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Arab coalition’s stance in Hodeidah needs to be lauded

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Published: Updated:

Although the US government rejected an Emirati request to support the coalition few days ago, according to The Washington Post, the airport and the outskirts of Hodeidah had been overtaken by about 21,000 fighters of the joint Yemeni and coalition forces. Thousands of mines, which were being planted in the roads leading to the city and port in order to hinder their march, were being cleared.

Fortunately, Washington refused the coalition’s request to support it in intelligence, aerial photography, and mine scanning, or else these victories would have been for its benefit and it would have turned into a political battle against Donald Trump’s administration.

Despite the coalition fighter jets’ activity, it was keen to keep the port out of the battles, allowing the navigation there. It even allowed the presence of the Houthi fighters there. Two ships unloaded their cargo which carried humanitarian aid, and three other ships landed in the port, under the control of the coalition forces.

We support the coalition in its position; in not providing justifications for the human rights organizations and the supporters of the Houthis by allowing mediations to take place for a limited time. Either it would achieve what is required without fighting, or at least it would diminish the pretext of those who opposes war

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Unless the Houthis surrender and handed over the port and the rest of the city - as safe passages were open for their fighters to get out safely - they would suffer the biggest number of deaths since the beginning of the war three years ago.

The coalition intends to free Hodeidah entirely, the port, the city and the rest of the governorate.

Houthi deafeat inevitable

The Houthis’ defeat in Hodeidah is almost inevitable, but the leadership of the coalition, does not want to win the war and lose the international public opinion, which is exposed to propaganda of groups that challenge the coalition’s goals, trying to stop its victories and impose a political solution that will enables the coupists to stay in power. Thus the coalition accepted the international envoy’s request to give the Houthis a chance to withdraw before attacking the airport. So, they suspended their operations for 48 hours. When this solution was rejected, it was overtaken in almost one day.

For the same reason, we see that the coalition is taking away all the pretexts of the coalition of international organizations and the countries supporting Iran. It gave the international envoy another chance to reach a solution for Hodeidah and prevent deaths on both sides.

The UN envoy Martin Griffiths went to Sana’a with a plan for Houthis fighters’withdrawal from Hodeidah and hand over the port peacefully, in return of the safety of their fighters and ensure that humanitarian aid reaches them through the port.

We know previously that the Houthi leaders are very similar to the leaders of the terrorist organizations, like al-Qaeda and ISIS. It prefers to sacrifice the largest number of its fighters, rather than losing its positions. It is even ready to sacrifice the citizens and take refuge behind women and children to resist as long as possible. The Houthis are a typical terrorist group. What they did in Yemen does not differ much from actions by al-Qaeda, except that they do not use the social media or the television to publish their crimes.

The Hodeidah battle was the beginning of the victory in Yemen to end the rebellion which corrupted the political process in Yemen and threatened the security of the countries in the region.

We support the coalition in its position; in not providing justifications for the human rights organizations and the supporters of the Houthis by allowing mediations to take place for a limited time. Either it would achieve what is required without fighting, or at least it would diminish the pretext of those who opposes war.

This article is also available in Arabic.

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Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today. He tweets @aalrashed.

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