Asian Defence News
Sunday, April 24, 2016
This is Why West Turns a Blind Eye to Saudis’ Misdeeds in Yemen
21:16 21.04.2016(updated 13:31 22.04.2016)
Saudi Arabia is planning to build a canal that will connect the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea bypassing the Strait of Hormuz controlled by the Iranians. Since the canal would pass the Shia territories in Yemen, Riyadh needs to take the country under full military control, Craig Murray notes.
Regardless of vocal opposition from the EU Parliament and major human rights groups, the US government plans to continue high-tech weapons deliveries to Saudi Arabia which uses it against defenseless Yemeni civilians, Craig Murray, human rights activist, author and former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, writes on his blog.
Embarrassingly for London, “UK special forces are operating inside Yemen in support of the onslaught,” he notes.
“Yemen of course has very little oil of its own,” the author remarks.
“But where the West gets involved in conflict, it is almost always at base either about oil resources (e.g. Kuwait, Libya, Syria, Iraq) or oil routes (e.g. Afghanistan, Georgia, Balkans). It turns out that Britain’s unflinching military support of Saudi Arabian aggression in Yemen is about oil routes,” Murray elaborates.
The truth of the matter is that last year Riyadh announced a plan to build a 950 kilometer canal, dubbed Salman Canal, connecting the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea.
But what lies at the root of the plan?
It is expected that the canal will allow ships to reduce their trip through the Strait of Hormuz almost by half. What is more important, Iran is keeping an eye on the strait. By bypassing Hormuz, Saudi Arabia hopes to overcome this “obstacle.”
“Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE could export their oil through this canal up to the Arabian Sea, thus avoiding the Strait of Hormuz,” Gulf News reported in September 2015.
In accordance with the plan, 630 kilometers of the canal will be built in Saudi Arabia and 320 kilometers… in Yemen.
“The canal will add 1,200km of clean and splendid coasts in the Empty Quarter and will have 20 tunnels for cars and pedestrians on the Saudi side, while it will add 700km of waterfront to Yemen and revive the desert areas in the east of the country,” Saad Bin Omar of the Riyadh-based Arab Century Centre for Studies said, as quoted by the media outlet.
However bright the prospects are in the eyes of Riyadh, it does not mean that Yemen will enthusiastically embrace the project.
To complicate matters further, “the eastern Yemeni regions through which it would pass are predominantly Shia, this is a major problem for the Saudis,” Murray stresses.
“There would need to be a Yemeni government not only willing to agree, but both able and willing to enforce security on the canal,” he explains.
And it means Riyadh needs not only to establish a government loyal to the Saudis in Yemen but also to maintain effective military control of the country.
Remarkably, Washington and London are backing Riyadh and its military adventure, while American thought leaders admit that Saudi Arabia’s activities in Yemen and Syria undermine the regions’ stability.
“Iranian control of the Strait of Hormuz has long been the nightmare of the American right,” Murray notes, adding that “Western elite support for the appalling Saudi regime is a given, because Saudi cash pumps primarily into banking, armaments and high end property, the three areas most dear to the interests of the 1%.”
“The United Kingdom is supporting yet another war for oil. But don’t worry about it, the corporate media is full of the Queen’s birthday! Stop thinking and shout hurrah!” Murray remarks.