Yemeni security and airport officials stand next to a destroyed Felix Airways plane after a Saudi airstrike at the international airport of Sana’a on April 30, 2015. ©AFP
Yemeni security and airport officials stand next to a destroyed Felix Airways plane after a Saudi airstrike at the international airport of Sana’a on April 30, 2015. ©AFP

Press TV has conducted an interview with Edward Corrigan, human rights activist from Ontario, to get his take on the Saudi airstrikes against the international airport in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a.

 

The following is a rough transcript of the interview.

 

Press TV: How do you look upon this, as a human rights activist yourself, the destruction of an airport, which is part of vital infrastructure of any country?

 

Corrigan: It is a critical part of the infrastructure of Yemen, and Yemen already is the poorest country in the Arab world, and of course it prevented the delivery of humanitarian aid in Sana’a. I think we need to take a look at the reason behind these attacks.

The attacks actually started by Saudi Arabia and they killed an initiative of, I guess, the United Nations’ Jamal Benomar, Moroccan UN diplomat who was on the verge of having a power-sharing agreement between all the parties, which would bring in the Houthis into the government. They represent around 45 percent of population of Yemen.

The bombing attacks actually destroyed this, and now Jamal Benomar has actually resigned. But it looks as though that the Saudi air raids were designed to prevent settlement of this crisis, and of course would bring in a power-sharing agreement for the only republic on the whole Arabian Peninsula. So, I think there is multiple motivations on the part of Saudi Arabia. They were afraid of losing control, they were afraid of real power-sharing arrangement and of course now they are attacking the people of Yemen and civilians.

All the military experts say that Saudi Arabia cannot decide the outcome of the war by aerial attacks. They failed to get any movement on the ground. The Pakistani parliament unanimously refused to allow Pakistani troops….in Saudi Arabia to help protect the Saud family from invading Yemen. And in fact, there is reports of thousands of … members of Saudi army and also Saudi National Guard had fled from their posts along the Yemeni borders. Reportedly, 10 thousands fled their posts as well.

So there is an abject refusal from the part of the Saudi army and the Saudi National Guard to intervene in the war, which of course reflects badly on the Al Saud family and they do not really have legitimacy or support among soldiers. The Saudi military and the national guards are not about to put their lives on the line for whatever the objectives of the Saudi family are.

Now they are switching to bringing in, I guess, tribesmen from Yemen, training them and sending them back to the war to fight the Houthi rebels, also to fight the army units that are loyal to the previous president Saleh. It is much more complex on the ground than what we are seeing.

And of course it is, as the UN describes, a humanitarian catastrophe, over 3,000 have been killed, and over 5,000 injured, plus destruction of infrastructure which is very difficult to replace and so, it is a real mess, it is not really making any progress. The Houthis are still advancing in Aden, but there is, back and forth to some extent, stalemate.  

ABN/MKA