Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz ordered troops to enter Yemen last week to confront the Houthis, armed militants accused of terrorism. The invasion is backed by 10 regional nations.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz today vowed that the Saudi-led coalition against Houthi rebels in Yemen will continue until the country is stable and safe, blaming foreign intervention for the unrest. The comments came during a speech at the 26th Arab League Summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
“The excruciating reality of terrorism, internal conflicts and bloodshed experienced by a number of Arab countries are only the inevitable result of an alliance between terrorism and sectarianism, which is led by regional powers whose blatant interventions in the Arab region have resulted in undermining security and stability in some of our countries,” said King Salman.
“In Yemen, the foreign intervention enabled the Houthi militias to overtake the legitimate authority, occupy Sana’a, and disrupt the implementation of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Initiative, which has sought to preserve Yemen’s unity, stability and security.”
“Riyadh opens its doors to all Yemeni political parties committed to Yemen’s security and stability, to meet under the umbrella of GCC and within the context of maintaining the legitimacy, rejection of any legitimacy breaching, ensuring the return of the State control over all Yemeni territory, returning to the State all weapons, and holding no threat the security of neighboring States,” said King Salman. “Operation Decisive Storm will continue until these objectives are achieved, so that the Yemeni people are able to enjoy security and stability.”
King Salman called on the Arab world to unite against terrorism while addressing other conflicts across the region, including Palestine, Syria, and Libya.
He stated, “The scourge of extremism and terrorism are among the challenges facing the Arab nation, targeting the security and stability of our countries, and requiring us to be vigilant and be in solidarity when taking necessary actions to confront and eradicate its roots.”
King Salman met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Yemini President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi on the sidelines of the summit.
King Salman’s UN Ambassador to the United States Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir said March 25 at a press conference that Saudi Arabia launched military operations in Yemen, as part of a coalition of over ten countries in response to a direct request from the legitimate government of Yemen.
“The operation will be limited in nature, and designed to protect the people of Yemen and its legitimate government from a takeover by the Houthis, a violent extremist militia,” Ambassador Al-Jubeir said.
Al-Jubeir said the move has the backing of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries which have tried to facilitate a peaceful transition of government in Yemen, and blamed the Houthis for blocking the process and using militant attacks to seize territory and weapons belonging to the government.
“In spite of repeated efforts by the GCC, G10 countries and the Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary General to seek a peaceful way to implement the GCC initiatives and the outcomes of the national dialogue that define the political transition in Yemen, the Houthis have reneged on every single agreement they have made and continue their quest to take over the country by violent means,” Ambassador Al-Jubeir said.
“They captured the capital city of Sana’a, they placed the legitimate president, prime minister and cabinet members under house arrest, they seized the security services and they continue to expand their occupation of the country.”
Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. He began writing in 1975 publishing The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues as Special US Correspondent for the Arab News ArabNews.com, at TheArabDailyNews.com, and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday, the Orlando Sentinel, Houston Chronical, and Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
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