Members of the Red Crescent distribute aid to families displaced by the Saudi air strikes in the Yemeni city of Aden, June 22, 2015. (©AFP)
Members of the Red Crescent distribute aid to families displaced by the Saudi air strikes in the Yemeni city of Aden, June 22, 2015. (©AFP)

Press TV has interviewed Edward Corrigan, a political commentator based in Ontario, to discuss the ongoing Saudi aggression against Yemen.

 A rough transcription of the interview follows.

 Press TV: The Yemenis waited for the Saudi air strikes to abate, they never did and now recently they have begun their retaliatory campaign. Your thoughts sir?

Corrigan: Well, it is showing Saudi Arabia that if they are going to launch an unprovoked attack on one of their neighbors…there will be a cost to be borne by the Saudis and the people who defend the Saudi regime.

I have heard reports that there are Jordanian troops in Saudi Arabia helping prop up the regime. There also are Pakistani troops there protecting the Saudi regime, but Pakistan Parliament unanimously passed a vote saying that they wouldn’t allow Pakistani soldiers to participate in attack on Yemen or, I presume, any other country. They are only there for defense purposes.

In fact, I think Yemen is being quite restrained. I believe and suspect that the Saudi Arabia infrastructures, pipelines, and its oil facilities would be very vulnerable to attack and in fact Yemen has not… there have been retaliatory attacks for bombings that kill women or children and attacking, largely, Saudi military bases on the border, but I think that this whole problem could boil over and escalate rapidly....having huge costs not only for Yemen, but I think the costs would start to escalate for Saudi Arabia as well.

Press TV: Right sir, and the UN envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said that the Yemenis are “very close” to famine, and now with respect to the blockade on aid delivery to Yemen, what can the Saudi objective be that could justify this campaign and what it is doing to civilians there?

Corrigan: Well, I think it is form of collective punishment to punish the people of Yemen for not bowing to Saudi will and to obey the dictates of Saudi power. There has been a power struggle with, I guess, the ouster of [Abd Rabbuh Mansur] Hadi and the previous president [Ali Abdullah] Saleh. His army units in fact are part of the Yemeni army and there are army units that are part of the Yemeni army and are fighting against the Saudi attack.

So this is not simply a Houthi phenomenon or even a phenomenon from the Shia population in Yemen. This is a much broader-based support group against the independence of Yemen and they won’t be dictated to by the Saudis. I think this is a positive thing, but I think Saudi Arabia is afraid of losing control. I don’t think they like the idea of a popular-based government in Yemen because people might start asking why isn’t there a popular-based government in Saudi Arabia when you have basically a dictatorship with minimal support, and I really don’t think the soldiers there are going to put their lives on the line for the interest of the Saudi ruling family, but I think the people in Yemen will fight for the independence and freedom of their country of course they will fight to protect their civilians and family members etc.

MTM/MKA