domenica, Novembre 28

Yemen and the radicalization of Southern Arabia From the onset of the war on Yemen, Saudi Arabia unilaterally proclaimed its desire to "liberate" the country from under the influence of the Houthis

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Up until now most experts have argued Saudi Arabia sought to disrupt any potential Iranian aid toward Yemen, sealing the country’s coastline to the outside world to better suffocate the Resistance. And though such an analysis is perfectly valid, it leaves out a darker and far more troubling design – the annexation of Yemen by ISIS legions.

Unlike north Yemen which has always resisted against Al Qaeda’s radical views due to its Zaidi heritage, southern Yemen has proven much more receptive to Wahhabism and its sister in terror, Salafism. Within this context the battle for Aden makes much more sense.

Military sources allied to the Houthis in Aden have already confirmed that an ever-increasing flow of weapons has poured into the city, unchecked and unchallenged because of the fluidity of the conflict. Those weapons, officers from the disbanded Republican Guards have already warned, have gone straight to Al Qaeda sleeping cells.

Countless pre-war security reports have long established that ahead of Aden planned takeover radicals militants infiltrated Aden and several neighboring provinces, waiting for leadership to ring the hour. And while many assumed the head of the snake to be in Abyan (southern Yemeni province), where Al Qaeda once claimed its own caliphate (2012); what if all missed the writing on the wall? What if leadership is indeed sitting in Riyadh, using a western-sanctioned military intervention in southern Arabia to accomplish what it could not before?

Are we suppose to believe that Al Qaeda simply crawled under a rock all those months, waiting for the war clouds to clear before staging a comeback? Would it not be more accurate to assume that Al Qaida far from disappearing, actually integrated the war alongside its patron: Saudi Arabia?

Interestingly it was former President Ali Abdullah Saleh who first presented such hypothesis to his countrymen, arguing Riyadh would claim democracy-building to plot the invasion of Yemen and break the country’s defenses. And though most pinned such revelations down to Saleh’s desire to rally support back to his side, the veteran politician undeniably shun a light onto the underbelly of this conflict. Yemen’s war is not just a conflict of political legitimacies or even natural resources – it is about the subjugation of southern Arabia to the rule of terror.

Let us remember with which fervor Riyadh pounded at Yemen’s military infrastructures over the past months, how it laid waste weapon depots and bases across all provinces, reducing the country’s entire defense capabilities to rubbles. Al Saud aimed not just to crush the Houthis, it ambitioned to open Yemen up to a ground invasion and leave its people defenseless before ISIS hordes – a repeat of Iraq’s debacle. And if many Yemenis are still under the grand illusion that the Houthis are indeed the enemies, they would do well to learn from the lessons of Iraq and Syria before they find themselves shackled hand and foot by ISIS armies.

As it currently stands Yemen is all but spent by months of an implacable Saudi-led and  western-organized maritime blockade. With famine looming and social instability at an ultimate high, what resistance will the people of Yemen offer to the black flag should it decide to invade?


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