UK Accomplice in Ongoing Saudi Carnage in Yemen: Lebanese Analyst
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A Lebanese political analyst condemned the British government for continuing to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, saying that London is aiding and abetting the kingdom in its war crimes against the innocent people of Yemen.
“Mind you these atrocities and war crimes do not only fall into the hands of the Saudi Monarchy alone, it also holds all the governments selling arms to Al-Saud responsible of the innocent Yemeni blood being spilled for over 22 months now. From David Cameron to now current UK PM Theresa May who has vigorously defended selling arms to Saudi Arabia despite the country facing accusations of war crimes, blatantly insisting that close ties with the warmongers 'keep people on the streets of Britain safe'! The woman clearly states that she does not mind selling, even more, arms to the aggressors against international law for the sake of keeping up the 'ties' with the Saudi regime,” Marwa Osman said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency.
Dr. Osman is a university lecturer at the Lebanese International University as well as Maaref University. She is a former host of al-Etejah English Channel’s “The Middle East Stream” political show. She is a member of the Blue Peace Media Network and unusually comments on the Middle East on several international and regional media outlets including RT, Press TV, Al-Manar, and Al-Alam. Osman also contributes to several news websites, including Modern Diplomacy, Shafaqna, and Italian Insider.
Following is the full text of the interview.
Tasnim: As Saudi Arabia and its staunch allies are burying Yemeni civilians under the rubble of their airstrikes on a daily basis, some Western states, which claim to defend human rights across the world, not only are keeping silent but also supporting the coalition’s genocide in the Arabian Peninsula country. What is your take on the heinous crimes committed by the Al Saud regime? How can the international community stop the atrocities?
Osman: Hospitals, schools, mosques, markets and funeral halls are seemingly Al Saud’s largest enemies since they have not managed to hit anything else besides targeting food and water factories while a naval and aerial blockade have been besieging the Yemenis since March 2015. If that is not a war crime then I do not know what is. The Saudi monarchy began an extraordinary air campaign that has devastated the Yemeni infrastructure and that has taken the lives of at least 15,000 civilians amongst whom are women and children. Malnutrition is now the main character-defining Yemeni Children and the main cause of infant deaths along with birth defects caused by the usage of internationally banned weaponry on areas inhabited by civilians. Mind you these atrocities and war crimes do not only fall into the hands of the Saudi Monarchy alone, it also holds all the governments selling arms to Al-Saud responsible of the innocent Yemeni blood being spilled for over 22 months now. From David Cameron to now current UK PM Theresa May who has vigorously defended selling arms to Saudi Arabia despite the country facing accusations of war crimes, blatantly insisting that close ties with the warmongers “keep people on the streets of Britain safe”! The woman clearly states that she does not mind selling, even more, arms to the aggressors against international law for the sake of keeping up the “ties” with the Saudi regime. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has offered to sell $115bn worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia over its eight years in office, yes you read the number right! As if Yemenis don’t even matter, as if civilians dying in scores each day at the hands of the wretched of the Earth with weapons made by heinous imperial powers is simply a routine now that we should simply not talk about anymore. I believe there are only two ways to stop this act of terrorism against the people of Yemen. First is to support the Yemeni resistance at all levels in the face of this blatant aggression and second to mobilize the real friends of Yemen to stand against monstrous coalition and issue sanctions against the countries supporting this war because clearly the UN is not doing its job properly to halt all acts of aggression against the people of Yemen.
Tasnim: In your opinion, why the Saudis, who have reached none of their objectives behind the prolonged war, do not want to end the bloodshed and resolve the crisis through peaceful means?
Osman: What crisis? The Saudis have started a one-sided war against a sovereign country and tried occupying land within the border of this sovereign state using the most sophisticated war machine ever built! Has any aggressor really ever met his target plotted to terrorize other nations? The Saudis have been openly backing Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi the former Yemeni president who has already resigned twice! They have enormous leverage in bombing every site their warplanes can reach while providing terrorist mercenaries which they refer to as “Hadi Forces” with the funds and arms that keeps a weak government in power in Aden. This step has backfired on the Saudis leaving them with blood on their hands and land lost on their southern border that has been taken by the Yemeni resistance movement Ansarullah. The UN-mediated peace talks in Kuwait have been suspended without any prospects with little to no likelihood of a political breakthrough in the process given the terms of reference for the process created by UN Security Council Resolution 2216. The latter calls for a restoration of the Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi government to power in Sanaa, a demand the alliance Ansarullah and the followers of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh refuse to accept. Why should they accept if they are winning the war in the battlefield while the Saudis can only respond with horrific air raids on civilian-inhabited areas? We have to be clear about the real aim of the Saudi war against Yemen, it is not even to restore the rule of Hadi, it is simply an arrogant move by the Saudis to oblige the Yemenis people to succumb to the will of the Saudi throne. The Saudis thought Yemen would be a piece of cake and will end in a couple of weeks on bombing bringing the Yemenis to their knees surrendered. They were wrong at every level; it has now become obvious that Yemen most probably will bring the kingdom down to its knees economically.
Tasnim: Months of UN-brokered negotiations hosted by Kuwait to end the Yemeni war or at least broker a real ceasefire have reached nowhere. In your opinion, how can the international efforts yield results?
Osman: Efforts for any political process will only yield results is the talks taking place are to follow the rules of international negotiations. The Saudi are handling the talks in a clan like a mind with no consideration whatsoever to the fact that they have not yet been able to throw an incursion on the ground to simply retake the areas that have fallen in the hands of the Yemeni resistance! (We can argue here that this land is historically Yemeni as well). For any peace talks result in positive outcomes they mainly need serious commitment from both sides something that we have not yet seen at the Saudi side, and they need an unbiased trusted intermediary. With all due respect to the efforts made by Kuwait on this matter, but a gulf country is not unbiased enough to be the mediator.
Tasnim: Why the West’s mainstream media are so passive in responding to the human rights violations in Yemen by Saudi Arabia? It seems that there is a complete media blackout on the situation in the Arab country. What do you think?
Osman: See, if you take a look at the coverage of events in Syria, you will inevitably run across heavy criticism of the steps that Russia and the Syrian government are allegedly taking, while leaving Turkey's previous support of ISIS (Daesh or ISIL) unreported entirely. If you take a look at Western media articles that are covering the situation in Iraq, you will be rushed into a world of bravery of US actions in this country, while finding no mention of Washington's role in the creation of the never-ending bloodshed unfolding in Iraq in the first place and giving leverage to terrorist organization like al-Qaeda which converted into ISIS. As for the steps that the US’s puppets take, they are rarely mentioned and certainly never criticized, in a bid to avoid Washington's discontent and the subsequent withdrawal of financial aid these sources get. That is the reason you will rarely see any mention of the conflict initiated by the Nobel Peace Laureate US President Barack Obama or his biggest allies AL Saud in Yemen. It is as if over the past 22 months Saudi Arabia has not subjected millions of Yemenis to bitter, unbearable suffering through the barbaric bombing of urban areas and civilian infrastructure, using a diverse arsenal of weapons that Washington sold to Riyadh to its full potential. No media outlet in the west is even allowed to report about it and if they do report they simply mention ridiculous untrusted numbers cited by the “UN reports”. We are talking about hundreds of print and broadcast media outlets that are all managed and run by the same elite that coordinates with establishment what to cover and what to ignore. Thankfully alternative media has been trying to expose those outlets and tell the truth about the atrocities taking place all across the Arab world and in Yemen in specific, which is why we now see a full campaign to silence this alternative media known as banning “fake news sites”.