Global Affairs

Why is Yemen being bombed?

Many international analyst and media outlets termed it as a stern message to its neighbours when Saudi Arabia started bombing campaign of its neighbour Yemen. However today Saudi Arabia is asking Russia and Iran to mind their own business and not to intervene in Syrian civil war.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s powerful and precocious defense minister started this campaign to stop advance of Houthi militia. However campaign has turned out to be Vietnam of his country.

Already economy of Yemen was in tatters and people were starving to death with shortage of food stuff and medical items. Yemen already the poorest country in Middle East, it had been subjected to Saudi blockade creating a shortage of life saving medicines and food stuff. In reality, Saudi Arabia was losing the battle of hearts and minds. But nobody knew why was Saudia was trying to control already messy situation in Yemen? Perhaps one would say that Saudi Arabia is trying to kill fly with hammer. If global map is studied carefully, we can see that Yemen sits at the back door of Saudi Arabia. And having a government hostile to its agenda & land is not what Saudia wants.

For having insight on whole situation, we need to also zoom in history around forty years back. Shia majority populations were being ruled by Sunni Monarchs and dictators who were not concerned with overall wellbeing of their majority population. Iraq was being ruled by Saddam Hussain, Bahrain was under dynasty rule and Iran was being ruled by Shah.

Given situation changed when government of Shah was toppled by Islamic revolution which led to hardline shia government. With war against Taliban in Afghanistan, final step to changing scenario was toppling of government of Saddam. Governance hence was transferred from Sunnis to Shiites. All around region, changes were viewed by Arab nations with utter nervousness. Nervousness was about chain of Shia nations from Bahrain to Iran to Iraq to Syrian regime and districts of Lebanon which were friendly to Hezbollah.

Hence to stop this upsurge, funds starting pouring in Jihadi extremist organizations which from Pakistan to Lebanon started sectarian war. In Bahrain troops were sent in to squash an uprising whereas terrorist elements were funded and backed to wage war in Iraq & Syria. Hence we have never come across Arab states openly defying elements like Al Qaeda or other Jihadi organizations. For them Al Qaeda and Jihadi organizations are manageable but Iranian backed movements are an exterior threat.

Hence when Sanaa, Yemeni capital fell in hands of Houthi militias in 2014, shock waves were sent across already nervous sunni monarchies. Blame game in region again started with Arab nations blaming Iran for given conflict. Group formed military alliance to engage and pull down Houthis, hence focus from fighting ISIS and Al Qaeda again was given secondary importance in Arab governments. with passage of time now standing in 2017, Saudi Arabia’s economy now is in troubled waters due to low oil prices and expenses of war. On other hand Iranian economy has somehow gained momentum thanks to Nuclear deal. Saudia is now in a messy situation, on one hand it is dealing with growing Shia power in region and on other hand home based ISIS activities. Hence Saudi Arabia and Arab nations are in a fix of dealing with given crisis.

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