Riyadh seeks dragging Washington in Yemen war

Alwaght– Since March 26, 2015 that the newly-ascended King Salman of Saudi Arabia launched a deadly aggression against the neighboring Yemen with the dream that soon he could defeat Yemen’s revolutionary forces, led by Ansarullah movement, and restore to power the resigned president of Yemen Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is largely loyal to Riyadh, the Saudi ruler has never thought of such a lengthened war.

Two years after campaign began, the Saudi well-armed forces that have backing of an Arab military coalition have failed to make mentionable progress in meeting their announced goals rather faced a battle that proved to be a quagmire for the invading Arab alliance.

Well aware of inefficiency of their ground forces in the Yemen campaign since the beginning, the Saudi leaders along with their Arab allies struggled to strike hard day and night using the British and American fighter jets that came with their mercenary pilots. The targets have been the vital Yemeni infrastructure, in a bid to give out to the world a picture of successful air campaign in the already war-ravaged country.

While the unceasing air campaign continues in Yemen, the allies including the US, Britain, and France keep updating the Saudi air force’s arsenal with newest warplanes, which like before keep the Saudi leaders imagine that they will get the upper hand in the battle using them.

During the past two years, the Saudi rulers set hope on their air power strikes to make Yemeni people and political sides bow to their demands in a bid to reverse the course of equations that was effectively heading towards the Yemenis’ interests.

This was until recently that Yemen introduced to the war the mid and long-range missiles which proved viable in striking deep in the Saudi territories, including the kingdom’s military bases and economic infrastructure near the capital Riyadh, something that tipped the scales of conflict in favor of the Yemeni army and popular forces.

Such a groundbreaking development on the battlefield pressed the Saudis to openly call on the Americans to intervene directly in the war in solidarity with the kingdom. This request was made when Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi defense minster, travelled to Washington. Also James Mattis, the US Secretary of Defense, heard the same call from Saudi leaders during his recent Saudi Arabia visit.

The American entry to the war can come under the excuse of chasing al-Qaeda militants in Yemen but mainly aims at changing the equations in favor of the Saudi-led forces. The same efforts by Riyadh are going on with Islamabad to make it step in the war. All these requests for intervention in Yemen, the experts say, can signal confusion in top ranks of the Saudi Arabian political and military leadership and decision-making apparatus, as they every day distance Riyadh from its goals in Yemen war.

Since the beginning, not only air campaign did not yield results for the kingdom but also it met with failure in other areas of its anti-Yemeni efforts:

– Losses in border clashes with Yemeni forces

– Failure of Saudi-paid mercenaries inside Yemen

– Failure to re-establish a puppet government in Yemen

– Failure to persuade the international organizations to turn a blind eye to the atrocities that mount to crimes against humanity

All these setbacks have made the Saudi leaders to resort to foreign powers such as the US to help get rid of a war that many experts label as a “swamp” for the Arab forces.

The military equipment topped by the ballistic missiles that can now promise a prospect of deterrence to Yemen along with the war experiences of the Yemeni forces led by Ansarullah movement have influentially transformed the battlefield equations and proved challenging to the Saudi Arabian own domestic security, especially that recently missiles began to strike close to the capital of the kingdom. In fact, the over two years of hard strikes against Yemen’s infrastructures and civilians have failed to push the Yemenis to give in.

Amid such an inefficiency of the military solution, it appears that the Saudi leaders began coming up with the notion that they either have to return to dialogue with the Yemeni sides through dropping their irrational demands or seek backing from allied regional and international powers that can make battlefield differences.

But Riyadh has a record of foiling the peace negotiations by making demands found unacceptable by the Yemeni side. So the remaining choice is drawing help of the powerful allies like the US through direct intervention in the war. But the Saudis are yet to succeed in their newest efforts.