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Analysis

Yemeni Ansarullah’s Deeper Involvement in Regional Equations via Baghdad

Wednesday 10 July 2024
Yemeni Ansarullah’s Deeper Involvement in Regional Equations via Baghdad

Alwaght- With the new changes that have happened on the world stage, small countries that earlier played no role in the political equations now have a special place in the regional and international developments. Yemen under Ansarullah Movement is one of the new actors that has captivated the world attention. Though the US and its Western and Arab allies are going to great lengths to force Ansarullah out of the circle of power in Yemen, their efforts backfire, and after a decade, the movement is restoring Yemeni power in the region's political equations. 

In this relation, Iraqi media reported on Monday that Ansarullah opened its office in one of the important neighborhoods of the Iraqi capital, close to the Green Zone and a number of palaces and headquarters of Iraqi leaders and political parties. The opening of this office took place a few days after the series of extensive activities of Abu Idris al-Shorfi, the representative of Ansarullah in Iraq, and a number of members of this movement who have been residing in Iraq since 2016. 

Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed reportedly contacted the Iraqi security officials for a confirmation of opening of the office, but none of them provided information on the case. Only an advisor in the government of Prime Minister Mohammad Shia al-Sudani told the news network that "this is not a representation office as it is being promoted. But it is the headquarter of the Ansarullah members who until recently were residing in a hotel in the capital Baghdad." Asking to remain anonymous, the official said that Iraq wants this group not to have any hostile activity against any country from the Iraqi soil. 

On Friday, Abu Idris al-Shorfi visited the Public Mobilization Forces (PMF) headquarters in northern Baghdad and was shown in a video clip appreciating the factions of PMF. He said that Ansarullah and the PMF, also called Hashd al-Shaabi in Arabic, are an "inseparable unit" that continue to perform duties with great enthusiasm despite challenges and problems. Al-Shorfi, along with the leaders of Hashd al-Shaabi, also visited a number of southern provinces of Iraq and met with the leaders of various tribes and religions. 

Recently, Ansarullah has opened several accounts on social networking websites that show the activities of the movement's members inside Iraq, the most important of which is a channel on Telegram. 

Political messages of Ansarullah office in Baghdad 

Since Ansarullah government is not recognized by the international community, opening the office in Baghdad sends an important message to the hostile countries. This move can be a prelude to gaining legitimacy for Sana'a government in the region and subsequently in the world, especially that now it is certain to all that Yemen's political power is held by Ansarullah that have managed to resist the Saudi-Emirati occupation coalition and create a kind of convergence inside the country. 

In recent years, countries such as Russia and to some extent China have established friendly relations with Ansarullah, and the Russians hosted the leaders of Sana'a several times in order to end the crisis in Yemen and provide conditions for the reopening of embassies. Therefore, the action of the Iraqis in settling Ansarullah in the Green Zone of Baghdad, which hosts foreign missions and government offices, can encourage other Arab countries to interact with Sana'a. 

Ansarullah has proven that, contrary to Western claims, it poses no threat to the world and countries can resume their former relations with Yemen and continue political interactions. Therefore, the opening of the office of this movement in Baghdad can be considered as the implicit recognition of the government of Sana'a by Iraq, though Iraqi officials have been conservative about this issue due to their reservations with Saudi Arabia. 

Since the beginning of the crisis in Yemen, Iraq has never approved of foreign invasion of the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia. Following the invasion, the Iraqi foreign ministry called this war unacceptable in a statement, and in the following years, Baghdad emphasized the need to stop the war and advance political negotiations. In recent years, even the Iraqi resistance groups have taken a more sympathetic position towards the oppressed and war-stricken people of Yemen and voiced their readiness to help the Yemenis against the aggression coalition.

This comes as Saudi Arabia that once claimed leadership of the Arab world has now lost its past credit in the Arab world and if in the past managed to win support of some Arab governments and force some others to turn a blind eyeto the anti-Yemeni aggression with some interventionist labels against Ansarullah such as coup plotters, now, due to the obvious shift in the balance of power in Yemen and victory of Ansarullah over the Arab coalition and growing support of Yemeni public to the Ansarullah's National Salvation Government (NSG), Riyadh does not have the past power and position and the independent and pragmatic voices about Yemen developments have risen in the Arab world. 

However, Baghdad-Sana'a relations are not limited to the 10-year period when Ansarullah took the power, and the two sides had good relations with each other in the past. During the Cold War period, when the Westerners had gathered many Persian Gulf countries in their camp, Yemen formed an anti-Western and pro-Soviet coalition with the participation of Jordan and Iraq, and these relations have more or less continued in recent decades. Therefore, opening political office for Ansarullah in Baghdad pursues goals beyond a simple cooperation, and Iraqis probably want to provide the necessary grounds for Ansarallah's political interactions with foreign embassies. 

In addition to political agenda, Iraq needs to cooperate with Yemen in terms of trade and economy. Due to its strategic position, Yemen can become Iraq's maritime export gate with the world and lifting of the US-Saudi blockade can put Yemen in a very good position. 

Overlooking the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait and accessing the Red Sea, Yemen plays a key role in East-West trade. In recent months, Ansarullah with its missile operations and zeroing the navigation of the Israeli ships in the Red Sea showed that the world needs to interact with Sana'a, and isolating Yemen from regional and international equations is neither possible nor good for stability of the global economy. 

Warning to the US 

Opening Ansarullah office can be regarded from another aspect. It can send a warning to Washington that if it wants to support the Israeli regime in Gaza and inflame tensions in the region, it have to face strong joint reaction of Iraqi and Yemeni resistance. In the past nine months, Iraqi and Ansarullah groups have carried out numerous attacks on Israeli ships in the Red Sea and the occupied territories under "unity of fronts (fields)" in support of the people of Gaza, and this operational coordination is increasing day by day. Even some sources believe that the operations of Ansarullah in the Red Sea are carried out with the participation of the Iraqi resistance that provides the information of all passing ships to the Yemenis, so that only Israeli-bound ships are targeted.

Having honed its military skills and made achievements on the ground, Ansarullah is now the power with an upper hand in Yemen and the power of which even the Westerners acknowledge. So, any uncalculated action by the US to escalate will draw a crushing response from Ansarullah. Sana'a leaders have repeatedly said that the main cause of tension in the region is the US that is fueling conflict by its support to Israel, and it is better for the Americans to put pressure on Tel Aviv to end the genocide in Gaza instead of pressing ahead with war. Therefore, giving an office to Ansarullah in Baghdad is a warning to the US and the Israelis that if they want to start an adventure in Lebanon, the resistance groups will not sit idly and will support Hezbollah.

Tags :

Ansarullah Yemen Iraq Resistance Hezbollah War West Israel

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