By Abayomi Azikiwe
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken among other high level White House officials have repeatedly stated since October 7 that one of their major objectives is to prevent the regionalization of the upsurge of resistance to the State of Israel in Gaza.
However, it is Washington which has laid the groundwork for an already broad area of conflict throughout West Asia from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf.
In the specific case of Yemen, the Pentagon, under successive administrations, has engaged in occupations, bombing operations and proxy wars. Between 2015 and 2022, the U.S., backing Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), coordinated a genocidal war against the people of Yemen resulting in one of the worst humanitarian crises on a global scale.
With the rapid growth of the political influence of the Ansar Allah resistance movement within Yemen, the U.S. has targeted the organization claiming it is a surrogate of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Tehran has denied that any of the affiliates of the Axis of Resistance follow the orders of their government, noting only that they support these organizations politically since all have the same objectives of ridding the region of U.S. imperialism and Zionism.
Yemeni resistance forces have pledged to carry out military operations against the State of Israel in solidarity with the efforts of Hamas and other organizations fighting the occupation. The Ansar Allah describes the situation in Gaza as “ethnic cleansing.” This can easily be deduced from the language of the Israeli state which says its purpose in the Gaza war is to eliminate the Hamas organization which is the dominant political grouping in the Strip.
Since October 7, there have been round after round of consistent blanket bombings focusing on residential areas, infrastructure, food and water supplies, schools, refugee camps and hospitals. Official statistics released from the Gaza Health Ministry indicate that over 14,000 people have been killed in less than two months. Most of those massacred are children and women. Many people have been bombed by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) while in their homes, churches, mosques and hospitals.
IDF and Israeli government spokespersons are given free reign within the western corporate and government-controlled media where lies are spread daily which apportions blame for the current situation on the resistance forces. Perhaps the most outrageous falsehoods center around the purported utilization of hospitals as military command posts for Hamas.
Yemen Heightens Efforts to End Imperialist Influence
Therefore, in Yemen and other countries in the region, resistance forces have expressed their solidarity with the people of Gaza in various ways. Mass demonstrations are occurring on a regular basis while military actions against Tel Aviv and the U.S. are escalating.
On November 19, Yemeni Naval Forces seized the Galaxy Leader vessel saying that such ships with Israeli owners will continue to be targeted until the military actions against the Palestinians cease. The capture of this ship coincided with numerous missile-launches against Israel by the Yemeni resistance forces.
A report by the Naval Technology website says regarding the ship seizure by Yemeni resistance forces that:
“’The Yemeni armed forces deal with the ship’s crew in accordance with the principle and values of our Islamic religion,’ Houthi spokesperson Yahya Sare’e said in a statement on X (formerly Twitter). The exact whereabouts of the Galaxy Leader are unknown. It was believed to be en route from Turkey to India…. In footage of the hijacking released by the Houthis yesterday [20 November], armed Houthi fighters jumped aboard the moving Galaxy Leader ship from a helicopter. The 25 crew members were held at gunpoint as Palestinian and Yemeni flags were raised…. Sare’e added that the Houthis will continue to target ships operated or owned by Israeli companies. The Houthis claimed the hijacking was ‘in solidarity with Palestinian people in the wake of the brutal Israeli aggression on Gaza’. The Japanese Government yesterday [20 November] confirmed that the captured ship is operated by Tokyo-headquartered Nippon Yusen. Japan has said it is appealing to the Houthis while calling on authorities in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Iran for assistance in releasing the vessel and its crew. Two ships connected with Nippon Yusen have since diverted their routes in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, according to Reuters.”
The seizure of vessels in the Red Sea places greater pressure on the U.S. to escalate its interventionist policies designed to preserve influence in this geopolitical region. A recent analytical review published in Al Jazeera suggests that other states such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates would not want to confront the Yemeni resistance since there is a truce between Sanaa and Riyadh. The normalization of relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a reproachment brokered by the People’s Republic of China during 2022, has curtailed the capacity of Washington to manipulate its longtime alliances with the conservative Gulf states.
Al Jazeera says of the present situation:
“Since October 7, the U.S. has deployed many assets to the Middle East, centered around two carrier strike groups (CSGs). The one in the Mediterranean, the CSG 12, is led by the newest and most modern nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R Ford. The CSG 2, currently in the Gulf of Oman, is fronted by the USS Dwight D Eisenhower. Each aircraft carrier is accompanied by a guided missile cruiser, two or three destroyers and a flotilla of auxiliaries, such as tankers, store ships and mobile repair bases. Each of the two CSGs has a clearly defined task: The CSG 12 is to monitor the wider area of Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq and act against any threats that could escalate the conflict. The CSG 2 is there to watch Iran and act against it if the situation escalates.”
This large-scale military presence by the Pentagon represents a danger to the people within the region since Washington is the closest ally to Tel Aviv. Unless tensions are lessened at the aegis of the U.S., a wider military conflict appears to be unavoidable.
Pentagon Escalates Bombing of Iraq and Syria While Border Clashes Continue Between Lebanese Resistance and IDF
There have been dozens of attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Storm against the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on October 7. In response, the U.S. Air Force has struck bases which they claim are connected with Iran.
On November 22, there was another U.S. bombing of a base of the Kataib Hezbollah resistance organization of Iraq. The town of Jurf al-Sakhar suffered the most damage where 8 people were killed.
An article published in The Cradle emphasized:
“The Iraqi resistance announced on 21 November it had targeted the Ain al-Assad base in Iraq twice, as well as the Al-Shaddadi base in Hasakah, northeastern Syria. The bases were struck ‘with appropriate weapons,’ which ‘directly hit’ all their targets. The Ain al-Assad base was hit with close-range ballistic missiles, resulting in eight injuries and material damage, according to two U.S. officials. U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria have come under almost daily fire by the Islamic Resistance of Iraq, a coalition of Iraqi resistance factions that banded together last month to confront U.S. forces in rejection of Washington’s support for Israel. The attacks are launched ‘in response to the crimes committed by the enemy against our people in Gaza.’ ‘U.S. forces have been attacked approximately 66 times since October 17. Thirty-two separate times in Iraq, and 34 separate times in Syria,’ the Pentagon announced on Tuesday evening. At least 60 U.S. soldiers have suffered traumatic brain injuries and other injuries.”
In southern Lebanon where the Hezbollah resistance movement has engaged in cross-border fighting with the IDF, there has been a sharp escalation in property damage and deaths. On November 21, two reporters from the Al Mayadeen news agency were killed in targeted attacks by the IDF.
These journalists, Farah Omar and Rabih Me’mari, were mourned by their parents and the staff of Al Mayadeen. This media organization has been banned by the Israeli state from covering events in the West Bank.
On the following day of November 22, five Hezbollah party members were murdered in attacks by the IDF. A statement from the resistance movement said the five martyrs killed were: Abbas Raad, Ahmad Mustafa, Mohammad Hassan Sherri, Bassam Kanjo, and Khalil Shhimi.
Since October 7, thousands of Israeli settlers have been evacuated from the northern region due to clashes between Hezbollah and the IDF. In addition to the tensions on the Lebanon-Israel border, activists are being targeted in the West Bank by the Israeli security forces where dozens have been killed.
Despite the claims by the administration of President Joe Biden of its desire to contain the war, the actual developments on the ground are moving swiftly in the direction of expansion. As the IDF continues its targeting of civilians and public institutions such as healthcare facilities in Gaza, Hamas and the Palestine Islamic Jihad have been regularly issuing videos of their operations against the IDF.
Campaigns in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle must continue their demonstrations aimed at breaking all economic, military and political ties with the settler-colonial state. Until the Palestinian question is satisfactorily resolved there will be no peace and security in the region.