Middle East

'Yemeni people sandwiched between warring armed groups’

Yemen suffers from weak legitimate authority, no single coalition controlling country, says expert

Gözde Bayar   | 08.10.2019
'Yemeni people sandwiched between warring armed groups’

ANKARA 

Yemeni people are suppressed between two evils -- the Houthi rebel group and the Saudi-led Arab coalition, the head of New Yemen Media Center, Salih el-Gabri, said at a panel discussion, hosted by a think-tank, the Middle Eastern Studies Center (ORSAM), in the capital Ankara.

Gabri, director of the Istanbul-based Center, said that the possibility of division of the war-ravaged Yemen has been increasing.

“Yemen has no capital. The canons and tanks have reached the middle of the country,” he said.

“Yemen suffers from a weak legitimate authority. There is no serious coalition or military decisiveness in the country,” he said, adding that Yemeni face catastrophe at the hands of the Arab coalition.

“It is not an unresolvable problem. We need to seek a solution, we need to cooperate and bring back the peaceful and stable regime,” said Ahmet Uysal, head of the think tank, ORSAM.

“The suffering [of Yemeni people] is happening in front of the eyes of the world public opinion. It is a real tragedy,” he said.

Journalist Jonathan Felton-Harvey highlighted the importance of the diplomatic means rather than resorting to military-based solutions.

“Saudi Arabia and the UAE have their own geopolitical perspectives and ambitions and both countries are trying to counter the Iran by their proxies,” Harvey said.

He added that the UAE has gradually expanded its presence in the country.

“In the era of war and terror, which was started by the U.S., more countries have the freedom to carry out actions like this to pursue their own interest, under a guise of fighting terrorism,” he stressed.

Yemen has been a battlefield in history, said panelist Selim Ozturk, who works in the Police Academy.

“There is gulf colonialism nowadays in the world. The oil-rich countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE have created problems, by getting involved in another country’s politics,” he said.

Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of arming Houthi rebels in Yemen, which overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa, in 2014.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains in Yemen and to back the country’s pro-Saudi government. But, Yemen continues wracked by violence and there seems no end in sight to the war. Cracks have also appeared wide open in the Saudi-led alliance. The UAE has been accused of helping separatists from the Southern Transitional Council, who took over Aden, the seat of the Saudi-backed Yemeni government recently.

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