A short article by Nasser Qandil on the significance of the current battle for Ma’rib, a strategic Yemeni city currently held by pro-Saudi forces but which is reportedly on the verge of falling into the hands of forces led by the Ansarullah Houthis, a movement that is part of the Iran-led regional ‘Resistance Axis’.
Qandil is the Editor-in-Chief of the Lebanese Al-Binaa newspaper, and a prominent fixture on Lebanese and Arab television.
Source: Al-Binaa newspaper (website)
Date: November 1, 2021
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Post-Ma’rib will not be the same
November 1, 2021
The battle of Ma’rib and the regional equations at stake (for the overall) war in Yemen are almost similar to the battle of Aleppo and the regional equations (that were) at stake (for the overall Syrian War. Aleppo was the starting point for a stable path in the Syrian War, after which successive victories began to follow in favor of one team – the Syrian state backed by its allies – from Aleppo to the countryside of Homs, Hama, the Syrian desert and Palmyra, all the way to Deir ez-Zur and back to Ghouta and southern Syria.
Ma’rib is following the same path. Unless there is a tempting settlement that satisfies (the) Ansarullah (movement) and stops them from continuing to fight battles, the Battle of Ma’rib is following a path that ends in seizing the provinces and cities of Yemen by the army, the (popular) committees and (the Houthi movement) Ansarullah.
Geographically, Ma’rib is the most important city in Yemen. Although it is neither the first nor second capital (of Yemen), it is the connecting point between the southern and northern governorates of Yemen. For Mansour Hadi, his government and the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia, the failure to retain Ma’rib means the impossibility of defending other cities, and (it means) success for the (Houthi-led) army, the (popular) committees and their supporters in securing a decisive victory in the Battle of Ma’rib, and probably other battles in the future.
After the (use of) drones and ballistic missiles settled Yemen’s firepower (superiority and) control over the energy security and commercial navigation of the Gulf, and (their use) had a vital and effective impact on the security of vital installations within the Gulf states, the war in Yemen was decided in favor of Ansarullah on Yemeni land (too).
Just as the (2006) July War and the Syrian War led to the rise of Hezbollah’s power, a new regional situation will be formed with the victory (of the Houthi movement) in Ma’rib, making Ansarullah a major regional player.
As much as Saudi pressure on Lebanon constitutes an attempt to stop further progress in Ma’rib, the victory (of Ansarullah) in Ma’rib will be the gateway to changing the situation in more than one battlefield, including Lebanon.
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