European Institute: Al Houthi is not interested in ending the war, and Biden's decisions motivated him to expand his aggression

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NewsYemen, private translation

The Italian Institute for International Political Studies said that the decisions taken by the administration of US President Joe Biden to end the war in Yemen had an adverse effect, adding: "An unprecedented Houthi military escalation, more casualties, and a worsening humanitarian crisis."

The institute said, in a recent report, that "this failed start raises dangers to the worst humanitarian crisis in the world."

If the United States is serious about ending the war, the report said, it must immediately change its strategy, adopt evidence-based policies informed by the dynamics on the ground, and balance its pressure on all the warring parties, especially the Houthis, who are more intransigent and refuse to accept a ceasefire.

He added, "Only a successful policy is one that strives to achieve lasting peace in Yemen, and this will only happen when the United States focuses on the local dimension, while giving priority to Yemeni national interests."

The foreign policy of the new US administration in the Middle East has focused on Yemen from the start, and in early February it announced the end of US support for the offensive operations of the Saudi-led coalition and installed a new US envoy to Yemen, and worse, it raised the Houthi group from the list of foreign terrorist organizations.

These steps were aimed at enhancing the chances of a diplomatic solution, however - the report says - they do not reflect a careful reading of the rapidly changing war dynamics, and the worst is that these American steps failed to affect the Houthi militia supported by Iran.

Ironically, he said, the United States is gradually abandoning the Arab coalition while providing incentives to the Houthis.

He pointed out that many Houthi leaders see the American steps as encouraging them to expand the scope of their military aggression, and as a call to expand the war, which has recently entered its seventh year.

Just three days after Biden’s foreign policy speech, the report said, the Houthis resumed their largest military campaign against Marib, the last northern stronghold under government control, and the largest concentration of internally displaced people. Two million Yemenis fled the Houthi oppression and aggression.

These confrontations led to more suffering for Yemenis, as hundreds lost their lives on both sides, and thousands of families were displaced, while many of the displaced faced the prospect of double displacement.

He warned that the Houthi victory in Marib would amplify their commensurate power in Yemen's internal dynamics, making peace out of reach.

The report believes that the Houthis have read the Biden administration's decisions in their favor. This reading not only negatively affected Yemen, but also regional dynamics, as the Houthis intensified their drones and ballistic missiles against Saudi Arabia last month.

Of the more than 500 attacks launched against Saudi Arabia since the start of the war, the Houthis have launched dozens since Biden became president.

The report considered that the recent US policies had disrupted Washington’s diplomatic efforts and led to more war in Yemen.

He stressed that the Houthis have no interest in ending the war because they are building their progress on changing the status quo through violence and destruction.

He stressed that ending US support for the Saudi-led coalition would not break the resolve of the Houthis or end the war.

The report said that the best service that the United States can provide is to re-evaluate its strategy in Yemen, and to avoid falling into the trap of diplomatic statements that are not accompanied by effective moves, pointing out that the United Nations Special Envoy Martin Griffiths has been doing this since 2018, to no avail.

The Italian Institute for International Political Studies concluded that it is impossible for peace without separating Yemen from the regional files, as well as creating a favorable environment on the ground. This will not happen at a time when the Houthis see the recent US measures as more empowerment for them to defeat their opponents.