RNA - Brian Downing, an independent national security analyst from Florida, made the remark during a Thursday edition of Press TV’s The Debate program while commenting on the Saudi war on Yemen and a two-week ceasefire announced by the Saudi-led coalition waging a bloody military onslaught against the country.
On Wednesday night, the coalition claimed it was halting military operations in Yemen in support of UN efforts to end the five-year war, which has killed tens of thousands and spread hunger and disease.
Coalition spokesman Col. Turki al-Malki claimed that the move was made in part to avoid a potential outbreak of the new coronavirus in Yemen. However, shortly after the announcement, the coalition’s warplanes struck several Yemeni positions in various regions, including Sa’ada, Amran, and al-Bayda.
Before the airstrikes, Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement had downplayed the Saudi ceasefire announcement, describing it as a chance for Riyadh to get out of the quagmire with minimal loss of face
“The Saudis want to dominate the region, they want to control, they want all of Yemen to be sort of a loyal province to it not just the south but the north,” Downing told Press TV on Thursday.
“The Saudis probably won’t accomplish what they first said they can. It’s probably an embarrassment to Mohammed bin Salman; he has failed in Syria and he has failed what’s going on in Iraq,” he added.
Hamza Shaiban, president of the Yemeni Community from Ottawa, who was the other panelist invited to The Debate program, agreed with Press TV that the two-week truce announced by the Saudi-led coalition was a publicity stunt rather than a measure to contain the deadly epidemic.
“Saudis cannot claim that they care about the Yemeni people or claim that they are trying to help humans to fight the coronavirus if they announced a two-week truce. Actually, they shouldn’t have started a brutal war five years ago and killed more than 230,000 people,” Shaiban said.
“This recent truce was mainly for Saudi for mean purposes to show the world that the UN cared about the Yeminis as they always claimed and they also felt they were a bit under pressure and they felt that they should make a step,” he underlined.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in order to bring the country’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crush Ansarullah.
The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 100,000 lives over the past five years.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have purchased billions of dollars' worth of weapons from the United States, France and the United Kingdom in their war on Yemen.
Riyadh and its allies have been widely criticized for the high civilian death toll resulted from their bombing campaign in Yemen.
The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.