“It may be that King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his younger son Mohammad, who is defence minister and chief of the royal court, saw the war in Yemen as a way of securing their power and removing rival factions in the royal family from power. On his throne for only a few months, King Salman has been taking a harder line in the Saudi confrontation with Iran and the Shia. He has not only started an air war in Yemen but has given stronger backing to Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qa’ida affiliate, and other jihadi groups in Syria. These have recently won several victories in Idlib province over the Syrian army and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. A problem in ending the war in Yemen is that it will be difficult for King Salman to come out of it without a success if he wishes to avoid damage to his prestige at the start of his reign. At the same time, Saudi Arabia does not appear to have a plan other than the total defeat of the Houthis and their allies, something that is unlikely to happen…………”
The American bombs, delivered by the Saudis, have been falling for over six weeks, to no avail. Except the continued destruction of the fragile infrastructure of Yemen and the increased misery of its people.
So far there has been not a sign of Brig. Qassem Soleimani in Sanaa or Aden. Not a single Iranian has been seen, apprehended, or photographed anywhere in Yemen. As I noted once “not a soldier, Revolutionary Guard, or bricklayer“. So much for the claims, and the excuse, of “Iranian incursion” in Yemen. Al Qaeda and the Southern Independence Movement (Hirak) and ISIS (Islamic State) are now the only opponents of the Houthi-Saleh alliance. The IS have made their presence felt, but they have been reduced to beheading and shooting other Yemenis since they could not find any Iranians, nor could they find any of the Iraqis or Lebanese that Gulf Salafis and Wahhabi-Liberals claim are all over the region.
This time the wisdom of King Solomon has failed, so far, in bringing the Yemeni Queen Balqis, Queen of Sheba to her knees (forgive the irresistible pun). That is unlikely to change in modern Yemen: the rugged Houthis, northern country folks that they are, are well experienced in fighting superior forces and frustrating them.
So far. But the Saudis have deep pockets, and their Western suppliers are willing to replenish the bombs, for a price……..
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum