Since the start of the Saudi intervention in Yemen in March 2015, the official Saudi propaganda, Western diplomats and mainstream media outlets have been arguing that the coalition is somehow combating terrorists there.
As a part of this narrative, Saudi Arabia, the United States & Co claim that the Houthis (Ansar Allah) are “Iranian-backed terrorists” that oppose the establishment of a democratic rule in Yemen. What the Saudi kingdom (where people still can be executed for witchcraft) or the United States (where only two political parties are de-facto allowed) know about the real ‘democracy’ is the unanswered question.
The kingdom’s leadership and its allies are especially concerned by Houthi drone and missile strikes on military and infrastructure targets inside Saudi Arabia, and cry foul about the Iranian support to the Yemeni movement. At the same time, the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen as a result of the Saudi-led blockade and the wide-scale Saudi bombing campaign aimed at the destruction of the Yemeni civilian infrastructure that led to hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths are considered as something ordinary and justified.
The dramatic growth of ISIS and al-Qaeda influence in Yemen since the start of the Saudi intervention is also the factor mostly ignored by the ‘democratic international community’.
Therefore, the Houthis labeled by Saudi propaganda as “terrorists” took the situation in their own hands and started conducting operations against ISIS and al-Qaeda in central Yemen. The recent advances of the Houthis allowed them to expand these efforts and further. The most recent Houthi operation against ISIS and al-Qaeda was kicked off in the Yemeni province of al-Bayda in August.
On August 19, the Houthis announced that their forces had liberated 1,000km2 from ISIS and al-Qaeda cells in the district of Wald Rabi of al-Bayda province. According to the Houthi media wing, they neutralized over 250 terrorists, destroyed 12 camps and gatherings of the terrorists, and seized large quantities of weapons and explosive devices.
“Among those killed there were five commanders of ISIS, including the group’s leader [in Wald Rabi’] as well as the security and financial officials,” a spokesman for the Houthi-led Armed Forces, Brig. Gen. Sari said. “We found complete information and evidence confirming that these elements had carried out various operations during the past years in more than one Yemeni region.”
“We also obtained evidence confirming that the Takfiris [terrorists] were coordinating with other elements in Arab and foreign states.”
After August 18, the Houthis continued their offensive on ISIS and al-Qaeda cells in the province. According to them, terrorists receive support from foreign states, first of all Saudi Arabia. Earlier, there were multiple reports that members of Al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula were openly supporting Saudi-led forces in their attacks on the Houthis.
Despite the dominance in the air and support from such factions, the Saudi-led coalition de-facto lost the conflict in Yemen and even failed to capture the country’s capital, Aden.
In these conditions, the MSM-labeled ‘terrorist group’ became the main and the only real anti-terrorism force in Yemen. This situation showcases the cornerstone of the mainstream coverage of the conflict in Yemen and many other conflicts around the world. “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength” are no more just quotes from George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, but rather the slogan of the mainstream media around the world.