Prof. Fahad M. Al-Otaibi*
The Saudi's War in Yemen according to the "us bellum justum" theory

One of the striking things is this hectic race between some unprofessional channels, such as Al Jazeera and others, over the unfair coverage of the Arab coalition war in Yemen; where these channels were characterized by depicting this war as an unjust war targeting Yemen, both: people and land. The question remains, is this war "just" or not?

In order to answer this question, we must look at the " us bellum justum " theory, which is the theory adopted in the contemporary world order. 

This theory holds that although war is not the best option, it is not the worst option available to states. 

A sense of responsibility, fear of significant loss of life, or a change in the status quo may lead some states to be forced into war and for noble goals.

This theory consists of two parts, each of which in turn consists of several criteria, and if these criteria are achieved, then the war is fair and acceptable. 

The first part is about going to war (us bellum justum), and the first criterion in this part is that the decision to go to war is the last solution after all diplomatic attempts have been exhausted. 

Concerning the Yemen war, the decision to launch it was not taken until after all the Kingdom's attempts to reach a peaceful solution were exhausted.

The second criterion, when heading towards war, must be a decision to launch it either by a state or group of countries that have legal status in the world order, in order not to leave it open to terrorist groups and extremists to launch their extremism within this scope. 

As for the decision to launch the Yemen war, it is an Arab decision that resulted in the formation of the Arab coalition led by the Kingdom. Rather, the international system blessed this war, appreciating the coalition's efforts in combating terrorism.

Then comes the motivation behind going to war, which must be convincing and justified; this war came in response to an invitation from the legitimate government in Yemen that cloned its Arab brothers, especially the kingdom, in order to save it from the Houthi militia, and this is for Omari a just cause. This war also aimed at combating terrorism, given that the Houthi militia is a terrorist organization, and implements the agendas of the largest terrorist country in the region, Iran, which is also a just cause.

The second part of the "just war" theory relates to the mechanisms for implementing war itself (jus in bello). 

Here we find the Kingdom keen to ensure that this war achieves its goals with minimal losses. This moral dimension is what explains the lack of rush to end the war, as the Kingdom is keen on the lives of Yemeni civilians in all ways, especially women and children, and Houthi is not hesitant to use them as human shields.

It is also keen to stay away from civilian targets that Houthi exploits for military purposes. 

This Saudi ethical aspect did not stop there. Rather, the efforts of the King Salman Relief Center, which was directed mostly to Yemen, are highlighted. 

Its relief projects exceeded 274 projects, at a cost of close to $ 2 billion. Including more than 100 projects in the field of health, 60 projects in the field of food security, 17 projects in the field of water and environmental sanitation, and 10 projects in the field of education, and the list goes on and is difficult to list here. 

The Kingdom also hosts millions of Yemenis on its soil, and it did not try one day to use them as a pressure card in this war, as these Yemenis are treated with a special treatment that is no less than that of a citizen in his country.

In the end, here is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia defending legitimacy in Yemen, fighting terrorism, eliminating Persian ambitions in it, pouring various aid on its people, and hosting millions of members of this brotherly nation. 

The question remains, can anyone, after all, dispute the position of Saudi Arabia towards Yemen?



Prof. Fahad M. Al-Otaibi

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