02/17/2017, 11.24

Yemen, battle for hegemony between Saudi Arabia and the UAE a source of death and destruction

Fighting between rival factions supported by Saudi Arab and UAE intensifies in the province of Aden to the south of Taez. Allies against the Shiite Houthi rebels, are actually waging a bloody fight and civilians are paying the price. The desire for independence of the people, ready to fight against any invader.


Sana'a (AsiaNews) - From the province of Aden to the province of Taez, in southern Yemen, fighting between armed factions supported the Saudi Arabia each, the other from the United Arab Emirates has intensified.

On the surface the two nations are apparently allied against the Shiite Houthi rebels, both part of the Arab coalition committed to "restore peace". Egypt and Lebanon have attracted the ire of Riyadh because of their decision not to take part.

The clashes going on for days now reflect the bitter disputes and divisions between the Emirates and the reign of the dynasty Al Saud; factional infighting within the Arab world that seems not to take into minimum account the destruction and the high price of human lives and injuries, a result of this race for hegemony.

The UAE are increasingly bent on taking total control of South Yemen at the price, if necessary, of splitting the country into two parts. A return to the past, or developed before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the fall of the Soviet Union, in the last century, because Yemen has long been separated inside.

On 13 February, the Aden International Airport closed its runways and stopped all flight activities, because of the clashes that began on 10 February and which degenerated during the next two days to turn into fierce fighting. A bloody battle which further increased the almost total isolation of this part of the country to the outside world.

The commander in charge of airport security ,  Abi Kahtan, supported by the United Arab Emirates, had refused to comply with the dismissal order by former President Hadi at Saudi Arabia’s behest. Previously Kahtan had declared he could not guarantee the salaries of workers and officials of the airport because of the unfulfilled promises of economic aid from donor countries.

The Saudi air force did not take long before overflying the airport and the city. A clear signal of escalation and a challenge to the influence exerted by the United Arab Emirates.

Analysts and experts say that there is the former president Hadi behind the unrest, which has resulted in fighting. The goal is to encourage the Saudi side and trim down the rise in southern Yemen of UAE. The latter aspire to a permanent presence of troops in the south and intend to offer themselves as guarantors of peace and security, especially with the tight control of Bab El Mandeb and the coastline, a strategic area to be torn from the hands of Riyadh and leverage with Washington and Tel Aviv.

At the same time, amid the dispute between Abu Dhabi and Riyadh nothing has changed for the Yemenis known for their attachment to independence and the rejection of any invader. The population ì will to fight against any occupying force. That's why, looking at the evolution of the conflict, it seems that the war in Yemen strongly supported by Saudi Arabia actually has so far brought more defeats than victories for Riyadh. And now the Saudis are having to compete with the Emirates for hegemony in the country, today more than ever determined to deflect the role played so far by Saudi Arabia in this part of the world. (PB)

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