Saudi-led Coalition Denies Supplying Houthis, AQAP with US Weapons in Yemen

Lester Mason
February 12, 2019

Morocco, which at first took part in the Arab coalition to support legitimacy in Yemen, has also reviewed its participation in the coalition and raises the pressing need for an urgent intervention to end the humanitarian crisis in the conflict-stricken Arab country.

Saudi Arabia entered Yemen's war in 2015 in an attempt to roll back advances made by the Houthis, a group of Shia rebels who overran much of the country in 2014.

Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said in an interview last month with Qatar-based broadcaster Al-Jazeera that "on the basis of developments" in Yemen, "there was a change in the form and the content" of Morocco's participation.

Morocco did not voice support for Saudi Arabia in the wake of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents at a Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October and the Saudi crown prince was not received in Morocco a year ago while on a North African tour.

2018 has seen rising tensions between the two historical allies, with a series of tit-for-tat moves showing the two kingdoms' discontent over each other's diplomatic standing, concurrently with the rise to power of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. According to one of the sources, Morocco declined to host the Saudi crown prince in an unusual snub, citing the Moroccan king's "busy agenda".

The documentary caused a backslash in Morocco, prompting many Moroccans on social media to express their rejection of the Saudi "ultimate provocation" and to urge the Moroccan government to reconsider its relations with Saudi Arabia.

With logistical support from the United States, the coalition has carried out more than 18 000 raids on Houthi-held areas in an attempt to reverse their gains.

Al Arabiya news channel broadcasted a documentary describing Morocco's sovereignty over the Sahara as "an invasion".

A large territory in southern Morocco, the Western Sahara remains the subject of dispute between Rabat and the Polisario Front, an Algeria-backed movement which for decades has called for regional independence. The war has killed thousands and displaced over 3 million people.

Morocco has recalled its ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Mustapha Mansouri, for consultations.

Food prices have increased by an average of 68 percent, and the price of commodities such as petrol, diesel and cooking gas have increased by at least 25 percent in the past year.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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