Last Friday was the sixth anniversary of the Saudi-led incursion against Yemen. In spite of all the hardships and destruction brought by war, the Yemenis appeared to be in high spirits. But why is that?
Tens of thousands of Yemenis marched through the liberated capital Sanaa not two days ago to mark the sixth year of their resistance against the Saudi war machine. The so-called National Day of Resilience was brimming with high spirits that was evident in people’s chants and it was as if no famine and no amount of destruction would deter them from their path. What makes this resistance even more astounding that what it appears to be is the Yemenis renewed vigor for fighting the good war to the very end. On the other side of the conflict things went down south for Saudi Arabia real fast.
Just a day before the anniversary, Ansar Allah launched numerous drone strikes and ballistic missile attacks against King Abdulaziz military sites in Dammam and other facilities in Najran and Asir. State-owned Aramco facilities in Ras Tanura, Rabigh, Yanbu and Jizan reportedly came under attack as well according to the news. In a televised speech that was aired on the day of anniversary, General Yahya Saree of Yemen announced that the operation fulfilled all its intended objectives, warning Saudi Arabia that they “are ready to carry out a more severe and more cruel military operation in the coming period” should Saudis decide to take things even further.
Days before that, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, facing surmounting criticism from abroad and countless military defeats in Yemen, came up with a “peace plan” that was supposedly drafted to lift the pressure off the back of the “Yemeni people” in Covid-19 pandemic. In the statement released by Saudi Foreign Ministry the Kingdom supposedly reaffirmed his “support” to reach a resolution that aims to put an end to the “suffering” of the “brotherly” Yemeni people. This statement which seems more like an apologist’s writ of confession was of course wholeheartedly rejected by the Ansar Allah that seems to be having the upper hand over Saudi Arabia for the first time in a long run. That is of course not the only basis for rejection.
Ansar Allah has said that the Saudi Arabia’s proposal held nothing new as it does not include the termination of the blockade on the capital’s airport and of course the one on the port of Hodeidah which is a major gateway for humanitarian aid entering the country through the Red Sea. Ansar officials have claimed that if Saudi Arabia had any real intention of helping the people they would have included such an important issue in their proposal but since their real intention is to get out of this quagmire by presenting themselves as the rational peace-loving actors. As expected, the people of Yemen aren’t falling for that again.
All in all, it appears that although no single player in Yemen has a clear path to victory for the moment at least the Yemenis are the ones on the top of their game and Saudis are nearly on the verge of downfall. This offer of peace, whether sanctioned by the U.N. or not, is nothing more than a dangling carrot to distract the public from the real political and military loss that the Saudis have suffered these past six years. For that reason alone, Saudis must either concede and accept that they have bought themselves the ire of the Yemenis by prolonging this war for their far-fetched dreams or they will have to continue this lost war for as long as they can. Judging from what was seen on Friday, we think making that decision should be pretty straight forward.