Yemen’s West Coast Battle: When the Defeated Abu Dhabi Asked for Washington’s Help and Was Declined
Losses suffered by the coalition of aggression in its battle for the west coast of Yemen are incessant. After the military defeat of the UAE-led invading forces last month, members of the US Congress became opposed to extending the failed campaign by Abu Dhabi and Riyadh. Al-Ahed news website obtained a letter from the UAE ambassador in Washington, Yusuf al-Otaiba, to prominent members of Congress urging them to support the operation of the invading forces. But the responses were not what he desired.
Once again, the leading countries of the coalition demonstrated their dependence on the will of the Americans in their attempt to capture Yemen’s lands and subdue its capabilities. But to no avail. Yemen's steadfastness shattered and will destroy many of the absurd plans and attempts that Riyadh and Abu Dhabi are trying so hard to implement on behalf of the Americans.
Between June 14 and 20, the invading forces led by Emirati Brigadier General Abdul Salam al-Shehhi in the West Coast had suffered a massive military and media defeat. The Emirati media reported false victories that were soon refuted by the war media of the [Yemeni] army and [popular] committee fighters, who inflicted losses on the invaders around the Hudaydah airport. At the time, the UAE appeared to be in a state of denial and rejection over its defeat. This was reflected in Abu Dhabi's diplomatic move in Washington a few days later.
Al-Ahed news website obtained a copy of a letter sent from the United Arab Emirates ambassador to Washington, Yusuf al-Otaiba, on June 19 to members of Congress in which he offered exaggerated assurances about aid continuously reaching the civilians in Hudaydah. He also asked for congressional backing for the continuity in the ongoing assault along the west coast. The letter reached members of the Republican and Democratic parties in the "House Foreign Affairs", "House Intelligence" and "Armed Forces" committees in both chambers of Congress.
In his three-page letter, Otaiba begins by enumerating the coalition’s priority in the campaign along the west coast. He claimed that their first priority is to "ensure the flow of humanitarian aid" and "relieve civilians from damage" while at the same time "pressuring the rebels" to engage in political dialogue "of a purposeful nature". This objective – according to Otaiba and his masters, is mentioned at the end of the letter: "The Houthis’ peaceful withdrawal from Hudaydah." He then repeats the usual narrative on the "use of the port of Hudaydah by the Ansarullah to smuggle Iranian weapons."
Otaiba claims in his letter that their coalition "is keen on civilians and is working to deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Hudaydah." He credits it to Sana'a's reception of UN envoy Martin Griffith to what he calls "the success of their military pressure." The ambassador then goes on to talk about what he called a "contingency plan" in the event the port of Hudaydah was damaged. He claims that they had prepared thousands of tons of aid at the Red Sea with dozens of port management experts with heavy equipment and cranes to operate the port immediately after its "liberation". At the end of his letter, Otaiba talks again about the humanitarian aspect and claims that his country is "one of the largest providers of historical aid to Yemen through its donation of more than $ 3.7 billion between April 2015 and May 2018."
Three days after Otaiba’s letter, the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, took to Twitter declaring that the coalition has temporarily “paused” its battle on the western coast to facilitate “continuing efforts by UN Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths.” Meanwhile, it seemed to many that the West - specifically the Americans - were serious about what they claimed was concern for the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians in Hudaydah, and that they did not want a humanitarian disaster if the battles reached the city and the port of Hudaydah. From this point, analyses emerged to confirm this view, linking them with Gargash's announcement to halt the military operation (which did not stop). All of which meant that the Americans forced Abu Dhabi to stop the operation "for humanitarian reasons." This is a deception aimed to whitewashing Washington's role in supporting the UAE-led invaders' failed attack.
On July 10, a group of congressional members sent a joint letter to the Saudi and UAE ambassadors in Washington, Khalid bin Salman and Yusuf al-Otaiba, urging Abu Dhabi and Riyadh to “avert escalation at Hudaydah - specifically, your demands that the Houthis unconditionally leave the city and port, and more recently the entire Red Sea coast, immediately.” Of course, the letter from the members of Congress came after the battle had been decided. It follows certainty on the part of the Americans that the campaign, which they were reluctant to openly declare their direct support for before its escalation due to fear of failure, failed miserably. So they revealed their “humanity” as plan B.
For almost three years, we have been hearing about bills in the US Congress that will force the US administration to stop supporting the aggression on Yemen by legislating a law that forces the administration not to provide intelligence and logistical support and even sell arms to the Saudis and Emiratis, which they utilize against civilians in Yemen. It turns out that all this was for the sake of the media or blackmail. During the Obama and Trump administrations, the two American parties – the Republicans and the Democrats – followed the policy of the administration in power. This was indirectly admitted by Former US Ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein, who said in a statement to al-Monitor just hours before the start of the Hudaydah Airport operation and the misleading statement of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding the operation: "I think we were telling the Emiratis it would be better not to, but we would support them if they went ahead."