The Saudi-led coalition’s inability to secure a speedy victory after launching its military operation in Yemen nearly five years ago has put a cramp on Riyadh’s efforts to become a regional power, Ibrahim Mohammad al-Dailami, the Houthi militia’s Iran-based envoy, has claimed.
Speaking to Iran’s PressTV, al-Dailami said that when Riyadh launched its military operation in Yemen in 2015, it was seeking to show itself as “a regional entity to counter other regional entities and become the main agent for the American project in the region.”
“However, [Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s] stumbling in Yemen resulted in a real delay for the Saudis to become a regional power and agent for the American-Zionist project in the area,” the Houthi official added. “Saudis wanted to achieve quick victory in a matter of weeks or one to two months. However, after five years, Saudi Arabia is drowning in Yemen,” he said.
Al-Dailami claimed that the Saudi-led coalition had failed to “divide” Yemen and to stir up “sedition among its people”. He also accused the UK, the US and Israel of being ‘complicit’ for the situation in Yemen due to their weapons as well as logistical and intelligence support to the coalition.
Yemen War Approaching Fifth Anniversary
Saudi Arabia and a coalition of mostly Gulf region allies including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Kuwait, as well as Jordan, Egypt and Sudan began a military operation in Yemen in March of 2015 at the request of Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, who had been ousted from power and fled to the kingdom earlier that year.
Despite nearly years of fighting, the coalition has not only failed to dislodge the Houthis from most of Yemen’s population centres, but faced militia drone and missile attacks against targets inside Saudi Arabia itself, with these strikes targeting everything from airports and military bases to Saudi cities. In September, the militia group attacked two major Saudi Aramco oil facilities, briefly suspending the production of up to half of the country’s total oil output. Riyadh and its US allies accused Iran of the acts of sabotage. Iran has denied the claims, while the Houthis claimed responsibility and accused those trying to blame others for the strikes of acting like “cowards”.
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing US officials, that Riyadh has been holding secret talks with the Houthis in a bid to bring the conflict to an end.