Part IV: The Most Unusual War of All Times
By: Hassan Al-Haifi
Yes, we heard Adel Al-Jubeir shoot his mouth off about how Saudi Arabia has mustered up an alliance to squash a heretofore “militia” force of perhaps the most hardened warriors of modern times (https://edition.cnn.com/2015/03/25/middleeast/yemen-unrest/index.html)
Ambassador Adil Al-Jubeir (later current Foreign Minister of KSA) announces War ln Yemen with the blessings of Washington on 25 March 2015
The declaration of war by the Saudi Ambassador to Washington against Ansar Allah and (supposedly) former President Ali Abdullah from Washington, D.C. was itself one of those unusual mysteries that have puzzled international relations analysts since the Third Millenium began. Okay, you have one of the wealthiest countries in the world set out to swing fists with an ungloved adversary, who has just gone through six wars, a flop of a “peaceful” revolution and a transitional government that couldn’t maintain electricity service for its citizens for more than an hour a day, let alone stop the menacing terrorist attacks against mosques, schools, police stations, military parades and put a halt to political assassinations that targeted some of Yemen’s finest resourceful politicians, academicians and genuine moderate religious leaders.
The mismatch doesn’t end there. Al-Jubeir revealed that all their Bedouin partners of wealth and splendor [United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and the (all-powerful) Kingdom of Bahrain) in the Arabian Peninsula are joining their not so fearless Saudi despotic brethren in this Great War for the Salvation of the Arab World (Oman wisely stayed out). But hold on! The line-up of belligerents does not end there We still have more than a couple of the major Big Powers in this war wanting to play their part and make sure that they have a slice of this big cake of green dough and petrodollars, for which these Bedouin chiefs have allocated. Well, As it was declared in Washington, the good old USA must have the biggest slice cut out for Uncle Sam. Yes, intelligence and logistical support, as well as armaments are slated for Uncle Sam in this greatest of disproportionate military showdown to hit the Arabian Peninsula in history. In addition, the US Sixth Fleet will have the privilege of insuring that a strangling siege and boycott is built up around Yemen, so that even a needle can’t go through to the Houthi and Saleh “rebels against legitimacy”, who have taken over the not so legitimate Government of Abdu Rabbo Hadi in Sana’a, whose officials for the last three years have been playing make-believe government from suites and rooms in hotesl in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – a legitimacy in exile.
The siege, thanks to the US, has brought on the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world with 27 million people facing famine or near famine, as well as deprivation from minimal adequate health care, which adds staggering numbers to the already huge number of civilian dead and wounded from direct aerial and sea bombardment and from crossfire from ground combatants.
Wait, the stage of the conflict has not been completed. You also have Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Djibouti and don’t forget Senegal and the mighty Army of General Omar Al-Bashir, which couldn’t keep the Republic of the Sudan in one jigsaw puzzle piece in Africa. Still, we have more! Yes, Blackwater and other guns for hire are bringing US and Columbian veteran killers to engage in their bloody trade in Yemen. The USA, United Kingdom, France and other military hardware producers assured the Bedouin warmongers of unlimited and uninterrupted supply of state of the art killing tools and machinery.
I think that should pretty much give a half way decent picture of how the current genocide in Yemen is unfolding full strength for the past three murderous and tragic years for the people of Yemen. But, is Yemen worth all this military attention and the starvation and suffering of its mostly innocent poor farmers, fishermen, laborers and common folks, not to mention the intentional deprivation of the most basic of human needs, such as food staples, fuel, medical supplies and travel?
Al-Jazeera International in a report on the war notes: “In 2015, Saudi Arabia formed a coalition of Arab states to defeat the Houthis in Yemen. The coalition includes Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan and Senegal. Several of these countries have sent troops to fight on the ground in Yemen, while others have only carried out air attacks.” Even here the list misses a few actors including Qatar which had sent fighters and a 1,000 man ground force, which have been withdrawn when Qatar was designated a new enemy of the leaders of the Saudi-Led Coalition earlier in midyear 2017, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Saudi Arabia and UAE engaged most of the personnel and hardware in the fighting as well as the bulk of the costs (https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.aljazeera.com/amp/news/2016/06/key-facts-war-yemen-160607112342462.html)
For a breakdown of the belligerants and extent of their participation see (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudi_Arabian-led_intervention_in_Yemen – belligerants).
Even Israel had a hand in the War with advisors and bombing raids using Neutron Bombs (http://thewe.cc/weplanet/circus/2015/circus_july_2015-9.html)
Neutron Bomb said to be dropped by Israeli fighters
Exactly what is bugging all these spoiled war mongerers of the world to get them to unleash their military and political muscle on a helpless country with most government institutions and services at best operating at 10% capacity when the war started on 25 March 2015. Mr. Al- Jubeir hinted unconvincingly that all this military, political and economic might was necessary to return a “legitimate” Presidency and cabinet to the Capital City of Yemen, Sana’a. Hadi and his so called government, ran away to the “economic” capital of Aden under prodding from their bosses in Riyadh, just as the UN Envoy to Yemen, Jamal Bin Omer was about to reach a final settlement between the various political factions in Yemen. See Part III.
We will delve into the charge of Iranian support later in Part V.
The Houthis and their allies, the PGC have taken power along with several other factions that were outside the regime agreeable to Riyadh, because the situation was unbearable. When the government became under the September 21, 2014 Revolution, they bad to act to protect Government forces that were under attack from newly formed militias, by militia elements set up by Hadi, the Islah Party and Al-Qaeda and ISIS elements already enjoying liberties and facilities provided to them by Hadi, the Islah Party and of course Saudi Arabia. Government forces in Ta’ez and Aden called for support from Sana’a and indeed regular troops backed by Popular Committees came to Ta’ez and Aden, because the government security and army forces there (most of whom are comprised of personnel from the area) were calling for help. Therefore, the stories of Houthis “invading cities” after Sana’a were fabricated lies. The ‘invasion” were really efforts to rescue outmanned and outgunned normal government security garrisons there. In any case the stage was set for war. Hadi was told to leave Aden, because the Government rescue forces were nearly completing the control of Aden Airport and other key strategic positions.
The situation in the country had turned to an all out war. No one was sure how it would be conducted, but by nightfall on 25 March 2015, the roar of scores of Saudi-Led Coalition planes could be heard overhead throughout the country. All around us in Sana’a City, we could hear loud explosions, from which pressure rattled and shook windows and doors of residential homes and private and public buildings all around the City of Sana’a. Being near the airport and Air Defense Facilities meant one would get the most frightening and often deadly strikes as the tally of civilian deaths and injured began from the very beginning. It must have been ten times the fate that the people of London faced as the Luftwaffe screeched over London during the Battle of Britain in World War II. The sight of hundreds of futile anti-aircraft machine guns lighting up the night sky almost looked ridiculous as the attacking planes were kilometers away from the best range of these machine guns. All anti-aircraft missiles were rendered useless by Hadi’s regime and Yemen was like a helpless lady being assaulted by a gang of big bullies with no recourse to any means of defense.
I recall on the first night of bombardment the explosions commenced just as sunset vegan and we got up to pray the Sunset prayer. The big glass doors of the “mafraj” all of a sudden rattled and the middle door opened ajar hitting some of the praying worshippers next to it. I was worried about the blind old man praying with us on a chair near the left door of the three piece glass window-door that overlooked a small pool and nice garden. As the explosions came he would rise from his chair and lean inward to escape any falling glass. We stubbornly finished our sunset prayers and cut the “qat session” short to go and check on our families. I reassured the old man not to be scared, since there were no military installations nearby. I didn’t tell him of course that we could see the light of the explosions on the walls of the houses around us. Then I went to my house, which was just a few meters away. When I got to my house, I gathered all the people in the house in the middle foyer of the first floor of our two and a half story house away from windows and doors. The loud explosions throughout the night were a clear sign that this war was not going to be the petty street fighting we had witnessed during the Arab Spring, between tribal or partisan militias and government forces split between the “revolutionaries” and Saleh’s various security and military units. The sound of the bombs exploding awakened any sleeping kids and cries of frightened children could be heard all around us.
At that juncture, we really didn’t know how long this madness would last, but even then we braced ourselves for a long and bloody fight.
Initial bombings of the Capital City of Sana’a
Part V: By All Means A Criminal Unjust War