False rumors and the future of conflict in Yemen

Every now and then the question of when the war in Yemen will end is raised

Mashari Althaydi

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Every now and then the question of when the war in Yemen will end is raised. There are various concerns that trigger this question. It could be keenness to usher in peace and start a political process to prevent bloodshed and protect people’s lives and property.

Any reasonable person with a clean conscience cannot argue with that. However, even good wishes may sometimes face enormous challenges before they fructify.

Some countries who are part of the coalition are also driven by domestic compulsions even though they support the action in Yemen and call it legitimate. The coalition mainly includes Gulf countries, particularly Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Saudi Arabia is the central pillar of this coalition while the UAE is the second major power that stands for decisive action.

Concerns have also been raised over whether this war is affecting the economic capabilities of the countries involved in fighting. Will they lead to political and social worries?

These questions are legitimate and should be addressed. However, some ask these questions in a way that serves the Iranian propaganda machinery and the idea of western leftist dailies which have launched a media campaign against Saudi Arabia and the Operation Decisive Storm. They don’t resort to this for humanitarian purposes as they claim but with the aim to besiege Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries.

There are also those within Saudi Arabia and the Gulf – even though they may be few and far between – who echo false rumors. This is probably the most accurate description of what they’re doing. Under these circumstances, it is the opposing party that benefits and helps circulate false rumors suggesting a rift in public opinion.

Is it possible to coexist with a Yemeni regime which is controlled by the group and ideology of Abdulmalik and Hussein al-Houthi?

Mshari al-Thaydi

Reasonable solutions?

The bigger issue is that they do not suggest any reasonable solution. According to Saudi Arabia and most Gulf countries, a reasonable solution would be to reject the presence of a “statelet”, which toes the lines of “Khomeini revolution” in Yemen.

This is not a point they are willing to argue and they cannot accept the presence of such a “statelet” even if some politicians think otherwise. Is it possible to coexist with a Yemeni regime which is controlled by the group and ideology of Abdulmalik and Hussein al-Houthi?

Think about it. This is about Saudi interior security, and it’s about most of the Gulf countries’ internal security before it is about a mere foreign war to be won or lost.

Recently, coalition airstrikes killed two Houthi leaders. One of them was named Abdullah Qayed al-Fadeea who was reportedly in charge of the frontline at the border opposite Saudi Arabia’s Najran province.

The other was Hamid al-Azi who was killed with 10 of his companions in a border area near al-Mawsim governorate in Saudi Arabia’s Jazan. These are examples of neighbors and there are those who want us to accept their presence under regional and international pressure.

Moreover, what is the need to retreat when the situation in Yemen has improved due to the remarkable progress made by Yemeni army and the resistance particularly in Marib, Taiz and Nahm, which is close to Sanaa?

Political maneuvers are part of the strategy – and they are sometimes required – but withdrawing from war for no valid reason is nothing more but disquieting talk that amount to political and security recklessness.

This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on Oct. 05, 2016.
Saudi journalist Mshari Al Thaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Al Thaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists.

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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