Saturday, March 25, 2017

Yemen War Runs Into Stalemate As Goal of Military Intervention Unclear
2017/3/25 7:16:23

As war has been continuing in Yemen for two years since a Saudi-led military intervention, observers started to argue that the goal of the military intervention became unclear, resulting in no military victory yet.

According to media reports quoting spokesperson for the Saudi-led coalition, Ahmed Al-Asiri, the coalition has carried out 90,000 airstrikes since March 26, 2015.

The consequences of the civil war and the airstrikes are catastrophic as the UN said that Yemen has the world's largest humanitarian crisis since 1945, besides the fact that the war has taken a huge toll on civilians.

The goal of the Saudi-led military intervention was said to be restoring the legitimacy of the Yemeni internationally recognized government ousted by the Houthi militia with support from forces loyal to the former president, which won't take long.

But now as the war has been continuing for two years, no sign shows it will come to an end soon, and the government still can't resume its activities inside the country.

Adil Al-Shuja'a, a politics professor at Sanaa University, said that "the Saudi-led coalition does not have a strategic and clear goal from the war in Yemen. It seems Saudi Arabia has been focused on an ideological war with the Zaidi sect which is controlling north Yemen, not on a war for the legitimacy of Yemen."

"Such a confusion makes Saudi Arabia sometimes think of a victory through tough demands for the Houthi-Saleh alliance including that this alliance hands over the capital Sanaa and takes a strict stance toward Iran," he added.

Al-Shuja'a saw the alliance between the General People's Congress and the Houthi group really complicated, which means Saudi demands can't be met at least by one of the two parties of the alliance, if not both.

The Saudi-led coalition of five Gulf Coorperation Council states has been receiving logistical and intelligence support from the US, Britain and other western and Islamic countries.

Yaseen Al-Tamimi, a political writer and analyst, said that "conflicting goals of member countries within the Saudi-led coalition represent a challenge to bringing an end to the war. While the coalition should focus on retaking the capital Sanaa, some of its members have placed a bet on the coup forces and then shifted their war on factions fighting them."

The US and Britain have been playing key roles in the war on Yemen either through logistical and intelligence support or arms sales to coalition members.

Yemeni observers argued that the US has been engaged in war strategies as well as it is backing the coalition to target and weaken factions backing the government on allegations of their links to Al-Qaida. "The US role is one of the key reasons for failure or slowness to achieve a military victory," Al-Tamimi said.

Ahmed Noman, an expert at the Red Sea and East Africa Research Center, said confluence of local, regional and international factors and confusion is to blame for the prolonged war in Yemen.

Locally, observers said the factions have been taking advantage of the chaos as well as regional and international interventions to exhaust each other.

Noman said that the most important problem lies in the many slogans and disagreements among popular pro-government resistance factions.

"There is not good war planning and coordination among them. There is treason by some pro-government factions which have been putting their own interests and interests of their political parties ahead of winning a war for the country," Noman added.

Noman also said that "the coalition will not give up this war until all goals are met topped by retaking the capital Sanaa and defeating Iran."

Internationally, observers believe that key countries engaged in Yemen war are now afraid of Islamists and Jihadists who have been strengthened by the chaos.

The US and Britain, are seeking to exhaust all factions, said Noman, adding that they want the war to continue "because they will never accept that Islamists take the lead in the future."

"They will continue to fuel the war until they find a better alternative to the defeated factions," he said.

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