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Friday, May 20, 2022
EditorialOil facilities on fire in Saudi Arabia

Oil facilities on fire in Saudi Arabia

After the Houthi rebels of Yemen attacked an oil depot in the city of Jeddah, the Saudis launched a counter strike on the Yemeni capital and another Red Sea city. Both cities are held by the Houthis and the areas attacked were said to be a threat to Saudi Arabia, as reported by the state-run Saudi Press Agency. As per the Saudi coalition, they intercepted two explosive drones, which were aimed at Saudi Arabia and were launched from Houthi-held civilian oil facilities of Hodeida. The coalition then warned civilians to stay at a distance from the oil facilities which were later attacked by Saudi Arabia. Eight deaths were reported due to this attack and four people were said to be injured, including women and children. The civil war of Yemen which has been turned into a proxy war of Saudi Arabia and its rival Iran has destroyed the country and its people. The war broke out when Yemen’s longstanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced to hand over power to the then Vice President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. The latter was unable to take control of the problems left behind by the former president and the armed forces also pledged their loyalty to the ousted president. These problems led to the Houthis taking advantage of the situation and seizing the capital. In 2014, they seized control of Saada province, in the north of the country and then captured the nation’s capital, Sanaa, forcing President Hadi to flee abroad in March 2015. The Houthis are ideologically inclined towards the Zaidi Shia minority of Yemen. Saudi Arabia saw this takeover as a prominent threat as this meant that Yemen could become a proxy state for Saudi Arabia’s arch-rival Iran. This led Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations such as the UAE to form a coalition and attack and oust the Houthis and restore Mr Hadi’s government. However, they have been unable to do so even though logistical and intelligence support has come from states like the UK, US, and France.

Since 2014, a lot of damage has been done to the country by the groups fighting within the country and the foreign forces. The Saudi-led coalition has killed thousands of civilians under the guise of targeting the Houthis. Yemeni people have been facing famine for the past many years and it is likely that this year the situation will be worsened due to the decrease in wheat production because of the Ukraine-Russia crisis. With the upcoming month of Ramazan, there have been propositions of a ceasefire by the UN. However, the Houthis have refused to have talks in Riyadh. The human cost of this war is one of the highest in this century. It was estimated by the UN that by the end of the previous year there had been over 377,000 deaths due to the conflict. Among the deceased are children and women too. The country and its people are suffering due to the whims of larger countries that have internalized insecurities that allow them to murder people in cold blood without a second thought. Pakistan, being an ally of Saudi Arabia, always condemns any attack on the kingdom. It should, however, urge Riyadh to revisit its policy toward Yemen, and end the war at the earliest.

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