The Yemeni developments have caused major concerns for the Saudi regime and its regional and international supporters. The Saudi officials, who previously refused holding any negotiations with Yemen’s Ansarullah movement, are now talking about start of dialogue on November 15, 2015 with Ansarullah movement.
On the other hand, the US as well as British officials’ remarks signaled that the Saudi regime’s international backers have come up with the conclusion that the continuation of war against Yemen could immerse Riyadh in more difficult circumstances and go on in favor of Ansarullah.
Setting November 15 as a date for kicking off the negotiations between the two internal and external Yemeni groups is, on the one hand, an official admission that using military choice policy against the rival has failed to yield the wanted results, and on the other hand it could be considered as a starting point for ending the militaristic policy and seizing the three-week opportunity to change Yemen’s conditions.
However, even if it is supposed that Saudi Arabia has come up with the conviction that its war in Yemen has reached a dead end, this does not mean that the November 15 would be the time when the aggression and military operations against Yemen ends. Additionally, the Brigadier General Ahmad al-Asiri, the Saudi military spokesman, has made it clear that even at the time of negotiations between the Yemeni sides the war would not be halted.
However, whether the Saudi military operations are or are not stopped briefly or permanently at that time, the November 15 would be a practical confession that the war on Ansarullah has been a move in vain.
The following points help us evaluate the Saudis’ conditions and their potentials.
1. The Saudi regime has struggled for several months to capture Aden, the former capital of South Yemen, establish Mansour Hadi’s government there, and paint its policy and performance in Yemen as legitimate, and therefore pretend that Mansour Hadi’s “puppet government” is a legitimate government and everybody should accept it.
Although, with difficulty and participation of multiple forces Aden, Saudis made Ansarullah to evacuate Aden, the port city fell to Al-Qaeda terrorist group rather than to pro-Saudi Al-Islah or Hadi’s forces .Following the events, Khaled Bahah, the Saudi-bound Prime Minister, had to flee Aden unavoidably after staying several days in the city.
At the time being, Aden is a stage of conflicts between the three groups of Al-Qaeda, dubbed Ansar al-Sharia in Yemen, pro-Hadi militant groups, and the Southern Movement ( Al-Hirak al-Janoubi). The Southern Movement, which played a pivotal role in wresting Aden out of Ansarullah movement’s control, has accused Saudi Arabia and Hadi’s forces of incompetence, arguing that their policies have made Aden a stronghold and center for Al-Qaeda activity, and Al-Qaeda has practically gained control of the two highly sensitive cities of Aden and Al Mukalla, Yemen’s fifth largest city.
Reportedly, Saudi Arabia remained silent over the group’s capture of Al Mukalla in exchange for the terrorist group’s aid in capturing Aden.
2. Failing to settle its troubles in Aden, Saudi Arabia has decided to capture Sana’a, the capital city. Therefore, receiving support from the UAE and Qatar, Saudi Arabia dispatched huge forces and special equipment to Marib in an attempt to open a way from south and east of the country to capture Sana’a.
But Ansarullah missile attack in early September on a Marib military base, the camping place of the Saudi-led coalition forces, killed and injured nearly 1000 Arab military forces, sending Saudi front totally flustered. Following the deadly attack, the UAE who lost nearly 100 of its forces has distanced itself from Saudi Arabia. Saudi forces’ fears pushed the operation to capture Sana’a from Marib in an uncertainty. Therefore, Riyadh decided to open up a way from the northern governorate of Al Jawf to Sana’a.
Meanwhile, the kingdom has worked hard to convince the tribal chiefs to draw their cooperation against Yemen’s Ansarullah, gaining limited wins in this way, however, this plan reached a dead end too, shattering the Saudi hopes that capture of Sana’a was close. This was while Al Jawf, due to having long borders with Saudi Araba and its desert areas, could be an easy way for Riyadh to endanger Sana’a.
3. After failure of Sanaa’s occupation plan, the Saudis have moved forces southward with the intention of capturing Taiz city and its islands. The Saudi regime thought that the Al-Islah Salafi-Wahhabi group which has Taiz as its traditional stronghold could threaten Ansarullah from inside. On the other hand, Taiz is of strategic importance because it is located near Bab el-Mandab Strait and the islands on its estuary.
The Saudi Arabia’s extensive sea facilities and those of its allies in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea make it possible for Riyadh to carry out a huge operation. Riyadh made big efforts to exploit the Sudanese, Egyptian and other Arab and African forces. Sudan has sent 1500 troops to the Saudi mission in order to help the kingdom capture Taiz, but so far the Al Saud regime and its African allies’ massive measures have failed to meet their set objective.
The Ansarullah movement has targeted and destroyed three Saudi navy vessels, and killed dozens of Sudan’s army forces. The significant point is that, despite a sketchy promise made to Saudi King Salman for participation in the aggression against Yemen, Egypt has failed to deploy forces, vowing that Cairo would send forces after capturing Taiz, to help preserve the coalition forces’ gains. The Saudi military campaign in Taiz has failed to hit Ansarullah, and the successive Riyadh’s losses in Aden, Sana’a and Taiz have demoralized the kingdom’s forces.
4. The Saudi regime is busy deploying new forces into Yemen, hoping to make a major victory before November 15, the date of negotiations between the Yemeni warring sides. However, should Saudi Arabia manages to capture Taiz in the remaining days to the negotiations date, it would not solve the Saudi problems, because the Ansarullah control over the Red Sea coast, the capital Sana’a, the northern regions and many other strategic positions in the country would not be spoiled by the success of the Saudi operation in Taiz.
It is obvious that even if the Sudanese and other supporting forces accompany Saudi forces to capture Taiz, they could not continue standing beside Saudi Araba for a long time, and right after they withdraw, the security equation could be tapped in favor of Ansarullah movement and against Saudi Arabia. Therefore, it is clear that Saudi Arabia in November 15 negotiations would not be able to arrange for the team of its proponents as it wishes, because only under the condition of Ansarullah’s submission and concession, the Saudi regime could actualize its plan for Yemen. Ansarullah and its allies’ standing is clear, and it was reiterated in the speech of the movement’s leader, Abdul-Malek al-Houthi I, during the ceremony of Ashura on October 24.
Ansarullah stance insists that the negotiations should be purely between the Yemeni sides and without any foreign intervention. So the Saudi Arabia political record is as chaotic and crisis-hit as its security record in Yemen.
5. Currently, the pressure on Riyadh in its war against Yemen is heavier than any other time. The Saudi people, who have not experienced any war for the last 100 years, are viewing the assault on Yemen as futile and shameful. The Yemen war has given the Al Saud ‘s internal critics the excuse to call the policies of King Salman and his son, Mohammad bin Salam Al Saud, who is the kingdom’s Minister of Defense, as dangerous, and ask for them to be dethroned. On the other hand the confidence that Saudi Arabia and its partners could wrap up the Yemeni case in several months, in a way that eliminates the Western concerns, is internationally shrinking day by day.
The US believes that Saudi performance in Yemen has complicated management of more significant cases in the region, putting the West in a tight corner. The West thinks that Saudi Arabia’s involvement in Yemen has made the kingdom vulnerable, pushing the most important Arab rival of Iran to the sidelines, sending it to make concessions in such an significant case as Syria crisis.
This is while in the West’s viewpoint it is impossible to restore Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and his Prime Minister Khaled Bahah to power, as their opposition forces would not let them return to the country. Presently, there are three forces in Yemen which prevent Hadi’s government from returning to the country, and generally block the Saudi plan for Yemen: Ansarullah movement, the Southern Movement and Ansar al-Sharia. So the West sees the project of bringing back Hadi to power and the implementation of UN Resolution 2216 as terminated.
6. Being defeated in the war drives the invaders totally insane, ramping up the possibility of a tragedy. Therefore, massacring Yemen’s civilians by Saudi Arabia to take revenge on the Resistance front is probable. To prevent this potential tragedy, consciousness and containment measures are nedded and the human potentials of the Muslim world should be used.