The international community needs to give up overindulging Houthi militias in Yemen, given their history of relentlessly undermining global peace efforts and pressing on with military escalation, Yemeni politicians and analysts told Asharq Al-Awsat.
“Iran did not establish and support Houthi militias just so that they are rendered a mere political party,” explained Yemeni academic and political analyst Fares al-Beil, warning against mistakenly trusting that the group wants peace.
“Achieving peace and entering into a political process means ending the Houthi militias’ mission and presence,” he said, stressing that the war dragging on in Yemen is in Iran’s interest.
“Iran now views Houthis as a solid military proxy in the region,” said al-Beil, adding that the group is helping Iran achieve its ambitions for regional hegemony.
“The Yemeni government must realize this and take appropriate measures so that Houthis don’t implicate it in interim deals that do not bring true peace to Yemen,” he warned.
Al-Beil recommended that the government employs a new mechanism, such as increasing military pressure on Houthis, to advance a peace settlement in the battle-weary nation.
“The government’s adherence to peace principles without derogation is what matters now,” he said, adding that military pressure should be applied to limit Houthi expansion.
Houthis have refused to engage positively in recent mediation attempts mounted by the UN and US special envoys for Yemen in the Omani capital, Muscat, and chose to step up their offensive against the war-torn country’s northeastern governorate of Marib.
Given Houthi determination to reshape local communities and ensure the protracted Yemeni civil war drags on, the international community must take decisive actions to rein in the Iran-aligned militia.
“Houthi terrorists’ irresponsible dealing with peace efforts is not surprising,” Yemeni Information Ministry Undersecretary Fayad al-Noman told Asharq Al-Awsat, reminding that the militia had repeatedly refused international peace proposals.
Al-Noman pointed out that Iran wants to use its influence over Houthis as a bargaining chip in its nuclear talks with world powers and emphasized the need for the international community to force the group to comply with UN-sponsored agreements and UNSC resolutions.
“The UNSC must pressure Houthis into honoring international resolutions and agreements,” he said, stressing that the world must not reinforce negative and hostile Houthi behavior.
“Dealing with militias that have turned against their country and national consensus will neither achieve peace nor end the war,” noted al-Noman.
He asserted that hope in Houthis coming around one day is “futile” and will not help in restoring Yemen’s state institutions. Instead, al-Noman urged implementing a series of resolute measures against the militia for their blocking of peace efforts.