Months of bloody battles in Yemen’s Marib have led to huge losses of civilian life, in addition to massive gains for the Ansarallah movement, whose government is based in the country’s Capital Sanaa. Although the conflict gets little attention in Western media, when they do cover it, you can guarantee that they’ll paint Saudi Arabia as the power battling for democracy and women’s rights.
Since February the Ansarallah Movement, otherwise known as the ‘Houthi Rebels’, has been making military advances on the reactionary Yemeni regimes forces of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. Thousands are said to have perished in the fighting, with tens of thousands fleeing the areas in which battles have taken place. On November 2, Ansarallah’s Military Spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Yahya Sare’e, announced that the Al-Juba and Jabal Murad areas in the Marib province had been successfully taken over by the group’s forces.
Despite the fact that Ansarallah’s forces continue to take more land from the Saudi-backed Yemeni forces, Saudi State media continues to omit the obvious, claiming instead that coalition airstrikes are killing hundreds of Ansarallah fighters — sometimes over 100 in the space of 24 hours. Meanwhile, the resource rich Marib Governorate is being overrun by the Ansarallah opposition, and video evidence produced by the movement is able to substantiate that significant damage is being dealt out against Saudi-backed forces and their allies.
Marib is vital to the Saudi-backed Yemen government forces, as it is their last northern stronghold of real significance. It also happens to be rich in oil and gas which could see an eventual easing of the difficulties faced by those living under Ansarallah rule. This is of course considering the fact that their ability to harness these resources is very limited, meaning that the victory in this territory will not necessarily mean they will hold much more than another bargaining chip over Riyadh and its allies.
In the midst of this fighting, dubbed by Ansarallah as ‘Operation Rabi Al Naser’, the Western media is carrying out its specialty, virtue signaling about its ostensible concern over the rights of women. But only the women that live under the rule of Sanaa. Women who are facing abuse by the US-backed Saudi forces of President Hadi, which currently fight along side Daesh and Al-Qaeda affiliates, are completely ignored. Just like in Afghanistan, the allies of the West abusing women’s rights is a non-Story — but how dare their enemies do the exact same thing.
The case now being highlighted to demonize the Ansarallah movement is of 20-year-old Intisar al-Hammadi, who is an actress and has reportedly done modeling work. Intisar was arrested by Ansarallah’s security forces in February and has been sentenced to five years, supposedly for drug possession and prostitution according to a Sanaa based court. Human Rights Watch has however expressed concern over the case and how the confession may have been extracted from Intisar, whilst Western media is speculating that the reason for her arrest was truly based upon “indecency” purely. Whilst it is difficult to determine the truth of why she has been given such a heavy prison sentence, it is certainly a case which would seem to highlight an unacceptable fundamentalist religious attack on women’s rights — if the allegations made by HRW are true. Considering their lack of documentation to prove their points, they are just allegations currently. Alternatively, even if the arrest was motivated by politics, this would still make it morally reprehensible and should be condemned.
However, the highlighting of this case in and of itself is not for the purpose of genuinely helping this woman, on the part of Western media. Instead, this is another excuse for them to work to demonize the Ansarallah movement in its entirety and bolster the cause of the so-called “internationally recognized” Yemeni government, backed by Persian Gulf dictatorships and Western imperialist forces. Because somehow the Saudi’s are “fighting for democracy and women’s rights” in Yemen. As we all know, if there is one thing that the Saudis are internationally recognized for, it is their progressive takes on such issues.. right?
Unfortunately, the Western media and regimes routinely prey on cases of legitimate human rights abuses in order to push their perverse political agenda. It is key to understand that despite its faults, Ansarallah is a revolutionary party which has succeeded at pushing out Western-backed puppets from its lands and works to fight the oppressive Arab reactionary regimes who conspire to exploit Yemen. Not only this, but the Western/Arab-Reactionary blockade on Yemen is literally starving the people in the worst man-made famine on earth.
It is more than clear that the US Biden administration, which just days ago condemned the killing of civilians on only one side and completely ignores the massacres committed by Saudi airstrikes, is not putting civilians as a priority.
The framing still continues that somehow this war is simply a war fought by Iran, with Ansarallah as its proxy, between the Islamic Republic and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This is at best a reductionistic approach to understanding the war, which is about as inaccurate as describing the 2006 Lebanon-Israel war as an Iran-Israel proxy war, simply because Tehran backs Lebanese Hezbollah. When we hear “Iran-backed Houthi Militia (or Rebels)” what we are really being subjected to is an attempt to make us believe that Iran is the primary source of the conflict, when Iran had no influence on the decision makers in Washington, London, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi who decided to prop up puppet forces and launch a multi-lateral attack on the country.