Friday, May 13, 2016

How Deep is Canada in the War in Yemen?

Is Canada militarily engaged in the war in Yemen? If so, which war? There's the brutal Saudi war against Yemen's Houthi population that often targets Houthi villages and civilians, a pretty blatant war crime. From Foreign Policy:

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly said the only way to resolve the year-long civil war in Yemen is through a negotiated political solution. But a Saudi general warned Wednesday that the oil-rich monarchy is prepared to launch a military offensive on the Yemeni capital of Sanaa if the current U.N.-brokered peace talks fail.

The implicit threat places new pressure on the struggling negotiations in Kuwait between Iran-allied Houthi forces and Yemen’s Saudi-backed exiled government to end a conflict that has killed more than 6,200 people and displaced as many as 2.5 million.

“We have two lines working in parallel — a political process and the military operation. One of them will reach the end,” Gen. Ahmad Asiri, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, told reporters in Washington. “We hope that the talks will succeed. If not, we have troops around the capital.”

The Saudi-led forces are only kilometers away from Sanaa. The coalition is bolstered by several Arab and Western powers, including the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Turkey.

In reality there are several wars underway in Yemen. There's the Sunni government versus the Houthi rebels. The Saudis versus the Houthi civilian population. There's the Houthis versus al Qaeda and the Houthis versus ISIS. Then there's the Americans presumably versus al Qaeda. Despite their denials, the Brits are engaging in operations in Yemen.

Canada's role, so far as is known, is mainly supplying infantry weapons to the Saudis including sniper rifles, some of which have already fallen into Houthi hands. The Globe reported in February that Canadian-made armoured fighting vehicles, "Trudeau Jeeps," are also being used by the Saudis against the Yemeni rebels. Whether Canadian special forces are operating alongside their American and British counterparts is unknown.


Jay Farquharson said...

"Saleh has been a behind-the-scenes leader of the Houthi takeover in Yemen led by Shia Houthi forces. Tribesmen and government forces loyal to Saleh have joined the Houthis in their march to power".

Toby said...

But, Mound, Conrad Black thinks "Canada is justified in selling arms to the Saudis."

Was Conrad Black ever wrong?

From where I sit Canada should get out of all of America's foreign wars. If that means getting out of NATO, so be it.

Anonymous said...

Conrad Black....what a blitty-blitty-blit. Does he hide his money away? Wanna bet?