For the first time in the three year old civil war in Yemen, Saudi led coalition aircrafts targeted Yemen’s Presidential Palace in the capital city of Sanaa. According to reports, the place which is under Houthi control was pounded for more than seven times.
The new wave of intensified attacks by Saudi aircrafts on late Monday evening comes after ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed by Houthi rebels. Saleh did a volte-face on Saturday evening by siding with Saudis and breaking his alliance with Houthis.
Experts argue that the Saudi kingdom and their allies are now in a state of despair. It seems that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman's script to regain power in the Arab region is becoming a doomsday for his regime.
Beginning from the war in Syria to ‘kidnapping-cum-resignation’ drama of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to the royal crackdown on his relatives of King Abdullah lineage- all the dramas ended in the Shakespearean tragedy of ‘hoisted by one's own petard’.
“The Saudis are, you know, vindictive. To some extent, some of their bombing seems to be for the sake of bombing,” said Sheila Carapico, professor of political science and international relations at the University of Richmond.
Carapico further added that “And sometimes they hit the same targets over, and over, and over again in wanton fire … They’re destroying antiquities and reservoirs, things that aren’t military targets.”
The Saudi led coalition of Sunni Arab states, backed United States, Britain and France have been ruthlessly bombing Yemen. The war in Yemen has already claimed around 10,000 lives and pushed the country into a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. Reeling under world largest cholera outbreak and famine, the Saudi bombing and military blockade has pushed Yemen into total chaos.
The US backed Saleh was a crucial figure in the civil war in Yemen. He ruled the country since 1978 till 2012 when he was overthrown after the ‘Arab Spring’ movement. He reluctantly handed over power to his Saudi backed deputy Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in 2012.
Throughout his career, which included 33 years as president, Mr. Saleh deftly manipulated the competing demands of Yemen’s tribes, politicians and foreign allies like the United States to make himself the country’s most towering political figure.
Saleh, who once likened ruling Yemen to ‘dancing over the heads of snakes’, refused to stay out of power. He made a fragile alliance with Houthi rebels and in 2015 seized large parts of Yemen. Once arch enemies, Saleh and Houthis forced President Hadi to flee to Riyadh. As Saudi Arabia tried to put Hadi back into power with military support, Yemen plunged into a civil war.
With Saleh eliminated, the Yemen’s civil war has taken a new turn. Houthis have completely taken over the capital city of Sanaa, and have pushed out Saleh loyalists. Saudi Arabia, a Sunni majority Kingdom considers the rise of Houthis as a dominance of Shia sect of Islam in its backyard. Riyadh blames Iran of supporting and arming Shia majority Houthi rebels, but according to experts, there is not much evidence of Iran’s involvement.
The Saudi, who does not seem to be in any mood to let go Yemen, will try to bomb the country into submission.
If the international community continues its criminal silence on war crimes committed by the US-UK backed Saudi coalition in Yemen, the country will plunge into a complete chaos and unimaginable humanitarian catastrophe.