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Saudi siege of Yemen similar to Israel blockade on Gaza: Analyst

Yemeni supporters of the Ansarullah movement hold an anti-Saudi protest rally in the capital Sana’a on March 6, 2015. (©AFP)

Press TV has conducted an interview with Daniel Patrick Welch, a political commentator from Boston, to ask for his insight into the ongoing Saudi aggression against Yemen.

The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: First of all, before we start off with the casualties that the Saudis and their allies have incurred, let’s look at the situation as it stands right now where 7,200 Yemenis have been killed since March the 26th; no condemnation and no UN emergency meetings, it seems that this aggression has become status quo that the world has come to accept.

Welch: Yeah, it also is a sign of how certain lives matter more than others. It’s not on the front page of and it’s not one of the accessible or viewer-friendly conflicts that the Western media like to portray.

But it is interesting the previous item was about Gaza, because with their ships off the coast in the blockade then their airstrikes from the north, they’ve set up this enormous kittling operation which basically kind of reconstructs Yemen as an enormous Gaza, with people blockaded and with no exit and that’s how they’re hoping to strangle the popular Houthi Ansarallah movement.

Press TV: Right now, of course Saudi Arabia is benefiting from the lack of media scrutiny. However as we’ve just reported, it is incurring casualties, even the Emirates held a national day of mourning for martyrs on November 30. It is going to become costly over time. Can they keep this up indefinitely?

Welch: Well, the trouble is they would have to. There’s no way to win this kind of an air war in a mountainous region where targets are sparse and there is popular support. It’s a typical air war against a popular movement that has failed in Southeast Asia and failed in Central America etc.

But you pointed out exactly what the hope, if we can call it that is increasing casualties in the Yemeni regular along with the popular militias are taking some sort of revenge or retaliatory attacks on Saudi soil. It could be that. That puts pressure on, but it has to be a credible military threat not just a popular threat, because the kingdom doesn’t listen to any either condemnation or popular resistance.


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