Friday, May 01, 2015

Yemen (3) Saudi Dabbling

Up until World War 1, the Arabian Peninsula was controlled by a patchwork of military leaders under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in World War 1, it consisted of four different territories. Ibn Saud rose to power in El Ahsa (Eastern Arabia) at the end of the war. By 1921, he had gained cpntrol of Najd. He seized Hejaz In 1926. Asir (Southern Arabia) was conquered later in the decade. The House of Saud that controls Saudi Arabia is a military dictatorship.

Saudi Arabia is a major client of the United States. In returning for maintaining oil, supplies, the Saudis have been allowed to purchase huge amounts of military hardware from US armaments producers. This is odd, because powerful people in Saudi Arabia have funded terrorism activities all over the world. Most of the 9/11 attackers were Saudis. The US has turned a blind eye to these activities to maintain a steady flow of oil from Saudi wells.

They have announced this publicly, but Israel has recently established an operational alliance with Saudi Arabia. These are very strange bedfellows.

The population of Saudi Arabia is about 30 million. This creates a huge problem for defending such a large area of land. Saudi Arabia can only sustain an army of 75,000. A separate Saudi Arabia National Guard with another 75,000 men is an independent force loyal to the King. This is small compared to the forces of Iran (more than a million).

The problem is compounded by the fact that nearly a third of the population are immigrants or foreign nationals, including nearly a million Yemenis. A large number of Yemenis serve into the armed forces. They will not be keen on fighting in their home country.

Yemen has a population of nearly 25 million, nearly as many people as Saudi Arabia. This is one reason it is feared by the Saudis.

Saudi Arabia has a long history of dabbling in Yemen. In 1934, The Saudis invaded Yemen and advanced towards Sanaa. Their armoured cars and tanks struggled in the mountains and they had to withdraw.

During the northern civil war between 1962 and 1970, the royalist side was supported by Jordan and Saudi Arabia, with covert British support. The Egyptian President Gamal Nasser supported the republicans with weapons and 30,000 troops. They really struggled in the steep mountains of Yemen. By the time they withdrew, as many as 15,000 Egyptians were captured or missing.

In 2009-10, the Saudis advanced into Yemen and bombed Houthi positions. The attack was a failure.

In the recent years, the Saudis have tried to control Yemeni politics by providing lavish support to selected tribal leaders. They are currently trying to buy the loyalty of some Yemeni generals.

1 comment:

Dennis said...

> Most of the 9/11 attackers were Saudis.

No they weren't Ron. You've bought into the MSM story and are not exercising basic care and due diligence. 9/11 was nothing like the official story as less than one hour's honest research will demonstrate to you!