Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Is Saudi led coalition attack on Sana'a just taking a page from the playbook of Bashar al-Assad

The Saudi coalition's apparent indiscriminate bombing of Sana'a residential neighborhoods and the old city is disturbing.  As with Bashar al-Assad's forces in Syria, it may not just be indiscriminate but instead precisely planned acts of terror.

The Saudi led Sunni coalition is supported by the U.S.  Why does the U.S. need to be attached to this effort?  Sana'a had long been the capital of Yemen until the Houthis pushed out the corrupt yet supposedly legitimate government, pushed them to Aden where the Houthis will likely defeat them again over time.  The Houthis are Shiites based in northern Yemen and have built their disciplined forces over years on their own.  They are independent and strong like the Kurds in northern Iraq. They had restored order to Sana'a once they moved in.

The Saudi led coalition that the U.S. supports sees the Houthis as proxies for Iran.  They may be getting aid from Iran now but they have always been known in the region as rugged fighters and Iran did not make them into what they are today, and does not direct their strategy.  They are the only forces in Yemen that dare to directly take on al-Qaeda, other than the U.S. from the safety of their drones.

That the Saudi led coalition focuses it efforts on a non-terrorist anti al-Qaeda segment of Yemen's conflict and not on the Sunni based ISIS in Syria is telling.  Who is the bigger threat to the region? The answer should be obvious but the Saudi use of U.S. weaponry suggests that they have a different point of view.

Is this yet just another U.S. foreign policy blunder in the middle east?  Will the Obama run military ever get anything right?  Big question here is whether they have actually followed through on arming the Kurds in a significant way and directly, as Obama finally said that they would two months ago, or is the U.S. still holding back as they pretend that a unified Iraq is a possibility.  Obama should have listened to Biden six years ago.



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