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Daily News Analysis

Saudis’ two-week bombing of Yemen: now what?

Crescent International

The Saudi-led aerial attacks on Yemen are killing a lot of civilians but they are not likely to achieve their strategic objective. Will the Saudis launch a ground invasion? It seems highly unlikely since they are rank amateurs and cannot even scramble an egg in a hurry much less launch a successful ground operation. That explains why they want to hire mercenaries to fight their war.

Friday April 10, 2015, 18:47 DST

In the more than two weeks that the Saudis have been bombing dirt-poor Yemen, all they have achieved is the killing of hundreds of innocent civilians—643 according to UN figures until yesterday. Add to that the 40 civilians that were killed today and this total has now climbed to 683.

The UN has said that a humanitarian disaster is developing in Yemen. The Saudis probably welcome this since they have never cared for human life, especially that of Muslims. They would rather punish the Yemenis because they have dared to side with the Houthis who are Zaydi Shias against their puppet, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the fugitive who while hiding in Saudi Arabia still clings to the fiction that he is the president of Yemen.

Aerial attacks have seldom if ever achieved the desired objective. In the case of Yemen, the Saudis want to defeat the Houthis’ Ansarullah militia that has made impressive gains in recent weeks. The Saudis have deliberately misrepresented Yemen’s reality by claiming that since the Houthis are Shias, therefore, Iran (which is also predominantly Shia) is supporting them.

What the Saudis—and their backers elsewhere—refuse to admit is that a large segment of the Yemeni population that includes Shias and Sunnis, support the Houthis’ campaign against the corrupt rule of Hadi. If the Saudis cannot achieve their objective through aerial attacks, will they launch a ground invasion? Those who hate the Saudi ruling family—and there are a whole lot of them all over the world—wish the Bedouins from Najd would make this mistake. Almost all Yemenis are armed and well-trained in using guns. The terrain and geography also helps them. Saudis are grossly incompetent; they have never participated in any battle. The Yemenis would chew them up like the kat they chew regularly and spit them out. That explains why the Saudis are shopping around for mercenaries to fight their battle for them.

A quick glance at some statistics and the Saudis’ conduct so far would show the true picture of what is underway. The Saudi defence spending is $80.8 billion annually; the Yemenis’ by comparison a meagre $3.4 billion. Last year, the Saudis imported $6 billion worth of weapons—the largest in the world. The Yemenis imported only $770 million worth. Some relevant figures would also shed light on the situation. The Saudi GDP is $750 billion; the Yemeni GDP is $36 billion. Their respective per capital income figures stand at $53,640 and $3,820. The Saudi reserves stand at nearly $750 billion while the Yemeni reserves are $4.67 billion and that too because of borrowing.

Thus, there is no comparison between the two countries. Yet the Saudis need the services of not only its Arabian tribal allies to support them in their aggression in Yemen but they are also seeking the support of countries like Egypt and Pakistan to provide them mercenaries to fight a war that the Saudis started. Mercifully, the Pakistani parliament voted against military involvement in the Saudis’ war against Yemen today. This may not be the last word on this issue because Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has no spine to say ‘No’ to the Saudis.

The Saudi regime has been spinning a lot of lies about their war on Yemen. The first is that they launched their attacks at the request of the “legitimate” president, Hadi and want to restore him to power. This so-called legitimate president had resigned in January and fled the capital Sana‘a on February 25 and then the country altogether on March 25.

So what kind of legitimacy does he have? But the Saudis’ excuses keep changing. To non-Arab Muslims they say the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah are threatened. Anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of geography will confirm that Makkah and Madinah are hundreds of miles from the Yemeni border.

Besides, the Houthis though based in the north of Yemen at the Saudi border, have been operating way down in the south of Yemen resulting in their being at least a thousand mile away from Makkah and Madinah. The Saudis’ real beef is that they do not wish to lose control in a country that they consider to be their domain of influence. The regional reality, however, is changing fast. All of Saudi Arabia’s policies have unravelled and this will also be the case in Yemen, insha’allah.

What is needed is for the people in the Arabian Peninsula to rise up against these primitive Bedouins from Najd and send these dinosaurs back to their caves from where they erupted nearly 300 years ago.


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