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Yemen won war; Saudi, US in no position to dictate terms to victors, says Foreign Policy

A leading American magazine says Yemen’s popular Ansaruallh movement won the US-sponsored war waged by Saudi Arabia, stressing that the losers are now in no position to dictate terms to the victors.

In an article, the Foreign Policy analyzed the situation in Yemen, where the army and Popular Committees defeated the Saudi invaders and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down.

It said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched the offensive on the assumption that “it would bring an easy victory.”

“Instead, it became a public relations debacle, as Saudi Arabia not only publicly brutalized a desperate and impoverished population but also proved incapable of defeating a “ragtag” group of rebels despite billions of dollars of US military hardware. The Saudis’ recent willingness to negotiate a ceasefire reflects their weakened position,” it added.

According to the Foreign Policy, the Saudis’ proposed truce and the terms offered by US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking impose “harsh terms” on Ansarullah.

“The US and Saudi claim that they are pursuing peace is less than honest, because the plans they’ve offered the Houthis could encourage them to keep fighting rather than accept a truce,” it said.

“To end a war, the victors usually dictate terms to the losers. Imposing maximalist demands on the victors is futile: They will simply continue fighting.”

Saudi Arabia launched the devastating military aggression on its southern neighbor in March 2015 in collaboration with a number of its allied states, and with arms and logistics support from the US and several other Western countries.

The aim was to return to power the Saudi-backed former regime and crush popular Ansarullah, which has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective government in Yemen.

The offensive has failed to achieve its goals, but pushed Yemen to the brink, killed tens of thousands of innocent people and destroyed the impoverished state’s infrastructure.

The Foreign Policy said the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSC) 2216, which was passed in April 2015, is used as the framework for all international negotiations on Yemen.

“Yet because Resolution 2216 reflects unrealistic and outdated demands, it merely prolongs the conflict and prevents effective negotiation,” it added, emphasizing that the document impedes progress by allowing the Saudis to justify their actions while dissuading Ansraullah from negotiating.

The article urged US President Joe Biden to push for a new UNSC resolution on Yemen “guided by three principles: restore sovereignty, prevent meddling, and encourage inclusivity.”

“The resolution should require the withdrawal of all foreign militaries from Yemen, including the illegitimate military presence of Saudi Arabia in Mahrah governorate, as well as that of the UAE on the islands of Mayun and of Socotra, a UNESCO World Heritage site,” it said.

“Continuing to use Resolution 2216 as the basis for international negotiation reflects a tacit willingness to prolong the conflict, in the vain hope that the Houthis might eventually concede to negotiations. In the meantime, the World Food Program estimates that 400,000 Yemeni children under 5 are likely to die of starvation in 2021—approximately one child every 80 seconds.”

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