Russians on Yemen: Only fight al-Qaeda

Mashari Althaydi

Published: Updated:

The Russian vision on affairs in our countries is part of the problem and not part of the solution. When it comes to crises, all the Russians see is one slogan “the war on terrorism” – everything else doesn’t matter to them.

They seek to cancel and marginalize any other real problem and sometimes these problems which Russia neglects are the reason terrorism flourishes.

Extremism breeds terrorism and it’s mainly an intellectual and educational problem. However, pointing this out is not enough to eliminate the forces which strengthen it and help it mobilize and recruit people.

During a conference held in Geneva to aid Yemen, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennadiy Gatilov said the most important thing that the international community can do for Yemen is stop the “mad war,” and he called for ending the siege and proposing an initiative to improve the humanitarian situation.

The Houthi group is evil, just like al-Qaeda and ISIS are. This is the case even if the Russians do not see this as clearly as we do

Mashari Althaydi

The bigger evil

This is reasonable. We all want to stop the war and help the distressed people in Yemen but notice the traditional Russian turn when Gatilov added that if the war resumes in Yemen, ISIS, al-Qaeda and other terrorists and extremists will benefit.

The Russian diplomat called for ending all forms of siege on Yemen and warned of worsening the humanitarian catastrophe in case of an assault against the Hodeidah Port and targeting – liberating – Sanaa. He added this was not acceptable.

However, let’s clarify the following. First of all, the war in Yemen was launched against terrorist groups that are affiliated with the Khomeini republic. These groups share the same ideology as Iran and they are armed by the latter, and they seek – upon Iran’s support – to target Saudi Arabia with missiles seeking destruction and death.

The Houthi group is evil, just like al-Qaeda and ISIS are. This is the case even if the Russians do not see this as clearly as we do.

The Houthi factor

We thank the Russian official for his “sensitive” emotions and for the humanitarian aid and concern over human rights in Yemen. However, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Gulf countries have before all other countries helped the Yemenis with their needs.

Yes, the humanitarian situation is dangerous and difficult in Yemen. War is always ugly, even if it’s necessary, but I think that what the Russians have done in Caucasia to protect their security is much more than what’s happening in Yemen!

The Hodeidah port is the major naval portal to supply aid and it is under the Houthis’ control. The questions which the Russians must thus ask is: Who is obstructing the delivery of humanitarian aid to people and sending it to its groups in Yemen or selling it in the black market?

The conclusion is that in order to eliminate al-Qaeda and ISIS, we must eliminate the Houthi group. They are all as evil.

This article is also available in Arabic.
Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi 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. Althaydi 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. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.

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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