Sana’a (GPA) – We hear a lot about the “Saudi-led coalition” and Saudi-backed fighters in Yemen, but who are they? And what role are they playing?
Saudi Arabia has been trying to squash a revolutionary uprising in the Arabian Peninsula since 2011. Thanks to Wikileaks, we know that the US government started preparing for such an event in 2009 by arming and training portions of the Yemeni army. But that’s another story for another time.
Ansarullah aka the Houthis and allies (which includes portions of the Yemeni military, the Republican Guard, and other tribal groups) have been defending their country from Saudi-led aggression for over two years now. And they’ve been quite successful. Saudi Arabia and their mercenaries have material and intelligence support from the most powerful and wealthiest countries in the world. Yet they can’t kill this genuine anti-imperialist movement.
The Official Saudi-Coalition
But who exactly is the Saudi-backed coalition? It officially includes Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, Senegal, and Sudan. These countries aid Saudi Arabia in the form of fighters and fighter jets.
In addition to the list above, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Somalia allow the Saudi-coalition to use their air space and waters for the purpose of fighting Ansarullah and bombing Yemen. On top of all these, all the countries mentioned receive direct military equipment, intelligence, and weapons from the United States, United Kingdom, and France. China, Turkey, and Pakistan are also complicit supporters of Saudi Arabia’s actions.
Foreign Fighters on the Ground
Ansarullah and their allies have the world fighting against them in the air and on the ground. The mainstream media would lead one to believe that mostly Yemeni forces are fighting against Ansarullah on the ground. This isn’t accurate. Most of the ground forces fighting on Saudi Arabia’s behalf include fighters from the UAE, Morocco, Qatar, and Sudan. At this point it’s important to mention that al-Qaeda also fights along side the Saudi-backed troops. Al-Qaeda has become the US and Saudi Arabia’s de facto ally in Yemen.
The UAE-sponsored Blackwater/Academi fighters are perhaps what’s most unsettling about the Saudi-coalition. These are privately-hired mercenaries fighting on behalf of Saudi Arabia in Yemen. Thousands of these fighters hail from countries in Latin America including Colombia.
In addition to this, several reports from Yemenis on-the-ground state that Syrian “rebels” move into Yemen to fight as their objective goals fall short in Syria. Some even report seeing a Turkish plane transporting “rebels” after the liberation of Aleppo.
There are fighters and military officials from all over the world in Yemen: Sudan, UAE, Columbia, Mexico, the United States, Saudi Arabia– all fighting on the side of the Saudi coalition. This is without even considering the jihadi fighters traveling from all over the world to fight with al-Qaeda. Western outlets might try to portray Ansarullah as Iranian puppets. But good luck finding any Iranian fighters or military officials on the ground. No, it seems like the Saudi-backed coalition are the only ones transporting foreign fighters into Yemen to fight on the imperialists’ behalf.
Owner and editor of Geopolitics Alert, Randi Nord is a US-based geopolitical analyst and content strategist. She covers US imperialism with a special focus on Yemen, Iran, and Lebanon. She has participated in the UNHRC as a guest of NGOs and speaks at anti-war events.