Yemen’s Fugitive President Plaything of Al Saud

Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, the president of Yemen’s Saudi-appointed government, has arrived to the Yemeni Adan city on Monday at the discretion of Saudi Arabia while the Saudi-led Arab coalition’s forces have not been able to restore security in the city. Just a couple of weeks ago, the armed groups have brought place of residence of Khaled Bahah, Hadi’s prime minister, in Adan under their attacks.

This is the second time that Hadi, at the Saudi officials’ suggestion, is visiting Adan after the city was captured by the Arab coalition forces. The Saudi-led forces have managed to capture Adan in mid-July 2015, and Hadi has visited the city two months later in mid-September. But after advances made by the opposing Yemeni forces toward the city he could not stay there more than 48 hours, being forced to head back to Riyadh, where he fled to after being ousted from power by the country’s revolutionaries in March 2015. 

The ousted Yemeni president has been sent back to Yemen while in past two months battlefield developments have run against the Arab coalition’s favor, asthe Yemeni forces led by the resistant movement Ansarullah have made considerable progresses in some of the country’s southern fronts. In early October the Yemeni forces gained control of Damt, a district located between Yemen’s Ibb and Dhale provinces. Damt is considered the gate to Adan from Dhale province. Moreover, the Ansarullah forces and their allies have managed to take over a strategic hill in Lahij province which shares border with Adan. With seizing the hill, the resistant forces overlook the al-Anad strategic military base, which is 60 kilometers away from northern Adan.

But the Saudi Arabia and Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi’s troubles are not limited to the Ansarullah and its allies’ advances southwards. Holding Adan since mid-July, the Saudi-led forces have failed so far to provide security in the city, as the city is immersed in a state of disorder, and takfiri and terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS are gaining ground in the city.

Touching on Riyadh’s inability to restore peace and order to Aden, Qatar’s Aljazeera news website in a report on Tuesday noted the discontent of the Adan’s residents. “Here there is no force to claim it is in full control of the city. In Adan there are a variety of militants”, Mohamed Heydan, a resident of Adan’s Sheikh Osman neighborhood told Aljazeera, describing the city’s situation. At the same time, the published news reports noted that the southern separatists had no interest to put themselves under the rule of Hadi’s government.

In a time that the pro-Hadi forces are even unable to exercise power over Adan, Saudi Arabia has decided to send Hadi to the port city. Different analyses have been presented on why the Saudis have made a decision to send Hadi to Adan at this time. The media belonging to the coalition have attempted to depict Hadi’s return to the country as a sign of success of the coalition’s countries which have succeeded to return Hadi, who they call the Yemen’s legitimate president, to Adan. The media reports added that Hadi had returned to Yemen to directly supervise the “Taiz liberation” operation, and he personally led the campaign.

Considered to be the southern gate of Sana’a, the capital city, Taiz has drawn significant role in Yemen war’s battlefield. The Saudi-funded media have launched a wave of propagandistic campaign about the battle of Taiz in the past three days, reporting about the coalition’s resolution to take control of the city. Announcing that Mansour Hadi has personally led latest operation to regain Taiz from the opposing forces, Saudi Arabia is likely intending to, in case of the operation’s failure, introduce Hadi as the one to blame.

In addition, with this move, it seems that the Saudis are seeking to divert the public opinions from the considerable advances made by Ansarullah forces in both fronts of sothern Yemen and southern Saudi Arabia. With this measure Saudi Arabia aims to boost the bargaining power of Hadi’s representatives in the upcoming negotiations between the Yemeni warring sides, some political analysts suggest.

However, it seems that the major purpose behind Riyadh’s decision to send back Hadi to Yemen in the current conditions is that the ousted president is not only a burned puppet for Riyadh but also his existence has set hurdles ahead of the Saudis’ finding an honorable exit from Yemen war. Some media sources have reported that Saudi Arabia was working to remove this obstacle. The social media activist Mujtahed, who is famous for revealing behind-the-scene matters of Al Saud kingdom, has posted on his Twitter, saying that Al Saud had pushed Hadi in Adan in order to get rid of him.

Thereby, Saudi Arabia has substantiated the issue that Hadi is no longer of significance to the kingdom by sending him to Khaled Bahah’s place of residence in Adan, where a couple of weeks ago came under the ISIS terror group’ attacks. Hadi’s residence in the city also could be targeted any time.

It is still unclear how Mansour Hadi’s fate would be in Adan, but as Haykal Bafana, the Yemeni analyst and media activist, has tweeted that Hadi’s last visit to Adan was in September and it did not last for more than 48 hours, so if this time he stayed in Adan for three days without being killed he could make an important success.


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