Applause from Berlin

Saudi dictatorship attacks Yemen

The attacks by the Saudi coalition of forces on Yemen and the Houthi rebels are "legitimate", the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin declared on Friday. There was not a single word of regret for the more than 40 civilian deaths so far following Riyadh’s bombing campaign. Let us remind ourselves: Syria, Iraq, Libya, Bahrain and now Yemen. Wherever the Saudi religious dictatorship considers its interests affected – and this area now covers all states in the Arab league, including North Africa – it is prepared to wage or support brutal wars. Alternatively, the government in Riyadh uses murderous radical Islamist gangs, as can currently be seen in Syria with regard to the al-Nusra Front. Saudi Arabia mobilised around 100 fighter jets for the attacks in Yemen. Ground troops are made up of Al Qaeda fighters, who according to a report by the Washington Post have been left by the United States with some of the 500 million dollars‘ worth of US weaponry which went missing in Yemen. Yemeni President Hadi has since left the country for Saudi Arabia. His call for help serves merely as a means of pseudo-legitimacy under international law for the invasion, with the other dictatorships in the Gulf – Bahrain, Qatar and the Emirates – joining in. The United States are providing the military alliance with logistical and secret service assistance. Moreover, this war is also being fought with German weapons.

The Saudi intervention must be viewed against the backdrop of its own system’s instability. Repression of the Shiite minorities, who since 2011 have increasingly reacted with protests along the Yemeni border and in the Saudi oil region, the Eastern Province Ash-Sharqiyah, is growing. Shiite leaders, such as the cleric Al-Nimr, sit in the prisons of Riyadh, ignored by the West. The example of Yemen shows that oppression such as this cannot be maintained indefinitely. Saudi-backed forces also tormented Shiites here. The Saada region in the north of the country itself, where the Shiite rebels come from, was neglected for many years.

Another reason for the Saudi dictatorship’s brutal invasion is to ensure that the "Gateway of Tears", the 27 kilometre-wide strait Bab Al-Mandab, through which a large part of oil transport operates, remains under its allies‘ control. In addition, the landmark project of Saudi oligarch Tarek bin Laden, half-brother of Osama bin Laden, involving a bridge across the strait, is evidently not to be put at risk. Berlin must finally end its chummy relations with Riyadh. An immediate halt to weapons deliveries is imperative. It is telling that this country, which attacks its neighbours, is described as an "anchor of stability in the region" (Federal Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maizière). The Federal Government must be called to account, especially as it nods in approval at the next breach of international law – this time in Yemen.

Member of the Bundestag Sevim Dagdelen is spokeswoman on international relations for the Left Party parliamentary group and a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs

Quelle: junge welt