The Saudi regime in its 16-month aggression on Yemen has proved that it follows the same war patterns and conducts that the Israeli regime has been adopting in its assaults against Gaza within the course of past decade, particularly 51-day war in 2014 on Gaza strip that since 2007 is suffering from an all-out besiege by the regime.
Doing a comparative study on Yemen and Gaza wars, one can find similarities between Saudi and Israeli regimes measures regarding types of their military operations as well as their focus on military targets.
A side from these, Saudi Arabia and Israeli regime share a set of behaviors in international arena as they move ahead with their assaults. Forming international coalition, targeting the regional Resistance Axis represented by Iran as well as drawing support and collaboration of world’s organizations and powers are the cases the Saudi and Israeli regimes have in common as they launched their war campaigns in Gaza and Yemen. Moreover, dismissing the international norms beside imposing economic blockades and military siege, and implementing the media power to launch a psychological warfare are also on the aggressive countries’ agenda to fulfill their objectives.
Building coalitions for war
Making efforts to gain supports of allied countries within a coalition in order to avoid individual moves to press ahead for their war objectives is among shared factors implemented by Riyadh and Tel Aviv. The Israeli regime in its assault on Gaza relied on a historical and firmly established alliance with the US, as it enjoyed a full-scale supply of Washington’s political, military, and financial support. Likewise, getting the US green light, the Saudi regime has struggled to build a coalition containing a wide-range presence of the regional players.
The Israeli army in its last three offensives against the small Gaza Strip has been in total coordination with the US. The same accordance is seen in current Saudi war against Yemen. Almost all of the countries which stood by the Israeli regime in its 2014 aggression on Gaza, dubbed 51-day war, have also supported Saudi in Yemen war. Countries including the US, Britain, France, Germany and Italy in the Western side, and the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar and Morocco in the Arab bloc, as well as UNSC in international level reacted favorably, advocating the Saudi assault into Yemen.
Saudi regime has managed to mobilize a considerable number of the regional players, as fighter jets of five members of Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC), UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain, and other countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Sudan have taken part in airstrikes in Yemen. Somalia also authorized the Saudi-led coalition use of its military bases to launch more attacks. Pakistan was asked to participate in the operations, however, it turned down the call for involvement, preferring to stay out of the offensive and stand neutral. The Arab League has expressed support for the assault, and its members in their annual summit in Egypt’s Sharma al-Sheikh have asked for establishing a joint Arab military force.
Targeting the Resistance Axis spearheaded by Iran
Another commonality bringing the Israeli regime and Saudi Arabia together in two wars of Yemen and Gaza is the fact that they both have one point of focus and that is targeting the spectrum of resistance countries in the region, specifically Iran. Also, they exchanged a mutual backup for the ultimate aim of weakening the Resistance Axis. Considering Iran and the resistant movement’s members, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Hamas in Gaza, as most principal threats to its security, Tel Aviv regime has frequently announced that the aim of its bloody and atrocious attacks against Gaza and Lebanon is to protect its people.
Similarly, the Saudi-led coalition has accused Iran of backing Ansarullah movement in Yemen financially and militarily. Brigadier-General Ahmad al-Asiri, the spokesman for the Arab coalition has warned Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Hezbollah forces over presence in the Yemen’s Ansarullah resistant movement’s training camps or the conflict areas. Fundamentally, the strategic aim of Saudi offensive against Yemen is blocking Iranian increasing influence in Yemen as well as in West Asia reign, an objective frequently highlighted by Saudi officials.
Interestingly, there are claims suggesting that in both Gaza and Yemen wars the Saudi and Israeli regimes have agreed on backing each other in. Notwithstanding silence of Riyadh in Gaza war, the reports insist that Saudi Arabia offered Tel Aviv some helps. A Saudi media activist on his Tweeter page has claimed that Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s officials besides undertaking the Israel’s Gaza ground assault’s costs, pledged to the Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli PM, that if the regime could have successfully completed the ground offensive in Gaza, that is eliminating the Hamas movement, they would have open the Israeli embassies in their countries. Additionally, David Hearst, an Editor of Middle East Eye website, in a note on Huffington Post wrote that Israeli aggression on Gaza followed a green light of the international powers headed by the US, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, adding that Egypt and Saudi Arabia supported the assault to inflict a heavy loss on Hamas movement in Gaza, and press it for acceptation of the ceasefire terms as well as the so-called Arab Peace Plan, an attempt faced failure so far due to insisting the Gaza’s resistant groups on confronting the Israeli regime.
Regarding the war in Yemen, some media and Yemeni sources have issued reports indicating that the Israeli regime offered help to Saudi Arabia, a claim faced with Israeli silence, however, as the time went on, Western media reported that Tel Aviv has supplied Riyadh with weapons, as other news suggest that Israeli military forces are present in the offensive.
The two countries have already begun an intelligence cooperation, the mutual focus of which is hostility against Iran. The Israeli media have reported of unprecedented negotiations held between Tel Aviv and Riyadh against Iran which included Saudi permission to Israeli regime’s Air Force to use the kingdom’s air space for carrying out possible attacks against Iran.
Veterans Today news website in an analysis said that the images of a wreckage belonging to an F-16 jet shot down by Yemeni forces show that the aircraft has been a B-16 , a type not delivered to any of Arab countries’ air forces, and in the region only the Israeli regime has purchased it.
Gaining advocacy of international organizations, global superpowers
Saudi Arabia and the Israeli regime managed to draw the UN’s favor, support and even cooperation in their aggressions in Yemen and Gaza. The UN showed no reactions or took no positive steps to support the attacked countries, while according to its chapter as well as other international principles and laws it has the considerable powers and choices to exert pressures on the Saudi and Israeli regimes in order to stop their assaults in Yemen and Gaza, an issue transparently indicating collaboration and shared interests between the two aggressive countries and the US, and helping to get other influential superpowers’ advocacy.
Holding an emergency meeting on Israeli war against Gaza in 2014, on July 8th of the same year, the UN in a statement called for an instant, thorough and unlimited halt to conflicts between the two sides to help people in the critical humanitarian conditions. However, this measure was seen as a symbolic action because it did not change the grave conditions and did not have a tangible effect on the war developments in the defenseless Gaza being pounded by Israeli regime for several weeks. Accusing Tel Aviv regime of committing war crimes, The UN, in a report on 2014 Gaza war, simultaneously applied the same charges on the Palestinian resistant group Hamas. The report was defined as explicitly biased and has been created under the US and other Israeli regime’s Western allies’ pressure.
Regarding the war in Yemen, a resolution by 14 yes votes and with Russias abstaining was passed in the UNSC under the 7th chapter of the UN which asks for action against “Acts of Aggression.” The vote was against the Yemen’s Ansarullah resistant movement, while it did not condemn the Saudi assault against Yemeni people. Imposing crucial limitations on Ansarullah and Ali Abdullah Saleh, the resolution considered Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, the resigned president of Yemen as the legitimate president, as it highlighted credibility of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council’s (PGCC) initiative in Yemen, with Saudi Arabia having a pivotal role in the process of talks between Yemeni opposing sides. Arms sanctions case is a very significant item of the resolution. Articles 14, 15, 16 and 17 ban any transfer and supply of arms to Ansarullah movement, Yemeni army, General People’s Congress, and the Public Mobilization forces, as it authorizes the neighboring countries to inspect the suspicious planes and ships in their ports and airports and to seize their cargos in case.
Dismissing international principles, laws and condemnations
Another similarity in the Saudi-Israeli behavior in their aggressions on Yemen and Gaza is disregarding the international norms as well as protests and condemnations worldwide, and insisting on their accounts and excuses regarding some security concerns to justify their assaults. Defying all the international pressures to halt its killings and desecrations in Gaza, the Israeli regime argued that it launched its assault to preserve its security against the so-called Hamas “terrorist threats”. Tel Aviv regime has accused Hamas movement of using the civilians as human shields, supporting its charge by a claim that there have been ammunitions in a UN-run school in Gaza, an argument totally refused by Hamas. In a phone call to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 21 July 2014, the American president Barak Obama backed the Israeli regimes right to defend itself.
Similarly, the Saudi regime rejected criticisms against its aggression on neighboring Yemen, claiming that the purpose of aggression is to preserve the kingdom’s security. The Saudi Arabia has presented a set of reasons to justify its assault on Yemen. Ansarullah’s access to ballistic missiles as well as to the country’s air defense system beside other regional security issues are considered to be driving Riyadh to intervene in Yemen. The Saudi-led Arab coalition has accused Yemen’s Ansarullah of hiding its weapons in big and populous cites, a claim paving the way for Saudi Arabia to pound civilian areas in Yemen.
Unlimited economic and military blockade
Economic and military blockades which so far have widened the already deteriorated condition in Yemen and Gaza, have led to catastrophic humanitarian condition, as it have undermined their military capability for self-defense. Since 2007, after Hamas victory and Fatah failure in Palestine’s election and after striking a security deal between Egypt and the Israeli regime, the Gaza blockade has kept standing within several assaults the Israeli regime has carried out against Gaza Strip. Only limited traffic through some crossings has been allowed during specific times under a strict Israeli or Egyptian supervision. Tel Aviv follows its long-time restrictions on Gaza with the intention of weakening Hamas movement militarily as well as pressing economically the residents of Gaza, the world’s most densely-populated area.
Likewise, since the start of aggression, Yemen, has been suffering from an all-out air, sea, and land blockade. The Saudis managed to push the UN to pass a resolution imposing a ban on supply of weapons to the Shiite forces, a pretext under which it keeps blockade on Yemen. However, the weapon embargo has turned into an all-out blockade that prevents entry of Yemeni’s basic needs. At the time being, almost no plane or ship is allowed to help the Yemeni people or forces fighting against Saudi aggression. While Yemen is 90% dependent on imports, it imports 50% of its oil products, Saudi Arabia has not set any timetable so far to lift Yemen’s blockade.
Using media power and launching psychological warfare
Another major fields widely exploited by Saudi and Israeli regimes in Gaza and Yemen wars are the global and regional media power and cyberspace represented by social media to launch a psychological warfare and guide the world’s public opinions. While the Israeli regime relied majorly on Western media to justify and whitewash its atrocities in Gaza, the Saudi Arabia beside main stream media also resorts to powerful and influential Arabic media outlets, such as Al-Arabiya and Al-Jazeera news channels to justify its bloody aggression on its neighboring Arab state.