Saudi Land Push in Yemen Would Cause Heavy Casualties: DM

Insists Saudis Could Quickly Win If They Wanted To

Offering rare comments on the invasion of Yemen in a public interview, Saudi Defense Minister and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman defended the 2015 invasion as “necessary” ti restore former President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power.

The war is taking a lot longer than the Saudis expected, and the prince is left trying to explain that. His narrative is that the powerful Saudi military could quickly overrun the Shi’ites and win the war if they so chose, but that the number of casualties would be unacceptably high.

That’s interesting on a number of fronts, both in that the Saudis are feeling pressure to publicly explain their lack of victory, and that the Saudis have admitted that there is a conceivable death toll in the Yemen War which they’d regard as unacceptable, given the thousands slain so far and the millions facing starvation because of the naval blockade.

With the Saudis presenting their attack on Yemen as a war against Iran, by virtue of the other side being Shi’ites, Salman also appeared to rule out peace talks, saying that the Saudis could never hold talks with the “extremist” Iranians.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.