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In a political talk show on RT Arabic, the Saudi military expert Mohammad al-Qabibaan defended the recent intense escalation of the bombing campaign of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in Yemen and described the relentless air strikes of the past few weeks as “successful operations” by the Ansarullah movement the Houthi is to be forced to sit down at the negotiating table.

For his part, Nasr al-deen ‘Aamir, a representative of the media ministry in Sana’a, said the Yemeni army had no choice but to respond to increased coalition bombing targeting innocent civilians and his country’s civil infrastructure.

Source: RT Arabic (YouTube)

Date: December 26, 2021

Transcript:

Mohammad al-Qabibaan, Saudi military expert:

I believe this escalation (led by Saudi Arabia) is the right way to force the Houthis to sit down at the negotiating table, that’s one thing. Point two: This (escalation) is not carried out out of revenge – thank God everything that is fired from rockets and mortars at the (Saudi) kingdom is treated with great expertise. However, the purpose (of this escalation) is to aid the peace process.

The international community calls for peace; the international community and the UN envoy, as well as all sides, call for people to sit down at the negotiating table. These special operations, carried out by the coalition (led by the Saudis), came after our brother (General) Turki (al-Malki) declared that there will be restrained operations by Saudi officials and the coalition to keep the Houthis and those who support the Support Houthis, understand that there is a desire for peace and I think you remember, Mr Mohammad (the RT moderator), the proposal made by the coalition states. So, in my opinion, these operations have been successful and they urge the Houthis to sit down at the negotiating table …

Moderator:

Okay, ‘successful operations’ … but what are the arguments in favor of this new strategic approach by the coalition that exposes many civilian facilities (to air strikes)? The pictures that we see, at least those that come from the other side, (seem) to show the destination of civilians and civil infrastructure, roads, bridges, hospitals … I mean, is that what the pictures show? …

Mohammad al-Qabibaan, Saudi military expert:

Frankly, the behavior of the Houthis is not new as they use civilian facilities, hospitals, schools and even mosques to hide their weapons, carry out their plans and develop their skills as they see fit. So (the Houthis) have benefited, and the international community usually looks to the side that has more power and (expects) more restraint and avoids attacking civilian facilities.

The coalition (led by Saudi Arabia) announced a deadline and confirmed to the international community that it was the Houthis who were moving the fight to inhabited areas by attacking such locations. Yesterday or the day before yesterday, Brother (General Turki) Malki announced that the Houthis had six hours to remove their weapons from where? From the sports facilities. This is the best proof that the intelligence apparatus of the (Saudi-led) coalition works really well and in cooperation with its partners in Yemen and that these weapons have been stored in such places. This could have some impact on the reports that the United Nations humanitarian team produces, and they could benefit from reports that the coalition forces conducted such operations. Otherwise, I assure you that the coalition states are conducting operations that rely on intelligence, operations that send a message the Houthis could understand.

Host:

Okay, that’s clear, I’m handing over to Mr Nasr al-deen now. What do you think are the reasons for this escalation, which is unprecedented, at least in recent times? Could it be said that one of the main reasons (for this escalation) is the (developments in the struggle) over Ma’rib?

Nasr al-deen ‘Aamir, (Yemeni) representative of the media ministry:

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. There is no doubt that in analyzing such issues we must not forget the American stance. Because from the first moment this war started in Washington, was announced in Washington and is controlled from Washington. This escalation would not have happened – and in this form – had it not been for the frank statements of the American ambassador to Yemen, who were said to have come for the sake of peace. (The US envoy) called on the “Yemenis”, as he called them, to oppose the Houthis. He called for war, for escalation, for the fighting to escalate, (only) then did these (air strikes) come with such intensity.

As for the (potential) consequences (of this severe escalation of the air strikes) on the different fronts (of the struggle), I believe that this (air strike campaign) is having an impact, but (these attacks) cannot be justified by the fact that we are Yemeni land to free. After all, we react to (foreign) aggression and liberate Yemeni land.

In addition, these air strikes are by no means aimed at weapons caches, as your guest and the (Saudi-led) coalition claim. The (Saudi-led) coalition stated in relation to Al Thawra Sports City and the Al Thawra Sports Stadium that there were weapons (storage) there. I personally called all of the media working in Sanaa and drove them to this area with them from the first moment after this announcement and none (weapons) were found. Likewise, all the places (the Saudi coalition) is targeting are (supposedly) main streets while they say they are “arms caches”. They refer to bakeries as “arms stores”. Children are killed and then it is said that they are “weapons caches”. in these places. It’s a narrative they’ve got used to repeating to justify their crimes, but it doesn’t change reality and we have the right to respond to these massacres. Also, we don’t care about the condemnations of the American and French embassies because they have no sense of (human) emotion because they are inundated with Saudi money and oil, and therefore (their condemnations) will have no effect, and (our) operations as Answer will go on.

Host:

Okay, how are you going to deal with this situation? Is the Ansarullah able to cope with further attacks, be it attacks on civilians or on military facilities or on civil facilities that are used as military facilities? We have seen the (Saudi) coalition say that they have expanded the list of their targets, which means that the campaign will continue until they manage to force the Houthis to the negotiating table, as Mr Mohammad said?

Nasr al-deen ‘Aamir, (Yemeni) representative of the media ministry:

Let me tell you something. We admit that they know what is harming us. (The attack on) civilians hurts us, yes, that’s right. (The killing of children hurts us, yes, it is true. The siege and starvation of the Yemeni people hurts us, yes, that is right. However, we are in a very difficult situation. (But) we know what they (also ) hurts. And we are going to attack the areas that harm them. They know the areas that harm them, because they care about their wealth and not their people. Why don’t we target the Saudi people? Because we know that they (their rulers) do not care about them, they are targeting what is harming us, namely the Yemeni civilian population.

Ultimately, this war was forced upon us and we must fight. Our decisions are (in reality) aimed at a (just, lasting) peace. We always want and demand peace. But (this war) has been forced upon us. If civilians, streets, children and women are hit, what should we do? Just stand there and smile at them? We must react. It is a religious, moral, constitutional, and principled obligation of the Yemeni Army to respond to these massacres, and the whole world does not care (the Yemeni Army) and will not influence (its resolve).

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