Battle for Hodeidah – the beginning of the end

Abdullah bin Bijad Al-Otaibi
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The battle of Hodeidah is fierce and its results are crucial in managing the war that’s been raging in Yemen for more than three years. There have been a lot of successes, achievements and victories which have led to the liberation of over 80 percent of Yemeni territory, with more victories and progress for the Yemeni state and people.

Unusual supporters

The Houthi militia in itself is a small force and has had little impact, but it has some major supporters. As is well known, the first one is Iran, but it might come as a surprise that among its other supporters are some international institutions and officials, some Western countries and human rights organization, especially western ones. This is in addition to countries that publicly support it like Qatar and a regional country that has chosen to support fundamentalism throughout the Arab world.


The Yemeni state and its political and military leadership are devoted towards their citizens. The coalition leadership puts the safety of Yemeni citizens on top of its priorities list as conveyed by its spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki. This is very important as it reflects the humanitarian dimension in managing wars and battles.

The humanitarian dimension was thus taken into consideration by the Yemeni state, its army, the Arab coalition and resistance. However, it was used by Iran and some international institutions to obstruct finalizing the war and its battles and the Hodeidah battle is only one example. On the side of the Arab coalition, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been working through King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center and the Red Crescent Society of the UAE to ensure the safety, security, rescue and support of innocent Yemeni citizens in addition to providing supplies of food, water, medicine and healthcare, and all the special requirements needed in the battle scene. Providing this aid is one of the repeatedly announced principles of the coalition.

Houthi war crimes overlooked

On the other hand, the statements of some European officials, international humanitarian institutions and human rights organizations put a spoke in the wheels of such efforts as they seek to obstruct any serious orientation to save Yemen from this Iran-backed Houthi militia. Meanwhile, these organizations almost entirely ignore all Houthi crimes in the war — such as its recruitment of children, using civilians as human shields, stealing people’s money in addition to torture, imprisonment, assassinations and brutal murder. They also overlook the use of Iranian ballistic missiles and the declaration of the Houthis’ political loyalty to Iran and smuggling weapons from Hodeidah port and receiving training trainers from the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group and other crimes.

Agenda of external forces

These institutions, officials and associations do not understand that the Houthis are not a state but a militia. They are not loyal citizens but a group with an external agenda. The Yemeni people’s rights are not their priority by any means. The Houthis are fully loyal to the ideology of Iran’s regime. Thus, killing, torturing, and humiliating poor Yemeni citizens are part of their established policy and declared ideology. They do not differ from groups like the Taliban, al-Qaeda or ISIS.

The Houthis are going to be thrown out of Hodeidah, either willingly by a political agreement or by the might of military force. It is only a matter of time. If the UN and its new envoy have a role, it would be to convince the Houthis to abandon their bloody ideology and become convinced with practical and political solutions. Apparently, the Houthis are playing them in order not to reach a real solution as they aim to gain more time to prevent their collapse. In the end, military heroes of the army, the Yemeni resistance and the Arab coalition are advancing in their glorious and victorious battles, while the Houthis are running away. The only option is that the Yemeni state, people and territory should be regained, whether politically or militarily.

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.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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