restrained.
We note the following calculations of the Pentagon and the CIA with respect to tactics in Yemen. There they proceed from the impossibility of the participation of the American power block in the internal conflict even at the level of Iraq and Afghanistan. With the formal support of the actions of the Arabian Coalition and the recognition of the government of A. M. Hadi, the United States did not organize their material and technical supply. Saudi Arabia receives support from the PTS in a general format without intensification. Moreover, attacks on the markets and mourning processions in Yemen put on the agenda the question of stopping this assistance.
In politics in the Middle East, the United States has become more selective in supplying arms to the forces operating there. The main in Yemen, they believe the fight against the "Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula" (AQAP), which Riyadh, along with other jihadist structures, has chosen as an instrument of its influence. This is indicated by official reports of the CIA, indicating that the officers of the KSA General Intelligence Directorate maintain contacts with jihadists.
CIA Director J. Brennan is a staunch supporter of minimizing working relations with Saudi colleagues due to the dense debris of HRD KAA personnel with pro-Islamist elements. Operations against AQAP Americans do not coordinate with Saudi Arabia, but with the United Arab Emirates. Special Forces UAE - the main partner of the Americans in the Yemeni province of Hadramaut. Given the complex relations of Riyadh and Abu Dhabi to preserve the unity of Yemen and the subsequent tactics of the Arabian Coalition, this fact is symbolic. There is a mistrust between KSA and the USA, which has become aggravated after the deal on the Iranian nuclear program. Now in Riyadh, Washington rightly suspects that it intends to follow the Emirati plan and divide Yemen along the borders of the former YAR and the Democratic Republic of Yemen.
The Americans predict that the socio-economic situation there will deteriorate disastrously, despite all the Saudi attempts to breathe new life into the country's Central Bank, which President A.M. Hadi transferred by decree from Sana'a to Aden. KSA agreed to finance major infrastructure projects in Hadramaut (there are going to build a thermal power plant for 25 million dollars), as well as to repair several administrative buildings and police stations. Investments in Hadramaut are not random. This province is historically close to KSA, and AQAP is strong here. Riyadh views Hadhramaut as a springboard of influence and a backup area for alternative hydrocarbon exports when problems arise in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.
The United Arab Emirates and the United States in their operations against the ACAP in Yemen focused on Hadramaut. The main ground forces of the US and UAE Special Forces are concentrated there, as well as the UAV base. It can be stated that between Washington and Abu Dhabi - on the one hand, and Riyadh - on the other, the struggle began to establish influence in this one of the richest provinces of southern Yemen. Experts believe that Washington is not going to play any active role in Yemen in the near future, even with continued shelling of American ships by the Housits and KSA attempts to use this to draw the US into the conflict. Under certain circumstances, Washington will close its eyes to the division of the country along the former state borders. This is supported by the recent analytical report of the CIA, whose main idea is the catastrophic fall in the legitimacy of the Hadi regime and the futility of the KSA’s efforts to reanimate it.
All this does not mean that the Saudi leadership is ready to accept the failure of its foreign policy in key areas. The price for top management of KSA is high: it is a question of who among the claimants to the throne will become king and will lead the country for several decades. In this regard, it appears that Riyadh will maneuver tactically, but will maintain a common strategy to achieve hegemony in Syria and Yemen - the bridgeheads of confrontation with Iran. No defeat will change this strategy, at least until the assets of KSA are depleted, which are enough for Riyadh for three to five years while maintaining the current dynamics of oil prices and the level of its military spending.