Yemen to Saudis: Lift Siege Now or Expect Military Retaliation
Sana’a (GPA) — President of Yemen’s Supreme Revolutionary Committee — Ansarullah — urges Saudi Arabia and their allies to lift the Yemen siege and stop the aggression against Yemen; hinting that more attacks on economic targets are imminent.
Mohammad Ali al-Houthi published a Facebook post yesterday urging oil workers in Saudi Arabia to evacuate their workplaces at whatever the cost as soon as possible. Reiterating that Yemeni forces will “work with all available options” to retaliate against the Kingdom for their physical and economic violence against Yemen.
Yemen — already the poorest country in the Arab world — has been economically crippled by the Saudi-led war and siege. Due to the land, air, and sea blockade, government employees including healthcare workers and waste management have been without salaries for months. This also restricts the flow of imports and exports including food, medical supplies, and basic goods. Anything that enters or leaves the country does so at the discretion of Saudi Arabia and the imposed government they have set up in Aden. The Saudi-supported so-called “internationally recognized” president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi currently resides in Riyadh.
Yemen’s Revolutionary Government — which controls the capital city of Sana’a and most of northern Yemen — calls the Saudis’ siege “economic manipulation” designed to beat Yemen into submission. Since Saudi Arabia uses the siege as an economic weapon against Yemen, Ansarullah plan to strike Saudi Arabia back where it hurts: their oil refineries.
On Sunday, Yemen’s Popular Forces successfully struck an oil refinery deep within Saudi Arabia with a long-range ballistic missile. The attack took place at night as to avoid worker casualties. Yemeni forces have access to facilities to develop their own weapons, so they’ve promised similar attacks to come sooner rather than later. Dating back to the post-9/11 Bush era, Yemen’s previous government was a valuable ally in the so-called ‘War on Terror’ — and received plenty of US military aid. So weapons and equipment are not hard to come by throughout Yemen. Especially since much of the Yemeni military has sided with the Revolutionary Committee against Saudi Arabia.
The announcement warning workers to leave reaffirms that Yemeni forces are committed to defending themselves against aggression while protecting civilian casualties as much as possible. Where were the Saudis’ warnings calling for civilians to evacuate before targeting homes or schools with airstrikes? In fact the Saudis’ actions indicate that hitting civilian targets is an entirely intentional part of their military strategy.
This week, Yemeni officials in Sana’a met with leaders from the United Nations including the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Program to discuss the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe including the looming famine and cholera epidemic. Officials urged the UN to help lift the siege against Yemen and provide access to dire humanitarian assistance. Throughout the war, the UN has remained silent about the Saudi war crimes against Yemen.
Originally published at Geopolitics Alert.