Report: Russian ship and Syrian senior officials flee

Syrian opposition sources say ship left Latakia port, families of top regime members escape to Lebanon. Syrian information minister: If attacked, we’ll defend ourselves

Syrian opposition elements claimed on Monday that a Russian navy ship, which has docked for a long time in the vicinity of the Latakia port, has left its harbor.

In addition, it was reported by opposition sources that thousands of family members of top official and figures in the Syria regime escaped to Lebanon and to Latakia. These reports were not confirmed by other sources. Continue reading

Iranian Endgame: Part II — The Saudi Dimension

Western powers have entered into a tense endgame with Iran over its nuclear ambitions. In the second part of this new report from the Globalist Reseach Center, energy expert Matthew Hulbert explores the critical role the China-Saudi relationship might play in its resolution.

The sanctions strategy that Western nations is enacting against Iran’s oil weath depends on more than just those Western nations. The interest (and actions) of the Gulf states and Asian nations also matters critically. Only East-West cohesion can seriously undermine Iran’s hydrocarbon economy. But getting the Saudis to wield such a brutal oil weapon to shoot down Persian nuclear plans will not be quick or easy given the stakes involved.

The al Saud are well aware of the other (more credible) hedges Iran has up its sleeve (beyond cutting off oil flows through the Strait of Hormuz). At the top of the list is stirring Shia schisms in Iraq, Bahrain, Syria, Lebanon and in Saudi Arabia itself.

The “Arab Awakening” is still sufficiently fresh in the minds of Gulf region leaders to set them on edge. Iran has dropped hints that it could have played much tougher with Riyadh over its intervention in Bahrain.

Full article: Iranian Endgame: Part II — The Saudi Dimension (The Globalist)

See also: Iranian Endgame: Part I — Sanctions and Asia (The Globalist)