By Emad Almarshahi – Jul 21, 2022
The recent development of events in the field of the war in Yemen clearly demonstrates that this conflict has multiple political and economic facets that make a peaceful resolution extremely difficult. We must understand that the current civil war in Yemen has very deep historical roots, going back to the division of the country into two clearly defined regions: the North and the South, separated since the 19th century. Its reunification in 1993 was always fragile, and it was sustained until 2014 in a precarious way , given the lack of national integration between the two regions.
It is evident that the interests of foreign powers in this small country prevail over the consideration of the humanitarian tragedy inherent in this war, and for this reason it is systematically hidden by the established media, thus avoiding a massive mobilization of public opinion in the countries involved in the conflict, directly or indirectly, and that could change the attitude of their governments towards this situation of humanitarian catastrophe, the worst of today. The recent summit in Jeddah , which brought together many Arab leaders with the president of the United States, Joe Biden is the best example of the infamous lack of attention to the conflict in Yemen.To understand this situation, it is necessary to establish each of the factors that have determined it.
In the first place, Yemen has an extremely important geographical position in the world, since it controls the strategic Bab -el- Mandeb strait , which connects the Gulf of Aden with the Red Sea, and through which maritime oil traffic circulates daily. and its derivatives headed for Europe. Precisely, yesterday, July 16, Biden said in Jeddah : “we will not allow external forces to undermine the freedom of navigation through channels such as Bab -el – Mandeb and the Strait of Hormuz”. It is clear that US imperialism remains willing to sacrifice the lives of innocent human beings to protect its interests.
Another very important factor in the Yemeni conflict is the unconditional support of the United States towards Israel. The “normalization” of political relations between the Arab countries and the Zionist state was the fundamental motive for the Jeddah summit , which did not achieve the objectives sought by the Biden government in this regard, mainly because of Saudi Arabia’s reluctance. . However, on an individual level, Israel has maneuvered to establish increasing economic and military collaboration with Arab countries, which came to fruition through the “Abraham Accords” signed in 2021 between Israel and the states of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain , Morocco and Sudan. This guarantees Israel will continue to maintain its military hegemony in the Middle East, and protect itself against Iran in the event of a direct conflict with this country, which it considers its greatest enemy in the region. In this context, there are multiple reports of the construction of an Israeli military base in the Socotora (or Socotra ) archipelago, located in the Gulf of Aden , and belonging to Yemen, which has been occupied by the forces of the United Arab Emirates, with the consequent displacement of the civilian population residing on that land.
Israel fears that Yemen will adhere to the ” Shiite Crescent ” that includes Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, due to the natural identification of Yemenis with that current of Islam, opposed to the Sunni , prevailing in the Arabian Peninsula. Iran’s ideological support for the cause of the people of Yemen is unquestionable, which, however, has not translated into decisive collaboration, as in the case of Syria and Lebanon. Another relevant aspect of the conflict is the interest of foreign powers in Yemen’s oil and gas resources. Amid the drastic reduction in oil production due to hostilities, there is evidence of the brazen theft of this resource by Saudi Arabia.
This is possible because most of the oil installations are located in the areas controlled by the government supported by the Saudi regime. This dispossession is similar to that carried out by the United States in eastern Syria, dominated by sympathetic Kurdish forces. This takes on even greater relevance in the midst of the energy crisis we are experiencing, and becomes an incentive for the continuation of the war.
No less decisive is the economic importance for the arms-exporting countries (particularly the United States and the United Kingdom) of supplying them to the regime of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other states that make up the coalition of aggression against Yemen. The Saudi state is the world’s largest arms buyer, with its main suppliers being the United States, Britain and France. Due to the criminal use of this weaponry in the war in Yemen, many countries have formally offered to reduce their arms sales to the Saudi state, but in practice only Norway and Denmark have done so.
It is enough to point out that between 2015 and 2020, US arms sales to Saudi Arabia represented $64.1 billion, to understand the importance of this business for the US government and the military-industrial complex in that country.
Similarly, the United Kingdom, the second-largest supplier of war equipment to Saudi Arabia, has secured arms sales to the Saudi-led coalition worth around 25 billion pounds sterling (equivalent to about 35 billion dollars).
Currently, the Biden administration is studying the possibility of resuming the sale of “offensive” weapons to Saudi Arabia, after a suspension put into effect the previous year. And this only means that the war in Yemen will flare up soon.
For the United States and Europe, it is vital to maintain a good relationship with the Arab countries of the Gulf, in particular with Saudi Arabia, due to its dependence on their oil supply. This issue was very much on Biden ‘s agenda at the Jeddah summit , where the infamous Mohamed Bin Salman pledged to substantially increase his country’s oil production (under OPEC) to stabilize the global energy market. 11 This indicates the immense power that this autocratic government possesses in current geopolitics.
Faced with this complex panorama, the future for the people of Yemen is uncertain, given the indifference shown by foreign powers to their suffering, attentive only to looking after their interests. The fragile truce that has been in force in recent months is constantly violated by the forces of the aggressor coalition, which include many mercenaries from the United Arab Emirates, facing the same forces of the regime supported by foreign countries. Likewise, the invading coalition has not allowed the free traffic and distribution of essential goods and services for the Yemeni population. This gives a clear indication of the lack of political will of the Arab states involved in the war in Yemen to negotiate a peaceful solution to the conflict. The Supreme Political Council of Yemen is very clear about all this, and has issued a strong statement on the matter.
Faced with this situation, the armed resistance of the Yemeni people is seen as the only resource left to enforce its sovereignty. Its armed forces have achieved impressive success on the battlefield, reaching across borders with Saudi Arabia, and establishing territorial control over historic North Yemen. Likewise, the development of its own weapons, in the area of missiles and drones , has made retaliation possible in Saudi territory and in the Emirates. Only this could bring about the establishment of the current truce, and it will surely allow the end of foreign intervention in Yemen in the long run, allowing its people to decide their own future. The history of this brave and stoic people has shown, for centuries, that their determination and will to be free is stronger than the military and economic power of any empire.