Sana’a (GPA) – Washington has chosen to diverge from its European allies and continue support for the Saudi led-coalition against Yemen. Following a White House statement that reaffirms US commitment, the Saudi coalition has continued with its assault on Hodeidah port and civilians in Yemen.
- Germany, the United Kingdom, and other European nations have recently put forth effort to stop the war against Yemen.
- The White House has issued a statement doubling down on its seemingly unconditional support for Saudi Arabia — particularly its assault on Yemen.
- Saudi Arabia has since continued its attacks on Yemen’s Hodeidah port and civilian areas.
- Yemenis hold out hope for the European effort and UN envoy’s recent visit to Hodediah port.
Washington Diverges from European Allies, Doubles Down on Support for Gulf Monarchies
On November 20th, the White House issued (yet another) statement blaming Iran for the ongoing bloodshed in Yemen. It’s worth noting that Iran has no troops in Yemen. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia and the UN inspect all aid shipments entering Yemen for weapons and missile parts. There is absolutely no concrete evidence of Iran providing support to Ansarullah (aka. Houthis) in Yemen.
Nevertheless, Washington issued this statement to double down on its support for the Saudi coalition against Yemen. As always, Iran remains a scapegoat for the United States to continue its imperialist war against the only republic on the Arabian Penninsula.
The statement also makes it clear that this is not a moral decision, but rather a financial one. U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledges that “the crime against Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible one, and one that our country does not condone” however, Trump also points out that the American economy relies heavily on Saudi Arabia for stability.
“After my heavily negotiated trip to Saudi Arabia last year, the Kingdom agreed to spend and invest $450 billion in the United States. This is a record amount of money. It will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, tremendous economic development, and much additional wealth for the United States,” the statement reads.
Read more about Yemen:
Europe Takes Action to Halt Saudi Attacks on Yemen
This statement of support comes at a crucial time as Washington’s European allies seek to end the war in Yemen or at least curtail the current Saudi and Emirati-led offensive against Yemen’s Hodeidah port.
Following the death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, European nations seem to have grown weary of their previously unconditional support for the Saudi monarchy. Although these nations — and even Jamal Khashoggi himself — generally supported the Saudi-led war against Yemen, Germany, the United Kingdom, and others have used Khashoggi’s death as an opportunity to cut off Saudi Arabia.
Germany had recently announced it would stop all future arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Berlin later issued another statement that it would also halt all previously approved arms shipments to the monarchy.
Denmark and Finland have also stopped their military support to Riyadh.
The United Kingdom meanwhile has spearheaded a UN Security Council resolution to stop the Saudi assault on five key Yemeni fronts — including the dire Hodeidah front.
At risk of famine and disease, 22 million Yemenis require urgent humanitarian aid to survive. The ongoing Saudi and Emirati operation against Hodeidah port, Yemen’s last remaining lifeline for aid, could spark a humanitarian disaster not seen in modern times. Over 37,000 Yemeni men, women, and children have already been killed or injured from the Saudi-led war as it approaches its fourth year.
While the United Kingdom publicly puts their best foot forward, it has not stopped supplying the Saudi coalition with weapons. Also, despite its hardline rhetoric following the death of Khashoggi on its soil, Turkey has also not made any mention of halting its arms deals to Riyadh.
France, Canada, and Spain also still supply Saudi Arabia with weapons to carry out its war.
Holding Out Hope for Peace
Meanwhile, Yemeni factions plan to attend talks in Sweden at the end of November. These talks should include the Saudi-backed pupped government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and Ansarullah. At this point, it doesn’t appear that the Emirati-backed Southern Movement — which holds considerable power throughout the southern provinces — will attend the talks.
Talks fell short in September at the United Nations Human Rights Council when the Saudi coalition effectively blocked the Ansarullah delegation from attending by refusing to grant safe and timely passage to Ansarullah’s Omani flight.
This effort to keep Ansarullah out of peace negotiations shows that Saudi Arabia is aware of the revolutionary group’s political power and public support yet cannot admit defeat in any form.
Saudi Arabia began their airstrike campaign against Yemen in 2015 and later full blockade to suppress Yemen’s anti-imperialist revolutionary movement, Ansarullah, and impose the Saudi puppet government led by Hadi on the people.
However, Riyadh’s goals have completely backfired.
Not only does Ansarullah enjoy widespread public support thanks to their elimination of al-Qaeda and terrorist elements, but the movement has developed advanced military technology. Ansarullah has spent the past three and a half years developing long-range, mid-range, and short-range ballistic missiles, strengthening their special forces, creating reconnaissance and attack drones, and beefing their naval abilities including marine missiles.
Ongoing Attacks on Hodeidah
The UN special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, visited Ansarullah leaders in the capital Sana’a this week before heading to Hodeidah. Griffiths stressed the need for the UN to take control of the port to ensure the flow of aid to vulnerable civilians. In the past, Saudi Arabia has bombed cranes used for unloading aid, rendering the port unusable.
However, Ansarullah is not in favor of this solution unless Saudi Arabia agrees to halt its attacks on Hodeidah. UN control over the port could easily turn into Saudi occupation of the port under the right conditions.
Last week, Ansarullah agreed to halt its defensive missile attacks and ground operations provided the Saudi coalition ended its offensive airstrikes and ground attacks. The Saudi coalition did not hold up their end of the bargain and ground fighting ensued.
Despite the UN envoy’s presence, the Saudi coalition continued their attacks on civilians in Yemen.
On Thursday, coalition warplanes targeted a house in Hodeidah’s Kilo 16 area killing at least three civilians. Coalition attacks also destroyed civilian homes and farms in Saada province on Thursday. On Friday, the Saudi coalition launched at least 15 airstrikes across various areas of Saada province destroying more fams and homes.
On Saturday, a spokesman from the Ministry of Defense announced that the Saudi coalition had launched 47 raids on various provinces over the past 24 hours. He pointed out that the forces of aggression clearly have no desire to achieve peace.
Also published on Medium.