When a gang runs a country, the difference between the meaning of a state and the meaning of a gang becomes apparent, and this is precisely what Yemen has witnessed since the Houthi militia‘s coup against both the state and the Yemeni people.
The Houthi militia is a gang that is driven by its extremist ideology, myopic vision and petty interests, as it offers its services to the terrorist and sectarian Iranian project in the region. In addition, it does not mind distributing roles to other fundamentalist groups and parties within and outside Yemen.
These parties include those that follow the Turkish fundamentalist project allied with the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood, which is supported by Qatar.
Receding Iranian influence
A lot of indicators affirm that the Iranian regime and its imperialist expansionist project are receding, but it is not finished yet. It is expected to head towards failure in a number of affairs, whereas the strength of the moderate Arab axis led by Saudi Arabia and its allies appear to be increasing not only in Yemen but in the whole region, including Syria, Iraq, Lebanon etc.
Iranian influence is also receding in the Horn of Africa, Southeastern and Central Asian countries, South America as well as other regions. Iran’s relation with terrorism, in terms of creation, export and support, has become known at the international level and can no longer be hidden or subverted.
Iran has contradicted itself by declaring it has nothing to do with Houthis and then speaking on their behalf for a compromise in YemenAbdullah bin Bijad Al-Otaibi
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has repeatedly talked about the Iranian project, and the necessity for Iran to be focused on its domestic situation. Otherwise, it will be forced to do so and will have to give up on all dreams of expansion and imposing influence.
This is exactly what it is happening today. In fact, the Iranian regime is facing the whole world, led by the United States under President Trump. An international coalition is being formed in order to counter the Iranian regime’s terrorist and destructive policies around the world. The Houthis in Yemen are but a small gang that will cease to exist along with many groups, organizations and militias that are affiliated with Iran.
The Houthis’ absurdity has been quite apparent in the battle of Hodeidah as they are incapable of resuming the tough military confrontation against the Yemeni army and the resistance, supported by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the Arab alliance, and at the same time they are trying to distract the UN envoy with secondary issues that are not linked to the core crisis in Yemen or the reality of what is happening on the ground in Hodeidah.
This absurdity may allow Houthis to gain more time, but this is mere postponement of the decisive outcome as is evident by all indicators.
Houthis using human shields
Another example of Houthi absurdity is the use of civilians as shields in order to obstruct military advancement in Hodeidah and other areas. The use of such techniques is proper to gangs and does not pertain to the meaning of the state at all. It reflects the morality of an oppressive occupier and not the morals of the Yemeni citizens.
The Houthis have learnt this technique from Iran which backs it as it has long used armed militias and terrorist organizations in order to target civilians and innocent people by killing them in the most heinous of ways through assassinations and bombings as was the case in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. The Houthi militia is thus Iran’s tool in Yemen.
“Defeat is an orphan,” and meanwhile the Houthis and its supporters in Iran, Qatar and other countries are confused as at one point Iran said that it has nothing to do with the Houthis, and denied supplying them with ballistic missiles, trainers, military commanders among others, and at another, it offers reconciliation in Yemen on behalf of the Houthis and acts as the latter’s spokesperson. This confusion is all due to defeat.
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said last week that Iran’s isolation will grow and pressures on it will increase, while US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on US’ allies to exert more pressure on Iran. This comes in line with the position of these two countries and their allies to force Iran to abandon its expansionist ambitions, destructive influence and its support of chaos and terrorism.
Meanwhile, protests and demonstrations are increasing in Iran, and the Iranian opposition abroad is gaining more strength and influence. This can only mean one thing, the decline of Iranian tide in the region.
Persecution and torture
The Houthis’ absurdity is also discernible in how they deal with Yemeni people in prisons and detention centers and in their methods of torture exhorted on Yemeni citizens of which many examples have been disclosed in recent years, the latest being published by Al Arabiya.net. i.e. the photos showing the torture of Yemeni citizen Mounir Mohammed Qayed al-Sharqi in a Houthi prison.
These photographs and videos are the best evidence documenting Houthi crimes against Yemeni people.
The international coalition is still granting permits to vessels entering the port of Hodeidah, ensuring the flow of goods, humanitarian aid and fuel – in response to the Yemeni people’s urgent needs and as part of the Operation Restoring Hope led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE in support of the Yemeni people – despite the Houthis’ politicization of humanitarian aid to put pressure on the tribes and cities opposed to the hijacking of the Yemeni state and despite all the misguided Western human rights organizations which are trying to condemn the legitimate Yemeni government and the Arab coalition while failing to notice the extent and magnitude of Houthi violations at all levels.
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Last Thursday, Asharq Al-Awsat published the speech of Tariq Saleh during the graduation of a new brigade joining his forces. Saleh openly spoke about the Houthis’ absurdity and their ideological claims of their divine right to rule Yemen and thus cloning Iran’s guardianship of the jurist regime.
He also confirmed what everybody knows that the situation in Hodeidah or rather all of Yemen is just a matter of time. He bluntly stated: “Yemen is the origin of Arab people and belongs to its Arab nation. It has never belonged to Persia or the Sublime Porte in Istanbul. Yemen is Arabic and will remain Arabic. We belong to Yemen and not a gang.”
Caution in being decisive in Yemen is mainly due to protecting the Yemeni people and their lives, preserving their capabilities and exposing the Houthis’ absurdity and practices to refute all the claims they make along with their supporters in the region and the world and to ensure their inability to undermine the Yemeni state and the Arab coalition.
Khomeini assumed power in Tehran thanks to the drafts he issued on the doctrine of Wilayat al-Faqih that violated Shiite jurisprudential strictures. Another example of the Houthis’ absurdity is their belief that Hussein Al-Houthi’s statements and writings would make them rulers of Yemen forever. Ideology makes one blind and deaf.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Abdullah bin Bijad al-Otaibi is a Saudi writer and researcher. He is a member of the board of advisors at Al-Mesbar Studies and Research Center. He tweets under @abdullahbjad.