The Houthi militias have been sipping from the cup of defeat like they never have for days now. The liberation of the Hodeidah Airport by Al Amalaqah Brigade aided by the Arab coalition revealed to the Houthis the reality of their situation and made them see the power of the Yemeni army and the coalition.
The airport fell within days and the Houthis fled and scattered everywhere but given their cowardice they hid behind innocent civilians. They thus stationed their tanks in residential neighborhoods and between people’s houses because they know that the coalition forces and the joint Yemeni forces avoid hitting civilians as they’ve come together to save them and protect them.
This exposes the truth which the world must realize and it is that those besieging Hodeidah are the Houthis by using civilians as human shields, planting mines everywhere and closing the cities’ exits to implement their threats of a humanitarian tragedy.
During these few weeks, the world has a huge opportunity to change the course of the war in Yemen and put an actual end to the crisis there as liberating the city of Hodeidah and its airport and completing this with liberation the port are strategically important and will push the Houthis to submit to international decisions and go back to serious and practical negotiations.
The international community must stand with the legitimate government of Yemen and with the Arab coalition in their advance towards liberating Hodeidah which also means liberating the port, ending Houthis’ threats to international navigation and ending the Houthis’ smuggling of weapons and looting of humanitarian aid.Mohammed Al-Hammadi
The world can then begin helping the Yemeni people in Hodeidah and other areas through Hodeidah’s airport and port. This is what must be focused on during the current phase. International and regional efforts must be focused on ending the state of war not its continuation.
As for international reports demanding to stop the advance towards Hodeidah under the pretext that the humanitarian situation is affected and by claiming they want to protect civilians then it must be clarified that meeting these demands means prolonging the duration of the fighting in the city and around it. This worsens people’s suffering and creates a real humanitarian catastrophe that is caused by UN agencies and not the opposite.
Therefore, the international community must stand with the legitimate government and with the Arab coalition in their advance towards liberating Hodeidah which also means liberating the port, ending Houthis’ threats to international navigation and ending the Houthis’ smuggling of weapons and looting of humanitarian aid that’s supposed to be delivered to citizens.
Finally, the world must not overlook two important things about Yemen. First of all it is important to implement the UN Security Council decisions which aim to liberate the areas that the Houthis control in order to end the people’s suffering and open international relief passages for international organizations and UN agencies through Hodeidah’s airport and port. The second thing is to affirm the right of the local Tihamah resistance to expel the Houthis from their areas considering they are illegitimate occupation forces that the entire city rejects.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Mohammed Al-Hammadi is the Editor-in-Chief of Al Ittihad newspaper and Executive Director of editing and publishing at the Abu Dhabi Media Company. He founded and was Editor-in-Chief of the Arabic edition of National Geographic magazine, and has held numerous positions in journalism since joining Al Ittihad in 1994. Al-Hammadi has been a columnist for more than 15 years, including writing a daily column for seven years and producing a weekly political column in Al Ittihad since 2001. He has also worked as a parliamentary editor for seven years, covering the proceedings of the Federal National Council in the United Arab Emirates. In addition to being an active participant on social networks, Al-Hammadi has an interest in new media and is currently working on a project to ease the transition from traditional to digital and smart media. Al-Hammadi has received numerous awards and is a member of a number of organizations and federations. He features regularly in broadcast media as a regional political commentator and has authored several books including Time of Ordeal (2008), The UAE Democracy (2009) and The Fall of the Muslim Brotherhood (2016). Twitter: @MEalhammadi.