Shiite Saudi researcher Ali Al-Ahmed, director of the Washington-based Institute for Gulf Affairs said in a March 26 interview with the Iranian English-language TV channel Press TV that the Saudi campaign against the Houthis in Yemen may bring the rule of the royal Saudi family to an end. He also said that the US will lose influence in Yemen following its "miscalculation" of supporting the Saudi campaign.
Following are excerpts:
Ali Al-Ahmed: The Saudis and their allies have a huge battle on their hands. They have entered the hornet's nest. In fact, the founder of Saudi Arabia warned his children not to enter Yemen militarily, because this would start the end of the story for the Saudi monarchy. I believe that could be possible in the next few months of years, because of this miscalculation.
The Saudi reasons for [the airstrikes], and what the Saudi ambassador [to the U.S.] was saying, were almost laughable. I felt it was an episode from a comedy show or something. The Saudi ambassador in Washington started speaking about legitimacy, a constitution, and elections that the Saudi government is supposedly trying to protect in Yemen, when Saudi Arabia does not have a constitution, it has no elections, and no legitimate form of government that people choose. The Saudis supported the overthrow of the clearly elected president of Egypt, and that was not a consideration. In fact, they are not out there to support the Yemeni people. This is my very clear, and Yemenis must recognize it. The Saudi invasion of Yemen is an invasion. It is not for the interests of Yemen or of its people. It is really to prevent Yemen from becoming more independent from Saudi hegemony. I think that this is why this war will be long and might end in Riyadh.
In the end, the United States will lose influence in Yemen. The U.S. influence in Yemen is done because of this miscalculation, and the Saudis will end up being bogged down. I remind you that in 2009, against a smaller force – a force that was not trained and was not even equipped sufficiently – they lost. Right now, the Yemeni side is a larger force, better equipped, a well-disciplined force, which will be able to take Saudi territories. I will not be surprised, in the next few days, to see Yemeni forces inside Saudi territories.