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Saudis Intentionally Target Civilians to Pressure Yemeni Resistance: Marwa Osman

Feb ,15 \NewNewss

Speaking in an exclusive interview with FNA,  Osman said that the Saudi-led coalition deliberately targets civilians to pressure the Yemeni resistance to surrender.

According to the analyst, the coalition uses the same tactic that the Israeli regime has been using to justify its war crimes and that is falsely accusing resistance forces, in this case Ansarullah fighters, of using civilians as human shields.

Marwa Osman is a journalist, political analyst and a university lecturer at the Lebanese International University. She has been frequently interviewed by international news outlets such as RT and Press TV to comment on issues related to the Middle East.

FNA has conducted an interview with Marwa Osman about the ongoing Saudi aggression against Yemen and the possible motives behind the war which resulted in the humanitarian catastrophe which is taking place now in the poor Arab country.

Below you will find the full text of the interview.

Q: What do you think about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen caused by the Saudi war and blockade on the country?

A: Yemen is currently the worst humanitarian disaster on this planet. The Arab world’s poorest country has endured nearly three years of aggressive Saudi led war. The conflict is having a devastating effect, causing widespread food shortages and a major cholera outbreak as well as leaving millions in need of humanitarian assistance. The cholera outbreak is probably the worst the world has ever seen with a million suspected cases up to the end of 2017. Add to that a terrible new epidemic of diphtheria, a bacterial disease which should be completely preventable by immunization, has already affected up to 500 people with dozens and dozens of deaths in the past few weeks. There is no way out of this unless the war completely stops and the blockade is lifted off the airports, seaports and border crossings to enable scale up of much needed lifesaving assistance for the Yemeni public directed towards famine prevention, as well as assisting civilians affected by the ongoing heinous and unnecessary war.

Q: What are the Saudis’ objectives in their war on Yemen?

A: The ultimate objective that Riyadh is pursuing against Yemen is eliminating the actual existence of any resistance that would dare to say no to their demands like that of Ansarullah. The stated objective is to return the internationally recognized government of the already resigned president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi back to power in Yemen. The international community, since it still recognizes president Hadi as the legitimate ruler, seems to be a supporter of that despite the fact that millions have taken to the streets since 2011 to protest against Hadi who ended up resigning not only once but twice. The second and the most important objective of the Saudi-led military aggression is to crush forces allied with the Ansarullah while making sure that no internal political solution is to be reached with the remaining factions inside of Yemen. To impose their power and steal Yemen’s resources without allowing anyone to stand in their way Saudi Arabia and the UAE with direct help and arms from the UK and the US, and several other European countries who all have Yemeni blood on their hands, are willing to see Yemen flooding in the blood its poor citizens who have had to endure multiple hardships throughout the years that no other nation has had to tolerate at this day and age.

Q: It seems that the Saudis expected an easy-to-win combat when they first stepped into the war. What do you think has caused Saudi Arabia’s continued failure in Yemen?

A: The Saudi led war against the people of Yemen have been an utter failure and was not able to achieve any of its military or political objectives due to the unity and steadfastness of the nation in the face of this vile aggression. If the Saudis are to settle down and allow the Yemeni people to sit together and talk through their own internal issues I am more than sure that all tribal factions and political blocs will support an honorable peace in Yemen that would guarantee the sovereignty of the country, because at the moment and especially after all the suffering that the country went through, surrendering to the enemy pressures is no option for the Yemeni nation. The Saudi-led coalition only seem now seeking to change the result of their failed war in its favor through a new plot aimed at sowing discord among the Yemeni political factions, but I am pretty sure the wise command of Ansarullah will not see that plan through.

Q: Why do the US and the UK continue to supply Saudi Arabia with arms despite international criticism with regard to civilian casualties?

A: Reports in late 2017 have been published claiming that UK weapons companies have made £6bn from Saudi Arabia since it started bombing Yemen while the US has agreed to sell Saudi Arabia $7bn worth of weapons for its war against Yemen. So both imperial states are not only selling arms to Saudi forces but maintaining them as well. Major Yemeni cities are now barren and lifeless due to the war incited by the UK and the US and implemented by the KSA. We see devastation of once busy souks destroyed by Saudi coalition airstrikes. Skeletal structures of buildings and stalls lying empty where once vibrant businesses flourished. By contrast, on the other side of the world a lucrative market in high-tech weaponry is positively thriving. The UK and US claim to have supported Yemen with around £371.5m in aid during the past three years which are considered bread crumbs even if deemed true. On the other, British and American arms companies, with the authorization of the UK and US governments, have busily supplied much of the weaponry that Saudi Arabia has used for its devastating attacks in its southern neighbor.

Q: Why have the international organizations, particularly the UN, remained passive in the face of the ongoing Saudi atrocities?

A: The United Nations’ track record on the Saudi-led war against Yemen shows that it has often dodged key issues, leading us to conclude that it is beholden to state interests. Several reports by international Human Rights groups show that all belligerent parties in the Saudi-led coalition have committed atrocities that could amount to war crimes. Nonetheless, these reports have made remarkably little difference at the UNHRC or other top UN bodies. The UN has obviously betrayed the Yemeni people which mirrors as a failure of the UN’s leadership. For over 2 year now, powerful UN member states have helped insulate the Saudi-led coalition from liability and, in so doing, fueled its righteous outrage at attempts to hold it to account. Since its intervention in Yemen began, the coalition has found the UN a highly convenient venue in which to be absolved of human rights abuses, thanks largely to the enabling of Saudi Arabia’s powerful allies, the US and the UK.

Q: The Saudi-led coalition has recently increased its airstrikes on Yemen. These airstrikes have mostly killed Yemeni civilians, including thousands of women and children. What do you think is the objective of the airstrikes targeting civilians?

A: Time and again the Saudis have targeted civilians intentionally while falsely accusing Ansarullah of setting up command and communications centers in the middle of residential area to use civilians as human shields. See that is the same lame and false excuse that Israel always used when it bombed us here in Beirut. All this at a time when at the frontline in Jizan and Najran the Saudi army has been facing one blow after the other from Ansarullah and the Yemeni army while seeing swaths of land taken by the Yemeni fighters while the Saudi mercenaries flee the battlefield. This only infuriates the monarchs in Riyadh and pushes them to further attack the same residential and civilian sites over and over again in an attempt to pressure the resistance and the Yemeni army to surrender or at least to back off. This has proven to be a complete failure and has only motivated the Yemenis to stay loyal to their country and their tribes and fight back even harder.

Q: Why is the Saudi regime continuing its attacks on Yemen despite its failures and cash-strapped economy? What do you think about the future of the war?

A: Saudi Arabia and its partner, the United Arab Emirates have discovered the hard way what the Romans, Ottoman Turks and Egyptians before them learned from their own ill-conceived invasions: Yemen is an abyss for invaders. Yemen’s cultural and physical geography defies and confounds foreign military forces. Saudi Arabia’s autocratic rulers have long viewed Yemen’s large and well-armed population, as well as its democracy, as threats. For years, the House of Saud pursued a careful policy in Yemen that preserved Saudi Arabia’s influence, largely through cash payments to tribal and political leaders, and sought to ensure that Yemen remained stable yet weak. Since March 2015, KSA’s so called Operation Decisive Storm began but after nearly 3 years there was nothing decisive about the campaign and the only storm is the one threatening Saudi Arabia itself as we all have been witnessing since MBS’s coup against the former crown prince Mohamad Bin Nayef and then in October against a large number of his cousin princes. Having destabilized the country and set back Yemen’s development by decades, the blowback from the war in Yemen is now hitting back with grave consequences for the House of Saud and the kingdom they rule.

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