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22 September 2017
28 July 2015

Saudi Arabia failure in Yemen

Saudi Arabia failure in Yemen

The coalition of Arabic countries headed by Saudi Arabia started a military operation against the Shia movement “Al-Kursi” and the forces controlled by the former president of Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh in the end of March.

The formal goal of the military campaign is to prevent military advance of Hussites and their allies. However, Saudi Arabia operations resulted in utter devastation and sufferings of ordinary Yemenites. The only thing an average Yemenite wants is to provide for himself and his family. Yet, the whole Yemen nation has to suffer because of the selfishness of some tribe leaders and retired politicians. On a conservative estimate, a thousand people were murdered, thousands are injured and hundreds of thousands had to flee their homes.
It is important to understand that even if Saudi Arabia with its coalition wins Hussites, it will not annul the most important thing. Saudi Arabia is the wealthiest country in the Middle East. Nonetheless, its ineffective regional politics led to the invasion of the region poorest country.

Yemen revolution started in 2011 along with the mass protests in other Middle East and North African countries. These events are called “Arab Spring”. In contrast with Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Syria, handover of power was carried out peacefully in Yemen.

Diplomats from the six countries of the Persian Gulf along with the UN representatives managed to persuade the president Ali Abdullah Saleh who was in power for 33 years to quit. As a result, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi became a president. It seemed that such a peaceful handover of the power would change the political situation in the country to the better. However, tension was growing and it eventually led to a civil war. It is Saudi Arabia and other powerful countries of the Gulf which are to be blamed for this. They are; Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Nobody cared about the poorest country of the region. Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Doha concentrated on Egypt and Syria instead.

Billions of dollars were invested in Egypt after the upheaval in 2013. As for Yemen, it was like an unloved guest. It was treated this way long before the “Arab Spring” events. To address the problem of youth unemployment Sanaa was trying unsuccessfully to join “the Gulf cooperation council” during a few decades. “The Gulf cooperation council” membership allows people of a member country to work in other member countries without any restrictions. It is worth noting that the Persian Gulf countries did not give any proper reasons for refusing Yemen to join the council.

Saudi Arabia failure in Yemen

It is Saudi Arabia and other monarchies of the region which imposed responsibility of the country’s political leaders on ordinary Yemenites. In 1990, for example, Ali Abdullah Saleh supported the former president of Iraq Saddam Hussein’ invasion of Kuwait. In response to this, Saudi Arabia took punitive actions against the Yemenites working in Saudi Arabia. On the second day of Kuwait invasion, more than a million of workers from Yemen were deported from Saudi Arabia. This crippled Yemen ailing economy even more. The money that was meant for Yemen was left in Saudi banks. According to the experts, Yemen has not fully recovered from the economic crisis of 1990. Riyadh is doing damage to the Yemenites, not the militants of the Shia tribe “Al-Kursi”. Airstrikes are not targeted and there is no long-term strategy. If the international community does not take any reasonable actions, this might end up by either a conflict freeze or a full-fledged war. Russia plays an important part too. On the one hand, Russia gets on well with Teheran which supports the Hussites. On the other hand, Russia – Saudi Arabia relations improved when the king Salman came to power.

Clearly, this conflict cannot be resolved by force. Hussites’ rebellion reflects serious social and economic problems of Yemen. Religion plays a secondary role in this situation. Hussites should be punished for their actions, not for their beliefs. The country needs a multifaceted approach to resolve the existing problems. This requires involvement of all the powerful countries of the region. The solution is very abstract, but it is quite difficult to find any other way out of the existing situation.