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Faint hope in Yemen

18 0 0
09.12.2019

By Gwynne Dyer

Some wars end in victory, but just as many sputter out in exhaustion. The war in Yemen, now coming up on five years old, always looks likely to end up in the second category, and the time may be quite soon.

It would be not a moment too soon, as the war has already killed at least 100,000 Yemenis, and 80 percent of the country's 30 million people need humanitarian aid. Recently the Saudi-led coalition whose bombs have devastated the country said it would free 200 Houthi rebel prisoners and let injured civilians fly out of Sana'a, the rebel-held capital, for medical care abroad.

The Saudis are making these overtures because they are actually managing, very slowly, to lose the war. They have a monopoly of air power, so they can bomb anything that moves (including an improbable number of wedding parties). Their coalition of Arab dictatorships and monarchies, from Egypt to the United Arab Emirates, gives them ample troops on the ground. And still they cannot win.

Saudi Arabia generally avoids committing its own troops to ground combat, but the Houthis are now taking the war to Saudi territory. Their claims to have killed 500 Saudi troops and captured a further 2,000 in a raid into southwestern Saudi Arabia may be exaggerated, but........

© The Korea Times