Beirut – With Saudi Arabia and the GCC countries busy engineering the annihilation of Yemen by way of ground invasion and air raids we almost forgot that behind the towering shadow of the oil kingdom, radicalism’s legions are standing by, awaiting for opportunity to knock.
And since Yemen now stands in a state of free fall, very much alone and shun by the international community for its people could not eclipse the financial and political incentives put forward by wealthy Saudi Arabia, the likes of Al Qaeda and ISIS radicals have returned to the land of Sheba, bombs at the ready, poison foaming at the mouth.
While Yemen’s battle against Wahhabi-inspired radicalism is hardly breaking news – Al Qaeda has had a foothold in southern Arabia for over a decade – terror militants’ timing and geographic preferences are somewhat disturbing as they appear to not only mirror Saudi Arabia’s advances in the country, but share in the kingdom’s military strategy against the Resistance movement.
But of course suggesting that Saudi Arabia would ever manipulate, or worse, collude with radical groups to score personal political points against its enemies, while playing the diplomatic deniability card would be completely preposterous! Right?
Hold on … the kingdom actually is playing that game. It has been for quite some time too: Syria and Iraq come to mind in the ever expanding radical footprint Riyadh has helped promote in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa).
For those still wondering, Yemen is fast becoming the new Syria – at least as far as using Wahabbi-inspired radicalism goes. Bearing in mind that US senior officials have managed to rationalize Washington’s support of so-called “moderates” in Syria as part of a concerted strategy against President Bashar Al Assad, one can only wonder what “excuses” will be used by the kingdom to facilitate the demise of independent Yemen.
At this particular juncture in time and as analysts have so kindly shared, Al Qaeda’s activities in Yemen are not exactly a grave concern. Ibrahim Fraihat, a senior fellow at the Brookings Doha Center put it this way: “The Houthis are more of a high priority”. An interesting perspective if you ask me since we were told ad nauseam by western powers and their allies that terror was the one threat the world could not afford shy away from.
Has something changed in between the many foreign military occupation campaigns we have had the privilege of witnessing over the years? Another question begs answering – Since the Houthis are the only force in Yemen which can claim to be completely devoted to the eradication of Wahhabi -induced terrorism, why is Riyadh so intent on breaking its ranks?
We know it’s not democracy building, and Riyadh can’t possibly be so attached to former President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi that it would risk blowing up the entire region for the sake of this one man political legacy. If Hadi makes a perfect political pawn, this factionless politician simply cannot claim to carry enough traction to manifest any form of a national political consensus – let alone lead Yemen back to a place of stability.
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