Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/7/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Base could inflame anti-American passions in the conservative Islamic state.

Drone strikes on Obama-selected targets in Yemen  are being launched from a secret base in Saudi Arabia. The exact location of the base is not being disclosed, however its mere presence is a political risk for Saudi Arabia.

Drones are now widely used in military operations. This image shows an Air Force Captain piloting a drone over Iraq in 2004.

Drones are now widely used in military operations. This image shows an Air Force Captain piloting a drone over Iraq in 2004.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

2/7/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Drones, Saudi Arabia, base, Pakistan, Iran, memo

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Earlier this week, news broke about the existence of a secret military base in Saudi Arabia where the U.S. was conducting secret drone missions. The details of the operation remains shrouded in mystery, but it is now known that the base was responsible for launching the September 2011 attacks that killed American al-Qaeda members, Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan.

The mere presence of the base is controversial for Saudi Arabia, which has its own problems with al-Qaeda. The conservative Arab state was the birthplace of Osama bin Laden and has a significant number of citizens who despise the American presence there.

Although the base is in Saudi Arabia, the extreme flying range of the drones means that it can fly sorties across a wide area including as far away as Pakistan and the Horn of Africa. The base could also launch drones into Iran, although no connections between the base and alleged drone flights into that country has been established.

Back in the United States, the existence of the secret base has invited new scrutiny from Americans who are concerned about U.S. drone operations.

According to statistics released by a number of agencies, U.S. drone strikes kill as many as 50 non-terrorists for each legitimate terrorist they eliminate. The 50 to 1 ratio seems high, however strikes are conducted against homes and vehicle convoys that are used by targeted individuals and others. It is very difficult to separate the innocent from the guilty for the purposes of a drone strike. Mistakes can also occur.

In addition, some of the strikes have targeted American civilians who chose to affiliate themselves with al-Qaeda. A secret justice department memo was leaked last week, which concluded that the President, or other authorized individuals, were within legal bounds to order strikes against Americans overseas.

This memo has become the subject of intense scrutiny and legal challenge as it provides no due process for the accused. Defenders of the memo say that due process is impossible for these individuals and that because of the unique threat they pose to their country, they must be eliminated. White House spokesman Jay Carney has called the strikes, "Legal, ethical, and wise."

The memo is particularly important because the man tapped to become the next director of the CIA is John Brennan, an architect behind the ongoing drone program. It is likely that if he is confirmed, U.S. drone operations will expand rather than contract.

What implications that has for the government of Saudi Arabia, and the Obama administration remains to be seen.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Middle East

Saudi teen to be beheaded for teaching first aid to demonstrators in times of protests Watch

Image of


A second teenager will be beheaded in Saudi Arabia for participating in protests. The teen's sentence was reported only a few days following teenager's conviction sparked international outcry.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dawoud al-Marhoon was only ... continue reading

China to join Russian forces in the battle against ISIS Watch

Image of China joins forces with Russia to eradicate ISIS threats (AFP).


China is allegedly preparing to unleash its military forces in Syria and join forces with Vladimir Putin's army to destroy ISIS. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Russia has carried out a series of destructive and deadly airstrikes against the terrorist nation IS ... continue reading

Violence increases in Jerusalem's Old City as tensions between Palestinians and Israelis rise Watch

Image of Palestinian/Israeli tensions continue to rise (AP).


An 18-year-old Palestinian woman was allegedly shot by an Israeli man on Wednesday, after she stabbed him during a brawl in Jerusalem's Old City. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online)  - Both parties were taken to the hospital. While the man did not receive serious ... continue reading

U.S./Iran negotiation ban effective immediately Watch

Image of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.


On Wednesday, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei prohibited further negotiations between Iran and the United States, further isolating Iran following July's nuclear deal. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Khamenei, who is the highest authority in the ... continue reading

Disturbing graphic video encourages Arabs to kill Jews in Jerusalem Watch

Image of Video promotes Jewish stereotypes and encourages Arabs to kill Jews in Jerusalem (YouTube).


A disturbing video depicting the stabbing of Jewish men was uploaded to YouTube on Hamas' official Channel. YouTube removed the video, calling it a violation of the prohibition against promoting hate speeches. However, the video was reuploaded to a pro-Israel blog. LOS ... continue reading

Russian jets shadow U.S. drones in Syria Watch

Image of U.S. predator drones were


American officials revealed that Russian fighter jets intercepted and shadowed U.S. predator drones on three separate occasions following the initiation of Russian airstrikes last week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Intelligence reports from U.S. officials ... continue reading

Syrian woman gang raped and later stabbed to death in honor killing for being 'unclean' Watch

Image of Rockstan M. was killed by her own father and two brothers, allegedly on orders given by her mother (Twitter).


Rokstan M. managed to escape in Syria after being gang-raped by three men. She fled to Germany but was later murdered by her own father and two brothers, allegedly by her own mother's orders because she was seen as "unclean" after the sexual assault. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

'Don't make it worse for yourselves': Lleaflets dropped from Russian helicopters warn civilians to flee and rebels to give up Watch

Image of Russian military drops leaflets above Rastan and Talbiseh, Syria.


Russia reportedly dropped at least ten thousand leaflets with distinct messages aimed at civilians and rebel troops, including ISIS members.Through a Kremlin-friendly website, the leaflet details were posted, including warnings for people to leave the area before more ... continue reading

The Feared Spetsnaz: Russian special forces sent to take out rebels -including the Free Syrian Army Watch

Image of Spetsnaz special forces.


Feared Spetsnaz special forces were reportedly sent by Russian President Vladimir Putin to obliterate Islamic State terrorists and the moderate rebel groups against Bashar al-Assad. The special troops' intervention was said to be indicative of Russia's support for the ... continue reading

What is the Islamic State doing with all those Toyota vehicles? Watch

Image of It took awhile for others to catch on, but propaganda videos released by Islamic State, or ISIS, shows them using an extraordinary amount of vehicles from Japanese car manufacturer Toyota.


It took awhile for others to catch on, but propaganda videos released by Islamic State, or ISIS, shows them using an extraordinary amount of vehicles from Japanese car manufacturer Toyota. The U.S. Treasury Department has since launched an inquiry as to why. ... continue reading

All Middle East News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2
13 Priests, put on sackcloth and lament! You ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 9:2-3, 6, 16, 8-9
6 the enemy is wiped out -- mere ruins for ever -- ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:15-26
15 But some of them said, 'It is through Beelzebul, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 9th, 2015 Image

Sts. Denis, Rusticus, and Eleutherius
October 9: The first mention we have of these three martyrs who died around ... Read More