Three weeks ago, we said here that the Biden administration’s decision to revoke the Iran-backed Al Houthi militia’s designation as a terror group was wrong, and will only exacerbate the conflict in Yemen.
We said the hasty decision “will only empower the militia to intensify its aggression on the Yemeni people and escalate its terrorist attacks on Saudi Arabia. It will also send the wrong signal to Iran to continue its belligerent policies in the region.” We urged, “for the sake of the Yemeni people and peace in the region, the US should rethink its decision.”
Over the past few days, we were proven right. In a span of few hours on Saturday, the Arab Coalition intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile attack by the Al Houthi militia targeting Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh and destroyed six explosive-laden drones targeting civilian areas in the south of the kingdom.
The international community has a duty to take a decisive action to stop these fanatics who continue to cause immense suffering for the Yemeni people, threaten regional security and attack civilian areas in Saudi Arabia. Finally, we hope that Washington is paying attention to the consequences of its decision
The attacks were just the latest as the group, which has waged war on the Yemeni people since September 2014 when it overthrew the legitimate government and took over major cities aided by Iran, also intensified its aggression on the Yemeni city of Mareb.
It has also defied all calls, by the Arab coalition, the United Nations and Western powers, to engage in talks aimed at ending the war. Their refusal to heed the calls for political solution is obviously under orders from Tehran who are using the Yemen conflict and its Al Houthi proxy as a bargaining chip in its negotiations with the West over the Iranian nuclear programme.
“The Houthi attack is linked to the dictates of Iran’s generals,” Brigadier Turki Al Maliki, spokesman for the Saudi-led Arab Coalition said, noting that “Iran’s generals control the militias in occupied Sana’a.”
The spokesman explained that the coalition defences have so far intercepted 526 drones and 346 ballistic missiles. “No country in the world has been able to intercept this number of ballistic missiles and drones,” he rightly noted.
Sadly there might be more of those attacks.
When it announced it decisions to reverse the Trump administration decision to put the group on the terror list, the White House said it will exert pressure on Al Houthi leaders to stop their attacks on Saudi Arabia and Yemen and engage in peace talks, sponsored by the UN. Apparently the ‘pressure’ is not working.
Saudi Arabia, as well as other members of the coalition such as the UAE, have repeatedly called for a political settlement in Yemen inclusive of all social and political groups, including Al Houthis. But the militia and Iran continue to reject all peace calls.
The international community has a duty to take a decisive action to stop these fanatics who continue to cause immense suffering for the Yemeni people, threaten regional security and attack civilian areas in Saudi Arabia. Finally, we hope that Washington is paying attention to the consequences of its decision.