Russian expert: Saudi Arabia may suffer defeat in Yemen
A military intervention by Saudi Arabia and its allies in Yemen will trigger a large-scale conflict in the region and most probably end with Riyadh's defeat, said expert on Oriental studies, Higher School of Economic pedagogue Leonid Isayev, who returned from a trip to Yemen on Wednesday.
"In my opinion, the military campaign will be absolutely unsuccessful for the Saudis. I have no faith in the ability of the Saudis to achieve something in Yemen. The Army of Saudi Arabia is really nothing: there is emptiness behind beautiful gear. This army is inferior to the Yemenis by its combat readiness. The Saudi army has never fought anyone in its history. They simply cannot do that," he told Interfax on Thursday.
The expert affirmed a high level of military training in the Yemeni army.
"It is not accidental that the army of Prophet Muhammad mostly consisted of Yemenis, the most combative Arab people who have a knack for war. Besides, the Yemeni terrain will make the hostilities challenging," he said.
In addition, the Yemeni population supports the Houthis, objects to Riyadh's intervention in internal affairs of the country, and demands a strike back.
"Protests against the Saudi intervention are underway in Sana'a and people are demanding a Yemeni invasion in Saudi Arabia. If this decision is made, it may have a strong impact on Saudi Arabia," Isayev said.
"If they decide that Yemen should strike back on Saudi Arabia, Ansar Allah will not be the only movement to fight, the entire population of Yemen will get involved, and that is serious," the expert said.
The imprudent actions of the Saudis who are trying to preserve their influence on Yemen at any cost may have the most deplorable results, he said.
"I think that unless the Saudis come to their senses, their actions may lead to a large-scale conflict and I am positive that victory will not be won by the countries that get involved in the war against Yemen," he said.
Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel al-Jubair said on Wednesday that his country had started to deliver airstrikes against the Houthis in the Yemeni capital city of Sana'a.
He also said that the operation against the Houthis in Yemen would be international and involve members of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf and other countries, for instance, Egypt.
Later on, Jordan, Sudan and Morocco expressed their wish to join the coalition of Arab countries.