http://middleeastobserver.net/expert-explains-yemens-global-strategic-value-why-us-saudis-want-it/

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtTiaZ73oqU&feature=youtu.be

Description:

An expert on Yemen, Hassan Shaaban, explains the global strategic importance of Yemen and its Bab al-Mandeb waterway, and thus underlines the motives of the American-Saudi military campaign in the impoverished country.

Source: Al-Manar TV via Kalam Siyasi (YouTube Channel)

Date: Oct 25, 2020

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Transcript:

 

Hassan Shaaban, Expert in Yemeni Affairs:

Ever since the bourgeoisie – which originated in Europe right after the fall of the feudal system – decided to colonize the (rest of the) world; extract its wealth; gain control over its (natural) resources; and turn its people into consuming animals; ever since that moment, the Western political psyche, which believes in power-based realism, has come to target every country that stands in its way, and every country that has any degree of influence.

Yemen is situated here, (next to) the Bab al-Mandeb (Strait). (This Strait) is located in a (strategically) vital region. 60% of Europe’s energy supply and one eighth of the global economy flows through (it). Millions of barrels of oil pass through (Bab al-Mandeb) every day.

You are talking about a country that has a grip over (the movement of trade) anywhere in the world, in any region of the world. (For that same reason), the British dug the Suez Canal to form a (direct shipping) route to India and Asia.

Well, Bab al-Mandab is naturally created by God. Britain paid a fortune to build the Suez Canal, and Egypt sacrificed the lives of thousands of its people who died during its construction. (Therefore, can you imagine) how much (the West) is willing to sacrifice to (gain control over) Bab al-Mandeb?

Which (countries) are located near the Bab al-Mandab (Strait). What countries border this (connecting) canal and this line that links Bab al-Mandab to the Suez Canal and the Red Sea?

(First, there is) Saudi Arabia, the Arab Zionist entity that mirrors the Israeli Zionist entity and has a significant influence (in the region).

Host:

We will talk about the benefits that Saudi Arabia (would gain from having control over the Strait) in order to explain what made you say such a statement (calling KSA a Zionist entity)…

Shaaban:

(Second), there is Egypt, historically the oldest and most powerful Arab state. Third, we have Sudan, the richest (in natural resources) and the largest country at some point in history.

Host:

The country that was split (into North and South Sudan). The (West) was able to create this division.

Shaaban:

And here (pointing to the location on the map) are Eritrea, Ethiopia – which used to border the Red Sea – Somalia and Djibouti..

Well, what is there in the Red Sea? Go back to what (Israeli) Zionists have written about the significance of this Sea. Did you know – I am  sure you do – that Eilat (a port city), known as “Umm Al-Rashrash” (in Arabic), is Israel’s only maritime outlet towards Asia? Linking (Israel) to the Red Sea – or as some Israeli strategists call it, “Lake David”, this outlet is vital for the survival of the (Israeli) Zionist entity.

———

Look at the incredible location of Yemen. The Yemeni coastline stretches for around 1,900 miles, equivalent to 2,400 or 2,500 km along the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea.

Host:

That is 2,500 km along the two seas.

Shaaban:

Yes, (equivalent to) around 1,900 miles.

Did you know that successive Yemeni governments did not form a naval military power despite the important and strategic location of Yemen along the sea?

Host:

What is the reason for that? Why?

Shaaban:

The reason goes back to Yemeni political decision-making…

 Host:

(Decision-making) controlled by the US?…

Shaaban:

(Nods his head) (The absence of a naval force) was an order. When the martyr Yemeni president Ibrahim al-Hamdi came to power in the 1970s, when he started planning and called a conference to discuss the security of the Red Sea, he was assassinated, he was murdered. And the party responsible for the assassination was Saudi Arabia.

The vital location (of Yemen) is significantly important for the colonially-created Gulf entities , and for the (Israeli) Zionist entity, which represents probably the West’s largest global investment. (Yemen) overlooks all of Asia all the way to China, and has this huge region (east Africa) within its reach. (In other words), (Yemen) is (in the region) where Asia and Africa meet. This is where Yemen is located.


Host
:

Do you mean that having control over the Bab al-Mandeb (Strait) is equivalent to having control over global trade (between) continents?

Shaaban:

Yes. It (also) means having control over the strait classified as the third most important worldwide.

Host:

What does the control over the Bab al-Mandeb Strait mean?

Shaaban:

As you have just mentioned in the report, having control over the Bab al-Mandab (Strait) means having control over the movement of the world’s economy, global oil transportation, and the route connecting Europe to India and China, and thereby to Asia. Even if we turn the opposite way, and focus on China and the port that it is trying to build in Pakistan in order to extend its maritime reach, (we will see that…)

Host:

(…that the route) will pass through Yemen and the (Bab al-Mandeb) Strait.

Shaaban:

It is a must. (China’s) “Belt and Road Initiative” passes through (the Strait).

Host:

China’s strategic project will only be completed if…

Shaaban:

(If) it goes through Bab al-Mandeb. Let me tell you something about Bab al-Mandeb. If you zoom in on it, you will see an island that divides it into…

Host:

(into) two channels…

Shaaban:

Exactly. The first (channel) is next to Djibouti, and is not suitable for deep-sea shipping. The other (channel) is about 12 km (in length) on the Yemeni (side). Yes, it is subject to international law, but it falls under Yemen’s sovereignty. (Not to mention that) it is the only channel (among the two) that is navigable. Therefore, what you called the bottleneck is the Yemeni (side of) Bab al-Mandeb.

Host:

The Yemeni (Bab al-Mandeb) not the Djiboutian for example..

Shaaban:

Exactly. Accordingly, if you also take into account (the importance of) Socotra and the group of islands. For example, look, roughly in this region, above Bab al-Mandab, there are groups of islands such as Zuqar, Perim and Hanish. In fact, the Hanish Islands have always been under dispute between Eritrea and Yemen. A confrontation (between the two countries) took place in the nineties because of this issue. The mountain in Zuqar Island rises to 600 meters, or approximately 624 meters. Do you know what this means?

Host:

It means that it overlooks the whole region..

Shaaban:

What if I told you that there are Israeli military bases in Eritrea? There are corvettes and naval vessels navigating in the Red Sea. They are docked at Eretria. What if I told you that there is a French military base in Djibouti, and an American military presence as well?

Host:

There is also a Chinese military base in Djibouti.

Shaaban:

I am going get to that (topic). Djibouti was established only to be rented like hotel. The US, Israel and other countries maintain (military) presences in Somalia. If you go up towards Sudan, you would notice that the Turks recently entered the sea area. The whole world is fighting over this area.

Then in 2014, the Yemenis, despite all that we have talked about, started a revolution, i.e. the revolution of September 21, 2014 under the leadership of Sayyed Abdulmalik Badr al-Din al-Houthi. Sayyed Abdulmalik, who forms (a strong) leadership, project and vision said: “Yemen will not be divided into regions”. Notice that after they (Saudi-led coalition) divided Mahra, Socotra, Abyan – I think – and Hadramout, (Ansarullah) brought them together as one region. In other words, Saudi Arabia wanted (to gain control over) some regions. However, this great Yemeni leader (Sayyed Abdulmalik) came and said: “we will not allow this”.  Saudi Arabia said…

Host:

The question we are seeking to answer is: “why did they wage a war (on Yemen)? Why did they start an aggression against Yemen?”

Shaaban:

Yes. Saudi Arabia said that it wants to (build) an oil pipeline that will pass through here. Furthermore, a Saudi magazine once wrote about (building) a marine channel that will also pass through Hadramout, thus connecting Saudi Arabia to the Arabian Sea. Here is the Indian Ocean and here is the Arabian Sea. What is the idea? Saudi Arabia, and others parties hiding behind it, want to avoid (the Strait of) Hormuz (controlled by) Iran, the great power that they cannot clash with. The solution for (Saudi Arabia) is to flee to the South (to Bab al-Mandeb).

Therefore, unlike what the (Saudis) say, their war in Yemen is not a war against Iran, it is a war to get away from Iran’s influence over the Strait of Hormuz. But unfortunately for them, there is a large force in Yemen called “Ansarullah”, a force with national vision unlike what they try to portray. (Ansarullah forces) have a Yemeni national project. They want to preserve the unity (in Yemen), the unity that the Emirates wants to destroy by dividing (the country). We can get into more details (about that) later. The Yemeni revolution led by Sayyed Abdulmalik gained influence and control over Ma’rib and the channels that we talked about, and thereby saying that “Yemen will not be any country’s backyard”. Yemen is not a territory that anyone can manipulate. It is an independent, sovereign state that has policies, that has the right to be present in this strategic region of the world.

How did (Saudi Arabia and its allies) perceive this issue? They believe that these Yemeni forces (Ansarullah), in one way or another, serve the interest of the Islamic Republic (of Iran) because they do not support America, they do not support Israel, nor are they tools like the (leaders who governed) before the (2014) revolution, before Sayyed Abdulmalik, before Sayyed Hussein’s project, the Quranic project based on the Quranic path.  They are not tools. They are not venal. They do not accept bribes as did many politicians who historically controlled Yemen’s political decision-making.

They will not be assassinated like they assassinated the martyr (President Ibrahim) al-Hamdi, even if they assassinated Sayyed Hussein (al-Houthi). The assassin of Sayyed Hussein got the order directly from these countries (Saudi Arabia and its allies), (who ordered the killing) of Sayyed Hussein because he chanted the slogan: “Death to America, Death to Israel”. What does “Death to America, Death to Israel “mean? (It means) death to the interests of those (who govern) this region of the world, death to their entities in this region of the world, death to their policy in this region of the world, and life to Yemen.

When Sayyed (Hussein al-Houthi) came up with the strategic slogan of Ansarullah, i.e. “Victory to Islam”, (he meant) the Islam that represents the identity and the independence of a nation. Yes, in this case, Yemen with its (strategic) geographical location and its rich history turned into a strategic political project. (Therefore,) it was necessary for (Saudi Arabia and its allies) to wage a war, to start this aggression. It was necessary for them to do what they are currently doing.

Host:

It was also a must for Ansarullah to fight them.

Shaaban:

(They fought) in defense (against the Saudi aggression)

Host:

We will show the outcomes of the (Saudi) aggression (on Yemen) in a quick report, then we will continue…

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