JEDDAH: The international community bears responsibility for prolonging the crisis in Yemen, and Saudi Arabia should not simply wait for the Iran-backed Houthis to cause a disaster, according to a Saudi expert in international relations.
Political analyst Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri said on Thursday that although a number of proposals had been put forward to put an end to Yemen’s ongoing conflict, there had been a lack of will from the international community to implement those initiatives.
“If the international community was honest, it would have (acted on) UNSC Resolution 2216, demanding the Houthis relinquish the arms they seized from military and security institutions and cease all violence. The international community is delaying taking action against the Houthis for its own interests,” Al-Shehri told Arab News.
“The international community’s regional interests are its top priority, not Yemen or the Yemenis,” he added.
Al-Shehri believes that, in the face of continued silence from the international community, Saudi Arabia should ‘confront power with power’ when dealing with Houthi attacks.
“We should not wait until the Houthis (cause) a disaster. We count on the Arab coalition and the Yemeni army, especially after the UN’s leniency with regard to putting pressure on the Houthis to accept diplomatic solutions,” Al-Shehri said.
He added that if attacks on the Kingdom continue, then Saudi Arabia should take military action. “The Houthis are using power and this power should be confronted with power. We have tried the international community for seven years, but unfortunately (nothing has been done).”
The Arab coalition destroyed five ballistic missiles and four explosive-laden drones launched by the Houthis toward Jazan, Al-Ekhbariya reported on Thursday.
Those attacks were the latest in a long line of hostile actions against the Kingdom by the Iran-backed Houthi militia.
Jazan University was one of the targets, as well as other civilian sites protected under international humanitarian law, coalition spokesman Turki Al-Malki said in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency, adding that such actions amount to war crimes. He also said that the attacks originated from Yemen’s Saadah governorate and were a “continuation of the Houthis’ systematic and intentional hostile attempts to target civilians.”
The Houthis, who took over the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, in 2014, have been widely condemned for their actions against the Kingdom.