The tragedy in Yemen - TAHA KILINÇ

The tragedy in Yemen

The new American administration did what was anticipated: It declared that the Houthis, one of the parties involved in the Yemen civil war, will be removed from the list of “terrorist organizations.” An official from the U.S. Department of State said, “Our decision does not mean that our opinion concerning the Houthis and their activities has changed. The step we have taken is entirely related to the humanitarian outcomes that will arise as a result of the former administration’s last-minute fait accompli.” New U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s predecessor Mike Pompeo hastily added Houthis to the “terror list” last month, shortly before leaving office. Pompeo stated that they had taken this sudden decision due to “Houthis’ close affiliation with Iran.” Immediately after U.S. President Joe Biden’s announcement that they would no longer be backing Saudi Arabia in the Yemen war, Secretary of State Blinken struck off Houthis from the terror list.

It is no secret that the Houthis, who established an alliance with former Yemen State President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was ousted within the context of the “Arab Spring,” and invaded capital Sanaa in fall 2014 are backed by Iran – both ideologically and militarily. However, the critical connection in the Houthis’ alliance with the ousted president was his son Ahmad Ali Saleh, who is living under the shadow of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Hence, the UAE is also a direct party in the Yemen civil war. The UAE, which is also involved in another so-called “anti-Houthi” front with Saudi Arabia, continues to dig the Saudis’ grave.

According to UN data, at least 3 million of Yemen’s total 29-million pre-war population are currently displaced. As many as 80 percent of the people who remain in their current locations require foreign aid to maintain their life. The Saudi-led Operation “Decisive Storm” process, launched in 2015 and aimed at making Houthis surrender, brought nothing other than more pain and suffering to Yemen and its people. At the end of the process in which civilians were frequently bombed, the Houthis and the tribes supporting them were further radicalized, and Iran’s intervention in the country intensified, Yemen has virtually become “Saudi Arabia’s Vietnam.”

Egypt had the same title in the Yemen war between Saudi Arabia and Egypt in 1962-1970, which led to the death of at least 200,000 people. This tragic and irrational war had ended with a quite ironic reason: In the Six-Day War fought on June 5, 1967, Israel seized strategic positions in neighboring Arab states, and took the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt. Israeli aircraft bombed Egypt’s aircraft and helicopters at its bases even before they had the chance to take off; Egypt was almost completely pacified. As a direct result of the war, Egyptian forces in Yemen had no option but to withdraw. The Jews thus “contributed” to the end of an absurd war between Muslims. This is one of the most surprising developments in the Middle East’s recent history. Meanwhile, the “coerced” finalization of the war was in Egypt’s interest. Egypt was literally stuck in a quagmire in Yemen, and could not get out. That is when Yemen started to be referred to as “Egypt’s Yemen.”

We all know the following narration about Prophet Solomon:

Back in the day, two women were out with their children. A wolf appeared and snatched the older woman’s child. After overcoming the initial shock and terror, the older woman said to the younger one, “The wolf took your child.” The other rightfully objected, saying, “No, it took your child!” As the dispute between them intensified, they took the matter to Prophet Solomon. After listening to both parties, Prophet Solomon said, “Bring me a knife so I can divide the child among you.” Upon hearing this, the younger woman leaped forward and cried out: “No, do not do that! The child belongs to this woman. Give him to her.” Prophet Solomon immediately gave the child to the younger women, in other words, to the real mother.

This is how it is. If something belongs to you, is a part of you, you will even endure being separated from them for their safety.

This is the sensitivity lacking in Yemen today. While Saudi Arabia and Iran are claiming rights over Yemen, the “child” is being divided between them.


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