Hodeidah is about to be liberated from the Houthis. This is what news reports from the city indicate. The Saudi kingdom and its allies could have finalized the war in Yemen and restored legitimacy there within few days or say months but rushing victory would have costed a huge price of human and property losses on both sides.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman noted this early in one of his interviews. This is in addition to the fact that the real enemy, i.e. the Persian mullahs, would only suffer a little from these losses in case victory is rushed because it fights via its proxy, the Houthis.
Therefore, patience has been relatively the best and most peaceful option. The signs of victory loom in the horizon as liberating Hodeidah is a pivotal phase in finalizing the war and cutting supplies to the rebels.
When Hodeidah is liberated, liberating the capital Sanaa will only be a matter of time as the Houthis only represent a small number on the map of political and ideological powers. If the mullahs’ republic hadn’t supported them with money and arms, the Houthis would not have been able to attract other opportunist powers which fought along their side despite the ideological and other radical differences between them.
I am certain that the Houthis’ collapse and that clipping their wings will have positive effects towards ending many problems that have worried the Gulf people especially the Saudis for long decades.
The Saudis, in all their categories, agree that we did not choose the war in Yemen and that we only engaged in it only when we had to and after we felt that Iran is targeting us and has ambitions in our territories, especially in the two holy cities. This is why confronting Iran was inevitable and an existential matter no matter what the cost is. The only option we had was the confrontation.
Therefore, Operation Decisive Storm was the only choice which may be painful and costly but it will lead to ending this suffering on our southern borders once and for all.
Iran’s defeat in Yemen
Not to mention that defeating the Houthis in Yemen and restoring legitimacy via the power of weapons represent in the end a defeat of Iranian schemes. Iran’s defeat in Yemen will certainly encourage Iraqi national categories to engage in a confrontation and liberate Iraq from the clutches of the Persian occupation.
The war itself has strengthened and deepened the Saudis’ sense of patriotism and pride in such an unprecedented manner. We really needed to strengthen this national affiliation especially that during the ominous phase of Sahwa in the past four decades, the sense of belonging to the nation came before the sense of belonging to one’s homeland.
This sense of belonging to the nation was strongly present among the youths who lived through that dark stage in our history. Saudis used to go and fight in other Muslim countries and they thus became the firewood of foreign conflicts that we have nothing to do with. The Sahwa definition of the “homeland” was all the countries of the Islamic world from Indonesia until Morocco.
Liberating Hodeidah and then liberating Sanaa from Persian defilement is just around the corner. Following four years of fighting, we have the right to echo the early Arabs’ proverb which reflects determination that does not know hesitation: Sanaa must be seen, however long the journey.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Mohammed Al Shaikh is a Saudi writer with al-Jazirah newspaper. He tweets @alshaikhmhmd
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