Yemen and Its Repercussions

President Biden should follow through on his campaign vow to cease all US assistance for the Yemeni conflict, including weapons shipments.

Schadenfreude is a deplorable but unavoidable feeling. In response to the UAE's deadly aggressions on the region's poorest country, Yemeni drone strikes on Abu Dhabi are a fitting revenge. In times of conflict, karma might look enraged.

Exactly seven years ago, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates organized a "coalition," which was mostly comprised of mercenaries from Sudan, to reinstate the deposed Yemeni president. The fight wasn't about them, but the privileged royals desired a more malleable client state, which was why they waged a war against the contemporary Yemeni state.

Originally expected to last just a few weeks, the conflict has since lasted seven years and the Yemeni militants are making steady gains. Ansar Allah, also known as the Houthis, is a domestic opposition organization that started battling the former regime a decade before the coalition invaded. After the Arab Spring, Saleh was overthrown. The Houthis and he teamed together to seize the capital of Yemen at the end of 2014, amid the ever-evolving politics of the country.

The Saudis and Emiratis, and the United States, which supported their military actions in order to get support for the nuclear agreement with Iran, had nothing to do with this. Neither did Tehran have a substantial interest in Saudi Arabia's underdeveloped neighbor. But the crisis became an Allah-sent chance for Iran to establish influence through the Houthis and bleed the weak KSA armies.

It didn't take long for the world to see that Saudi Arabia was complicit in war crimes and the killing of civilians. A naval blockade and airstrikes by the Emirates were also to blame. The repercussions of this were disastrous. Casualties from battle and the war's aftermath amounted to thousands of civilian deaths, as well as hundreds of thousands afflicted by famine and starvation and severe illness.

UNICEF's Henrietta Fore "said 2.6 million children are now internally displaced, deprived of health care, education, sanitation and clean water," according to a United Nations report. An estimated 21 million people—including over 11 million children—need humanitarian assistance since Yemen's gross domestic product (GDP) has fallen by 40% since 2015. Twenty million people are unable to get basic health care.

The Obama, Trump, and even Biden administrations appeared unfazed by these calamities. As a result, the humanitarian situation has not abated at all.

The attack by the Saudis was pretty simple. The United Arab Emirates threw in a few surprises. A report in the Guardian noted that before withdrawing from combat, Abu Dhabi had "played a more forceful role on the ground—and its allies in the south had been known to fight against Saudis' own proxies in the country," including local militias and Salafi fighters in south Yemen who want to break away from [the official, coalition-backed government]." UAE-backed organisations, in particular, continue to have a strong impact across the Middle East.

In the South, Abu Dhabi encouraged secessionism (Yemen once was divided into two states). The Yemeni island of Socotra was also held by the Emirates, who seemed to be preparing to settle it in the future. Abu Dhabi helped al-Qaeda and other jihadist groups, including militias who frequently abuse human rights, by providing them with weaponry provided by the United States of America. Providing weapons to prospective adversaries of the United States without proper authorization runs the risk of putting American citizens at risk of death. People were kidnapped, jailed, and tortured in underground jails established by local friends with Emirati support. There have already been tens of thousands of Yemeni civilians murdered in the conflict, and millions more are on the verge of starvation as a direct consequence of the conflict, according to Amnesty International.

According to Abu Dhabi, this kind of activity was virtually gone after the Yemeni incident. Ansar Allah spokesperson Mohammed Bakhiti, on the other hand, claimed that the group had "abstained from striking the UAE for a long time since it looked like Abu Dhabi was in the process of withdrawing its soldiers out of Yemen. Because of UAE engagement in ground operations on the ground in Shabwa province, he said. For as long as the United Arab Emirates continues to assist militants in Yemen, the Houthi regime will react against it, Fahmy al-Yousifi, Houthi regime deputy media minister, stated.

Until recently, Abu Dhabi has been able to avoid paying much of a price for its plethora of crimes. Saudi Arabia has always been a more easy target than the United States because of its location. There is considerable crying and gnashing of teeth in the United Arab Emirates because of the Houthis' expanding reach. The Emiratis teamed up with Saudi Arabia in retaliatory attacks. But the first attack, which targeted a youth football (soccer) game and killed more than a dozen bystanders, was mostly ineffective in its goal. In the second coalition strike, at least 80 people were killed by the bombardment of a jail housing illegal immigrants.

What's going to happen now? Abu Dhabi may once again be drawn into armed warfare. Houthi strikes on the United Arab Emirates might increase. Iranian support for Ansar Allah might increase if the Biden administration adopts Trumpian policies of tighter coalition support. The Houthis have even mentioned widening the conflict to include Israel.

However, it is possible that the fighters will take a different approach. To continued assaults on the Emiratis' own turf may result in substantial economic ramifications, the Emiratis may have realized that they were unable to win victory even when more completely participated. Which means that all sides may become more serious about a political solution, the only realistic route out of today's horror show.

Despite losing the conflict, Riyadh has pushed for Houthi concessions. "The calculus of the Houthis, with U.N. council resolutions condemning them and demanding that they surrender before entering any serious peace negotiations, has made it impossible for them to consider peace negotiations as an option," explained Abdulghani al-Iryani of the Sana'a Center for Strategic Studies. However, the Saudis and Emiratis hold more responsibility for this disastrous conflict than the Houthis. Consequently, the latter should lead the effort to deescalate and eventually terminate the dispute.

There must be an influence on "the calculations of different parties" so that they regard peace as a better option than conflict, al-Iryani said. With the help of U.N. Security Council resolutions, regional players, and the incentives produced by conflict, we may influence these varied motivations."

Saudi Arabia and the Emiratis can best prevent Houthi assaults by putting a halt to their own. Stop the conflict. Don't interfere with Yemenis' efforts to choose their own destiny. This attack on Yemen is legal and perhaps deserved of a response from the Gulf monarchies.

Sadly, the United States is still playing a negative role. Aside from pointing out that civilians shouldn't be the target of any attack in the name of a terrorist group, Washington refuses to acknowledge that Ansar Allah's attacks were in response to years of coalition operations on Yemen, which the United States financed. Sec. of State Antony Blinken delivered a despicable statement after the most recent wave of strikes, failing to identify the culprits and ignoring American responsibility: "The increase in fighting and assaults throughout Yemen must come to a halt. We are urging all parties involved in the issue to commit to a peaceful and diplomatic resolution. It is time for the Yemeni people to have a say in their own destiny."

A "pariah" designation for Riyadh was promised by President Joe Biden. "All American assistance for aggressive activities in the Yemen conflict, including applicable weapons sales," will be terminated, as well. It was just a matter of time until those promises faded away as Biden went all in with the royals. The Biden administration is now a blatant toady to the Kingdom like its two predecessors.

A return to Trump's policy of declaring Ansar Allah a state supporter of terrorism is apparently being considered by the administration. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates should be labeled terrorists for their role in beginning the conflict and destroying the civilian population. Surely, after seven long years of murder, there should be some kind of reward!

The United States should also cease all military assistance to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which is being utilized against its poor neighbor. This involves protecting oneself against retaliation. If the aggressors face the whole expense of the conflict, they are more inclined to bargain sincerely and realistically.

It seems that even the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Salman has come to terms with the fact that it's time to let go of some of his gains. Similar sentiments might be inferred from Abu Dhabi's partial pullback from its position. Washington should give these regimes a helping hand. Ending Washington's participation in KSA/UAE war crimes should be a priority for Biden and company.

The administration's determination to put an end to the Yemen crisis should also spur it to work with Tehran to come to an agreement on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Reducing tensions with Iran may open the door to broader regional engagement, particularly between Iran and the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. As long as the United States continues to equip Saudi Arabia to battle the Houthi rebels, it is impossible to expect Tehran to shut off Houthi military supplies. If the United States decides to take a more passive role, it will allow for a greater push by Iran toward withdrawal.

When dealing with Saudi Arabia, the president should not approach the country as an adversary. The problem is that he should cease considering it as a source of strength.

Peace is sorely needed in Yemen. In order to do this, the United States should cease financing Saudi and Emirati aggression. In the wake of this new assault on the United Arab Emirates, there should be negotiations. All sides must agree to resolve the conflict. Now.

Follow us on Google News

Filed under

Recent Search