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Will the Houthis respond to new Saudi peace initiative!
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 23 - 03 - 2021

The initiative to end the Yemeni crisis is the culmination of the strenuous efforts that Saudi Arabia has been making to establish peace in the neighboring country for several years.
The Saudi efforts involve alleviating the suffering of the Yemeni people as well as to stop the threats posed to the Saudi sovereignty, and to protect its population, territories and facilities from attacks by Iranian drones and missiles.
Even though the comprehensive Saudi initiative, which was announced on Monday, did not leave any aspect of the crisis untouched, the first reaction of the Houthi militia was elusive as usual. They are sticking to their demand of lifting of what they call "the siege" first, and then reopening of Sanaa International Airport.
Although the initiative included proposals such as reopening of the airport to specific flights, depositing tax money and oil revenues in a joint account of the Central Bank of Yemen in Hodeidah and an immediate ceasefire, it requires a political will that is not mortgaged with Iran to accept this great offer.
Unfortunately, such a political will is not available with the Houthis, the agents of Iran, as their will is in the hands of their masters in Tehran, who are trying to achieve goals pertaining to their relations with the United States by increasing the number of raids targeting the Kingdom and the global energy sources with explosive-laden drones and ballistic missiles.
At the same time, they are also escalating their terrorist attacks on Yemenis in Marib, Hajjah, Taiz, and Hodeidah, using the same tools of terror.
Finally, following diplomatic efforts, Saudis announced this initiative at a time when American and Yemeni envoys are intensifying their own initiatives, with the American Administration reiterating its desire to put an end to the Yemeni crisis.
The new Saudi initiative exposed the extent to which Iran controls the political and military will of the Houthi militia.
Tehran is funding the militia and supplying it with ballistic missiles and explosive-laden drones so that Houthis no longer have any goals other than sabotage, destruction and destabilization, and the worst victims of this reckless policy is the Yemeni people.
Saudi Arabia is capable of protecting its oil installations, targeted by Houthi militias. Houthis and their masters in Tehran know well that Saudi oil is a red line globally and regionally as its supplies represent the backbone of the global economy, especially at a time when the economy is reeling under the escalating consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
Saudi Arabia had announced ceasefire several times since 2019 following the treacherous attack on its Abqaiq oil refinery. However, the Houthis have not complied and have continued perpetrating its aggressive terrorist posture.
And this is what that has caused the failure of not only the Saudi efforts but also the Gulf, American and the international peace efforts.
Hence, the international community has no option other than contemplating the truth in what Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan has said about the Iranian interference as the reason that the Yemeni war is being prolonged.
It is certain that Saudi Arabia hopes all the best for Yemen and is working to rid it of the Iranian terrorist grip. Moreover, it is the largest country that provides humanitarian and relief aid to the Yemeni people and leads the Arab Coalition to protect the country as well as to restore the Yemeni legitimacy.
The entire world knows that Iran is exploiting the Yemeni crisis to achieve its goals in its relations with the United States.
If the Houthis deal with the new Saudi initiative with the same aggressive approach as before, then the Kingdom will be left with no alternative but to confront the Houthi-Iranian crime, as well as to protect its territories, people, capabilities and gains, and defend itself, through an escalation that it does not seek... and the world knows it well.

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