Who Said That Saudis Are Looking For Victory in Yemen?
Al-Okaz, Saudi Arabia, March 26
Throughout history, Saudi Arabia maintained a positive relationship with the Republic of Yemen. Even when the country was divided into two states, Riyadh managed its intricate relations with each capital, Sanaa and Aden, with balance and wisdom. All of this took place despite the two sides’ ideological differences, which meant that Saudi Arabia often had to practice restraint and self-discipline. Even during the first Houthi war of 2009, the Saudi response was tame. Riyadh wanted to protect the central government in Sanaa and knew that Houthi terrorism doesn’t necessarily require a full-fledged war with the Republic of Yemen. But all this changed after the Houthis occupied Sanaa and tried to topple the central government, replacing it with a Teheran-backed authority. This became the first time in modern history where an armed militia took power over state institutions, including a state-backed military, state-backed financial institutions, and a state-backed political apparatus. Because of the dire situation — and the desperate cry for help by the ousted Yemeni government — Saudi Arabia had no choice but to intervene. Its military operation was meant to prevent the Yemeni people from falling victim to abuse, theft and forced killings. Furthermore, Yemen was becoming another Iranian statelet in the Middle East. This costly action taken by Riyadh was a noble act, since it spared the international community the need to intervene in the war itself. Saudi Arabia fulfilled its duty as the leader of the Arab world to stand up to Iran and step into the war. Therefore, from the very outset, Riyadh had no military ambitions in Yemen other than restoring political order and pushing Iran away from the region. Those who portray Saudi Arabia’s military operation as a failure are simply promoting Iranian propaganda. In reality, the war is between the Yemeni Army led by President Abd Rabbo Hadi and a terrorist organization under the leadership of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. The Saudis are not interested in achieving a military victory at all. Rather, they’re interested in ensuring peace through whatever compromise or resolution the people of Yemen reach. Riyadh’s intervention in Yemen didn’t come out of a search for glory. Rather, it came out of the inability of the international community to take action against the terrorist regime in Tehran. Riyadh’s only motivation is to help alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people, who have been living under atrocious conditions for over seven years. – Muhammad Al-Saed (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)