Day by day the situation in Yemen becomes more difficult for the people on the ground. The Saudis have renewed bombing and seemingly hit everything in sight - no matter what. Food is running out. But Yemen now has a new legitimate government. And the Saudis will have to either follow the conditions it will set, or all-out lose the war.
UN supervised negotiations between the former Yemeni president Hadi, supported by the armed forces of various Gulf countries, and a delegation of the Houthi alliance with the former president Saleh have failed. The Saudis demanded total surrender to their demands: A retreat of the Houthi from the capital Sanaa, a complete re-installment of Hadi as president, and a handing over of all serious weapons. The Houthi/Saleh side could never have agreed to such conditions. The fighting on the ground continued throughout the four month negotiations.
When the failure of the negotiations was obviously imminent, Houthi and Yemeni army forces re-invaded Saudi Arabia. For 200 km of the Saudi-Yemeni border from the Red Sea to inland eastwards Yemeni forces initially invaded at 6 locations 5-20km deep. Video showed them in sight of the Saudi city Narjan, with half a million inhabitants, shelling the electricity station and military barracks. Laughably a joint statement from the governments of the UK, USA, Saudi Arabia and UAE demanded that:
...the conflict in Yemen should not threaten Yemen’s neighbours.Laughable. A Saudi war on Yemen is fine with them, to respond to such is not?
The Saudis renewed their air attacks on the capitol Sanaa and other Yemeni cities. All military targets in Sanaa have already been bombed at least twice. The renewed attacks are a pure terror campaign.
Two days ago a Saudi double airstrike hit a school near the northern Yemeni city of Saada:
Doctors Without Borders wrote that the “final number of injured from Haydan school is 28 & 10 deaths. All between 8-15 years old ..."The Saudis denied that a school had been hit. They claimed that the 8 years old children were in a military training camp. They have learned from their new Zionists friends. The chutzpah in their response to the school bombing reports is strong:
We would have hoped MSF would take measures to stop the recruitment of children to fight in wars instead of crying over them in the media.An important bridge on the main supply route to Sanaa, over which 90% of its food comes in, was destroyed by a Saudi attack. Today a Saudi airstrike hit a well known hospital in Hajjah. At least 31 civilians, including hospital personal, were killed and many more wounded.
The Saudi king used the occasions to hand out a month's extra salary as war bonus to all "active participants" on the Saudi side.
The Saudis blackmailed the United Nations, with silent US approval, to not accuse Saudi Arabia of any of its atrocities and crimes with regards to its war. They threatened to stop all payments to all UN programs. The relevant UN reports get "cleaned" before being published.
Before the war Yemen was already dirt poor. It is now much poorer. Most infrastructure is destroyed. Nearly all factories have been flattened. The country is under a total blockade. The economy is in tatters. People die of hunger. Some 80% of the population is in dire need of humanitarian aid.
But the Yemenis will not give up. They did not start the war. But they will end it on their terms. They continue to response to Saudi attacks on Yemen with attacks in Saudi Arabia. Mysteriously new self made rockets appear from nowhere and hit Saudi troops and installations. All Saudi ground attacks in Yemen have ended in failure. Their proxy troops, hired from various African countries and South America, get beaten as soon as the enter the central Yemeni highlands. Their paid Yemeni allies are unreliable and tend to switch sides without notice. Only al-Qaeda in Yemen is a trusted Saudi ally.
The US and UK continue to support Saudi Arabia in their slaughter of Yemenis. The US provides intelligence and air refueling. Since April 2015 the US air force refueled Saudi and allied planes bombing Yemen over 5,500 times. It delivers huge amount of bombs and other weapons. Since Obama came into office the U.S sold Saudi Arabia weapons and ammunition for a cool $111 billion. Seven percent of the sales price is a commission that flows directly into Pentagon coffers. Generals involved in these deals end up in very posh industry jobs. For the US weapon industry, the Pentagon and US generals involved the Saudi killing of Yemenis is extremely profitable.
But the Saudis are losing the war. Not only is it very expensive to hire all the mercenaries and US specialists to maintain (and man) Saudi weapons but the material loss of expensive weapons is quite big. Over 50 main battle tanks have been lost to Yemeni attacks. Many more infantry carriers and other vehicles have gone up in flames (vid). Long videos show the Houthi winning nearly every engagement. They are way better soldiers than the Saudis.
On the political side the Yemenis outmaneuvered the Saudis and the long ago ousted Hadi proxy government. Late July the Houthis and the former President Saleh, once their enemy, and his supporters formalized their alliance with a formation of a common "supreme political council." But to have real legitimacy the alliance needed some formal acknowledgement by the Yemeni people. It has now managed to gain that.
Despite Saudi bomb attacks on Sanaa the parliament was called into session. Out of 301 members 26 have died. The total remaining is 275, a legal quorum is half of that (138). On Saturday 142 parliament member attend the session and unanimously voted to form a new government.
The Chinese news agency Xinhua was the only one with decent reporting on the ground:
'The Council of Representatives unanimously recognizes, ratifies and blesses the formation of the Higher Political Council to rule the country from it's geographically far north to Aden in the south, and from east to the west of Yemen's official borders,' Parliament Speaker al-Raiee and the attending MPs voted with 'Yes' as showed by the state TV.The president, vice-president, and members of Higher Political Council performed their constitutional oath in the parliament. Today the Houthi dominated Supreme Revolutionary Committee under Mohamed Ali Al-Houthi stepped down as de-facto ruler of Yemen. It had ruled Yemen since February 6 2015. Power was handed over to the newly formed Higher Political Council which is an alliance of the Houthi with the GPC party of former president Saleh. The former president Hadi, in Saudi exile, is also a member of the GPC. But his time is now certainly over. He is unlikely to be ever seen again in Sanaa.
Yemen now has a new government. Its formal, public formation with the vote of the parliament give it enough legitimacy to be accepted by most Yemenis. It will be very difficult to cast it aside.
The UK government Foreign Secretary tries nonetheless:
I am seriously concerned about actions being taken by elements of the Houthis, the General People’s Congress, and allies in defiance of the Yemeni Constitution and the UN process, and encourage all parties not to take any action that undermines the possibility of peace.According the Yemeni constitution Hadi's election, without any competitor and no "No" vote on the ballot, was unconstitutional. He was "elected" in 2012, for a two year period. His unconstitutional mandate as president has long ended.The side the UK represents and that now insists on constitutional legitimacy has none at all.
Despite all their weapons, arrogance and money the Saudi herders of camels have again lost against the people of Yemen.
As the Hadith says:
Belief is from Yemen, wisdom is from Yemen! Pride and arrogance are found among the camel-owners; tranquility and dignity among the sheep-owners."Halfmen" the Syrian President Bashar Assad once called the jokers of the Saudi ruling family. He was too generous. Should the al-Sauds not soon agree to a retreat from the country, to an end to their war and to appropriate financial compensation, the Yemenis will start to take Saudi cities. They are strong enough to do so, better dancers (vid) and they have the belief and military means to achieve that.
That would likely be the end of the political career of the Saudi Defense Minister and Deputy Clown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Reprinted with permission from Moon of Alabama.