Qatar did not save any effort to support the Iran-aligned Houthi militias to destroy Yemen
Following the same steps that Qatar has taken to exacerbate the Palestinian fragmentation by supporting Hamas to create the “Gaza State”, Qatar supports Houthi militias to aggravate the Yemeni division.
Qatar has been restless to ensure lack of stability in all its – supposed – sister Arab countries, that share the same language, traditions and culture. There is almost no unrest in any country in the region, that Qatar did had its foot print in to worsen the situation.
The Qatari evil interventions, left thousands of Arabs in conflict, destroyed infrastructure, and raising a generation that is not secured on the social, health and economic level.
Unfortunately, the once called “Happy Yemen” is of Qatar victims. Anecdotal evidence show that Qatar did not save any effort to support the Iran-aligned Houthi militias to destroy Yemen despite its previous mediations to stabilize the situation in Yemen before 2011.
Qatar was also a member in the Saudi led Arab coalition conducting the “Decisive Storm Operation” to restore the legitimate government in Yemen.
The Arab quartet alliance consisting of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, had enough with Qatar’s actions of supporting terrorist groups and providing safe havens to them to spread chose in the Arab countries.
The quartet decided on June 5 to sever diplomatic ties with Qatar over its support to terrorist groups. Furthermore, they suspended Qatar’s participation in the Arab coalition at Yemen.
The internationally recognized Yemeni government also announced cutting ties with Qatar for supporting the Iran-aligned Houthi militias in Yemen. “Qatar’s practices of dealing with the (Houthi) coup militias and supporting extremist groups became clear,” read the government’s statement.
How did Qatar back the Houthis?
Qatar has been financing and backing Houthi militias to topple the government in Yemen and in favor of Iran. The head of Madar Strategic Studies in Aden, Fadhl al-Rabei, said that Qatar sent more than $1 million to Yemen for reconstruction purposes in Saada. However, he said that the money was channeled elsewhere and no work took place in Saada.
“Qatar did not pay the money to the government and gave it to Houthi traders and some associations,” said al-Rabei “Thus the money did not go to the interests of the government.” Added al-Rabei as reported by Middle East Eye.
Yemeni political analyst, Najib Ghallab, said: “Had it not been for Qatar’s backing of the Houthis, the extremist group would have been destroyed a long time ago.” He also said, “Qatar sough to support the Houthis just when they were on the brink of dying. The Arab Coalition could have destroyed them had Qatar not interfered through an agreement with Iran.”
Ghallab added that Qatar contributed to freeing Houthi prisoners from jail and provided each freed detainee with a rifle and 10,000 Qatari riyals (around $2,724). These individuals stormed Sana’a in 2014 and they are the actual leaders of the coup, Ghallab remarked, according to Asharq Al-Awsat
Providing media outlet for Houthi militias through Al-Jazeera
Qatari TV channel, Al-Jazeera, host Houthi leaders in its programs and news segments. On July 31 2017, al-Jazeera hosted a member of the political bureau of Yemen’s Huthis militias, Mohammed al-Bekhiti, who attacked and threatened Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, local media in Yemen reported that Al-Jazeera is seeking to reopen the channel’s office in Sana’a, which falls under the control of the Huthis militias.
Sabotaging mediation efforts in Yemen
In 2012, Qatar sabotaged a Saudi-led initiative to solve the situation in Yemen, in favor of the Iran backed Houthis militias and to worsen the Yemeni fragmentation. Qatari mediation efforts in Yemen, had stalled Yemeni government forces as they were about to drive the Houthis out from Saada. The Yemen recognized government said, in its statement to announce cutting ties with Qatar, that Qatar has been hindering the Saudi-led Arab coalition from ousting the Houthi militias from Yemen for more than two years.
The Qatari contribution to the Arab coalition in Yemen was very limited and would not affect the coalition’s strength following Qatar’s suspension. However, the UAE said that Qatar provided the Hothi militias with Emirati and Bahraini forces coordinates leading to the death of around 70 Emirati soldiers during the operation to liberate Yemen from the Houthi militias.
President of the Washington DC-based Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee (SAPRAC), Salman al-Ansari, stated that trusted intelligence information revealed that Qatar joined operation Decisive Storm in order to provide Houthis with the coordinates of the Saudi-led Arab Coalition. This consequently led to several martyrs from among the Saudi and Emirati ranks of the alliance in Yemen.
Mutual support between Qatar, Iran, and the Houthis militias in Yemen
The Qatari emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, following the Arab Isalmic American Summit in Riyadh in May, which highlighted Iran’s role in supporting and financing terrorists groups in the Arab region to spread chaos and instability, said that “he wanted to ease tension with Iran.” In a clear attempt to announce Qatar’s position to support Iran and therefore supporting all militias affiliated with Iran including the Houthis militias.
From Iran’s side, President Hassan Rouhani, commented on the Arab countries decision to sever diplomatic ties with Qatar by saying, “Iran’s airspace, sea and ground transport links will always be open to Qatar, our brotherly and neighbor country.”
In addition, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Bahram Qassimi said that Tehran considered the use of sanctions as “an inefficient, blameworthy, rejected, and unacceptable move”.
The Houthis militias leadership also declared its support for Qatar. The head of the so-called Revolutionary Committee, Mohammad Ali al-Houthi, said that the Houthis are ready to cooperate with Qatar, describing them as “loyal” through his twitter account.
ندين الاعمال التي تستهدف قطر ومستعدين للتعاون معها كونهم كماعرفنهم خلال الوساطة القطرية رجال صدق ووفاءوننصح باعادةالنظر في التوجه لعزل قطر— محمد علي الحوثي (@Moh_Alhouthi) June 5, 2017
He also called Yemen people, who are going through a famine, to boycot the Saudi and Emirati goods.
السعودية دمرت مصانعنا ونحن ندعوا لمقاطعة بضائعها— محمد علي الحوثي (@Moh_Alhouthi) June 8, 2017
فالمقاطعة سلاح فاعل ويصل تاثيره على العدو نفسه فبادر لاستخدام كل اسلحتك ضد عدوك pic.twitter.com/uOXImpA2FF
Iran and Qatar, share one of the largest gas fields in the world, giving Qatar the perfect cover to help Iran. Both countries were clearly keen to announce their support to each other which reflect the importance of their common interests.
Article first published on Egypt Today. Egypt Today is an Egyptian English-language monthly magazine with a circulation of around 14500.
Image courtesy: The Foreign Code