21.03.2023 Author: Viktor Mikhin

The United States’ New Yemen Strategy


The US appears to be pursuing an old policy of plundering natural resources in Yemen, where the same Americans have been responsible for the civil war for over a year. This is what the commander of the United States Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), the United States Fifth Fleet, and the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) recently concluded tour of the Yemeni provinces of Al-Mahrah and Hadhramaut strongly suggests.

Yemen has enough oil and natural gas to meet both domestic needs and export. This is precisely what the United States and its Western allies require in the face of severe shortages following the outbreak of war in Ukraine.  Ansarallah leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi said in a recent speech that Washington had established military bases in Hadhramaut and Al-Mahrah provinces in eastern Yemen. He went on to say that the commander of the 5th Fleet accompanied by American diplomats, had landed at the headquarters of the illegal US-Saudi military coalition base in Al-Mahrah province.

Vice Admiral Brad Cooper and Steven H. Fagin, US Ambassador to the Saudi-led proxy government in the Aden Movement, traveled to the city of Al-Ghaydah in Al-Mahrah province in a blatant violation of Yemeni sovereignty. Cooper and the American Ambassador were accompanied by a delegation of top US military officials at Al-Ghaydah airport, which has been converted into a military base for American, British, and Israeli forces on the Arabian Sea, according to reports citing reliable sources. They also discussed “maritime issues” with the pro-US-Saudi coalition and self-proclaimed governor Mohammed bin Yasser.

Since 2018, the airport has been occupied by the so-called “coast guard commander” of the US-Saudi coalition, which has been bombing Yemen with impunity since March 2015, taking advantage of the Yemenis’ lack of even the most basic air defense. The reports indicated that the US military’s visit came after Mohammed bin Yasser met with a US official in Riyadh, the Saudi capital. They discussed new tasks for the American soldiers stationed at Al-Ghaydah Airport, allegedly including “fighting smuggling” and “thwarting potential terrorist threats”.

The US and British occupying countries’ claims to control oil and gas resources have recently been focused on the oil-rich eastern Yemeni provinces of Al-Mahrah, Hadhramaut, Shabwa, and Marib. Since the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine last year, the United States and European countries have intensified their efforts and shown a keen interest in Yemen’s eastern provinces. The most recent events occur as a result of the West’s own senseless sanctions against Russia’s energy industry following the start of the war in Ukraine, which have led to shortages of both oil and gas.

The Pentagon has kept two CIA military bases under the jurisdiction of the pro-Saudi coalition government, notably in the town of Mukalla in the Hadhramaut governorate, according to Saudi media reports. The Pentagon’s presence in the area is ostensibly intended to “deepen bilateral and multilateral maritime cooperation,” as Western-controlled media claims, but the facts show the exact opposite.

Yemen views the presence of foreign forces on its soil to be an occupation, which raises the question of why there are such an unusual number of foreign military bases there. Is the world currently experiencing a situation comparable to what is occurring in northeastern Syria, where the US has stolen billions from the nation’s oil deposits, denying millions of struggling Syrians? According to Al-Houthi, the US is actively attempting to block negotiations between Saudi Arabia and Yemen in Oman to end a war that has severely harmed both nations at the same time. “The US seeks to thwart Oman’s efforts, that is, to distance the coalition from any agreement or understanding, and this is totally unacceptable,” he said.

According to experts, this makes sense because reaching a comprehensive political settlement entails ending the war. Ending the war would also necessitate the withdrawal of all foreign forces, led by the US and British militaries, from Yemen’s eastern and southern coasts. For this and other reasons, the United States and the United Kingdom are actively working to suppress negotiations and prevent any political settlement from being reached. In other words, the West is attempting to carry out its old policy of colonialism and plundering other countries and peoples, just as it did two centuries ago.

Likewise, Yemen has one of the most strategic locations in the West Asian region. It has a long Red Sea coastline and extremely important and profitable outlets to the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea, which extend to other parts of the Gulf.  It is clear that USA requires control of these states in order to build military bases and achieve its other sinister goals of enslaving the countries of this vital region.

The nature of Yemen’s Western-occupied regions’ relationship, as well as Saudi Arabia’s and the UAE’s ties to Yemen, is also critical. The main point here is that the puppet government in Yemen, which was established with the assistance of the US-Saudi alliance, is only concerned with its own survival, not with the country’s sovereignty. If the power established by the US and its regional allies had an independent voice, there would be no occupation, military and naval bases, blockade, or plans to seize the country’s natural resources. In any event, the puppet government is complicit in violating Yemen’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, as numerous facts demonstrate.

Analysts argue that foreign military bases, which “Ansarallah leader” have described as zones of occupation, are likely there to keep US-Saudi control strong in the nation. Others believe that it would be reasonable for Yemeni rebel forces to conduct lethal attacks against foreign military bases at this time after displaying great resiliency throughout the eight-year conflict. Fortunately, the Houthis have everything they need: military experience, military equipment and weapons, local support, and the sympathy of the international community, which is already debating and condemning the US-Saudi aggression against the Yemeni people at the UN.

While the US is stalling negotiations in Oman, Sanaa claims that its military potential is expanding and that all branches of the military are prepared for the next phase, which could lead to “the option of a broad military operation.” The “actions” of the US Congress, which “insisted” on ceasing military aid to Riyadh, and all of US President Joe Biden’s pronouncements about ending backing for Saudi military operations have now been demonstrated to be entirely fruitless. The Iranian newspaper Tehran News pointed out that it was merely an effort to divert attention from the growing international criticism of the criminal operations of the US-Saudi alliance in Yemen. Notwithstanding its failures in the conflict, it started in Ukraine, the US continues to be interested in maintaining and increasing its military presence, as illustrated by what is happening in Al-Mahrah and Hadhramaut right now.

Analysts suggest that Saudi Arabia, working with the USA and local officials, has nearly entirely gained control of the Al-Mahrah province. The US Navy has recently dramatically extended its foothold in Yemen, and numerous sources also indicate Israel’s growing cooperation with it. These circumstances have many political analysts questioning whether the USA would make Yemen into a new Syria. – Only time will tell.

However, Yemeni rebel forces have demonstrated their ability to counter threats and turn their slogans into extremely effective response operations in recent years. Since the beginning of the aggression, “our degree of military capabilities has increased,” al-Houthi warned. – “There is a major difference in the level of Yemeni military strength if we look at the scenario today compared to the commencement of the attack with previous years,” the Ansarallah leader said.

In response, UN Secretary General António Guterres urged the international community to set aside $4.3 billion to assist 17.1 million Yemenis who are in need. Without consistent outside assistance, he noted, “millions of Yemenis’ lives will be put in jeopardy, and efforts to resolve the conflict will grow more challenging.”  Preceding that, the UN Security Council conducted a meeting to discuss the situation in Yemen in the middle of January. At that meeting, Hans Grundberg, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, reported that the situation in the nation is now stable. According to him, there hasn’t been a significant escalation or shift on the front line recently. He also stated that regional and international diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict are being stepped up. He did not, regrettably, explain that it is Saudi and American diplomats who, under the guise of “peace,” want to establish tight control over the country and begin plundering Yemen’s natural resources. The Pentagon is particularly interested in the country’s advantageous strategic location at the southernmost tip of the Arabian Peninsula.

On the one hand, it goes without saying that the end of the civil war and the initiatives made in this direction by international organizations with support from the United States are to be applauded. It’s as clear as day. As a result of their failure in Yemen, the USA and NATO want to put an end to the combat there. A sizable quantity of Soviet weapons, which Yemenis are still successfully using, will be purchased and sent to Ukraine so that the onslaught on Russia may continue. This is the logic and practice of American “democracy”: if the conflict in Ukraine fades, it must be re-ignited and fought to the death until the last Ukrainian is killed. Here it is – democracy and freedom in the American way!

Viktor Mikhin, corresponding member of RANS, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.

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