Experts say the Houthis have the upper hand as the Saudi-backed Yemeni regime is about to lose the war. Meanwhile, the Iran-backed rebel group has come close to capturing Marib, the last Saudi stronghold in northern Yemen.

The Houthis in Yemen called on the Arab coalition to engage in 'serious' negotiations to end the six-year-long civil war in the country. 

Mehdi al-Mashat, chairman of the Supreme Political Council of the Iran-backed Houthis, said on Monday that local and regional changes are conclusive evidence of “the greatness and effectiveness of the September 21 Revolution,” when the rebels captured the capital city Sanaa in 2014. 

Calling for an end to the military presence of the Saudi-led coalition, Mashat asked the Arab states to lift the blockade and open the International Sana Airport to flights.

Mashat invited the other parties in Yemen "who are on the path of hostility to the Arab coalition forces" to be clever and allow them to resolve internal conflicts through "the national reconciliation congress." 

Mashat also warned that the general amnesty would not remain open forever.

As Yemen continues to suffer from political instability, the Arab coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia, have tried their best to ensure their proxy government in Yemen held some ground and reversed the Houthi gains made since 2015. 

Speaking to TRT World, activist Baraa Shiban, the first Yemeni to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, defined the Supreme Political Council of Houthis as a branch representing the de-facto political system in Sanaa. 

Since its creation, he said, Mashat has been leading public relations for the Houthis, keeping communication channels open with the outside world. 

“That is the reason why (Mashat's) political office always gives these kinds of messages.”

 Shiban said the ongoing Houthi offensive in the northern Yemeni city of Marib, a stronghold of the Saudi-backed regime in Yemen, is one of the major assaults led by the rebel group since 2015. 

According to Shiban, it is a crucial rebel advance to extend their control to the north of the country, which has been under the tenure of the Saudi-backed Yemeni government. 

Tehran University’s Professor Mohammad Marandi said the Saudis are in big trouble as they are close to losing the war. The Houthis are "about to capture Marib, the capital of the last Saudi stronghold". 

“The Houthis are trying to apply psychological pressure on the Saudis so that Riyadh will be forced to make a deal. As time goes on, things are going to get worse and worse for it,” Marandi told TRT World

On the other hand, Shiban thinks that Houthis are demonstrating that they are ready to talk “if the Saudis remain neutral.”

Shiban, however, maintained that the current circumstances are unlikely to give any boost to the UN-led political process since it has failed to achieve any significant breakthrough since the end of 2018.

 Shiban also said the Houthis have been very consistent in disseminating their version of events and political narrative across Yemen, portraying the Saudi-led coalition as a foreign entity that had invaded Yemeni lands. 

Shiban said that this narrative resonated with a lot of people, not least because their memory of “the US invasion to the Muslim lands" are quite fresh. 

“The style of Houthis’ foreign policy is similar to that of Iran,” he said. 

Source: TRT World