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The New Huthi Game - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Abdul Malik al-Huthi’s third initiative towards the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia can only be described as a new game and one of the ongoing Huthi ploys against Yemen and Saudi Arabia. The Huthi talk about a truce with Saudi Arabia is something that should not be given any attention, or even considered, and in fact this is a new condemnation against the Huthis, and a confession admitting that they were the ones to attack and target Saudi territory.

In the statement attributed to Abdul-Malik al-Huthi he said that they [the Huthis] are prepared to withdraw from Saudi territory, however the question here is; what territory do the Huthis occupy in the first place from which they can withdraw from?

It is well known that the Huthis are fighting a guerilla war, infiltrating and fleeing, and so they are not a regular army. However it is clear that the Saudi message reached the Huthis; this message is that the violation of Saudi Arabian territory is something that cannot be tolerated under any circumstances.

The greatest mistake that any Arab country can make is accepting the mergence of protuberances along its borders, whether this is armed groups or others, serving foreign objectives and threatening the security of Arab states. The Huthis are an example of this, in the same manner as other groups that hijack the state, exploiting a very old message, in the same manner as what Hezbollah is doing in Lebanon.

In the tape attributed to Abdul Malik al-Huthi, and in which he proposed the new initiative, he also put the blame for the war on Saudi Arabia, saying that it would have been better for Saudi Arabia to go to war with Israel, rather than the Huthis. This is the same logic that is employed by Hamas against Egypt, and the same logic employed by Hezbollah against Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and this is also the same logic employed by Ahmadinejad, and the Iranian official and media statements, in justifying the violations of the sovereignty of Arab states, and particularly when defending the Huthis.

Therefore the new Huthi truce is nothing more than an attempt to escape the conflict with Saudi Arabia in the hopes of preserving what remains of their forces, especially when they see international support for Riyadh’s right to defend its territory and international support for Yemen during its present crisis, and above all else they have noticed an Iranian failure to defend them, or even alleviate the pressure on them.

It also appears that the Huthi initiative came as a quick response to the statement made by Saudi Assistant Defense Minister, Prince Khalid Bin Sultan, to the effect that Saudi Arabia plans to establish a military base in the Jizan region. As a result of this, the Huthis felt that the Saudi movement against them was serious and well-planned and had a serious message, namely to ensure that what happened [with regards to Huthi infiltration] would never be repeated under any circumstances.

Therefore it is imperative that there is no leniency or sympathy for the Huthis, otherwise who can guarantee that there will not be a seventh war in Yemen, and who can guarantee that the Huthis will not once again attack Saudi Arabian territory, or kill Saudi border guards, as they did previously, especially as their storing of weapons – whether this is inside Saudi territory or in the border region – is an indication of the Huthis evil intentions towards Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and that they are a new group in the mould of Hezbollah. Therefore the conclusion of this talk is that the Huthis cannot be trusted whatsoever, even if there is a true.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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