[Editor’s note: This article appeared in the Saudi propaganda mouthpiece Asharq Al-Awsat today and is a completely fraudulent piece of black propaganda designed to further the Saudi’s agenda in Yemen. In it, the author tries hard to paint the Houthis as another evil terrorist group, just like Al-Qaeda. Not hardly, they are not terrorists, they are simply defending themselves from Saudi aggression.
That agenda is becoming clear now – The Saudis have spent the last few years getting their arses kicked in a most humiliating fashion by the Houthi tribesmen who, quite rightly, object to their country being invaded in order to prop up a Saudi puppet dictatorship. Clearly, the Saudi armed forces are useless, they will never get the job done unless that is, they receive large amounts of outside help.
But where to find that help? The relationship with the US, once very cosy under the Bushes has become distant and tense in recent months, the US is not interested in getting into another war to benefit the House of Saud.
The Saudis don’t have any other friends, other than the other Gulf states of Bahrain, Qatar and Dubai, also run by despotic royal dynasties. Troops from those nations have fought alongside the Saudis in Yemen and have been no more effective, they have been nothing more than fodder for the Houthi’s cannons.
So, how to get the US involved in the war in Yemen? Why, a false flag attack of course, blame it on the Houthis et voila, the US attacks the Houthis in order to maintain it’s prestige.
Which brings us to the USS Mason, a destroyer of the 6th fleet patrolling off the Yemeni coastline. Not once, not twice, but three times this unlucky vessel has allegedly come under attack by missiles fired by the Houthis. After the second ‘attack’ the US struck back by targeting and destroying radar sites in Houthi territory.
We do not know if these attacks were real or mythical, the USS Mason allegedly used it’s countermeasures to successfully defeat the missiles on all three occasions. Regardless of whether real or not, it is undoubtedly the Saudis who are behind these attacks with the goal of drawing the US into the conflict and thus turning the tide in the Saudi’s favour.
Let’s hope the folks in Washington are smart enough to figure this out and avoid getting dragged into this war. Ian]
Opinion: The First US – Houthi Confrontation
US warplanes finally struck Houthi sites and radars on the Red Sea coast after US navy ships were bombed twice. International leniency with the rebels despite the huge number of crimes that they have committed against Yemenis over two years is what has enabled this religious terrorist group to frighten local residents, assassinate political opponents and threaten maritime navigation routes many times. They even bombed an Emirati aid shipment last week.
Do Houthi militias differ from Al-Qaeda and ISIS? Previously, the Houthis never attacked American or western targets and therefore were not included in the list of terrorist organisations. In reality, however, they are actually similar to Al-Qaeda in that they use religion to target civilians and declare war. Houthi political slogans are no different from Al-Qaeda, and they both call people to fight “the disbelieving west”, kill those who do not believe in the same doctrine as them and impose their religious law on Shafi’i Sunnis and other Zaidis who disagree with them. The extremist organisation has filled the streets of cities that is has occupied with images and slogans of its religious leaders and calls for war against “the disbelieving west” and Yemenis who oppose it.
More recently, the Houthis have become more daring and have begun to launch battles against neutral parties. They kidnapped an American teacher who was teaching at an English language institute and who had lived in the capital Sana’a for many years. His fate is still unknown. Then they carried out missile attacks on the US Navy ship USS Mason on Sunday, and the Americans thought that the attack was an instance of indiscriminate bombing carried out by the rebels. However, they carried out another attack on the same ship on Wednesday despite American warnings that followed the first attack.
The US Air Force launched cruise missile strikes on radars belonging to Houthi militias in the provinces of Taiz and Al-Hudaydah. The strikes were not a punishment but were merely a message that warned against attacking the US Navy. These limited strikes gave a specific message; that the Houthis should not attack US ships. The strikes do not suggest that the American side is generally interested in the safety of navigation in the Red Sea and the Strait of Bab Al-Mandab. Battles between the legitimate government’s forces and the Houthis are taking place in order to gain control of the strategic strait.
International navigation on the other side of the Red Sea has suffered over the past decade from the fear incited by pirates belonging to extremist Somali militias. It took international coordination and the formation of multinational naval forces to control the situation. This will be repeated on the Yemeni side of the Red Sea unless the world supports a peaceful solution based on the same international resolutions that were violated when the Houthis and the former Yemeni president carried out a coup and shared authority. Navigational safety and the security of the region and the world requires an international stance against thuggery and militias, regardless of their religion, as long as they carry weapons.
The Houthi organisation, also known as “Ansar Allah” was founded by the Iranians and trained by the Lebanese Hezbollah. It continues to receive military, logistical and media support from there. It is like many armed groups that Iran founded in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Lebanon. It has one function – serving Iranian politics by using armed force. The treatment of religious extremist organisations, whether they are Sunni or Shiite, should be the same.
Al-Qaeda, ISIS and Ansar Allah should all be classified as terrorist groups, rather than limiting terrorism to Al-Qaeda groups just because they attack the west.