01.09.2016 Author: Catherine Shakdam

Terror – Riyadh’s Answer To Its Military Fiasco in Yemen

2434234234If Yemen remains synonymous with unrest and violence thanks to the military deluge Saudi Arabia has insisted on drowning the impoverished nation under since late March 2015, Terror had yet to claim its fill of blood. Terror as it were never could assert its warped religious rationale onto Yemen – not beyond a few clusters, not to the point where Terror could ever present any real existential threat to the Yemeni Republic.

This was then … today is a brand new day!

Today, Saudi Arabia is actively working to change that reality! Saudi Arabia I would add, absolutely needs for Terror to become Yemen’s newest existential threat to counteract that which is now threatening its own.

For all its outwardly show of force, and display of grand political and financial stability the kingdom sounds hollow – nothing but a waning house of cards under the terrible sun of revolutionary Arabia.

Al Saud Royals face a storm they can neither control, nor comprehend. As they sought to tame Yemen’s claim to political self-determination, as they plotted the dismantlement of Yemen’s national sovereignty and national identity, it is Yemen’s lost sense of unity, solidarity, and national strength it awoken.

If Yemen has suffered and continues to suffer a grand injustice under the military boot of the Saudi-led coalition, it remains true that the very fire which should have destroyed its people actually helped forge new alliances. War saw reborn Yemen’ sense of national self. War more importantly, saw Yemenis stand united in their diversity and pluralism.

For the first time since the inception of its Republic Yemen rose a true mirror of its people – an affirmation that the sons of Hamdan would no longer live under the yoke of a reactionary political model but in acceptance of its many differences – may they be religious, political or tribal.

The formation this August 2016 of the Yemeni Supreme Political Council attests to that. Under one umbrella, it is Yemen’s many tribal factions, religious currents, and political persuasions which came together to fill Yemen’s institutional vacuum.

I would urge readers not to underestimate such a development since it is such national unity which has allowed thus far for Yemen not to surrender to the military might of several so-called superpowers. Yemen it is important to remember is facing the barrel of a very heavy loaded gun – so heavy in fact that it has taken over 36 nations to carry it.

If Yemen has stood alone in this battle for control, Saudi Arabia has not. Saudi Arabia has exploited every friendship and alliance its coffers have allowed – a new Goliath against sling bearer David. We all know how that story ended …

The kingdom has much to worried about if only it cared to assess ground realities. The kingdom in fact could soon breath its last in Southern Arabia since Yemen intends now to reclaim its rightful place within the region, independently from Gulf monarchies’ will.

For the grand media blackout Riyadh has maintained over Yemen, for all the tall tales a friendly press has perpetuated to shield the kingdom’s honour and pride, al-Saud could not prevent its borders to be breached by Yemen Resistance movement. Unknown to the public Yemen Resistance fighters have taken their fight directly to Saudi Arabia – a momentous feat considering what weaponry and expertise Riyadh has purchased over the past 18 months.

Rather than limit its stand at its borders, Yemen is moving now to reclaim those provinces al-Saud seized many decades ago so that North Yemen would stand broken and fractured.

Beyond Yemen’s territorial claims lie also the tentative possibility that the Resistance would inspire oppressed communities across the kingdom to rise in defiance of al-Saud theocracy and forever shatter the shackles which have rendered them slaves.

But let me go back for now to Terror’s recent attempt to carve itself an opening onto the southern sea-port city of Aden, an area sitting under the direct control of the United Arab Emirates, itself an ally of Saudi Arabia.

On August 29, 2016 Daesh claimed for itself an attack on a military recruiting centre, right in the heart of Aden, right under the nose of the UAE …

Bearing in mind whose hands have pulled the likes Daesh and al-Qaeda’ strings in the region you may wonder why in the world terror militants would target Aden. With Aden firmly in the hands of Abu Dhabi why risk unrest? Why risk opening Pandora’s box in a region plagued by instability and violence?

Answers to that question may lie with the UAE.

Allow me to elaborate:

If the UAE remains a “loyal” ally of the kingdom it stands nevertheless in aversion of the infamous “Muslim Brotherhood” which Saudi Arabia helped propped before it chose to repudiate it.

The UAE, readers might have noticed, recently recalled its troops away from Yemen, a move which has profoundly displeased Riyadh. A move which only served to highlight what many experts have already noted: that Saudi Arabia already lost its war in Yemen

Another point worth considering is that the UAE has supported Riyadh out of geopolitical necessity, and not ideology. The UAE is not inherently opposed to a change of the political guards – something the kingdom of course cannot even begin to fathom, let alone accept.

Before ever-evolving and fast-changing dynamics, and in the face of a growing revolutionary incursion into its territories Riyadh reverted to its preferred weapon of war: Terror.

Terror stroke at the heart of Aden to achieve several goals:

  • Saudi Arabia needs for Yemen to explode into a civil war.
  • Saudi Arabia needs for Terror to carve a real dominion directly atop the world oil route.
  • Saudi Arabia needs to generate enough fear so that world powers would finally sanction a ground invasion and defeat the Resistance under the cover of counter-terrorism.
  • Saudi Arabia needs for the narrative to move away from the many and atrocious war crimes and crimes against humanity it has carried against the Yemeni people.

The sea-port of Aden has long been coveted by Wahhabi radicals for it offers an opening onto several continents. The simple fact that Aden was broken into by Terror as it sits under Saudi patronage only serves to affirm Riyadh’s links with Terror … but then again we all know that.

It’s what we do with that knowledge which will determine what comes next.

Catherine Shakdam is the Director of Programs of the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies and a political analyst specializing in radical movements, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


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