Saudi aggression was backed by the USA and supported by Al-Qaeda
Exclusive interview with Yahya Mohamed Abdullah Saleh, the nephew of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and a former chief of the Central Security Organization of Yemen.
What's going on right now in Yemen?
The situation in Yemen is a great problem for all. Saudi aggression made everything more sophisticated and bloody. It was supposed to gain control over the trade routes while the country is in chaos.
Saudi aggression was backed by the USA and was supported by Al-Qaeda, which is based in the eastern provinces. Now the biggest province, Hadhramout, is under their control. They want to enter the southern provinces. Al-Qaeda is an instrument of al-Saud – they use terrorists and extremists as foot soldiers in Yemen, the same way they are used in Syria. The Saudi strategy of using terrorists is the same in Yemen, Syria and Russia.
In this war, on the one side, there are all patriots from different movements and organisations, popular committees, loyal army and Ansarallah, and on the other side are Saudis and their puppets, their main forces (Ikhwans), and those who join them now. So mainly, there are two sides – patriotic groups and pro-Saudi. But the Saudi coalition is nominal, participants fight with each other and in reality many groups are uncontrolled – they fight, they make agreements and fight again. Mostly they are extremists that don`t follow any rules of engagement.
What are the geopolitical forces confronting each other in Yemen? Who is interested in the continuation of the civil war?
Saudi Arabia attacked Yemen and interfered in Yemeni politics, they did it in alliance with USA and several western countries. It`s constant pressure and total destruction of Yemen infrastructure and sites of cultural and historical heritage. It’s the same thing they started in Iraq and Syria, same as what they want in Lebanon, they did it before and they continue now. They strike schools, hospitals, power stations, airports and bridges. They think that by using bombs they can return former president Hadi to power, which will continue to deliver Saudi interests in Yemen. But most of the army, paramilitary groups and Yemeni society stand united against them. Patriots are from different political platforms. We want the countries of the Middle East and of course Russia to stop this war, to be mediators in peace talks and secure human rights in our country.
What is the main problem of the Saudi invasion to Yemen?
Saudis entered Yemen but they depend on supplies and new reinforcements. That’s a problem for them – the landscape is tough and they have to fight against various troops of Yemen army or militia, our forces are well trained and have war experience. Yemen is a state with deep civilizational roots, and military aggression can`t break it down.
What is the phenomenon of the people's committees in Yemen?
Delegation from popular committees came to Russia to ask for help in negotiations with Saudi Arabia. Popular committees are a self-ruling administration in every site. After president Hadi left country he disgraced himself and it was a final disillusion for common people. The Houthis organized this institutes so locals could take administrative functions. Former president Hadi was always afraid of it, because he wanted to accumulate all power and resources in his arms. Now he tries to play with popular committees in some parts and launch the process of separatism, the same way he tries to cooperate with terrorists and al-Qaeda.
What was the aim of your visit to Russia?
The aim of my visit to Russia was to establish new relations in the Duma, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with special services etc. We discussed the situation in the Middle East and asked Russia to help Yemen. We invited Russia to be a mediator in peace talks and help Yemen to get rid of extremists, who are operating in Yemen and also go to Syria and Iraq. We have to cooperate and work out together now to stop aggressive policy of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.