Failure of the Settlement in Hodeidah

Failure of the Settlement in Hodeidah

Sunday, 17 June, 2018 - 12:15
Abdulrahman Al-Rashed
Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad.
Although the US government rejected a few days ago an Emirati request to support the coalition, according to The Washington Post, the airport and the outskirts of Hodeidah have been captured by some 21,000 joint Yemeni and coalition forces fighters. Thousands of mines, which were being planted in the roads leading to the city and port in order to hinder their advance, were being cleared.

It is fortunate that Washington refused the coalition’s request to support it in intelligence, aerial photography, and mine scanning, otherwise it would have claimed these victories as its own and they would have been used to politically battle Donald Trump’s administration.

Despite the coalition fighter jet strikes, it was keen to keep Hodeidah port safe. It preserved navigation there and even allowed the presence of Houthi fighters. As the battle ranged on the other side of the city, two ships, carrying humanitarian aid, unloaded their cargo and three other ships docked in the port under the watchful eye of the coalition forces.

If the Houthis fail to surrender the port and the rest of the city, then they will face the largest defeat and losses since the eruption of the war over three years ago. The coalition is determined to completely liberate Hodeidah province, with it city and port.

The Houthis’ defeat in Hodeidah is almost inevitable, but the coalition does not want to win the battle and lose the international community, which is buying into the propaganda of anti-coalition groups. These groups are trying to stop the alliance’s victories and impose a political solution that would keep the Houthis in power. This is why the coalition agreed to the request of the UN special envoy to allow the Houthis the opportunity to withdraw before the assault on the airport. The alliance halted its operations for 48 hours and when the militias rejected the solution, they seized the facility in almost one day.

The coalition is going even further by seeking to eliminate all of international agencies’ excuses and the excuses of pro-Iran countries by once again agreeing to granting the envoy a new opportunity to reach a solution in Hodeidah and avoid losses of human life on all sides. Martin Griffiths headed to Sanaa with a comprehensive solution, calling for the Houthis to retreat from Hodeidah and hand over its port. In return, their safety will be ensured and they will also be granted relief aid delivered through the port.

We already know that the Houthi leaderships are similar to the leaderships of other terrorist groups, such as al-Qaeda and ISIS. These leaderships would rather sacrifice the largest number of their fighters than lose any of their positions. They are ready to sacrifice the local population and hide behind women and children to hold their ground for as long as possible.

The Houthis are a purely terrorist group and their actions in Yemen do not differ from the actions committed by al-Qaeda. The one difference is that they do not flaunt their crimes on social media and television.

The battle for Hodeidah is the gateway for victory in Yemen and defeat of the coup that ruined the political process in the country and threatened regional security. We stand with the coalition in its efforts to deprive rights organizations and pro-Houthi groups with excuses to hold temporary mediations.

We should either achieve our goals without fighting or at least eliminate excuses used by the opponents of war.

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