With the Houthi movement now part of the Axis of Resistance, Saudi Arabia and its allies face a tougher opponent in Yemen that will not give up their revolution so easily. But to what extent they owe it to their allies?
Some wars cannot be won all alone. War in Yemen in some weird way is reminiscent of the war between the corrupt catholic church and protestant separatists back in medieval time. Back then the unscrupulous catholic papacy sought to hammer out the protestants, fearing that Luther’s movement was undermining the authority of the pope himself. If it wasn’t for the timely intervention of the Holy Roman Empire, there wouldn’t have been a protestant to begin with.
Things in Yemen aren’t that different. A small movement led by moderates suddenly got momentum when people flocked to their banners and the monarchy, led by the absolutist Saudi Arabia, sought to crush them before things got out of hand. Saudi Arabia however didn’t know that it is in the crucible of calamities that the bounds are forged and friendships made. It was exactly at that time when the so-called “Axis of Resistance” stepped in to lend its aid to yet another popular movement that was being crushed by foreign adversaries.
What initially started out as a political alliance between different factions all across the Middle-East to oppose ISIS growing threat effectively evolved into a much bigger political ideology defined by the common end to stop the outsiders presence within the region which was of course to blame for much of the instability that had happened in Middle-East during the past decade. The situation with Yemen was no different in a sense that both Saudi Arabia and the State of Israel, longtime U.S. allies, sought to suppress all that might pose a threat to their interest in the peripheral countries.
Although it is widely believed that the Ansar Allah is ideologically less reliant on concepts promoted by the Axis of Resistance, the desire to establish a nation free of the foreigners interference and the will to stand up for Shi’ite ideals nonetheless brought the Houthi movement under the banner of the resistance. Though doing fine on their own when it came down to internal struggle, Houthis were severely handicapped in neutralizing the threat from the outside and no matter how hard you fight in a war, no victory shall be achieved unless you can bring the war unto your adversary territory. That was exactly the part where the Axis of Resistance made its mark known.
For the majority of the war in Yemen, Houthis were the underdogs fighting tooth and nail to preserve their popular revolution. Air raids and constant bombing did not deter people from lending their support to revolutionaries but it was nevertheless effective in enervating the manpower. That was of course until the Yemeni revolutionaries armed with drones widely believed to have been provided by the Axis of Resistance launched an attack against the state-owned Saudi Aramco turned the whole tables around but that’s a story for another time.
The Yemeni Ansar Allah is now basically a semi-official member of the Axis of Resistance. Just like the Hezbollah in Lebanon, Ansar Allah has basically acquired a legitimate status thanks to the alliance made and is now operating on a level similar to all major players in the Middle-East. Furthermore, the country has now cemented its place as one of the countries against the normalization of relations between Arab nations and Israel, effectively role playing in a major issue of the Islamic world as well. It appears for the moment that neither the time nor the popular opinion favors Saudis. So it remains to be seen whether they would eat the humble pie eventually or they would doom themselves in a mire from which there is no escape.