It has been almost seven months since the Armed Forces of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia began carrying out airstrikes in neighboring Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, in order to oppose Houthis and their protected, former Yemeni leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, by reinstating the ousted president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
Basically, the conflict represents a religious war for domination, namely a Wahabi, Sunni power (Riyadh) against an allegedly Iranian-backed Zaidi Shia rebel group (Ansar Allah). However, caught in the middle of this conflict and the Saudi-led so-called operations Decisive Storm/Restoring Hope, is a people that has been strapped before the war and is now suffering hardships that are hardly imaginable.
Apparently, there might be no way to end hostilities that is likely to make both sides partly satisfied. Yet there is a geopolitical plan that some have put forth.
At the top of the list to go is the man who has done so much to ruin the Arab World’s poorest state. Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh needs to retire permanently and thoroughly from Yemeni politics and take his sons with him into exile. More than any other figure, Saleh is responsible for the tragedy of today’s Yemen. After 33 years of misrule, he refused to accept the results of the Arab Spring and systematically undermined efforts to build an inclusive broad national government. Saleh needs to go. It can be a comfortable retirement, but his departure should be the commonly agreed upon basis of a deal.
Offering Yemen full membership in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) would be an excellent start, and some prominent Saudis have already suggested the idea. A GCC with Yemen would contain 70 million people. It would unite the peninsula. Bringing Yemen into the rich Gulf club would emulate the European Union’s positive approach of bringing in poorer European states to help them transition to a stable and prosperous future. It will mean the Saudis, Emiratis, Qataris and others take on the task of rebuilding Yemen at their (considerable) expense. The alternative is to leave a festering open wound in the peninsula that will bleed them as Yemenis seek revenge for this war for a generation to come.
Finally, Washington needs some second thoughts. It facilitated a war it has no vital interest in and let several allies operate callously. It has done far too little to secure a cease-fire and lift the blockade. It should be much more engaged at a much higher level in resolving this war than it has been to date.
“The Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen, falling oil prices and rising extremist violence are putting the country’s leadership to the test, nine months after King Salman assumed the throne following the death of king Abdullah,” Agence France Presse news agency stated in an analytical report Friday.The report said that running for power inside the House of Saud has intensified between the two designated heirs, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the king’s 56-year-old nephew, and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 30, is Salman’s son.
On the other side of the rivalry, diplomats noted that some in the royal family are quietly uneasy about Mohammed bin Salman’s handling of the war in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition supporting the government against Iran-backed Shiite Huthi rebels.
The kingdom’s rulers have also faced criticism for last month’s hajj tragedy which, according to foreign officials, killed more than 2,200 people in a stampede at the annual Muslim pilgrimage.