Exposing the secret battle that Saudi Arabia is waging on its territory
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2017-08-08 17:20:27

Exposing the secret battle that Saudi Arabia is waging on its territory

 

The Independent newspaper reported that it had received information about what was going on in Awamiya, after conducting rare interviews with local activists, to reveal the terrible conditions faced by civilians in that secret battle between Riyadh and armed protesters.

 

 

The British newspaper said that the “secret battle” began since the arrival of US President Donald Trump to Saudi Arabia in May, amid very little media coverage of those events, both inside and outside the Kingdom.

 


Awamiyah.

 

 

Awamiyah is one of the oldest cities in Saudi Arabia, about 400 years old, and is located in the eastern region, specifically in the province of Qatif.

The city is a home to some 30,000 people. It is also descended from the famous Shi’ite imam Nimr al-Nimr, who was executed by the Saudi authorities years ago for allegedly inciting unrest in Saudi Arabia following the Arab Spring revolutions in 2011.

The Saudi authorities decided to evacuate a large number of its inhabitants, demolish the old city, demolish a number of houses and quickly deteriorate the security situation in the city. Local residents told the Independent that at least 25 people were killed by shelling and sniper fire.

 

 

Activists posted pictures of the streets covered by rubble and sewage, which looks like a scene from the fighting in Syria, not the city of an oil-rich Gulf state.

The newspaper pointed out that it is difficult to verify information related to Awamiya, because foreign media are not allowed to approach the area without government officials.

“This means that the world depends on coverage of events in Awamiyah on what is transmitted by the Saudi government media, especially since the sites and means of social communication cannot be relied upon as a source of information.”

 

 

The Independent quoted detailed testimonies of what was happening inside the besieged city of Awamiya, one of the demonstrators inside the city, and two activists living outside the country.

 

 

“I was a peaceful demonstrator, and most of us live in Awamiya, until the government decided to include us as wanted terrorists,” the paper quoted an anti-government activist as saying in a rare interview with Western media. “All we have been asking for is continuing the calls for reform.”

He continued: “The people of the city are not afraid of the regime, so the entire city was targeted.”

 

 

“They told the little girl we would kill your father and then throw them under our leg,” the activist said, adding that the government forces broke into his house at the beginning of the siege. They beat his wife and showed the weapons in front of his five-year-old daughter and threatened to drop his eight-month-old daughter.

He went on to say: “We had no choice but to defend our lives and our women, which is a must. Houses were destroyed by bombs, intense gunfire and RPGs, and everyone was targeted by their shells.”

 

 

The British newspaper said it was not known where the armed militants in that city and how many weapons, noting that the armed activist who conducted the dialogue refused to respond specifically to that question.

The activists describe the goal of the Saudi authorities not to demolish and re-develop the old city, but the goal is to eliminate the rebel city, they say.

 

 

“I have documented the conflict in Saudi Arabia before, but I have not seen anything like that. I have seen protests, but I have not seen that they have turned into armed confrontations in that way,” Adam Kugel, a Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch, was quoted as saying.

 

 

“The details here are clear on the ground, there are violent clashes between the state and its citizens, and this is unprecedented.”

The newspaper quoted activists as saying the city was suffering from a “permanent siege” amid deep fears that they would continue to be targeted either by shelling or by snipers, and many were afraid to leave their homes.

It also pointed out that all water and electricity lines were cut off from many areas in Awamiya, leaving others without fresh water or air conditioning despite the summer heat in that area.

 

 

 

“People are afraid that there are many bodies left in the streets for days,” said a city activist living in the United States.

The Independent pointed out that several reports claimed that ambulances and sewage have difficulty reaching the city.

Ali Adbasi, director of the group of European-Saudi human rights activists who fled the kingdom in 2013, also said that the current confrontation in Awamiyah can not be reduced to a sectarian issue.“I think they will destroy the same way any opposition area, they want to empty the country of people and end the protests.”

 

 

On Friday, the Saudi authorities issued a new notice that the residents of Awamiya should be evacuated to the city and leave two roads chosen by the security authorities.

“There are hundreds of people who have fled the city, 90 percent of whom are local residents, and about 3,000 or 5,000 people are still trapped,” he said.

In May, the United Nations condemned the plans to redevelop Awamiya and accused the authorities of forcibly removing the population without providing adequate resettlement options. It also threatened “the irreparable damage to the city’s historical and cultural heritage,” she said. .

 

 

The British newspaper said it had tried to contact the Saudi embassies in Beirut and London to comment on these allegations, but there was no response to those allegations so far, it said.

 

pk.shafaqna.com

 

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Tags:   saudi arabia ، Riyadh ، Al awamiya ،
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