Small Wars Journal

Saudi Attempts to Win Over Locals in Yemen Stir Anger

Saudi Attempts to Win Over Locals in Yemen Stir Anger by Sune Engel Rasmussen and Saleh al-Batati – Wall Street Journal

To win over locals in this relatively peaceful corner of a shattered country, Saudi Arabia has funded schools, expanded medical facilities and promised new boats for fishermen.


The kingdom’s military has also taken over sea and airports and brought in hundreds of Saudi soldiers to carry out the projects, stirring up opposition among residents of Yemen’s Al-Mahra province, whose capital is Ghaydah.


As international pressure builds on the Saudi-led coalition to halt Yemen’s devastating war, deep distrust among residents here is complicating Riyadh’s efforts to build loyalty among locals and keep hostile forces, particularly Iran-backed Houthi rebels, from exploiting Yemen’s chaos and threatening the kingdom.


Some people in Al-Mahra accuse Saudi Arabia of using development projects to entrench its military and secure strategic interests through the control of Yemen’s key infrastructure…

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