“Saudi Arabia’s resumption of airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen on Wednesday, only hours after it abruptly declared a halt to most military operations, reflected the difficulty of finding a political solution to the crisis. It also showed the challenges facing the Obama administration as it increasingly relies on allies in the Middle East. Senior Saudi officials made clear on Wednesday that they had not formally declared an end to bombing………”
Saudi behavior in their war on Yemen is getting weirder almost by the day:
First, they demanded that former president General Hadi who has escaped from Sanaa then from Aden be reinstated. He presided over part of Yemen, his allies were quite corrupt, and he is not liked because he invited foreign bombings and invasion of his country. I have told them, nay fatwa-ed, in postings here that Hadi will never return to Sanaa (no matter how long he travels لا صنعاء ولو طال السفر ), most likely not even to Aden. Apparently they did not listen.
Second, they invited Turkey and Pakistan and Egypt to join the assault on Yemen. Only Egypt was partly amenable, and the humorless Kingdom of Jordan to a limited extent.
Third, this war is presumably led by new defense minister Prince Muhammad, son of King Salman, who is in his twenties. Highly unlikely that he is ‘leading’ or strategizing the campaign: he has been on the job only a few weeks. I’d bet the farm, if I had a farm, that he is being strongly advised by others, mainly foreigners, on strategy.
Fourth, they’ve spent a month bombing cities, infrastructure and military installations, killing many Yemenis and wounding more. Yet they claim they were doing it for the Yemeni people. They warned of an Iranian “presence” in Houthi Yemen, yet nobody could locate a single Iranian soldier or Revolutionary Guard or bricklayer anywhere in Yemen.
Fifth, the bombing campaign has failed. The Saudi king issued a decree inviting or authorizing the National Guard NG to join the battle. The NG is a ground force owned by Prince Meteb (Muteb if you will) bin Abdullah, who inherited it from his late father King Abdullah. Maybe they were setting him up for a medal.
Sixth, one day later they declared that their military strikes on Yemen have ended.
Seventh, within hours of the declaration of cessation of bombing they resumed bombing Yemen. Confusing moves by the confused; or maybe it was a prank.
Eighth, there are reasonably credible reports that other GCC states are in this adventure reluctantly. The United Arab Emirates, UAE, is reported to be unhappy about it. Oman has wisely refused to join this Wahhabi crusade. The other Gulf potentates are sort of barely in it, but it is really a Saudi-American operation.
Ninth, very important, they have no shortages of the best weapons that the western powers can manufacture and export. Can it tip the balance against the lightly-armed Houthis? Maybe it can, but the war is confined to one-sided aerial bombing………
And that is where it stands………..
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum