Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi says he has no regrets about requesting help from a Saudi-led coalition cobbled together in 2015 to help his government fight the Houthi rebel group.
In a late Tuesday interview with the BBC, Hadi described the Saudi-led coalition’s Operation Decisive Storm as one of the most “successful” military operations ever undertaken in the Arab world.
“I do not regret this decision at all,” he said. “Otherwise, we would not have liberated parts of the country from Aden to [the eastern province of] Al-Mahra.”
“Without the support of the coalition, these areas would still be under the control of the Houthis,” he added.
Hadi went on to assert: “If Decisive Storm had not happened, it would have been the beginning of a major civil war lasting even longer than the conflict in Somalia [that began in 1991 and remains ongoing].”
Yemen has been wracked by war since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including Sanaa.
The loss of the capital forced Hadi and his government to take up temporary residence in Yemen’s coastal city of Aden.
The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies -- accusing the Houthis of serving as Iranian proxies -- launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains and shoring up Hadi’s pro-Saudi government.
UN-sponsored peace talks held in Kuwait the following year failed to end the destructive conflict.
The violence has devastated Yemen’s infrastructure, including water and sanitation systems, prompting the U.N. to describe the situation as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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