The fixation of Iran with Israel is doing little to assist the abandoned Shia in Bahrain, Pakistan and Yemen – and other nations where they face endless persecution. This reality means that Saudi Arabia can openly interfere in Bahrain and Yemen because elites in Tehran deem other issues to be of more importance in the area of geopolitics. Therefore, the brutal Saudi Arabia led coalition in Yemen is never ending and this applies to other Sunni dominated nations sending military forces to this embattled nation.
Aden, a very important port in Yemen, witnessed more outside interference because Sudan announced that 300 troops would assist the Saudi Arabia led coalition. These military troops follow on from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who have also sent ground troops.
Last month, Bloomberg reported “About 1,000 troops from Qatar entered Yemen on Sunday from the Wadia post on the border with Saudi Arabia, the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera television reported. The soldiers, backed by armored vehicles and missile launchers, were on their way to Yemen’s oil-rich central Marib province, it said. Qatar’s foreign ministry didn’t immediately respond to calls seeking comment.”
Therefore, leading Sunni regional nations are showing the sectarian nature of their respective internal foreign policies. After all, Saudi Arabia and the UAE vehemently oppose the Muslim Brotherhood. This is in stark contrast to Qatar that utilizes this Sunni Islamist movement in the realm of geopolitics. Similarly, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are at loggerheads over Egypt. However, the anti-Shia card is a binding factor in bringing the Saudi Arabia led coalition together. At the same time, to the detriment of various Shia communities in nations like Bahrain, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the government of Iran is fixated on Israel despite the Shia being butchered and persecuted in various nations.
Ironically, Brigadier General Ahmed Khalifa Alshami of Sudan comments “Sudan is committed to restore legitimacy in Yemen.” Many in Sudan, especially from various black African ethnic groups – but also within the general populace – are equally questioning the legitimacy of the Khartoum government.
Sudan and other outside nations are focused on crushing the Shia Houthis and Yemeni forces that are loyal to the former President Ali Abduallah Saleh. Of course, for Saudi Arabia and others within the coalition the issue is about stemming the Shia Houthi tide. After all, issues related to accountability, democracy and religious freedom are certainly not on the agenda of Saudi Arabia given the internal governance of this nation.
Despite Shia Houthis and allies being driven from most parts of Aden it is clear that not all is what it seems. Indeed, Sunni Islamists recently attacked important headquarters in this city that resulted in the deaths of 15 people. Therefore, with ISIS (Islamic State – IS) and AQAP (Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) making inroads because of the Saudi Arabia led coalition focusing on the Shia Houthis and Saleh loyalists, the situation is creating numerous vacuums.
Vast numbers of civilians have been killed from the skies because of coalition bombing. The infrastructure, already weak, is being systematically destroyed in areas under attack. This brutal reality is happening against a very poor and dysfunctional nation where poverty and alienation are common forces because of past corruption and external intrigues. Despite this, the nations of America, France, and the United Kingdom, continue to support the Saudi Arabia led coalition despite countless attacks against the civilian population.
Iran clearly understands what is happening to the Shia in many nations but outside of geopolitical concerns in Lebanon (Hezbollah), Iraq, and Syria, then little is done to help the persecuted Shia. It also must be stated that the main concern of Iran in relation to Hezbollah is aimed at Israel. Meanwhile, in Malaysia the Shia faith is banned but this doesn’t stop trade and cordial relations between Iran and Malaysia.
Sadly, it seems that the Shia have been abandoned by all and sundry in Yemen. Similarly, Yemeni citizens (irrespective if Shia or Sunni) are bearing the brunt of the Saudi Arabia led coalition that is weakening and destroying an already fragile nation.
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