Arno Develay: Saudis’ Scorched-Earth Policy Aimed at Depriving Resistance from Public Yemeni Support
Political analyst and Human Rights Lawyer Arno Develay says that Saudi Arabia aims to impose a scorched-earth policy in Yemen in order to deprive the Ansarallah resistance movement from any kind of support from the Yemeni public.
Mr. Develay, in an exclusive interview with FNA, said that Saudi Arabia seeks to reinstall the puppet regime of Manṣur Hadi in Sana’a to reassert its control over Yemen and its natural resources.
The human rights lawyer believes that the Saudi policy of deliberately targeting civilian population “constitutes a gross violation of the Geneva Conventions and could be constitutive of war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
Arno Develay is an international Human Rights Lawyer and political analyst. He has also been interviewed by international news outlets such as Press TV for his expert commentary.
FNA has conducted an interview with Mr. Develay about the ongoing Saudi war on Yemen and possible motives behind the war imposed on the impoverished Arab country by Saudi Arabia and its western allies.
Below you will find the full text of the interview.
Q: What do you think of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen caused by the Saudi war and the blockade on the country?
A: Above all, one should note that ever since the attack on Yemen began in March 2015, the country has come under both a complete embargo and a maritime blockade that has prevented any kind of relief, be it foodstuff, medical supplies and equipment from being delivered in a way that would alleviate the hardships of the suffering population. As a result, sanitary conditions have deteriorated to the point that the worst cholera outbreak since 1949 is now plaguing every single governorate of the country, has affected over one million people and led to the death of over 2500 people. As things currently stand, this deliberate policy of targeting civilians constitutes a gross violation of the Geneva Conventions and could be constitutive of war crimes, crimes against humanity if not outright genocide which is defined as the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.
Q: What are the Saudis’ objectives in their war on Yemen?
A: In the wake of the so-called Arab Spring, which in Yemen led to the downfall of the late President Saleh, the Saudis endorsed the nomination of Abdrabbuh Manṣūr Hādi as interim President of a national reconciliation platform. As such, he not only was to have called for new elections within 90 days period following his nomination; his interim term was limited to 2 years. When the opposition sensed that these promises were not going to be kept, the political situation deteriorated rapidly and Hadi’s decision to raise fuel subsidies led to a violent backlash against his government which saw him first flee to Aden before taking refuge in Riyadh. The objective of the Saudis is therefore above all else to defeat the Houthi resistance movement in order to reassert its control over the country (and its vast natural resources) by reinstalling Hadi who, not unlike Saad Hariri, owes his political survival to the kingdom. A second consideration pertaining to Riyadh’s war on Yemen stems from the Saudi obsession in containing what it perceives as Iranian expansionism in the region. Ansarallah, the Yemenite resistance movement, never attempted to conceal its ideological kinship with the Resistance movements fighting against foreign meddling throughout the region, be it the Lebanese Hezbollah or its Iraqi counterpart (Hashd Al Shaabi). Riyadh thus considers Ansarallaha part of what it regularly refers as an “Iranian-backed militias” even though no proof has ever surfaced pertaining to military support coming from Tehran.
Q: It seems that the Saudis expected an easy-to-win combat when they first stepped into the war. What do you see as the reasons for Riyadh's continued failure in Yemen?
A: Riyadh has underestimated the resolve of the Resistance in Yemen as well as the latter’s aspiration for political emancipation from any kind of foreign tutelage. Riyadh has moreover assumed that it could contract out its military operations to foreign mercenaries financed by itself and other [Persian] Gulf States, notwithstanding the fact that these hired guns know nothing about the terrain. Last but not least, exactions committed against the civilian population by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and other terrorist groups have achieved to sway public opinion on the side of the Houthis and their allies. Ansarallah has in effect won over the proverbial “hearts and minds” of their constituents. This state of affair has further been reinforced by not-so-secret information pertaining to the Saudi’s subcontracting their use of indiscriminate bombing of Yemenite infrastructure to Israeli pilots.
Q: Why do the US and the UK continue to supply Saudi Arabia with arms despite international criticism with regard to civilian casualties?
A: First, Saudi Arabia is a major client state in terms of revenues by way of arm sales practiced by these countries. Since the Western corporate media derives its own revenues from announcers having strong ties to the military industrial complex in both the UK and the US, one easily understands how news editors would refrain from covering the conflict without risking losing their jobs and/or prospects for career advancement. Without any kind of sustained news coverage, the general public cannot be expected to grow aware of the disaster that is unfolding in Yemen; a country that most would not be able to pinpoint on a map.
Q: Why have the international organizations, particularly the UN, remained passive in the face of the ongoing Saudi atrocities?
A: Riyadh by holding a seat on the Human Right Council has managed to snuff out any kind of meaningful investigation using bribery and behind-the-scenes political wrangling to prevent powerful states such as Russia for instance from getting an elected representative who could put the Yemen issue on the Council’s agenda. Riyadh moreover contributes significantly to the UN budget therefore no UN official has any interest in taking the initiative to confront one of the organization’s main donors. It is a classic case of conflict of interest between the UN mandate to work at preventing conflict and maintain the peace on the one hand and the organization’s own pursuit of its survival on the other.
Q: The airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition have mostly killed Yemeni civilians, including thousands of women and children. What do you think is Riyadh's incentive for targeting the civilian population?
A: By engaging in egregious violation of humanitarian law as they proceed to indiscriminately bomb non-military targets such as hospitals, mosques and cultural landmarks, the Saudis aim to impose a scorched-earth policy aimed at systematically deprive the Resistance from any kind of support from the Yemeni people. It is Riyadh’s hope that war fatigue will see Ansarallah sue for peace in order to preserve its political capital among the population.
Source: Fars News