‘Saudi bombing will have horrendous impact expanding far beyond Yemen’

A man reacts at the site of an airstrike in Sanaa April 8, 2015. (Reuters/Khaled Abdullah)
The air campaign in Yemen led by Saudi Arabia with US coordination will have terrible consequences bringing further destruction and creating millions of refugees, Sara Flounders, Co-director, international Action Center, told RT.

RT:What consequences will these Saudi air strikes on Yemen have? Are they going to be effective?

Sara Flounders: They will have terrible consequences for the people of Yemen. But I do not think they will be effective because these are absolute reactionary invading forces from Saudi Arabia even if it’s pulling in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), those reactionary monarchies, or pulling in Egypt and Pakistan -people’s resistance is always more powerful.

RT:Will it bring some kind of stability to the region?

SF: I will certainly not bring stability. It will bring horrendous further destruction. Yemen is already the poorest country of the region and already so destroyed. So this will have a horrendous impact and it will also expand far beyond Yemen. The sheer number of refugees, of people on the move, who are forced out. Area bombardment of cities – that is what is going on now. That is a crime no matter how you measure it, and this is what Saudi Arabia is carrying out and it is with full equipping, encouragement and coordination from the US.

READ MORE: 'Stop arming Saudi Arabia!' Anti-war activists protest UK-backed Yemen airstrikes

RT:Do you think it’s possible to solve this conflict by political means?

SF: I certainly think it’s possible to solve it by political means and there has been a call for that on the part of the resistance. But really what is happening… US policy in Yemen has completely collapsed, US bases, the drone attacks, it emanated out of Yemen. This is what has collapsed and the US is trying hard through reactionary forces in the region to reestablish its foothold and to bring back the very forces that had destabilized Yemen.

It seems this time that the next Washington step was to rush arms to Egypt to participate, in other words to seek a military solution.

RT:What are the possible final destinations for Yemeni refugees, Europe, other Middle East countries?

SF: Well refugees, people on the move, flood wherever they can gain access, wherever they can find any formal stability, or jobs, or livelihood for themselves and for their families. So of course quite a number will come to Europe, others will go throughout the entire region and millions of people will be displaced. I think we can see a third of the population of Syria displaced by US efforts for regime change in Syria. So we can picture how desperate the situation has already become in Yemen and what millions of displaced people on the move will mean in Europe and in many other countries within the Middle East also.

READ MORE: Iran's Khamenei accuses Saudi Arabia of genocide over Yemen airstrikes

RT:Why is there no response from the UN?

SF: They didn’t respond because the US supports it and politically calls the shots. When you look at the Saudi invasion, bombing campaign and what the UN has said in the past at other countries when there is US instigation. Look at Iraq going into Kuwait years ago. And the immediate orchestrated response – “war, invasion” - that this created. And yet here is Saudi Arabia invading and bombing Yemen with full US encouragement and support and also all the other imperialist powers who operate together in order to push back any form of resistance that they feel will… These all regimes are collapsing. They can no longer be propped up and held up and that is what they are trying to do – to use military measures to put back into place governments that are completely collapsing because they provided the population with nothing that won the loyalty of the population. And this is what happened in Yemen in essence.


‘Vast majority flee from Yemen to Somalia’

Political analyst Chris Bambery argues that it is unlikely Yemeni refugees will flock to Europe, saying that the majority of them will rather seek shelter in the region, including Somalia.

“At the moment the vast majority of those people fleeing Yemen are going across the sea to Somalia, believe it or not, another warzone, or Djibouti. And these are people fleeing from one of the poorest countries in the world going to another of the poorest countries in the world. And I personally do not believe that there is going to be an influx of refugees into Europe,” he told RT. “If you look at the Syrian conflict, the vast majority of refugees from Syria have gone to neighboring countries and have remained in neighboring countries. Europe is taking in a tiny number of Syrian refugees - maybe 500 in the UK, which is really pathetic. I don’t believe that they are going to encourage mass refugees to come to Europe at present.”

Given that there has been a rise of anti-immigrant parties across Western Europe and upcoming elections in a number of countries, including Britain, it is very unlikely that any of these countries would welcome the refugees, Bambery said.

“Added to this is the fact that there will be some sort of security concerns that some al-Qaeda people of course exist in Yemen, and will be using the opportunity to come in. But the biggest irony of this is the reason why we have a major refugee crisis developing in one of the poorest countries in the world - is because Britain, the US, and France have supplied Saudi Arabia with billions of pounds and dollars’ worth of weapons which have enabled Saudi Arabia to carry out the airstrikes which is causing this refugee crisis. And the way to solve [it] would be to stop Saudi airstrikes,” the analyst said.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.