The storm in trouble

تم نشره في Mon 6 April / Apr 2015. 10:28 AM

By Fahed Khitan

"Yemen is gradually sliding into a sectarian civil war, the reminds us of the beginnings of the Syrian crisis and then Iraq". That was the conclusion reached by an international expert in the affairs of the Arab world, and was covered by al-Ghad in the context of the developments in Yemen.

In practice, what has changed in Yemen after ten days at the start of the Decisive Storm?

The coalition’s raids, led by Saudi Arabia, succeeded in the destruction of airports, air bases, and missile launchers. But that, as a consequence, dashed the possibility of an army capable of keeping the country's security and unity, in the case that the popular committees known to be pro President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, managed to resolving the standoff in the future. Yemen will need hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild its military forces.

The main objective of intensive aerial bombardment is to stop the Huthis’ progress towards Aden. But that did not happen in a decisive manner; even yesterday, most of the districts of the city were under their control, and they even entered the presidential palace and only left it after violent air raids that killed who was left of them.

Al Qaeda gained the most from the air strikes; it took advantage of the preoccupation of the conflicting parties, and halt in the drones strikes, to expand in many provinces. Two days ago, al-Qaeda fighters took control of the city of Mukalla; the largest city in Hadramout. Al Qaeda seeks to extend its control over the entire province, in which has a strong presence.

Once al-Qaeda fighters took control of Mukalla, they unleashed a sectarian war against “the Houthis and the Shiites”. Experts say that this call will receive resonance in light of fierce clashes between Houthis and supporters of President Hadi, and the entry of regional parties in the crisis.

The modest results of the Decisive Strom were not a surprise to independent observers, but disappointing supporters of President Hadi, who bet on the resolution of the situation on the ground in record time. To avoid a major crisis, frequent calls were made for a ground incursion to save the situation.

It is feared that the loss of hope to defeat the Houthis through air strikes could push the leaders of the Decisive Strom to accept the option of ground intervention; initially in Aden, where reports indicate the arrival of Saudi Special Forces, and then in other areas nearby.

Putting the first foot on means the beginning of a slide in the Yemeni quagmire, and it would be difficult to get out of it then.

In all the conflicts around us, which saw a ground intervention, we saw a tragic ending. The memory is still fresh in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon. Yemen itself witnessed an Egyptian intervention that ended with the parties facing a disaster.

The United States occupied the whole of Iraq, removed the regime, and dismantled its army, but could not succeed in achieving stability; it left it suffering the worst case.

The same in Afghanistan. After foreign troops left its territory, Taliban is still fighting across the country.

Ground intervention in Yemen will be a disaster for the Yemenis, and the countries that send their armies there and not know whether to fight Ansar Allah, al-Qaeda or the militias.



This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition