Five years after the Saudi military intervention in Yemen’s home affairs, not only the crisis and conflict have not subsided but also the foreign forces continue to struggle with the miseries of the campaign there.
In March 2014, Saudi Arabia founded its Arab military coalition, backed by the West, and said that in a short time it would defeat Ansarullah and seize the capital from the revolutionary movement and its allied army units all to reinstall the resigned and fugitive President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to the rule.
The Saudi and allied sides’ goal remains unachievable after 5 years of an unceasing bombing campaign that so far killed and wounded Tens of thousands of Yemeni civilians and displaced millions more. On the other side of the war, Sana’a boosted its self-confidence over the years of conflict by developing its deterrence thanks to missile and drone power advancements and recent progress on the ground against the aggression and its mercenaries. Ansarullah, as the face of the Yemeni resistance, on the strength of the important boost in its force now says it is fully ready to continue its resistance against the occupying Arab forces.
Meanwhile, the international efforts to put an end to the five-year war have so far yielded no considerable fruits to the crisis-ravaged country. Saudi Arabia several times breached the ceasefire agreements in Hudaydah Port as the only humanitarian relief window for the capital and northern parts of the country controlled by the revolutionary government, officially known as the Supreme Political Council, as the indirect Oman-mediated talks with Ansarullah have so far failed to make any difference.
Alwaght has talked to Hassan Hanizadeh, an Iranian expert of West Asia region affairs, asking him about the latest political developments of Yemen.
$350 billion the cost of Saudi war against Yemen
Asked for an assessment of the result of the Saudi-led Arab coalition’s war against Yemen, Mr Hanizadeh said that Riyadh leader waged military aggression against the neighboring country with the wrong notion that the Houthis and their Ansarullah movement due to being Shiite would be allied to Iran as a regional Shiite power once they take the government control in Yemen after Hadi was pushed to step down.
“It was based on this supposition that they started an oppressive war against the Yemen people by a coalition of 14 Arab states. Over the past five years, the Arab kingdom spent over $350 billion to the obliteration of the people of Yemen.”
Saudi Arabia and its alliance lost the balance of power to Yemenis
The Saudis and their Arab and Western allies want to remove Ansarullah and the Shiites from the political and military developments of Yemen and restore to power in Sana’a their allied forces. To Riyadh’s frustration, the Yemeni people during the years of war made it clear that they are a resistant nation and will never bow to the foreign intervention in their country, Mr Hanizadeh said.
“There is a prominent saying about the Yemeni people which holds that over the history of the country no foreign army could win in Yemen and it rose the white flag at the end of the road. This indicates that the Yemeni people are resistant to any foreign aggression. Despite the heavy costs this approach has taken over the years of the war, the Yemeni army and popular committees have managed to turn the tide to their favor using their domestic capabilities and experiences. The September 2019 drone strikes on Saudi oil giant Aramco that shut half of the kingdom’s 10 million barrel per day oil production and also the neutralization of 17 brigades of the Saudi army inside its territories demonstrates the change of the power equations in favor of the Yemen people.”
He added that as the war continued, the members of the Riyadh-led coalition gradually separated ways from Saudi Arabia by ending their participation in the war. Most important of them is the UAE that is now officially facing off Saudi Arabia in an encounter in Yemen featuring proxy forces. Many of the foreign and Yemen mercenary forces have been killed, leaving the Saudi rulers in search of a way out of the quagmire.
Saudi Arabia seeks exit with face saved
When asked if Saudi Arabia seeks a graceful end to the Yemen war, the West Asian affairs expert said that in the present conditions Saudi Arabia searches for a way for a face-saving exit from the Yemen crisis.
“Actually, by its war on Yemen, Saudi Arabia made one of the gravest mistakes of its foreign policy history because this campaign turned into a country with big economic, political, and military troubles. We need to take into consideration that Yemen has been under siege from air, ground, and sea over the past five years. American, British, and French forces have been preserving the blockade along with the Arab allies against the Yemeni people.” The Western countries sold tens of billions of dollars in arms to the Arab aggressor but what we can obviously see is that money and arms by themselves are not determining. It was the will of the Yemeni nation that managed to win over the modern weaponry and petrodollars.”
Yemeni resolve is the final winner
In the final part of the interview, Hanizadeh said that over the past year, Saudi Arabia had to deal with a $50 billion budget deficit, which is unprecedented in the oil-wealthy kingdom’s history. This is largely weird and surprising for a country exporting 10 billion oil barrels daily.
“Although the United Nations and the rights organizations have never fairly mediated to settle the crisis in Yemen, the final victory is for the will of the Yemeni people that would definitely defeat Saudi Arabia and its allies.”