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Seven lean Houthi years

Mohamed Al Hammadi

Published: Updated:

After seven lean years of war in Yemen without realizing its objectives or any real victory or notable target, the Houthis are now seeking to inflame the situation in the region with wars, destruction, death, and backwardness.

After its recent losses on the ground, the terrorist Houthi militia decided to go on the offensive and attack its neighbors. First, it intensified its indiscriminate attacks on Saudi Arabia with ballistic missiles and drones; then, since the beginning of the year, it focused its offensives on the UAE, particularly the capital city of Abu Dhabi.

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Observers of developments on the ground in Yemen have undoubtedly noted the victories achieved by the Arab Coalition, the Yemeni legitimate forces, and the Giants Brigades in the first few weeks of 2022, and the resulting losses suffered by the Houthi militias. In fact, the gains made by the Coalition, the legitimate forces, and the Giants Brigades have allowed them to regain several lands and cities that the Houthis had occupied for years.

The defeat, despair, and frustration that the Houthis have been feeling lately pushed the militia to turn its weapons (provided and trained on by Iran’s regime) toward vital industrial and commercial areas in the Kingdom and the UAE. By doing so, the Houthis threaten not only international maritime and air traffic, but also energy sources in Gulf countries, thus putting global security and stability at risk.

The least one could call the acts committed by the Houthi militias is crimes against humanity, whether in the various cities and governorates of Yemen, where civilians are murdered and children are exploited in the war, where women are raped and the elderly humiliated, or in the Kingdom and the UAE, where attacks on civilian targets have left many innocent civilians dead.

Yemeni fighters loyal to the Iran-backed Houthis raise their weapons during a rally in the capital Sanaa, on May 20, 2021. (AFP)
Yemeni fighters loyal to the Iran-backed Houthis raise their weapons during a rally in the capital Sanaa, on May 20, 2021. (AFP)

Recent events have reaffirmed that the international community must shoulder part of the responsibility of facing Houthi aggressions by taking practical and powerful steps to counter this militia that insists on criminal behavior and refuses any political solution. Since day one of the conflict in Yemen, the Coalition and Gulf countries, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE, have presented political initiatives to resolve the crisis, but the Houthi militia always rejected these initiatives and dodged any political commitment.

Instead, the Houthis insistently opted for a military solution, leaving thousands of people dead, wounded, or homeless. The innocent Yemeni people paid dearly for this Houthi decision and its disastrous consequences, such as the severe deterioration of education and health services, the absence of the basic necessities of life like water and electricity, the restraint of freedom of movement, and the lack of security.

Last week, the UN Security Council harshly denounced the Houthi militias’ attacks on civilian targets in Abu Dhabi that left three civilians dead and six others wounded, when Houthi drones targeted a fuel tank and the new Abu Dhabi airport building. However, the international community must take more powerful measures and resolutions to counter the militia. It is unreasonable for the international community to accept that the Houthis’ response to its latest condemnation be even more missile attacks on Jazan and Abu Dhabi! It is unacceptable for this militia to remain free to commit crimes that undermine the security and stability of countries in the region and threaten the security and stability of the entire world while the UN watches, unable to deal with it!

The crimes that Houthis have been committing for seven years require the UN Security Council to issue resolutions that hold this militia accountable instead of contenting itself with statements that denounce its acts. Moreover, the UN Security Council and General Assembly must monitor the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by the Houthis and refer them to the International Criminal Court.

The UN also needs to work on imposing sanctions on this militia and its leaders. The General Assembly must issue a resolution that designates the Houthis as a terrorist entity that threatens the peace and security of the region and must call on them to halt their threats to civilians inside and outside Yemen.

This article was originally published in, and translated from, pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.

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