Arab coali­tion will get the job done in Ye­men

Khaleej Times - - OPINION -

In 2015, when the Saudi-led al­liance de­cided to go all out and fight for the cause of the Ye­meni peo­ple and their ousted gov­ern­ment, it had wider in­ter­ests in mind. The al­liance un­der­stands the role Iran plays in stok­ing sec­tar­ian vi­o­lence in the re­gion. It knew well that Iran was pro­vid­ing fire­power and train­ing to the Houthis, and would even­tu­ally use the rebels against the Gulf coun­tries, in­clud­ing the UAE. The lat­est threats by Houthi leader Ab­del Malek Al Houthi vin­di­cates the stance taken by the bloc. The Iran-backed rebels could have never been trusted. All their claims of rep­re­sent­ing the peo­ple of Ye­men and fight­ing for their cause are farce. The civil­ians are yearn­ing for free­dom from tram­mels of sec­tar­ian vi­o­lence and chaos that have per­vaded their lives. They are the ones who are suf­fer­ing the most as wide­spread famine and an out­break of cholera con­tin­ues to claim lives in ar­eas that are un­der the con­trol of the Houthis.

The war in Ye­men has killed over 10,000 civil­ians and dis­placed three mil­lion peo­ple. Lives have been rav­aged, and de­spair looms large. The ground re­al­i­ties are way too grue­some for a nor­mal so­ci­ety. Of­fi­cial ac­counts by the United Na­tions paint a grim pic­ture. Peo­ple do not know if they would be able to feed their chil­dren and keep them safe. UN hu­man­i­tar­ian chief Stephen O’Brien re­cently said that 17 mil­lion Ye­me­nis don’t know where their next meal would come from. Nearly seven mil­lion Ye­meni peo­ple face the threat of famine and al­most 16 mil­lion lack ac­cess to clean wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion. Around 2,000 have been killed and around 500,000 are af­fected by a cholera out­break. Peo­ple are in dire need of help, but the Houthi rebels care only for their hol­low vic­tory. Tehran is play­ing a wicked game of power through these rebels. Just like it has bankrolled Hezbol­lah for over three decades, it is do­ing the same with the Houthis to fuel tensions in this part of the Mid­dle East, which is known for its po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity and pro­gres­sive out­look. How­ever, such tac­tics will not work. The Saudi-led coali­tion is un­fazed and will fight fire with fire to en­sure sta­bil­ity in the re­gion.

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