Muslim Press has conducted an interview with political commentator Catherine Shakdam about the situation in Yemen and Saudi Arabia’s role in the conflict.

Answering a question on the latest truce between Yemeni forces and Saudi Arabia, Mrs. Shakdam said, “The usual assumption has been that Saudi Arabia wants to make peace with Yemen which of course is not the case whatsoever.”

“From the very beginning - I mean the onset of this war - Saudi Arabia has claimed that it wants to restore Yemen political legitimacy that it wants to promote the rise of democracy in the Arabian Peninsula which of course is a fallacy.”

She went on to say, “Saudi Arabia is a theocracy. It would be ludicrous to believe that it wants to promote anything remotely democratic. If anything, I do believe that Saudi Arabia has tried to promote the extension and expansion of its Wahhabi wannabe empire across the Arabian Peninsula, and of course Yemen represents a very geostrategic target for that. It’s very geopolitically important in terms of controlling the region and exerting power onto Africa and Asia and of course the control of the world oil routes through Bab el Mandeb strait on the red sea. So that’s the first thing.”

“The second thing is that Saudi Arabia has always (I mean that I’m talking going back decades here) tried to control Yemen and make sure that Yemen was under its thumb. So it has done so over the past decades by trying to corrupt and control Yemen’s seat of power. And it has done so via corruption, by playing tribes against one another, by ensuring that people of Yemen would be kept in state of abject poverty so on and so forth.”

“And of course with the rise of the Houthis back in 2013 and 2014, Saudi Arabia was kind of forced to change speed and the fact that king Abdullah died and that king Salman took over, kind of precipitated this, because his son Mohammed bin Salman rose to power,” she noted.

“He is the 30-year-old wannabe king that has very little experience in terms of handling any heavy political duty and so when Yemen represented too much of a threat to them, he just reacted and declared war in Yemen and actually, if anything, made the situation worse for Saudi Arabia. Now Saudi Arabia is stuck in a war which it cannot possibly win - not militarily, not politically, and not economically - and it has devastated its finances and has more or less weakened its national sovereignty.”

She dismissed Riyadh’s claims of wanting peace, saying, “Those ceasefires, if anything, are a massive media set up where Riyadh wants to appear an appeasing power who wants to appear genuine, and its pursuit of peace, it has absolutely no interest in the holding peace, if anything, whenever there is a truce they always violate it.”


Catherine Shakdam is a political analyst, writer and commentator for the Middle East with a special focus on radical movements and Yemen. A regular pundit on RT and other networks, her work has appeared in major publications such as MintPress, RT, Press TV, the Foreign Policy Journal, Mehr News, the Guardian, Middle East Eye, the Middle East Monitor and many others. The Director of Programs at the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies, Catherine is also the co-founder of Veritas Consulting. In 2015 her research on Yemen was quoted and used by the UNSC in a resolution on Yemen Looted Funds. She is the author of Arabia’s Rising - Under The Banner Of The First Imam.