Why ‘Operation: Decisive Storm’ was needed in Yemen
Faisal J. Abbas/Al Arabiya
Thursday, 26 March 2015
For far too long, the Iranian-backed Houthi movement was left to meddle in Yemen. Now, while one realizes that war should always be used as a last resort and that every effort to use political and peaceful means should be exhausted; the reality is time after time, Iran and its agents continue to prove that they can’t be trusted and that they will always behave as the rogue players that they are.
Secretly aided by Yemen’s toppled leader, Ali Abdullah Saleh (who seems to have forgotten that he owes his life to Saudi Arabia and GCC countries which negotiated to guarantee his safe exit following the revolution which overthrew him back in 2011), the Houthis took over Yemen by force and terror.
The Iranian-backed militia turned down every opportunity for reconciliation and opted to snub the GCC initiative and the outputs of the National Dialogue as they took over Sanaa and then – despite a loud and clear Saudi warning – went after the country’s legitimate President Abdrabbo Mansour Hadi in Aden (which was named Yemen’s temporary capital.)
Hadi, cornered and concerned over the future and independence of Yemen, called upon Gulf States, the Arab League and the international community to intervene to end the bloody progression of the Houthis. “Let us not forget that the Houthis – whose official slogan is ‘Death to America’ and are known for their U.S. flag burning practice – are agents of the world’s biggest terrorist regime in Tehran”
A storm was already brewing
Saudi Arabia and its allies – who up until now include all GCC states (excluding Oman), Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Morocco and Pakistan – answered the call with Operation: Decisive Storm which was inaugurated overnight under the supervision of the Saudi Defense Minister Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who alongside Deputy Crown Prince and interior minister Prince Mohammad bin Nayef were personally following up on military action at the command center.
By sunrise, several senior Houthi leaders were already targeted and eliminated as the Royal Saudi Air Force took complete control of the Yemeni airspace. As the operation continues, Saudis (who generally were unsurprised by the military response since the Houthis had the audacity of undergoing a recent military drill by the Kingdom’s border) and most Yemenis continue to support the brave military mission by the Kingdom’s armed forces as confronting the Houthis is regarded as part of Riyadh’s larger anti-terrorism efforts.