Saudi-GCC Alliance Continues to Bomb Yemen
Since March 26 a United States supported coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have been conducting airstrikes and a proxy ground war against the people of Yemen. Several attempts to negotiate a pause in the fighting for humanitarian purposes have failed repeatedly.
On July 27 the bombing by the Saudi-GCC forces continued with airstrikes carried out in two provinces in Yemen. Reports indicate that some 15 people were killed and 40 wounded.
Bombing operations took place in the area around al-Anad as well as targets north of the strategic southern port city of Aden. Overall sources say that between 3,000-4,500 people have been killed in the airstrikes and ground fighting over the last four months.
The Saudi-backed ousted regime of Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi based in Riyadh had announced what it said would be a five-day halt to the fighting so that food, water, medicines and other essential services could be provided to millions of Yemenis impacted by the war. Later the Hadi regime blamed the Ansurallah Movement (Houthis) fighters for launching an offensive just prior to the beginning of the truce.
Pakistan Today in a story about the situation on July 27 reported “Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, the self-described ‘president of the High Committee of the Revolution,’ a body formed by Houthi militants, said in comments published by the rebel-controlled Saba news agency that his group had not been consulted by the United Nations. The group could therefore not give a ‘negative or positive’ answer about the truce, he said. UN chief Ban Ki-moon made a plea for all sides to ‘agree to and maintain the humanitarian pause for the sake of all the Yemeni people’”.
This ongoing failure to win a truce represents the unwillingness of the U.S.-allied Saudi-GCC Coalition and the militias they support on the ground in Yemen to engage in any meaningful negotiations to resolve the war. The Ansurallah are allied with the Islamic Republic of Iran and the war is being portrayed as a conflict between Tehran and Riyadh for control over Yemen.
The same article from Pakistan Today also notes that “Pro-Hadi Popular Resistance militiamen had attacked the Houthis overnight Saturday (July 25) on the northern outskirts of Aden, forcing the rebels out of the Basateen and Jawala areas. The loyalist forces have been bolstered by new weaponry and armored vehicles delivered by the coalition. They also benefited from coalition air support, military sources said, adding that dozens of rebels were killed in the latest fighting.”
Despite this support from the U.S.-backed forces, seven pro-Hadi militiamen were killed and 29 were wounded.
Weapons Made in the U.S.
Although the Washington-allied forces in Yemen claim that the Ansurallah are acting in the interests of Iran, the real hidden aspect of the war as far as the American people are concerned is the essential role of Washington in the bombing and ground fighting.
The warplanes which are dropping bombs on Yemen are manufactured in the U.S. along with the weapons being used on the people. Pentagon personnel are providing re-fueling technology as well as intelligence to the pro-Hadi militia forces and the Saudi-GCC Coalition.
Secretary of State John Kerry has stated repeatedly that the administration of President Barack Obama will support the ongoing airstrikes and oppose the role of the Ansurallah in the internal struggle taking place in Yemen. The Obama administration withdrew its diplomatic representatives along with at least 100 Special Forces from Yemen on the eve of the beginning of the bombing.
Knowledge of the role of the administration and its NATO allies in the bombing of Yemen is spreading with the recent publication of a report by the Huffington Post which says “Human Rights Watch discovered munitions in Yemen, which an investigation by Malachy Browne reportedly traced to European shipments to the United Arab Emirates. The UAE is participating in Saudi Arabia’s airstrikes in Yemen. Browne found that components for MK82 and MK84 bombs, the same type that investigators found in Yemen, were manufactured by RWM Italia S.p.a, an Italy-based subsidiary of German company Rheinmetall, and shipped in May to a manufacturer that supplies the UAE military.” (July 24)
This same article goes on to say “More disturbingly, human rights groups have documented U.S.-made cluster bombs, banned under international law because of the indiscriminate way they kill, in Yemen. Human Rights Watch recently found unexploded CBU-105 cluster munitions, manufactured by a Massachusetts-based company called Textron Systems, near a Yemeni village.”
Although the U.S. attempts to portray itself as neutral in the Yemen war, the country just several months ago was being framed as a “success story” in the so-called “war on terrorism.” Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency drone and airstrikes have been carried out for several years allegedly targeting al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives. At least two U.S. citizens of Yemeni origin have been killed in such attacks.
The Huffington Post also says “It is not surprising that Saudi Arabia — the largest arms purchaser in the world — is using a Western supply chain to bomb Yemen. The Saudi military already has billions of dollars of state-of-the-art military equipment from the U.S. and other Western nations. The U.S. has expedited weapons sales to Saudi Arabia since the airstrikes began, and the U.K. says it has sent ‘precision-guided weapons’ to the Saudi army.”
Iran Seeks Peaceful Settlement to Regional Conflicts
In an effort to foster a diplomatic solution to the Yemen war, the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif traveled to Kuwait to promote dialogue across the area.
Zarif appealed to the Gulf States to cooperate against the common threat of “terrorism, extremism and sectarianism”, while at the same time saying that Tehran’s policy will continue along the same path. He emphasized that the legitimate struggles of the oppressed would be supported by Iran.
“Our message to the countries of the region is that we should cooperate to face the common threat,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told journalists on July 26 in the aftermath of discussions with Kuwaiti government officials in his first foreign trip following the nuclear deal with Washington and the European imperialist countries. “Iran has always supported the people of this region in confronting the common threat which is terrorism, extremism and sectarianism,” the foreign minister said.
Zarif stressed that “What is needed is not a change in Iranian policy but a change in the policy of some countries that want conflict and war in this region.”
Nonetheless, a European Union (EU) diplomat who is traveling throughout the region gave tacit support to the sentiment of Saudi Arabia and the other imperialist states by blaming Iran as the source of instability in the area. These sentiments continue even in the aftermath of the nuclear technology agreement negotiated with much fanfare in recent weeks.
Reuters news agency reported on July 27 that “Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir accused Iran of making threats against Riyadh’s ally, Bahrain, which he said showed that the Islamic republic was harboring hostile designs against its Middle Eastern neighbors. Speaking at a joint news conference with visiting European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, Jubeir said Saudi Arabia had raised the issue with her.”
As long as the imperialist states can divide the nations of the Middle East there can be no genuine peace or stability. The central design behind the Pentagon-NATO strategy for the region centers on the support and bolstering of the State of Israel along with undermined any anti-imperialist government or movements operating in contravention of the interests of the U.S. and the EU.