When the Saudi court started the invasion of Yemen and attacked this territory from the land, air, and sea with the hope of capturing it in several days and destroy Ansarallah, the Saudis and their regional and international allies could not have even imagined that this war, despite the huge damages on Yemen,...
1AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): When the Saudi court started the invasion of Yemen and attacked this territory from the land, air, and sea with the hope of capturing it in several days and destroy Ansarallah, the Saudis and their regional and international allies could not have even imagined that this war, despite the huge damages on Yemen, would not end in the overthrow of the Ansarallah and the occupation of Yemen and the establishment of a Saudi-allied regime, but would turn into a turning point for the mighty display of the power of the Islamic resistance and the shameful failure of the Saudi regime.
A review of the figures of the Yemen war
In 2015, Saudi Arabia and all the member countries of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council except Oman invade Yemen in the Operation Decisive Storm which has taken six years. Morocco, Egypt, Jordan and Sudan were the other four countries that accompanied the Saudi-led coalition. During the past six years, and according to the figured published in 2020 by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) concerning the casualties of the war in Yemen in recent years, so far 223 thousand people have been killed and more than three million displaced. Many Saudi attacks have targeted Yemeni civilians, putting this country on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe in the light of continued war imposed on the defenseless people of Yemen. After the passage of six years since the beginning of the civil war in Yemen, close to 80 percent of the people in Yemen are dependent for survival and normal life on humanitarian aid. At the present time, and due to the impacts of this war and according to the figures published by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, about half a million people in Yemen are living in absolute famine conditions. This is while in 2021, more than 16 million people will continue to grapple with famine and hunger. According to a report presented by four agencies under the supervision and management of the United Nations (humanitarian and aid agencies), at least 400 thousand children under five years of age would probably die of hunger if the current conditions continue.
In addition, as the result of the Saudi invasion of Yemen, important sections of the economic, services manufacturing and other infrastructure of Yemen have been destroyed and its economy has retracted by more than 20 years. This is while about 566 thousand residential units have been demolished.
Saudi expenses in the war
Concerning the expenses of the Saudi invasion of Yemen, many reports have been published so far. On the basis of some reports published in Western circles such as the UK David Hurst News Website, since the beginning of the war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia has spent 233 billion dollars of its financial reserves without gaining any goal. The Saudi royal court has never specified the fate of such a big amount of money. However, military analysts believe that this money which could be used to pay for the expenses of several Arab countries such as Jordan and Tunisia for 18 years, has been spent on the war in Yemen. To put it simply, the Saudi attack on Yemen has cost more than 100 million dollars of cost for Saudi Arabia.
The profit taken by Western governments in the Yemen war
Of course, the war in Yemen has incurred a lot of damages on Yemeni people and bulk costs for the Saudis. However, from a specific viewpoint, it has brought remarkable benefits and profits for arms producers in the West, especially in the US and the United Kingdom. In this respect and based on the most recent report released by the Stockholm Peace Research Institute, the sale of arms during 2014 and 2018 has increased by 7.8 percent compared to 2009 and 2013 and the main reason is an increase in the purchase of arms in the West Asia and North Africa. The report indicates that the Persian Gulf states have increased their purchase of arms by 78 percent compared to the past and the main reason is the war in Yemen and their confrontation with Iran. On the basis of some reports, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates spend between 200 to 250 million dollars per day on the war in Yemen. Much of this money is expended on buying arms and military services related to the war in Yemen and the US, UK and France are the largest supplier of these weapons and military services. The most famous arms deal of the world was clinched in 2018 in connection with the war on Yemen between Donald Trump and Bin Salman. It costs about 460 billion dollars. For example, the British profit in the arms trade with Saudi Arabia reached 1.4 billion British pounds in the first three months of the 2020. The economic interests of the West in the Yemen war are one of the most important economic dimensions of this war which has played a remarkable part in the prolongation of the conflict and failed attempts to bring peace to Yemen. These figures well indicate that the commercial arms benefits of the United States and some European countries during the war in Yemen has increased and if peace prevails, such revenues would definitely reduce.
Where is Ansarallah in the Yemen war?
The annihilation of Ansarallah and occupation of the whole territory of Yemen and the establishment of a government allied closely to Saudi royal court and the United States have been the main important goals of the Saudi invasion of Yemen. So far, these goals have not been realized. It has had opposite results. When the Saudi-led coalition began invading Yemen, Ansarallah was a small local movement; however, after six years, this small group has turned into a fully-fledged, influential and strong player not only in Yemen but also at the regional and global levels. Even the US government insists on talking to Ansarallah because of its determining and equation-building role.
From the political point and on the ground, while Ansarallah had control six years ago over perhaps less than 10 percent of the Yemeni territory, mostly in Saada, today about 70 percent of residential areas and strategically-significant districts such as Saada, Sana, Al Joof, Zamar, Hodaida and major parts of Marab province and some other areas in the north of Yemen are in the control of Ansarallah. It was never been imaginable in principle for Saudi Arabia and its regional and international partners to see more than 380 fighter jets and Apachi helicopters and more than 8,900 tanks and military vehicles and more than 11,000 Saudi and Emirati officers being destroyed and eliminated in this war.
The Marab province which is considered as one of the key and most strategic areas of Yemen and traditionally belongs to the Reform Party and the resigned government of Mansur Hadi, has turned into the main center of filed developments in Yemen. Fierce conflicts between Ansarrallah and forces under the order of Saudi Arabia are underway to take full control of that province. Today and until this report was being prepared, Ansarallah reached the gates of Marab –less than six kilometers away from the city—during a liberation operation.
This is while in the other front, the Saudi coalition has made all its efforts and capabilities to occupy Marab and has ordered all its mercenaries such as Daesh and Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups to focus on Marab. About 40,000 forces have been organized in 55 brigades to attack Marab. The Marab province is strategically-important like Aleppo in Syria, and its liberation, which is going to happen soon, is an important achievement and victory for Ansarallah and would change the balance and equation on the ground and would result in the elimination of Saudi-led forces on the ground and politically. That’s why Americans are seriously seeking to disrupt the liberation of Marab province from the control of Saudi-led forces even if the war has to be terminated.
Saudi Arabia has not realized any of its objectives as stipulated since the beginning of war in Yemen. It is not exaggeration if one says Saudi Arabia is dug deep in a quagmire according to the political, intelligence and military data and information six years after the beginning of the war in Yemen. Today, about two thirds of the soil of Saudi Arabia can be reached by the missiles and drones of Ansarallah. Such missiles and drones are capable to escape the Saudi air defense systems.
The US administration that is one of the main allies of Saudi Arabia in invading Yemen, is monitoring domestic conditions and developments on the ground and has indeed reached this conclusion that the defeat of Saudi Arabia in Yemen would be definite and unavoidable. Therefore, the US is seeking a solution to terminate this war and has even entered into talks with Ansarallah in Oman. Of course, the main goal and strategy of the Biden administration to terminate the war in Yemen is nothing but to save Saudi Arabia from this quagmire.
Hamid Khoshayand—international issues analyst