After midnight, Yemen was set for a dawn promising to take the country on the path of progress. It was meant to take power away from the hands of its ousted executioner whose years in power led to decades of drought, starving his own people.
The Arab Coalition jets took off from south of Saudi Arabia, announcing the beginning of Operation Decisive Storm. They were set to launch the most important battle of liberation since Operation Desert Shield that liberated Kuwait in 1990. The jets continue to target strongholds of Houthi militias and purge the borders of their presence.
Operation Decisive Storm is led by King Salman bin Abdulaziz and his allies, with the most prominent and strongest being the United Arab Emirates. There is continuous cooperation between him and his brothers Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid in order to safeguard the Gulf from a dark sectarian future which the Houthis and those allied with them were planning.
This operation has revived cooperation among Arabs and has awakened their sense of dignity. They kept silent for years in the wake of Iran’s designs and ever since it entered Iraq after the US war in 2003.
Within the framework of United Nations’ resolutions, Yemen’s President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi appealed for help of a neighboring country to save the state and its institutions from Houthi terrorists. The latter came close to aiming their missiles toward Saudi borders as they want to blackmail Saudi Arabia. They predicted several reactions but the last thing they expected was that Saudi Arabia will launch a comprehensive war against them.
This came as a sudden surprise. The roof fell over their heads and the unjust were uprooted completely. The UAE is a founding member of this Arab coalition and it has sacrificed young men. Blood of Saudis, Emiratis, Bahrainis and Qataris have been mixed with blood. They launched a fierce battle that took the militias centuries back and entirely altered Yemen’s composition.
Iran and its proxies continue to use inappropriate words while Saudi Arabia and the Coalition countries have plowed the ground and planted seeds of a new future for Arab societiesTurki Aldakhil
The UAE’s martyrs
The UAE has sacrificed 65 martyrs to liberate Yemen. Ousted Yemeni president begged to stop the war and longed to negotiate claiming that Yemen and the solutions to its problems were in his hand. However, the coalition only recognizes international decisions, charters and customs. Operation Decisive Storm and Operation Restoring Hope have been roadmaps which altered the scene in the region and divided political stages in the Middle East into two: Pre-Decisive Storm and Post-Decisive Storm.
This is the outcome of wars. They draw different paths and create new powers. Iran and its proxies continue to use inappropriate words while Saudi Arabia and the Coalition countries have plowed the ground and planted seeds of a new future for Arab societies.
Ancient philosophers say it is through the ravages of war that you make the best models of peace. A war becomes part of a political solution especially when it has been launched within the framework of international sanctions.
UN Resolution 2216 stipulates: “All Member States shall immediately take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to, or for the benefit of Ali Abdullah Saleh, Abdullah Yahya Al Hakim, Abd Al-Khaliq Al-Huthi, and the (sanctioned) individuals and entities, from or through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, and technical assistance, training, financial or other assistance, related to military activities or the provision, maintenance or use of any arms and related materiel, including the provision of armed mercenary personnel whether or not originating in their territories.”
In brief, Operation Decisive Storm has united what stood divided. It has strengthened Saudi-Emirati ties and has paved the way for social sentiment, which no longer distinguishes between a Saudi and an Emirati. King Salman’s tour to Gulf countries and social engagement as part of his visit are the most prominent evidence of this unity, empathy and cooperation. This is what we have expected from the Gulf Cooperation Council for 30 years and more.
The upcoming generations will see the results of this Operation Decisive Storm. Victory is but an hour of patience.
This article was first published in Al-Bayan on March 29, 2016.
Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.