Between the bosom of Tehran and Riyadh.. Al-Houthi and the dilemma of "no war and no peace"

English - Wednesday 25 January 2023 الساعة 10:06 am
Al-Mokha, NewsYemen, exclusive:

"Beyond the limit are also warlords and fierce fighters," with this phrase praising Houthi leader Hussein al-Ezzi, Saudi Arabia and its army, in a tweet on "Twitter", in light of the indirect negotiations between the two parties that Muscat has been conducting for weeks.

Negotiations that Al-Ezzi, who holds the position of deputy foreign minister in the Houthi government, sees as an opportunity for the two sides to experience "together peace, good neighborliness, and mutual respect" instead of fighting, concluding his speech by noting that the matter is linked to "credibility" on the part of Saudi Arabia, which he says is "at stake."  

The credibility that Al-Ezzi is talking about here is the implementation of what the Houthi group claims that Saudi Arabia made as an offer for a settlement through the Omani mediator to stop the war once and for all and enter into political negotiations with the Presidential Leadership Council to resolve the conflict in Yemen.

Details of the offer, which the group recently promoted through Western media, in which it claims that Saudi Arabia has agreed to all of the group's demands to extend the UN armistice, which includes a comprehensive opening of Sana'a airport and the lifting of all restrictions on the port of Hodeidah.  In addition to paying the salaries of employees and military personnel in the areas under its control, according to the 2014 budget numbers.

The group claimed that it rejected the Saudi offer and raised the ceiling of its demands in its response through the Omani mediator to demand the distribution of oil revenues according to the pre-war budget and accordingly to obtain 80% of these revenues, according to a Houthi official's statement to the American "Associated Press".

Regardless of whether or not the group's claims are true, its haste to promote through its media and activists the consideration of negotiations with Saudi Arabia as a political and military "victory" for it hides behind it the reality of the crisis the group is currently suffering from since the announcement of the UN armistice last April.

The continuation of the armistice for the tenth month in a row, and the failure to agree to renew it for the fourth month in a row without violating it by any party, created a state of "no war and no peace", which is a term that the Houthi group has been using recently, and warns of it remarkably.  This reflects the extent to which the group suffers from the continuation of this situation.

Where the group believes that the continuation of the armistice according to the current provisions does not meet what it aspired to from it, in terms of a comprehensive lifting of all restrictions on airports and ports and the payment of salaries in the areas under its control by sharing the revenues from the export of oil produced and exported from the liberated areas, which gives financial financing in addition to the revenues it loot.  areas of its control, in addition to granting it indirect recognition of its authority by opening outlets for it to the world.

And with the continuation of the truce without reaching that, the situation will become more difficult, as the continuation of stopping the war with the continuation of the truce works on the loss of its legitimacy as an authority in the areas it controls, which is the legitimacy of “war” or “resisting aggression”, which is the first justification for its looting of revenues and exempting it from providing any  Obligations towards citizens in areas under its control.

This was evident during the past weeks, when the Houthi group arrested a number of influential activists on social media after they criticized it for corruption and plundering revenues and Yemenis’ money without paying salaries or providing services despite the cessation of the war since last April, which was threatening to turn the street against it.  

The crisis for the group does not stop at the continuation of the armistice in its current situation, but rather with its ability to blow it up and resume the war towards the liberated areas or towards the coalition countries, and the consequences that will result from that after the strongly worded warning launched by the UAE, in the words of its deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, Muhammad Abu Shihab during the meeting  The latter came to the UN Security Council on Yemen, where it vowed that "any militia attack on neighboring countries will be met with a firm response by the Legitimacy Support Coalition."

Also, the group’s ability to resume the war on the home front, as its agreement to the truce last April came after the harsh military defeat it received 3 months ago at the hands of the forces of the southern giants in Shabwa, which overthrew the group’s dream of controlling Marib and the oil and gas fields after it lost about  50,000 of its fighters were killed and wounded for the sake of that, and that repeating that may be difficult.

The Houthi group is also aware that its achievement of great military victories on the home front, as happened during 2020-2021 AD, is no longer possible, following the formation of the Presidential Leadership Council as an alternative to the authority of Hadi and his deputy Ali Mohsen and the Brotherhood, whose absurd performance and corruption in the military file was the real reason behind these victories, which were more like  More deliveries than real fights.

All of the above seems to push the Houthi group to search for a unilateral settlement with Saudi Arabia, which leads the coalition to end its role in Yemen, by offering it all political and military temptations in exchange for its exit from the scene and abandoning the support of its opponents represented by the Presidential Leadership Council, as this alone enables it to continue its dream.  By imposing its control over the Yemeni map by force of arms.

This is what the Houthi group is putting forward to Saudi Arabia through the Omani mediator, in exchange for implementing all the security demands put forward by Saudi Arabia with the aim of reassuring it, including the establishment of a demilitarized zone on the border with it that can reach a depth of 30 km, and guarantees about ballistic missiles and drones and not using them to threaten it or neighboring countries.

The Houthi group presents all of this to Saudi Arabia under the banner of "peace and good neighbourliness," according to the description of its deputy foreign minister, Al-Ezzi, and expresses its enthusiasm and urgency in winning its favor and approval, with the aim of neutralizing it and the coalition it leads from the Houthi's main battle against the Yemenis in the north and south to subject them to its rule.