By:Kayhan Int’l Staff Writer
The capture of strategic areas in Jizan (also spelt Jazaan) by the Yemeni army has started the ringing of alarm bells in Saudi Arabia, which unable to stem the Ansarallah advance, fears that if the Americans and the Israelis don’t rush to its aid, the fiefdom created by Britain in 1932 for the desert brigand from Najd, Abdul-Aziz, will soon implode.
Ever since the Saudis seized the northern Yemeni provinces of Najran, Jizan and Asir in 1934 with British help, no government in Sana’a, from the Zaidi Imam, Yahya Mohammad Hameed ad-Din, who lost it, till the recently overthrown – and subsequently executed – dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh, had recognized Riyadh’s rule over this particular region.
As a matter of fact, they had always dreamt of liberating it one day, a dream which is now turning into reality with the recent capture of several areas in Jizan by Yemen’s Resistance Forces, who over the past few days in a fierce battle in the al-Khoubah region put the Saudis to flight by killing over 80 soldiers and Sudanese mercenaries, taking several others prisoner, and capturing a large number of American and British supplied weapons.
If the Yemeni army presses ahead, there is a strong possibility of the local people, long resentful of Najdi control, staging uprisings against the Saudis, thereby encouraging the other regions, such as the Land of Revelation Hejaz and the large oil-rich eastern region, to throw off the Wahhabi yoke.
These fears have made the Wahhabi cultish minority regime black out news of the fighting in Jizan and instead boost its brutal bombing of the Ansarallah positions around Marib in central Yemen, which might soon be liberated by the Yemenis.
In view of these rapid developments on the battlefields, the Saudis are reportedly begging for ceasefire, while at the same time they have illegally infiltrated into the sparsely populated eastern Yemeni province of al-Mahrah near the border with Oman and a coastline on the Indian Ocean.
The plan is to lay a pipeline from the oilfields of the Persian Gulf coast to al-Mahrah in a bid to bypass the Strait of Hormuz for export of crude, but the local people strongly oppose the Saudi incursion, although they lack the military capabilities to check it.
Al-Mahrah and its mostly Mahri-speaking population are closely associated with the Omani province of Dhofar next door, and the Saudi mischief in this strategic area is causing concern in Muscat, which as a neutral side to the conflict in Yemen, often hosts peace talks.
According to Human Rights Watch, the Saudis and their mercenaries have used force, torture, and arbitrary detention to crush opposition to their occupation.
Perhaps, the Saudi plan, in case of actual peace (and not the one-sided unfair ceasefire the UN is trying to impose in favour of Riyadh), is to use al-Mahrah as a bargaining chip for withdrawal of Yemen forces from Jizan.
The government of Yemen in Sana’a ought to be extra careful in this matter, and should now focus on consolidating its gains in Jizan with focus on encouraging the local people to rise against the Saudis.
Once, Jizan, Najran, and Asir return to Yemen, the Saudis will be forced to evacuate al-Mahrah.