Reading Between The Lines: Houthi Leader’s First Speech Since Saudi Bombardment Began

Abdel Bari Atwan

On Sunday the Houthi leader, Abdel Malik al-Houthi, gave his first public speech since the Saudi launched their air assault on Houthi targets in Yemen. He said no political solution was in sight and that he expected the Yemen crisis to deepen.

Al-Houthi’s appearance was timed to refute numerous rumours and false reports that he was killed in a Sanaa air raid by Saudi-led coalition planes.

It was significant that al-Houthi rejected UN efforts to broker a ceasefire


Two Significant New Developments in Yemen

Abdel Bari Atwan

Today the Saudi-led coalition enters the fourth week of its aerial bombardment of Houthi positions in Yemen and the death toll among civilians stands at more than 1,000. With no imminent prospect of dialogue to reach a negotiated settlement, the situation can only get worse.

There have been two major developments over the past days:

• First: The Saudis and Egyptians are close to agreeing joint military manoeuvres following a lightning visit by Prince Muhammad


Israeli/Saudi Fears as Moscow Lifts Ban On S-300s For Tehran

Abdel Bari Atwan

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received a second major blow in less than a month when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that a ban on supplying Iran with S-3000 anti-aircraft missile systems will be lifted. Putin emphasized that the S-300 system is a ‘purely defensive weapon’ and does not therefore present any threat to the security of Israel or any other country in the Middle East. Nevertheless, coming on the heels of the recent


Pakistan’s reluctance to Engage in Yemen and Other Thoughts

Abdel Bari Atwan

Last Friday’s decision by Pakistani lawmakers to remain neutral over the Yemen conflict came as a major shock to the Saudi and Gulf authorities who had always considered their Pakistani ally as a reliable military force in times of crisis.

Nevertheless, if we compare (as many are doing) the current situation in Yemen with the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein, Pakistan only provided around 5000 troops for a ‘back-up’ team to remove the Iraqi


Potential for Expansion of Yemen Crisis Remains High

  Abdel Bari Atwan

The rhetoric of war is being ramped up by both regional powers involved in the Yemeni crisis which leads us to fear an expansion of the conflict as neither Saudi Arabia nor Iran appear ready to back down.

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal called a press conference with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius who was on a ‘solidarity’ visit to Riyadh.

The two men both warned Iran to stop supporting and supplying arms to the Houthis and claimed that the legitimate


The Great Significance of Erdogan’s Visit to Tehran Today

Abdel Bari Atwan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in Tehran today on his second official visit in two years as sectarian conflicts, in which Turkey and Iran take opposite sides, spread across the region, igniting violence in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Erdogan’s visit comes at a very critical time, amid several major developments, and political and economic challenges:

• First, there has been renewed interest in extending the present Saudi-led Sunni coalition


Why Arab Countries Should Follow the Iranian Role Model

The interminably arrogant Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu now has the audacity to challenge the agreement reached by the six powers with Iran on its nuclear program, saying that before it can be signed off it must include a clear and unambiguous recognition of the right of Israel to exist. Fortunately this illogical demand was dismissed out of hand by State Department spokesperson Marie Harf who said, ‘This agreement doesn’t deal with any other issues, nor should it.’


Significant Developments in the Yemen Crisis

As the military intervention in Yemen by a Saudi-led coalition enters its eighth day, three major developments merit our serious attention.

• First, the fall of the city of Aden to the Houthi forces, backed by military and security personnel loyal to the ousted formed president Saleh. The ‘legitimate’ President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi had been living in Aden following his flight from the Houthis in Sanaa earlier in the year. Hadi resurfaced in Riyadh last week.

• Second,


Washington is just as dangerous to Saudi Arabia as the Houthi Rebellion

Abdel Bari Atwan

It was clear from the speech given yesterday by Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister to the Shura Council that he is adopting the tone and character of an American General overseeing battle tactics in an underground operations room at the Pentagon rather than the gentler approaches of diplomacy.

Saudi Arabia continues to send swarms of fighter planes to bomb Houthi Ansar Allah targets and the gathering forces of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah


Only a Political Solution for Yemen Can Stop Regional War

Abdel Bari Atwan

 Yemen must now be classified as a ‘failed State’: it has no government, no army, no President and no civic institutions. It is descending into bloody anarchy and widespread sectarian violence which threatens to spread throughout the region.

Yemen is awash with arms, with an estimated two weapons for each of its 25 million citizens. Many of these weapons have been provided by Saudi Arabia and Iran to arm their proxy entities in the war torn land.

The situation