Saudia Arabia’s Strategic Blunder in Yemen – Fighting the Wrong Enemy

My perspective is that Saudi Arabia made a huge strategic and tactical blunder and miscalculation in getting involved in this several decades long Yemeni civil war.

And I also think it’s fighting the wrong enemy. Their real enemy is Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and DAESH. Not the Houthies.

This civil war has been going in different forms since the 1960s after the Zaydi Imamate was overthrown and the country divided into the Communist North and Muslim South as two countries. North and South Yemen.

At that time the Saudis actively supported the Houthis against the communists who were supported by the Socialist Nasser and his Egyptian Army. Over the years the conflict has morphed taking tribal, factional, religious and sectarian forms. Between various tribes and factions,  Al Qaeda, Abdullah Saleh, Abd Rabo, the Zaydi Syeds and now a sub part of them, the Houthis.

So a real messy hell hole. And Saudi Arabia chooses to step into it. Again. Wow !!

Also for the first time in nearly 4 decades Iran finds itself in a relatively better geo political position than Riyadh. And If I may also say with very unsure factual underpinnings,  there may be a brief doing the rounds of the State Department and Pentagon that perhaps the end of the House of Saud is near and hence real politik demands a readjustment of alliances.

Bit far fetched I agree but not beyond the realms of possibility and probability.

So I believe that the Yemen conflict is really an internal Yemeni issue but with  huge impact on Saudi Arabias internal politics and the survival of the House of Saud. It could and likely will be a catalyst to destabilise the Peninsula. And this is really what scares the Al Saud. Their survival. More than 50% of the Saudi Army is of Yemeni descent. In fact if one goes back in history the entire population of The Peninsula originated from Yemen.

And at a tactical level the Houthies are advancing South to Aden, which they’ve just taken over and Saudi Arabia is to the North.

 In my opinion the battle the Saudis should be fighting is with the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula or AQAP who the Houthis are also fighting. If anybody threatens Saudi Arabia and Mecca and Medina more its AQAP in its South in Yemen and DAESH on its East in Iraq and Syria.

So if there ever was a Shaikh Chilli cutting the branch on which I’m sitting stupidity by Saudi Arabia, this is perhaps right on top.

Currently,  Iran for long at the receiving end of “Saudi love and brotherhood”  has Saudi Arabia on the backfoot. It would like to see the demise of the Al Saud and replaced by a gentler government and therefore in all likelihood fully supporting the Houthis.

But I think while the House of Saud’s end is near, there is great danger that it may be replaced by much more radical groups more biased towards DAESH type of Islam and hence cause even greater havoc.

So Iran has to be very careful for what it wishes for. As the Chinese say it may just come true.

For us. We need to stay out.

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