An American expert reveals the Houthi gains from the “Brotherhood” domination of the Yemeni government

English - الثلاثاء 21 سبتمبر 2021 الساعة 05:47 م
Aden, NewsYemen, Exclusive:

The American expert on national security affairs, Irina Zuckerman, said that the Houthi militia has guaranteed a certain level of protection, with the Islah party - the local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood - continuing to grow and dominate the political scene in Yemen.

In an exclusive interview with NewsYemen, Zuckerman said that there is a factor that prevents the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia from liberating Taiz, pointing out that Taiz and Marib are considered strong strongholds of reform, "which means that the Houthis are also beneficiaries of leaked intelligence information to the Brotherhood."  

She explained: "In the past, there was evidence of cooperation between Islah officials and members of the coalition forces, and it was necessary to replace the senior leaders in the coalition, but that did not solve the problem completely," a reference to the dismissal of the commander of the joint forces of the coalition in Yemen, Lieutenant-General Fahd bin Turki.

The American expert stated that some officials in some member states of the coalition - whom she did not name - adopted a back-channel policy with the Houthi group, which gives the latter a certain level of diplomatic and political legitimacy.

According to Zuckerman, the willingness of these officials to hold talks behind the scenes raises questions about the foreign policy commitment of these countries to a military solution against terrorist militias.

And she continued, "Internally, the Houthis were able to continue to successfully recruit local clans by various means and strengthen their ranks against the coalition, while the coalition faces internal divisions, which makes it difficult to unite around certain goals."

She continued: “The air strikes are of limited effectiveness, as the Houthis have been able to regroup on the ground using local geography and their intelligence networks as leverage.

 Zuckerman noted that in 2018, the joint Yemeni forces approached the liberation of the strategic city of Hodeidah and its port, but under pressure from the United Nations, with the support of the United States and other actors, the Hodeidah offensive was halted with a settlement agreement.

She stressed that the "Stockholm" agreement legitimized the activities of the Houthi militia by allowing them to proceed with their aggression.

Of course, the Houthis immediately violated the terms of the agreement and instead of fully withdrawing from the port of Hodeidah, they took full control of it, failed to address the leaks of the threatened tanker Safer, and used the opportunity to renew Iranian smuggling operations more aggressively than ever before.

Zuckerman said that "the Emiratis play a role in stabilizing and combating terrorism in some specific Yemeni regions," but she returned to saying that "differences in the coalition camp, at the strategic level, made the pursuit of common goals difficult."

She emphasized correcting these differences and finding a common and consistent path to restore the positive image of the alliance and make communication with the local population more effective and clear.

Islah diverts funding for corrupt reasons

 While the American benefactor, Irina Zuckerman, said, in the context of her conversation with "Newsmen", that the Yemeni government is still not interested in the local economy, and is dominated by elements of reform that are more famous for corruption than effective economic management.

She considered that the fall of the Yemeni currency is normal and difficult to manage, adding: "The Yemeni government does not currently contribute to the active development of the economy."

Zuckerman said that the Islamists (the Brotherhood of Yemen) are following a harmful economic approach or simply diverting funding for corrupt reasons, stressing that there is no clear strategy to improve the situation, whether in terms of restoring local and regional confidence in the Yemeni currency, or improving local conditions in the liberated lands.

The American expert concluded by saying that the general domestic instability, corruption, sectarian tensions and internal disputes created a bad public impression within the coalition despite the generous human contact.