Yemen President’s Aide Says Saudi Intervention Has Failed

An aide to Yemen President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi says the intervention of a Saudi Arabia-led coalition in his country’s civil war has been a failure, the first time a senior Yemeni official has asserted that publicly.

The coalition’s intervention in March 2015 was meant to swiftly restore Hadi’s administration after it was ousted by Iran-aligned Houthi rebels. But the fighting has dragged on, creating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and leaving Yemen even more divided, carved up into enclaves controlled by the government, Houthis and southern secessionists.

The war “has achieved nothing of its objectives, destroying Yemen as a state,” said Ahmed Bin Daghr, a former prime minister. “The military option is no longer a viable means,” he said in a statement, calling for direct negotiations among the warring sides under the auspices of the United Nations.

While the fighting with the Houthis continues, clashes have also erupted between fighters loyal to the Yemeni government and separatists in the south after a November power-sharing deal broke down. In April, the secessionist Southern Transitional Council -- once an ally of Hadi’s in the war against the Houthis -- announced self-rule in southern Yemen.

Bin Dargh issued his statement two days after the separatists seized the strategic island of Socotra, off the Horn of Africa. The island has been recognized by UNESCO as globally important for its biodiversity.

The United Arab Emirates, which supports the separatists, withdrew from the Saudi-led coalition in 2019.

Yemen is strategically significant because it lies on a waterway linking the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden that is a conduit for much of the world’s oil.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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