Is the US serious about protecting Saudi-led coalition Member States from Yemeni attacks?
The latest military escalation hangs question marks over how the US is serious about ending the war in Yemen.
While officials from Ansar Allah National Negotiation Delegation said they have discussed on Feb. 9 the humanitarian situation in Yemen during a meeting with the European officials in Oman, the American side, along with the Saudi and Emirati side, preceded the meeting with a military escalation on Feb. 8 by launching airstrikes targeting the Yemeni capital of Sanaa.
The US-backed Saudi-led coalition launched four airstrikes on Feb. 8 afternoon, similar to the number of European officials expected to meet Ansar Allah officials in Oman on Feb. 9, targeting the Al-Hafa camp. During the early hours of Feb. 9, the day they held the meeting, they launched another four other airstrikes targeting the same Al-Hafa camp.
On Feb 8, Commander of the CENTCOM Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie told UAE's state-own WAM agency that "The US is working with the UAE and other regional and global partners to develop more effective solutions to stop drone attacks, even before they are launched."
However, before midnight of that day and following the alleged gas cylinder explosion, the US Embassy in the UAE warned its citizens - but not UAE citizens- of “reports of a possible missile or drone strike targeting Abu Dhabi,” according to the Associated Press.
Elias Torab, a Yemeni political analyst based in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, has questioned the American officials' statements about protecting Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from possible Yemeni drone or missile attacks.
“The US is evasive. It has put itself in a position that the Saudis and Emiratis see it on the side of Ansar Allah, and Ansar Allah sees it on the side of the Saudis and the Emiratis,” Torab told Al Mayadeen English in a recorded face-to-face audio interview. “The fact is that the US is only serious about protecting its interest.”
Torab pointed out that when McKenzie said his country is going to help UAE stop drone attacks before launch, it means that the US is directly involved in the war in Yemen.
Torab stressed that “There is a huge contradiction in the US officials’ statements” and that “the Gulf states and the UAE, in particular, are aware of that more than any other country”.
War continuation benefits US interests
The latest military escalation hangs question marks over how the US is serious about ending the war in Yemen politically and stop defending its interests.
"The US won't end the war in Yemen politically as it's impossible for the US to abandon its interests," Torab told Al Mayadeen English, pointing out that the "US interests in Gulf states increased since the war started, so the US has interests in the war to continue."
Torab added the US doesn’t want an end to the war in Yemen “because ending the war means no arms sales and KSA and UAE are the most arms-buying countries,” making ending the war is not in the interest of the USA.
Torab, the political analyst, believes that McKenzie’s announcement of his country’s intention to help the UAE target drones before they launch hinders UN peace efforts.
“It is supposed to hinder UN peace efforts,” said Torab, stressing that “in fact, there are no UN [genuine]efforts to resolve the conflict in Yemen unless there is an American desire, and this desire is not available to resolve the war in Yemen’.
US' involvement in the war on Yemen
Mohamed Yahya Al-Jabri, a Sanaa-based military analyst, told Al Mayadeen English the US and UN are not serious about ending the war in Yemen, and CENTCOM commander's remarks of helping UAE to stop drone attack before launch showed US direct involvement in the war in Yemen.
“The US and the UN are not serious about ending the war, but they will continue to appoint an envoy after an envoy with no peace being achieved at their hands.,” Al-Jabri said.
“The CENTCOM commander remarks are not new because they have been involved in bombing Yemen for seven years. Everything, from the missile to the warplane, is American,” he told Al Mayadeen English while sitting near the Drones Monument erected in Tahrir Square in Sanaa.
As for Torab, the political analyst, remarks of the CENTCOME McKenzie shows “a direct American involvement, as in the past it was hidden and behind the scenes but recently it surfaced to be official, refuting Biden’s allegations of ending US support for the Saudi coalition”.
However, there is no tangible result from the US announcement of protecting Saudi-led coalition states from drones as the Yemeni drone this time was able on Thursday to target a military site in Abha International Airport, achieving a direct hit, as announced by Brigadier General Yahya Saree and confirmed by Saudi-led coalition.
Regarding the US announcement of sending warships and F-22 planes to patrol the UAE, Al-Jabri considered it as “a military escalation that confirms the Biden envoy to Yemen is not striving to bring peace in Yemen”.
Biden's envoy to Yemen has failed
US President Joe Biden appointed Tim Linderking as his envoy to end the war in Yemen, but one year later and on eve of one year in office, Biden said on Jan.19 he is considering re-designating the Ansar Allah movement as a "foreign terrorist group".
Biden envoy has turned into a war promoter because the Saada pre-trial prison attack, carried out on January 21 and killed 92 and injured over 200 prisoners, committed two days after the US government announced Linderking will “travel to Gulf capitals and London starting January 19 to reinvigorate peace efforts”.
"The mission of the US envoy to Yemen has failed when Saada pre-trial prison was targeted, as it is the largest massacre to be committed since his appointment," Torab told Al Mayadeen English. "It also makes Tim an accomplice in the previous war crimes committed during Trump and when Biden was Obama's deputy."
Concerning re-designating Ansar Allah as a terrorist group, Al-Jabri, the military analyst told Al Mayadeen English that “Biden is following the footsteps of his predecessor, Trump, and that US policy does not change with the change of US presidents”. Adding, “Trump’s designation was in response to Saudi pressure, and now Biden wants to consider the designation in response to UAE pressure”.
Therefore, the United States is not interested in peace being achieved in Yemen and that it is ready to protect U.S. citizens and military personnel based in the Saudi-led coalition member states without protecting any other Gulf citizens from any attack from Yemen though Ansar Allah targets vital military and sensitive targets and always advise citizens to stay away from these targets.