Oman joins Saudi coalition (corrected version)

Summary: Oman joins the Saudi-led Coalition against Terrorism, a gesture to Saudi Arabia and the GCC which will only matter if it jeopardises Oman’s role as a mediator – which it probably won’t.

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1 thought on “Oman joins Saudi coalition (corrected version)”

  1. Today’s article correcting earlier reporting on Oman and Saudi Arabia is excellent and very helpful to otherwise little informed readers.
    Anyone who has been to the border region between Oman and Yemen will likely acknowledge that it would be next to impossible to smuggle weapons into Yemen from that part of the Sultanate. It could only happen, in my mind, if at a given moment in time the border officials were to have been on vacation, on an extended mealtime break, all asleep at the same time, bribed to allow passage of a prohibited item or, as one writer suggests, its official(s) looked the other way. None of these scenarios has credibility from my prospective. Perhaps a few bullets tucked away in a cigarette package might go in — which begs the question of, “Who would do that? And why? — but it is hard to imagine anything else.
    This kind of writing seems to come from authors’ surmise rather than empirically validated observation. Kind of like some writers writing that the sinking of tankers in the Hormuz Strait could block passage into and out from that strategic waterway. Anyone familiar with the Strait’s depth and breadth would have to concede that not even if all the world’s tankers were sunk there could the effect be to block the Strait. Regardless of whether all of them were stacked one on top of the other so as to protrude above the water line, all ships would need to do would be to sail around the sunken vessels.
    Similarly, an otherwise respected Israel-published annual survey of Middle Eastern affairs wrote in the mid-1970s that the number of pilgrims visiting Makkah the two previous years had increased “because of Makkah’s new international airport.” The surmise was that the heightened inflow of oil income from the price rises dating from late 1973 had to have provided the means for the Kingdom to build a new airport there. Only someone who has never been to Makkah would have written something like that, for that holiest of Islamic holy sites did not have then and does not have now an international airport.
    Cudos for Arab Digest’s integrity.

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