There is a logical argument to be made that in order for Saudi Arabia to win Yemen, it must win Syria first.
For the Kingdom, Yemen is an existential war, but for Iran, Syria is its existential battlefield. When losing Syria, Iran shrinks to its normal borders and with it all the terror ambitions the Mullahs have planned for the region.
For Saudi Arabia, Yemen is a defensive war and Syria is an offensive one. As the adage goes, the best defense is a good offense and Syria’s theater provides that best defense strategy for the Kingdom. To win Yemen, Saudi Arabia needs to win Syria first.
Here are some comparative analysis in support of this argument.
Syria’s War is Almost Won: Unlike the Houthis in Yemen who have suffered some setbacks, the Assad regime in Syria is almost collapsing having suffered immense duress and losses. The regime could fall any day. Every day Saudi Arabia wastes in not committing more resources to Syria to defeat the Assad regime is a day Iran gains to prepare to confront the Syrian rebels. Syria needs Saudi Special Forces armed with Stinger missiles to defeat the Assad Air Force. This act alone will rally all the rebels around Saudi Arabia and will cannibalize ISIS from its soldiers. To win Yemen, Saudi Arabia needs to win Syria first.
Syria Diminishes Iran: An Iranian defeat in Syria may bring down the Mullahs, but an Iranian defeat in Yemen will hardly scratch their egos because Yemen is intended to destabilize, while Syria is intended to grow Iranian influence and expand the Mullahs land grab
in the Arab world. Time wise, this makes winning in Syria far more important. To win Yemen, Saudi Arabia needs to win Syria first.
Troops on the Ground: Syria has several groups on the ground with extensive battlefield experience that have demonstrated the ability to defeat the Assad regime if armed properly. Such is not the case in Yemen where pro-Saudi fighters are ill-equipped and ill-prepared and where Saudi Arabia has an enemy in al-Qaeda’s presence. The Syrian theater is better equipped and more prepared to hand Saudi Arabia a win. To win Yemen, Saudi Arabia needs to win Syria first.
Win One, Second One is Free: Hezbollah killed Rafik Hariri in Lebanon, a Lebanese-Saudi prime minister. Bringing down the Assad
regime in Syria by allotting the necessary resources means also weakening and possibly eradicating the terror of Hezbollah. In honor
of Rafik Hariri and in eradicating the terror of Hezbollah, Saudi Arabia should aggressively pursue whatever policy to defeat the Assad regime. To win Yemen, Saudi Arabia needs to win Syria first.
Don’t Mind Obama: Obama is a ghost U.S. President because of his inability to project U.S. power in the region in support of American interests (Obama hates America). Any interference from the White House to support Iran in Syria, which will surely happen, should be dismissed because Obama cannot but acquiesce to those who are willing to use force to implement their vision for an Iran terror-free region. Just dangle a promise to fund his library in Chicago and Obama will go away. Hillary Clinton showed us how to buy influence on the cheap. To win Yemen, Saudi Arabia needs to win Syria first.