As many as 30 civilians were killed in Saudi-led airstrikes that hit the Aahem market in Hajjah province on Sunday, with an unspecified number of people injured in the attack. In response, Houthi forces launched several rocket attacks against Saudi army positions, including a military airfield in Najran, the al-Sharafa army camp, as well as tanks stationed north of the al-Khoba region in the Saudi province of Jizan. With casualties still a norm, and both sides still aggressively fighting, the media has suddenly become silent on this situation.


A Sunni coalition led by Saudi Arabia, led a ground invasion of Yemen to drive out an Iran-linked Shia militia, and since March, the Middle East has been plunged into an openly sectarian regional war. Several aid groups are being alerted to be prepared for a possible humanitarian pause in the fighting, that would allow them to deliver help to some of the 21 million people in need. With several other states joining the coalition to eradicate all threat from Yemen, it is not surprising that majority of them are heavily reliant on aid from the Saudis, who in turn are deeply hostile to Iranian involvement in the Gulf.


The Saudis see growing Iranian influence everywhere, to the north in Iraq and Syria, to the east in its own country and in Bahrain, and now pointedly to the south in Yemen. However, will this war actually provide fruitful results? The Saudis are overemphasising the role of Iran, and is unlikely to lead to anything approaching a successful conclusion. The immense damage done to Yemen’s weak infrastructure has created considerable bad blood between Yemenis and their rich Gulf neighbours that will poison relations for years. The Saudis hope they can rally enough Yemenis against the Houthis to build an army. But even if this approach gains momentum, it will only lead to a brutal civil war in Yemen much like Libya, Syria and Iraq in which Al-Qaeda and its offshoots will be the main beneficiaries.