Political Observation - The Blasts at Aden’s Airport

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Political Observation - The Blasts at Aden’s Airport

Several blasts rocked the airport of the Yemeni city of Aden on Wednesday 30 December 2020, soon after an aircraft had landed carrying members of the new government headed by Maeen Abdul-Malik, the formation of which was announced by Yemeni president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi on 18 December as per the Riyadh Agreement. The attack resulted in 22 deaths and tens of injuries.

It has transpired from reading the event and its ramifications that since the signing of the Riyadh Agreement on 5 November 2019 between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) which calls for the secession of the south, the Yemeni crisis has been stagnant and not one single article of the Agreement has been executed up until the formation of the government was announced this month.

It has also transpired from the pressure Saudi has been exerting to stop the fighting in the south since the beginning of December that Mohammed bin Salman has brought about a solution to the military and political problem by hurriedly forming the government as if he was in a race against time, which proves that the event is tightly linked to the transfer of power in the US to the Joe Biden administration who pledged during his electoral campaign to reappraise the relationship of his country with Saudi, withdraw US support for the Saudi war efforts, and, as he described it, help it come out of the quagmire in which it had plunged itself. Biden also pledged to confront bin Salman on several files, such as the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, in order to blackmail him and achieve a host of political and economic gains which are no less important than what Donald Trump has achieved because he needs political achievement to shore up his position and the position of the Democratic Party among the pressure groups and the evangelist movement in the US who aim to lure bin Salman into normalising Saudi’s relations with "Israel".

Hence, bin Salman’s endeavour to settle the military struggle without stripping the militias of the STC of their weapons and dismantling them or integrating them into the institutions of the “legitimate” government, and to form the government in a manner that provoked the UAE since it included members of the Yemeni Congregation for Reform, and the fact that he overlooked the “Tihama Coalition” which slammed the agreement and warned against its consequences on the national and social fabric, and discarded the women’s component to which the Riyadh Agreement had awarded 30% of government portfolios, all this proves that forming the government was a personal objective for Bin Salman and a solution to his own problem rather than the Yemeni crisis, especially as his suitability to rule has become dependent on a number of files including the Yemeni file, which means that bin Salman’s aim of forming the government amidst these circumstance and amidst his perception of America’s aim of dividing Yemen, does not exceed a media stunt on which the Saudi media has been focusing for the past two weeks in an attempt to prove that bin Salam was capable of pushing all the stakeholders towards the solution, and conveying a message to president-elect Biden ahead of his tenure suggesting that he has paved the way for him to fulfil his pledges regarding the Yemeni file. In fact, there is no real solution to the Yemeni crisis in the offing; forming the new Yemeni government was but an attempt to improve the relationship with the president-elect after the latter had threatened to reappraise his country’s relationship with Saudi. This is corroborated by the trip the head of the STC, Aidarus al-Zoubaidi, made to the UAE immediately following the forming of the government in Riyadh. He failed to accompany them in their trip to Aden as he had been planning to boobytrap the agreement, hamper the work of the government and plan the secession of the south in stages. Minutes after the arrival in Aden of the government, whose formation bin Salman had deemed an achievement that he would offer to the Saudi domestic public opinion and to the forthcoming US administration, the military and political attack at Aden’s airport turned it into a failure for bin Salman rather than an achievement, especially as the Emirates has distanced itself from the process of forming the Yemeni government and deemed it an exclusively Saudi affair; Emirati foreign minister Anwar Gargash tweeted that “targeting Aden’s airport was an attack on the Riyadh Agreement”. The agent of the UAE in Yemen, namely head of the STC Hadi bin Braik, rubbed salt into the wounds of bin Salman by casting doubt on al-Houthi’s involvement in the attack, although the Hadi government pointed the finger at the Houthis. Bin Braik said “it is too early to accuse al-Houthi since he is not affected by the Riyadh Agreement and the forming of the government. Those who screamed in pain from the Agreement and the forming of the government number many.” Meanwhile, the Houthi group, who have discerned the purpose of bin Salman’s hastened undertaking, denied involvement in the attack, and this confirms that thwarting the Saudi solution was agreed by Iran and its surrogate al-Houthi, the Emirates, who is responsible for the security of the airport, and "Israel". The interest of these sides is to keep bin Salman naked in his confrontation with the Biden administration, and to compel him to play the card of normalisation with the Zionists and join the camp of the normalising countries; and this is what Trump and Netanyahu did with the collusion of the Emirates whose involvement in the Yemeni crisis was only designed to prevent the Saudi administration from monopolising the Yemeni file, thwart its endeavour and coerce bin Salman into making the major concessions on the files he needed to execute before being granted the throne, especially the Deal of the Century, in service of America and "Israel".

The fact that forming the Yemeni government was the only aim of bin Salman and that it was solely linked to his own fate under the upcoming Biden administration is corroborated by his precipitated forming of the government on paper rather than on the ground, keeping the southern militias out of the authority of the state, allowing the formation of the government to overlook the stipulations of the Riyadh agreement and overlooking the complex problems on the ground such as Sumatra’s breakaway from the southern administration. This estrangement of the state and the facts, and oblivion to the situation the US conspired to generate in northern Yemen through the UN’s peace and partnership agreement imposed by the Houthi militias on the eve of Sana’s fall on 21 September 2014, indicates America’s intention to legitimise and entrench the status quo on the basis of “crisis management”, by generating a state of constant chaos and instability, in order to orchestrate it in stages and steer it towards fragmenting Yemen under the umbrella of the alleged legitimacy. It is the very policy America is pursuing in Libya and Syria to restructure them, and the very policy it practised in Sudan and separated its south from the north, and which she is still practising in southern Sudan and tinkering with its leaderships to hamper and destroy the Chinese investments.

16 Jumada al-Oolah 1442h
31 December 2020

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