'Delusional': Saudi-made CGI Propaganda Video Declares War on Iran

Published December 17th, 2017 - 01:53 GMT
Saudi Crown Prince and Defense Minister, Mohammed bin Salman, is depicted in cartoon form, running the operation from a command center (Rami Khoury/Albawaba)
Saudi Crown Prince and Defense Minister, Mohammed bin Salman, is depicted in cartoon form, running the operation from a command center (Rami Khoury/Albawaba)

by Rosie Alfatlawi

An animated propaganda-style video showing Saudi Arabia “liberating” Iran has been branded “delusional” on social media.

Produced by online account “Saudi Deterrent Force”, the six-minute clip shows a quivering Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force, surrendering to invading troops.

Saudi Crown Prince and Defense Minister, Mohammed bin Salman, is depicted in cartoon form, running the operation from a command center.

The animation shows the destruction of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant and Mehrabad airport, before forces are seen overrunning Tehran, welcomed by Iranians waving Saudi flags.

“Peace be upon you, we are with you,” read flyers dropped from a Saudi plane.

@Saudi_S_force, which has a modest 12,500 following on Twitter, has produced English, Persian, Hebrew, Chinese, Turkish and Spanish versions of its video, released Friday.

While the page is not an official source, the clip was reportedly shared on the website of Saudi pro-government newspaper Al Riyadh and by Sabq online newspaper.

"Powerful work,” wrote Saudi commenters on Twitter, “this is something to make us lift up our heads [with pride].”

“Outstanding work which shows the strength of the kingdom to deter the henchmen,” tweeted @tare27k.

 

 

Outside Saudi Arabia, however, the clip has gone down less well, variously described as “cheap,” “amateurish,” “bizarre” and “like a video-game.”

Comparisons have been made between the simulation and North Korean propaganda. 

The accent placed on U.S.-made weapons in the video has led some to jokingly question whether it was produced by an American weapons company or the Pentagon.

Many have pointed out that to boast of Saudi military strength ignores Riyadh’s failure to secure victory in a nearly three-year war against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

@atwaniyat tweeted: “Saudi Arabia enters Tehran in an animation, and this after three years of [operation] "Decisive Storm" against Yemen without results!”

Tweets mocked Saudi military capacity in general, which they suggested was vastly exaggerated by the video.

And this is the reality.

In fact, a piece by Business Insider on Saturday suggested that, despite massive defense spending, the Saudi military is “ineffective.”

"The fact is, Iran is better at doing this stuff," the article quoted Gulf military specialist Michael Knights as saying.

"There's nobody in the Iranian General Staff that's afraid of Saudi Arabia on the ground," he added.

In a reflection of recent events, some on social media even responded to the new clip by asking why Saudi Arabia did not deploy its apparent might against Israel.

Growing reports of improving ties between Riyadh and Tel Aviv have angered many in the Arab world who see it as a betrayal of the Palestinian cause.

The two nations share a strong animosity towards Tehran, and the head of the Israeli military has publicly indicated his willingness to share intelligence to counter Iran.

This clip might not have been produced by the Saudi state, but it could well have been.

In November, Bin Salman described the Supreme Leader of Iran as "the new Hitler of the Middle East," in what was seen as an escalation of the war of words between the two regional powers.


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