21 July 2019 - 20:35
News ID: 446072
A
Facing growing international and domestic pressure, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's military campaign in Yemen has further pushed Riyadh to plead for Washington's assistance, according to a report.

RNA - Despite waging a prolonged four-year war on Yemen, the Saudi-led coalition has failed to achieve its announced objective of installing an allied government and defeating the Ansarullah movement in the country, The New York Times cited various analysts as saying.

The frustrated Saudis have, however, turned to additional US support in hopes of achieving a breakthrough, according to unnamed diplomats informed on the matter.

The US already provides the Saudis with weapons and logistical support. Riyadh is seeking additional intelligence assistance and possibly the deployment of American special forces teams and advisers in Yemen, according to diplomats.

Despite being emboldened by the US President Donald Trump's hawkish administration, Riyadh is, however, disgruntled with Washington's hesitation to provide the additional assistance.   

“Why haven’t the Americans carried out a single operation to help?” asked Mustafa Alani, a scholar at the Saudi-backed Gulf Research Center who is close to the royal court.

Washington's reluctance comes as the US congress has pushed to limit US assistance in the Saudi military campaign following the gruesome killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a diplomatic mission in Turkey in October last year. On Thursday, the US House of Representatives voted to pass resolutions that block certain arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Trump has, nonetheless, strongly defended arm sales to the oil-rich kingdom, vowing to veto any resolution banning the sales.

Facing an ever-decreasing set of options in Yemen, the Saudis "don’t have the luxury of walking out of Yemen”, believes Farea al-Muslimi, chairman of the Sana'a Center for Strategic Studies, a research institute in the Yemeni capital.

Washington-based AGS Institute analyst Kristin Smith Diwan also believes MbS' failure to finish the war, which was largely touted as the young crown prince's "personal investment", hurts his "credibility as a successful leader".

“Not many people in Saudi Arabia feel this is a wise investment for the future,” she stressed.

The hastily withdrawal of Saudi Arabia's most prominent ally, the United Arab Emirates, which was made public last past month, has also prompted many experts to further question whether the kingdom's is able to continue the war on its own.

Known to be more efficient than the Saudis at commanding ground troops, the UAE helped maintain a fragile network of mercenaries and tribal militia to fight for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen's southern regions. 

According to the New York Times report, some Western and United Nations diplomats hope that the Emirati withdrawal, along with mounting international frustration over the war's impact on civilians, may pressure the crown prince to negotiate a deal with the Houthis.

However, MbS' hard-handed control over the country's media and opposition means the crown prince faces little domestic pressure to end the war, the paper explained.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government of former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Ansarullah movement.

Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures. Weddings, funerals, schools and hospitals, as well as water and electricity plants, have been targeted, killing and wounding hundreds of thousands.

According to a December 2018 report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.

Save the Children, a charity, has reported that more than 84,700 children under the age of five may have starved to death in Yemen since the Saudi regime and a coalition of its allies launched the brutal war on the already-impoverished nation.

France, the United States, the Uinted Kingdom and some other Western countries have faced criticisms over arms sales to the Saudi Arabia and the UAE, whose aggression against Yemen has affected 28 million people and caused what the United Nations calls “one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world". According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.

A UN panel has compiled a detailed report of civilian casualties caused by the Saudi military and its allies during their war against Yemen, saying the Riyadh-led coalition has used precision-guided munitions in its raids on civilian targets.

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Tags: Yemen Saudi US
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