Saudi Arabia refuses to admit defeat in Yemen war

Alwaght- Started late in March, Saudi-led coalition against Yemen not only has not managed to reach the Yemeni capital Sana’a but also, despite heavy propaganda and psychological warfare, it has suffered some losses in some critical fighting points. All evidences, specifically the battlefield developments, suggest that the Al Saud regime has lost the war. However, it will take some time for the Saudi king Salman bin Abdulaziz publically admits that his regime has lost the war in Yemen.

The local and independent sources reported that the Saudi regime and the UAE have pulled their forces out of Marib province in northern Yemen. “CNN, BBC and Reuters’ news about Yemen come out very slowly, but i tell you before they inform you that all of the Emirati as well as Saudi troops retreated from Marib five days ago”, the Yemeni media activist and analyst, Haykal Bafana, posted on Tweeter on Friday. The Saudi forces are retreating from the Marib province while previously and before the onset of war, they had launched a psychological warfare, describing it as a scene for showcasing an Arab unity and demonstration of power not only against the Ansarullah movement but also against Iran.

Hasan Hasan, the senior analyst in Chatham House Institute, published a note on National Interest website after a Tushka missile launched by the Yemeni forces hit the invading Arab coalition’s forces camping in a Yemeni military base, Al Safer that left hundreds of Saudi, Emirati and Bahraini troops dead. He said that during six months period of the Saudi-led air campaign against the Ansarullah movement the coalition forces experienced a deadly blow, and it possibly would make the Arab forces more strengthened. He added that the Arab coalition had no other choice but winning the war.

Christian Science Monitor also wrote that for Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab (Persian) Gulf allies, the military campaign in Yemen‘s central province of Marib is their largest campaign since 80 years ago, and for some members of the coalition , this campaign is their first real taste of war suggested the. But after about a month since the operation in Marib, not only the coalition made no advances but also it pulled its forces back from the region as fears grew over more death tolls among its troops. Some media also reported a large number of fatalities among the Saudi-backed forces in the northern Marib province. Yemen’s Sabanet news agency quoted the country’s military sources as saying that the clashes had left 160 coalition troops dead, and 378 others injured, in Sarwah region near a military base in Marib province. Another battlefield about which the Saudi-led coalition’s forces had started media propaganda was Taiz, south of Sana’a, which is considered as a gateway to the Yemen’s capital. The Saudis released a statement on October 4, 2015, claiming that they would retake the Taiz city within 48 hours; however, after a week no sign of coalition forces’ progress was seen. During the past three years it has been the 11th time that Riyadh issued statement, pledging to retake the Taiz city within 48 hours, the local sources informed.

Unrest in Eden

Considered as the only area in which the Saudi-led coalition have been successful, Eden province has undergone fresh developments which suggest that the Yemeni port city is immersed in unrest, and it is not fully under the Saudi forces’ control.

On Tuesday, the ISIS terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack that rocked the residence of Khaled Bahah, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s prime minister. The attack killed at least 12 Saudi and Emirati troops. Moreover Qatar’s Aljazeera reported on Thursday that gunmen on a motorcycle shot dead the pro-Hadi army General Jamal al-Saqqaf in Eden. The Saudi Arabia is observing all these tolls in its forces during their campaign in Eden while the Ansarullah movement and the Yemeni army’s forces have retreated from the city three months ago. A rising question is now that Saudi Arabia failed to fix security in Eden where Ansarullah movement has few proponents, then how it could do the job in the capital Sana’a, where Ansarullah and its allies enjoy public support.

Surprise in the sea

The Arab coalition’s failures are not limited to the ground across the different Yemen’s areas. Last week, the Yemeni forces unveiled a new weapon with which they targeted the Saudi-led coalition’s warships in the Red Sea. The Yemeni Defense Ministry, on Wednesday night, announced in a statement that a warship belonging to the Saudi-led Arab coalition was destroyed in Bab el-Mandeb Strait, southwest of Taiz. The Yemeni official news agency, Sabanet, has reported that the destroyed naval vessel belonged to the UAE’s navy. The coalition’s warships immediately after the event left the area. The vessel was hit by a C-802 anti-ship cruise missile, said the Yemeni sources, the same missile type the Lebanon’s resistant movement Hezbollah fired, in 2006, at the Israeli warship.

Yemeni forces advancing south in Saudi Arabia

Saudi regime is losing control over some southern parts of the kingdom. Penetrating into the Najran, Jizan and Asir provinces during past few months, the Yemeni forces have managed to take control of some Saudi military points.

The failures during past six months by Saudi Arabia in Yemeni has drawn an increased criticism from the kingdom’s close Western allies, as some groups in the US have called for halting the American arms sales to the Saudi regime due to absence of a clear strategy for the war in Yemen. The Washington-based Al-Monitor news website reported on Wednesday that a group of the US Senate Democrats have held up new arms sales for Riyadh’s war in Yemen after the Yemeni civilians death tolls remarkably rose as a result of the Saudi Arabia’s air campaign against Yemen. “What we are concerned about is that there is no military solution in Yemen”, Ben Cardin, a Democrat senator and the senior member of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations told Al-Monitor. According to Al-Monitor, during past few weeks a coalition of human rights and arms control groups has been working behind the scenes to get the US lawmakers to come against the Saudi-led aggression in Yemen. Moreover, in Britain, which is regarded as the major Saudi Aribia’s supporter, the anti-Yemen war criticism has been on the rise. The Amnesty International has asked Britain to stop arms provision to the Saudi regime for “war crimes” committed in Yemen, the Guardian reported.

Final defeat

All the evidences suggest that Saudi Arabia has lost the war in Yemen, but it would take time for Riyadh to officially acknowledge its failure. The certainty of defeat in Yemen has pushed the American analysts to caution against the possibility of the Al-Saud kingdom’s fall. Warning against Yemen’s war, John Hannah, the senior counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and analyst of the US strategy, in a note in Foreign Policy has quoted Dick Cheney as saying that the more the war in Yemen continued the greater could be the risk that the Saudi aggression in Yemen against the Ansarullah movement would cause dissidence internally in the kingdom. Most of the Saudis blame the prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, the Defense Minister of the Saudi Arabia, as responsible for the current situation. Nicknamed “reckless and irresponsible”, Mohammad bin Salman is blamed for launching a war against Yemen without having a clear strategy or an exit plan. Meanwhile, Dr. Madawi al-Rasheed, a Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science, has noted that “The Saudi war on Yemen is increasingly becoming an impossible war to win.”                               

By Alwaght                                                

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