From the American coalition to the shadow of full-scale war

At a time when broadcasting images of childrens corpses and hearing the cries of injured and frightened women and children has become a constant part of the worlds news networks and the world public opinion is getting used to seeing these tragedies neither a strong nor binding resolution will be passed in the Security Council against Israel nor will sanctions be imposed against this criminal regime nor will the Western countries and America be willing to take a step to stop Israel in Gaza.
3 January 2024
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Mohammad Mehdi Mazaheri

At a time when broadcasting images of children's corpses and hearing the cries of injured and frightened women and children has become a constant part of the world's news networks and the world public opinion is getting used to seeing these tragedies, neither a strong nor binding resolution will be passed in the Security Council against Israel, nor will sanctions be imposed against this criminal regime, nor will the Western countries and America be willing to take a step to stop Israel in Gaza. The war in Gaza continues with all intensity, and the number of its martyrs has exceeded 21 thousand people, most of whom are children, women, and innocent civilians. Still, apparently, the only concern of Western countries is the freedom of trade and shipping in the Red Sea!

Based on this, the bitter irony of the story is that the only coalition that is formed after nearly three months of continuous killing of civilians in Gaza is not to confront the rebel Israeli regime to force it to stop the war but against the forces that tried and not be indifferent to the actions of the Zionist regime and increase the costs of war for this regime and its support for other countries. In fact, with the intensification of the siege of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the prevention of Israel from sending humanitarian aid to the people of this strip, the Yemeni National Army decided to detain and make unsafe the Zionist ships or the ships that go to the occupied territories as a countermeasure so that Israel is forced to open the way to send medicine and food to the people of Gaza. As a result, on November 19, 2023, they started attacking ships bound for the occupied territories, and this was something that did not please the supporters of the Zionist regime.

While at present, parts of international law that refer to the laws of war, human rights, and humanitarian rights are not very attractive to European and American countries, the rights of the seas and freedom of navigation are so important to them that they have decided to create a naval military coalition. The coalition, which is led by America and in the first days of its formation, was supposed to have 20 members, and more countries would join it, but it had not yet started when some countries such as France, Italy, Spain, and Australia withdrew from it.

Although these countries have announced that they are primarily acting to ensure the safety of shipping in the Red Sea, it seems that the actions of the Zionist regime in Gaza have reached a border of insolence that few countries want to spend their credit on supporting it. However, some other countries that joined the coalition did not want their names to be disclosed because they were worried about dishonor in the international arena and the costly reactions of the resistance front.

In such a situation, when the fragile American alliance in the Red Sea was faced with the breakup and rapid withdrawal of some member countries, and this was somehow interpreted as the humiliation of America, this country tried to attack the boats of the Yemeni army on December 31, 2023 and killing 10 Yemeni sea warriors who were seizing a commercial ship to prove to its half-way allies in the coalition as well as the members of the resistance front that America is determined in its decision to support Israel and secure the Red Sea. England, which has always been one of the traditional partners of the United States in military interventions, has announced that London plans to carry out attacks against Yemenis at sea and on land in coordination with its partners. Such actions and positions have increased the possibility of expanding the scope of the war in the region, but with the formation of the American coalition, are the conditions in the region going to a full-scale war?

In this context, there are some points worth pondering that show that there will not be a full-scale war. One of the most important proofs of this claim is that contrary to the previous practice of the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, which were among the first and permanent members of all military coalitions led by the United States, in the recent coalition, except for Bahrain, which has officially joined this coalition, and the reason for this is the presence of the fifth fleet of the US Navy in this country, the rest of the important Arab countries have refused to join the coalition or have made it subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions.

In particular, Saudi Arabia, which is the most important Arab country in the Persian Gulf, and its decisions can guide the actions of other Arab countries despite the fact that it has an army equipped with American weapons and carries out 36% of its imports through Red Sea ports, has announced that it is not interested in participating in the American coalition in the Red Sea. The reason for adopting such an approach, along with the concern of the Saudi authorities about destroying their credibility in the Islamic world for helping the Israeli regime, is that Riyadh has taken great steps in the last year to de-escalate and improve relations with Iran and other member countries of the resistance axis and is specifically looking for an agreement with Ansarullah forces to end the war with Yemen. Based on this, it seems that the analysis of the Saudi authorities was that if this country joined the American coalition, its efforts of the last year would be ineffective, and it is likely that Saudi cities would once again become the target of Sana'a attacks. In addition to the above points, the Beijing Treaty between Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia obliges Tehran and Riyadh not to threaten each other throughout the region, and it seems that Saudi Arabia does not want to harm this treaty at this point.

Egypt, which is one of the other important countries of the Arab world, and of course, since the beginning of the Gaza war, has made many efforts to end it and recently presented a peace plan to end the war, which was not accepted by both sides, preferred not to join the American coalition in support of Israel. In the few months that have passed since the war, Qatar has always been a mediator of peace and striving for a ceasefire, and therefore, there is no talk of this country's membership in the coalition. The UAE has adopted a relatively similar position to other Arab countries. However, the non-membership of this country in the coalition is not certain; Abu Dhabi officials have announced that they are considering joining the American coalition in the Red Sea and will join this coalition only if certain conditions are met, including a decisive American attack on Sana'a! A position that shows that under normal conditions, this country does not seek to increase tension with the resistance front, especially Yemen's Ansarullah, and it cooperates with the United States in the coalition only if this country guarantees to bomb the Yemeni Houthis and destroys their operational capabilities, which seems unlikely at this point.

The adoption of such an approach by the important countries of the Arab world, while for many of them it has become clear that the American president, due to the proximity of the elections, needs to carry out adventurous cross-border actions, magnify the power of the United States in different regions, and form international coalitions and collective actions, and of course it tries to show its commitment to support Israel's security, However, in the case of increasing conflicts and rising costs, as in the case of Afghanistan, it prefers leaving and fleeing rather than staying and supporting the countries and nations of the region, or, as in the case of Yemen's Houthi attack on Aramco's oil facilities, it does not take any action to support its traditional allies and will seek its interests in areas and compete with other countries.

Based on this, it seems that the Arab countries have reached such an understanding of America's opportunism. They have come to this maturity and analysis that in order to maintain their credibility and interests, they must adhere to the maintenance of peace and security in the region and not create a new basis for the expansion of conflicts in the region and confront the resistance front. In such a situation, if the Arab countries remain in the same position and the United States does not succeed in attracting them and more European countries to participate in the coalition, the possibility of the spread of war in the region will weaken, and the United States, given the proximity of the election, will probably not seek more tension with one or two other show actions in the Red Sea, and will have to abandon the coalition and follow the other solutions.

Mohammad Mehdi Mazaheri, University Professor

 (The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IPIS)

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