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Airstrikes in Yemen: "Local people will pay a heavy price"


Airstrikes in Yemen: "Local people will pay a heavy price"

Saudi Arabia is leading a military operation against Iranian allied Houthi militia in Yemen.

To discuss the implications, and the consequences for the Middle East, Euronews’ Faiza Garah spoke to Céline Jrizi, a specialist in Yemeni affairs in Paris.

Faiza Garah: “This operation against the Houthis, their allies and supporters of Ali Saleh, can it work in stopping their advance?”

Céline Jrizi: “The Houthis were not expecting such a strong reaction, and one that was so rapid on the part of Saudi Arabia and their allies. The intervention is to destabilise the Houthis and slow their advance towards the gates of the south, Aden.”

Faiza Garah: “With these airstrikes, is it really possible for Saudi Arabia to get rid of Iran’s influence in the region?”

Céline Jrizi: “It can’t get rid of Iran’s influence because Tehran is a strong power in the region. This is a war by proxy, with the strength of Saudi Arabia and its allies up against the strength of Iran. I think the coming days will be very difficult for people in Yemen, who will pay a heavy price unfortunately.”

Faiza Garah: “To what extent can the US and other countries in Europe intervene in this conflict?”

Céline Jrizi: “Even if the West intervenes, it will be with logistical support, or in a way that’s under the cover of Arab states. I don’t think the West will intervene explicitly in this war, not even to save Yemen, because that is not in their interests, nor the interests of the countries intervening. This war will stay an Arab-Iranian war.”