Unbeknownst to most Americans, a new war was launched in early August and not merely the proxy force versus proxy force variety that we have become accustomed to seeing over the last few years. A direct military conflict and invasion of Yemen by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – complete with air assaults, tanks, and ground troops – was launched in early August. Yet, if one were not following the events in Yemen closely, you would scarcely have known that the war had started.
Indeed, when Tony Cartalucci wrote that, “with almost a whimper,” the Western media reported the ground invasion of Yemen, he couldn’t have been more right.
Regardless, the Saudi Arabians and other members of the “coalition” created to defeat the Houthi rebels have been bombing Yemen for months, killing scores of innocent civilians. These bombing raids, while proving devastating to the civilian population, did little to dislodge the Houthi rebels’ hold on territory aside from the port of Aden, an area already the scene of fierce fighting between the Houthis, forces loyal to former President Hadi, and al-Qaeda fighters. During the course of the bombing, the Houthis demonstrated that, not only were they able to withstand the Saudi bombing campaign but they were able to launch retaliatory strikes inside Saudi Arabia. The Houthi resiliency and the subsequent strikes inside Saudi Arabia thus revealed the Saudis as a military paper tiger.
The Saudi ambition of bombing the Houthis into submission changed in early August when the Saudi forces along with their “coalition” colleague United Arab Emirates began a ground invasion of Yemen.
Largely unannounced by the media, pictures nevertheless began circulating in early August showing the arrival of troops and columns of tanks landing in the port of Aden. Videos taken of the tanks – apparently French made LeClerc tanks belonging to the UAE – showed the forces moving North from Aden. Reports now suggest as many as 100 tanks – a third of UAE’s total armored forces- are engaged in Yemen.
Alongside the tanks, there are a rumored “armor brigade” consisting of 1,000 to 3,000 UAE troops moving north toward the capital.
Images of the #UAE Leclerc tank on its way to Al Anad – #Yemen
By: @wafygnob pic.twitter.com/Rf0AZ9VTNS
— محمد بن خالد (@saikhamk) August 2, 2015
— محمد بن خالد (@saikhamk) August 2, 2015
News footage @Alekhbariyatv suggests #UAE deployment of Leclerc Main Battle Tanks to #Yemen engaging #Houthi rebels pic.twitter.com/WKtlXR0Uov
— Joseph Dempsey (@JosephHDempsey) August 1, 2015
— محمد بن خالد (@saikhamk) August 2, 2015
Potential For Success, Potential For Failure
With the Saudi/UAE invasion, there exists a number of opportunities of both success and failure for both sides that will have reverberations across the Middle East, North Africa, and the rest of the world.
If the Saudis and the UAE succeed, the Houthi rebellion will be defeated and the fear of a Yemen that is allied with and receiving assistance from Iran will be allayed, at least temporarily. Saudi Arabia will have demonstrated its military strength (despite the fact that the UAE seems to bearing the brunt of the operations), the GCC will be able to demonstrate its importance in the region, and Iran will be perceived as weakened on the Arabian Peninsula.
The risks to the Wahhabist Kingdom if they fail, however, are likely greater than the rewards if they succeed. If the Saudis fail, they will have revealed themselves as the paper tiger that they are in terms of military power. If the Houthis are able to overcome the onslaught of Saudi/UAE forces, the fear instilled into other countries by the Western-backed Saudi military will begin to evaporate. So too will Saudi influence in the region if the “coalition” cannot prevent a rag-tag group of revolutionaries from achieving victory despite their own invasion of the country. The Saudis will be forced to use the only method of diplomacy and international relations that has proven to work for them – money. After all, the military option will be revealed as an empty threat. Still, relying on their deep pockets alone poses its own risks since the falling price of oil is causing those pockets to become shallower.
In addition, if the Houthis are able to inflict enough serious blows to the UAE and Saudi military hardware, the effectiveness of an already weak military will cause the Saudi/UAE forces to weaken that much more. Tony Cartalucci posits in his own article that this could be one of the reasons the Western mainstream press has ignored the invasion thus far.
There is some evidence that a rout of the Saudi and UAE forces is already taking place. If reports coming from news agency Al Manar are accurate, the UAE is experiencing a “massacre” of its forces inside Yemen. On August 17, 2015 in a report entitled “Yemen Turning Into Holocaust Of UAE Tanks, Soldiers,” Al Manar quotes sources from inside the Houthi forces saying that “The sources also revealed that losses of the Emirati forces during the last 72 hours were more than 32 armored vehicles, 14 tanks and 23 military vehicles, in addition to 38 soldiers and 8 officers killed.”
Al-Manar says that the UAE has claimed only half of the casualties. Still, only half of those numbers are a sizeable loss to any military force.
Undoubtedly, the West is well aware of the risks of the Saudi/UAE invasion of Yemen. The attempt to break the Houthis, the Iraqis, the Syrians, and the Lebanese before the Iran nuclear deal can be finalized in the United States, allowing new flows of Iranian money and support against the hordes of terrorists funded by the West for the purpose of overthrowing independent governments.
Saudi Arabia and UAE – Aiding ISIS and Al-Qaeda As Always
Saudi Arabia has long openly supporting ISIS/Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and other countries across the world. Likewise, the United Arab Emirates has done its own share of supporting terrorism.
In Yemen, Saudi Arabia has supported al-Qaeda terrorists fighting the Houthis. Yet, with the recent invasion, its support in terms of funding, training, and weapons has shifted to become a direct military action in support of al-Qaeda fighters on the ground. In areas where the Saudi/UAE troops as well as their “pro-government” allies have passed through on their march North, it has been al-Qaeda fighters who have filled the vacuum and assumed control.
In Aden, for instance, al-Qaeda forces are now controlling a number of areas of the city, patrolling and creating a quasi- governmental structure.
In Aden, al-Qaida militants and other Islamic extremists continue to patrol the streets. Hundreds of al-Qaida militants hold some key areas in the port city, exploiting a vacuum left by pro-government forces pushing north, a high-ranking pro-Hadi security official and two other high-ranking pro-Hadi police officers, all in Aden, said.
We have a shortage of men,” the state security official said. “Getting equipment (from coalition countries) is easy. Getting men to operate them is hard.
In other words, the Saudi and UAE forces are acting as the spearhead for the al-Qaeda forces who march right in, unopposed, to impose Sharia law and any number of horrific laws on an unfortunate population.
Hypocrisy of Western R2P, Humanitarian Bombing, And Neo-Cons
While the Corporate Press and NATO countries whine and complain over phantoms of “Russian aggression,” the “illegal” annexation of Crimea (despite overwhelming support from the domestic population), and the “invasion” of Ukraine, not a single word of condemnation has been uttered regarding an open and flagrant launch of direct war and invasion against Yemen by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
On one hand, as hundreds of tanks and thousands of soldiers flood in to Yemen, nothing is said by “international community” (meaning NATO). On the other hand, with no evidence of “Russian aggression” in Ukraine, the world is faced with the possibility of thermonuclear World War 3.
In Yemen, it is considered an offense worthy of a “coalition” invasion from the Arab League if the Houthis overthrow a president that was essentially placed in his position by a foreign power after that foreign power had coordinated the revolt that sent his predecessor packing It is considered a violation of international law if the Houthis oust this “leader” and replace him with someone else.
In Syria, however, there is no barbaric atrocity or crime against humanity that is not justified in order to facilitate the destruction of the government of Bashar al-Assad. While Yemenis are condemned for overthrowing their corrupt and oppressive government, the legitimate, secular, and reforming leadership of Bashar al-Assad is considered illegitimate and thus worthy of being deposed.
The so-called “rebels” in Syria are considered the epitome of democracy. The rebels in Yemen are considered a threat to international order.
In Ukraine also, the US instigated a color revolution that saw the ousting of a democratically (relatively speaking) elected President. In Ukraine, however, unlike Yemen, the individuals on the ground who overthrew that government engaged in a campaign of attempted extermination of select members of their countrymen and were hailed as heroes and worthy of support, even to the point of pushing the possibility of nuclear war with Russia by the United States.
Clearly, some “rebels” are more equal than others. The concept of “international law,” “democracy,” “human rights,” and “self-determination” are obviously one-way streets.
The representation of Iran’s involvement in the rebellion in the Western mainstream press is equally hypocritical. Remember, in both Ukraine and Syria, the United States has been not only the initiator of the destabilization but an open supporter of it. In Yemen, however, Iran is being painted as an international terrorist and destabilization artist. Although there is little evidence to point to Iran as being behind the Yemeni rebellion, its role has been painted as a meddler. The US, NATO, and the GCC, however, are painted as friends of democracy and human rights.
The invasion of Yemen by Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates is both an illegal and immoral act against a country which, like any other nation, has the right of self-determination. The Saudis and the GCC are involved in Yemen purely for geopolitical purposes. This much is clear due to the fact that neither the UAE nor the Saudis care one bit about human rights. If the Saudis/UAE succeed, they will have succeeded in dealing a geostrategic blow to Iran. If they fail, they will have outed themselves as a paper tiger and opened up the possibility for domestic insurgency and revolution at home as well as regional insubordination to their dictates. They will be faced to rely solely on their money, a supply of which is shrinking with the price of oil.
If the Saudis and the UAE fail in Yemen, it may portend the collapse of the US/NATO campaign in Syria and Iraq since a key ally in the funding, training, and production of terrorists to be used in Syria and Iraq finds itself collapsing.
The danger, however, is that the Western powers are well aware of this possibility and will do whatever they can to prevent it from ever becoming a reality. As the Congressional vote over the Iran deal approaches, the Western powers and their Arab/Israeli allies are racing against the clock before Iranian money begins to flow to its own allies and before the Iranians are considered a more equal player in the game. With that in mind, the dangers of false flag attacks and general wars are increasing in the coming weeks.
Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria. Turbeville has published over 500 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.