Sunday, September 13, 2015

Yemen’s Exiled Government: No Talks Until Houthis Withdraw

Arab-led Coalition Launch Major Offensive in Mareb

President Hadi’s exiled government said today it will not participate in UN-brokered peace talks later this week unless the Houthis, Ansar Allah, accept the UN Security Council Resolution 2216, which calls on the Houthis to withdraw from territories they’ve captured since last September, including the capital Sanaa.

The Houthis and their allies, former president Saleh, who ruled over Yemen for 33 years before being forced from power in 2012, and army units still loyal to him, have so far not accepted the UN resolution and continue their hold on some of the territories they had captured, including Sanaa. Since then, a Saudi/UAE-led anti-Houthi coalition has pushed them out of southern provinces, including the post city of Aden. Hadi’s government, however, had said on Friday it would attend the UN meeting in Muscat, Oman, but are now the start of the talks is contingent on Houthi acceptance of UNSC resolution.   

Meanwhile, the news agencies are reporting that Saudi/UAE-led collation forces launched a major offensive with 12,000 fighters against the Houthi/Saleh forces in Mareb province to break the Houthi siege of Mareb city and push them out of the province. Mareb lies 200 km (125 miles) east of Sanaa, on a major highway linking the city to the capital. The control of Mareb by coalition forces will be one of the biggest defeats for the Houthis in the yearlong civil war.

Photo credit: Taez during clashes between Yemeni exiled government and Houthi forces; 9 September 2015 (@Ahmad al-Bash/AFP/France24)


Mark Pyruz said...

Acceptance of the UNSC resolution equates to unconditional surrender. Obviously that position adopted by Hadi is the same as non-acceptance of talks aimed at conflict resolution.

What happened at Taiz? Still fighting there?

What happened to taking Sa'naa in a matter of a few days?

This conflict is now over 170 days. It represents one of the most lopsided wars in recent history, in terms of firepower and weaponry, yet these tribesman and their army allies have been continuing and even prevailing in tactical actions on Saudi territory. An action this week saw the loss of two more M1A2 main battle tanks and HMMWVs. The crews of these vehicles broke and ran, just as their Iraqi Army counterparts have been known to do. In the case of the Iraqis, the blame has been assigned to Maliki. Who is to blame for these localized Saudi routs on Saudi territory?

Even if the Saudi/UAE coalition manages to take Mareb and even Sa'naa, if and when this force transitions to an occupation force, will it fare any better in what may be an even greater challenge?

A lot of questions to be answered.

And then there's this from former MI6 officer Crooke:

Anonymous said...

Even the Pentagon assessment is that the Saudis and their puppets are exhausted and a total failure and unless and even if US intervenes on their behalf with boots on the ground the Ansarollah can not be defeated. Someone with half a brain in the House of Saud should have read the history of Yemen and its warrior tribes dating back to the Queen of Sheba. The Yemenis are just getting warmed up.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that Houthis stand a real chance of defeating or even slowing down the Arab coalition forces .The smart thing for them would be to try negotiate some kind of settlement which somewhat acceptable .What remains to be determined is how well this ad hoc Arab coalition force can coordinate its operations.: In another words , how much casualty can it sustain and still remain an effective military force .

Mark Pyruz said...

They've already slowed it down, multiple times.

Sa'naa media is claiming first two attacks of Mareb offensive were blunted, with relatively heavy losses in Saudi coalition fighting vehicles. They've video of Ansarullah forces up close to lead elements of Saudi coalition forces.

There are also reports that those UAE AMX Leclerk MBTs are experiencing reliability issues due to conditions of terrain as was experienced by Iranian Army with the Chieftain MBT during the Iran-Iraq War.

Anonymous said...

Yemen is a big country with three times the population of Saudi born Bedouins and the Zaidi population may well be over 55% as there are no reliable census. The Yemeni army is now totally allied with the Ansarollah and they are really putting up very clever shoot and scoot resistance that is causing havoc on the poorly trained and even less motivated Saudis and Emiratis. Even by simply looking at all the available independent videos of the Ansarollah resistance it is quite evident that the Saudis and assorted mercenaries have lost over a 1000 thin skinned and armored vehicles, the Zaidis are driving around in dozens of Humvees, APC and captured tanks. Mark is correct as usual, as US and European tanks are very high-tech for 4th world armies like Saudis and Emiratis. Only simple and durable Russian weapons like AKs, RPG, Kornets and T-55/62 work in these asymmetrical conflicts. The Iranian Chieftain experience at Sussengerd was a less than august outcome as the Chieftains were too heavy and complex for the post revolutionary Artesh and got bogged down after the spring rains as combat engineers were not deployed due to haste by Bani Sadr and Rafsanjani so eager to stage a counterattack due to internal IRI politics and Khomeini's propensity for bombast. The Saudis and Emiratis are also driving heavy tanks, many in excess of 40 tons on rough hairpin bends of Yemen, and also idiotically on their own treads. Yemen is ideal ambush territory, particularly by laser beam riding Kornet-E with over 1000 meter out of visual range fire and forget ranging. The Russians had similar experience in Afghanistan specially on the winding Jalalabad-Kabul road when the first and last vehicles were disabled by RPG or ATGM and rest were simply sitting ducks. The weaponry in Ansarollah hands is mush deadlier and the Saudis are no Soviets either. They will cut and ran much sooner.The cost of this ill-though-out quagmire for the Saudis is now $1 billion a day with dwindling oil revenues as they get sucked in deeper and deeper against an elusive khat chewing foe that loves to fight. At the current rate of attrition Saudi armor will be worn down in another 2 months as sand operations without proper field maintenance can even destroy first world army equipment.

Anonymous said...

Houtis are Yemenies and rise of Ansarullah movement was against the corruption,mismanagement of country. however when Houties made connivance to Saleh and its forces, the right objectives of the Houti movement misdirected and converted in to power struggle in Yemen. The Saudi wahabi trap was placed at this very juncture to manipulate UN against Houties.
The Shia Houti movement and expansion across Yemen was throne in eyes of furious Salman and his foreign minister (Wahabi ideology followers), This operation 'Restore hope' led by KSA should be name as operation 'Shia cleansing' that will most appropriate. Saudi led operation made more destruction in Yemen 170 days than that of Syria's four and half year war.
KSA kingdom state policies rotate around Wahabi ideology and all issues with in the muslim community across globe calibrated by them with Wahabi ideology, if the issue is fit in the frame of Wahabi ideology only then Saudi support the specific issue unless they treat as unbelievers issue (it is worthwhile to note ISIS also follower of Wahabi ideology).

The Houties are simply paying the price of being Shia muslim to whom Saudis hate. The prime goal of this Saudi led operation in Yemen to kill Houties shias as many as possible to appease them self with joy that they killed Shias and same time settle scores with Iran (shia followers) for Syria and Iraq.

May god bring peace in Yemen at earliest to protect millions of innocent starved women, children and elderly
men. Rizvi/India

Nader Uskowi said...

Important points raised by all commentators here. Few observations on my part:

1. Yemeni conflict has all the earmarks of becoming a protracted conflict. Even if Mareb and Sanaa are recaptured, the Ansar Allah, a.k.a. the Houthies, are expected to wage an irregular war, prolonging the civil war.

2. The Houthis are not as innocent as claimed by Rizvi. They believe that the Houthi family/clan is chosen by Allah to rule over Greater Yemen, which includes parts of southern Saudi Arabia. When a party/group mixes politics with such ideological dogma, the result is normally disastrous, as we are now witnessing it in Yemen. The Houthis should have waited for the next election and win the presidency at the ballot box, especially if they believed what they said that the majority of people supported their cause. If they had chosen that route, they also didn't need to ally themselves with a corrupt dictator who had ruled over Yemen for three decades. But I guess the lure of power, and their belief in ideological dogmas, had blinded them to these facts.

3. Iran nuclear talks proved the UN Security Council resolutions do matter. In case of Yemen, UNSCR 2216, passed unanimously, including with the support by Russia and China, requires the Houthis to leave territories and government institutions captured by them since September 2014. Not much room for interpretation of the terse language of that resolution.

The question remains, how best to implement that resolution. A) all sides should accept it. B) All sides should also accept that future of Yemen requires a national reconciliation and a general election where all parties should be allowed to participate. and C) Some sort of guarantees by the UN that the acceptance of the resolution and the terms of a national reconciliation roadmap will be implemented by all. There is no way out of this conflict but a negotiated settlement along these or similar lines.

4. Discounting UAE/KSA resolve to stop the Houthi/Saleh advance and to check the Iranian influence in the Arabian Peninsula is a serious mistake. No one expected the Saudis and the Emiratis to wage the war, and no one expected them to be able to so successfully defeat the Houthis/Saleh forces in Aden and southern Yemen, and in such a short order.The control of Mareb by the coalition forces would effectively end Houth plans/dreams of uniting Yemen under their rule. The Houthis should start thinking seriously of participating in electoral process instead of taking control of national government by force, as they did last September.

Let's hope cooler heads prevail and we can have a negotiated settlement to the conflict and soon.

Anonymous said...

I agree Nader, I never say that Houties are innocent, but any clan/ clan head or any tribal belief that they are opted by the god to rule Yemen is simply belief, even in India many of nationalist's belief is, that Pakistan, Afganistan, Bangladesh were historically part of India ,so one day India will rule over there. What's wrong if any one think like that, ultimately these are only thoughts/beliefs.
So Nader I am disagreeing u that Houtie's belief ( they opted by the god) is the case of war for Saudi wahabis, but one thing is sacrosanct that Saudi led wahabi force is there with one point agenda to kill shias as many as possible to satisfy their inherent instinct and for them may cause of PARADISE after death.
U must understand the extant of HATE by Saudis or Wahabis towards Shia community across the globe, I am not interested to go into its historical background as lots of literature since centuries are available.
Even U must also understand that Wahabi Arab states never accept US action to replaced Saddam by Shia led government. the problem of Iraq & Syria may be solved with in a week time, if countries Shia led regimes surrenders to Wahabi politicians, all the blood shed of Shias as u are seeing at present will stop with miraculous way.
Only due to Wahabi ideology Saudis destroyed Holy Shia shrines in Saudi Arabia "Janatul Baki" 90 years back even they destroyed the Holy grave and Tomb of Prophrt's father and mother. The same Wahabi follower's ISIS is doing the same at present, Shia shrines even pious graves were targeted and destroyed by explosives by ISIS, all on their agenda , if ISIS is not destroyed now, either in Iraq, Syria or Yemen, they will further move ahead with poisonous Wahabi Islam ideology to Destroy Shia shrines of Karbala & Najaf in Iraq and Holy Zainad shrines in Damuscus.

The persian gulf Arab states and ISIS are followers of same religious ideology that is WAHABISM. The Saudi aided madarsas (literally religious school) across the globe uses to promote Wahabi Islam, even term 'Taliban' itself means STUDENT, these were primarily so called students of Madarsas (religious school) in Pakistan to breed blind faith Wahabi Islam barbarians with Saudi Arabia charities financial aid to kill any one. These Madarsas are the cause of origin of Al Qaida and their latest version of them are ISIS.

These are the facts of deep rooted animosity of Wahabi Arab states towards any Shia led government or community u may take example of Shia Houties, Shias of Iraq.

Nader Uskowi said...

One basic problem in your analysis: The civil war in Yemen and the killings that followed did not start by the Saudis/UAE forces, but by the Houthis who took Sanaa and government institutions by force last September. A fact recognized by the UN Security Council. The Houthis need to accept the UNSC resolution and all sides need to find a pragmatic way to implement it. A negotiated settlement whereby all political parties, including the Houthi’s Ansar Allah, are represented in a government of national unity is the way ahead.

Belief in dogmas, like Houthi belief that they are chosen by God to rule over Yemen, or ISIL belief that their attempt to create an Islamic State is dictated by God, and similar claims could indeed start wars and killings justified in the name of God. Unfortunately, we’ve seen too many examples to believe your declaration that these dogmas do not play a role.

Unknown said...

Mr. Uskowi do you think Ansarullah will have a promising future in any post-war national government recognized by the PGCC states? Do you think that, after everything they've done and everything the PGCC has gone through to ensure that they don't become too powerful, they can still manage to get back on their feet politically and become a powerful political party or even part of a national-unity government?

Anonymous said...

OK Nader, u are analyzing the crises in general way that who start the war, u are saying Houties who took the Sanaa and other government institution ignited the civil war.

Prior any any analysis it must be keep in mind that Houties are Yemeni citizens not out sider as we seen in the case of Iraq & Syria. if U follow the earlier report of this crises, u will find no such big causalities or big skirmishes in Sanna. That movement starts as anti government movement and was truly against the corrupt government as we seen in Egypt (Morsi period). As Houties are Yemenis with 40% population of Yemen is Houties, their movement got full support by resident of Sanaa, due to that reason no sign of any civil war was noticed in any time in Sanaa prior to Wahabi Saudi led invasion without UN mandate but with US approval.

Wahabi PGCC media and some other hired western media (hefty bribed) portrays to world that as Houties are mercenaries not the citizen of Yemen and there was no Revolution against the corrupt government but a country hijacked by Houties and finally this propaganda worked.

If u think during the early crises period (when corrupt Hadi was house arrest), many of Saudi/UAE covert operations were carried out, u have to analyze how Hadi break house arrest and reached thousand kilometer away to Aden and then to Wahabi Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Wahabi forces hired different groups in side Yemen either Al Qaida or other tribal group since long back because of same faith of Wahabism to fight against Houti Shias on purely sectarian agenda curved by Saudi Arabia.

However It is a definite point that Houties right objectives become misdirected when they accept support of Ex- president Saleh who was exploring a chance of grab power again by using Houties as the TOOL in chaos.

The Houties movement after all a Tribal/Clan based movement and they were unable to gauge the TRAP lay by Wahabi states with the help of US against Houties. US interest to appease the Wahabi persian gulf states due to NO action of US against Iran any time militarily.
Further the GENOCIDE of Shias with the help of US weapons unleashed continued with thousands of Starved women , children, elderly men killings. May god bring peace in Yemen with respect of all Yemenies. Rizvi/India.