By Yaseen Khaled
Years of international war have almost totally wiped Sunni teror groups from the world and the region, to the point that the extreme opposite of Sunni terrorist groups, Shia terrorist groups, took over in some places of the region where al-Qaeda was driven out.
In Yemen, al-Qaeda has been beaten long ago and dismantled as an organization so much so that only small terror cells or "lone wolves" remained, with no ability to control any significant territory or pose any serious threat. ISIL is widely said to be active and has a signifcant presence, an exaggeration that only arouses skepticism about the intent behind it.
The Houthis, a Shia terrorist group, however controls most of north Yemen with balllistic missiles and drones in their arsenal. They have been clearly gaining influence since 2004 unchalleneged. At the beginning (2004-2008) they fought bouts of armed rebellion on the name of winning more rights and freedoms for their sect which ringed true to many local and international onlookers who sympathized with them.
Later (in 2014) they seized power and it became clear that they had been fighting those on and off wars only to reach the final goal – the theocratic dynastical rule they have imposed now.
As an extremist religious organization with arms in their hands they are imposing their sectarian ideology and way of rule in the areas of their control. They are rounding up oppositionists and killing them in jails and at large, forcing many activists including journalists to flee into government-held territories or outside the country.
They have forced the part of the Yemeni population that do not agree with them (the larger part of the population) into migrating to the government-held Marib and Aden cities or into freight and silence.
Although much of their human rights abuses are shrouded in the secrecy of jails, their known history is replete with slow torturing through cutting off limbs and genitals and barbecuing them to mutilations, dragging bodies of the killed, booby trapping corpses, planting thousands of landmines, systemtic targeted sniping shooting of children from oppositionist cities.
Even warlords who fall out with comrades within the terror organization end up being killed and mutilated publicly in graphic scenes once typical only to ISIL in Syria and Iraq. The government-held territories are not safe from this terrorism.
The last one (on Thursday 1 August 2019) was a twin (ballistic missile and car bomb) attack in Aden that led to more than 40 casualties among policemen and civilians.
The international community has been pressuring the government for years to negotiate and offer more concessions to the maximalist theocratic militia that secretly believes that democracy and sharing power with others is against their version of (Zaydi Shia) Islam. It is for this "cause" that they have triggered the civil war and caused all that has happened in Yemen since 2014.
Seeing the international community's insistence not to enforce the UN Security resolutions against the Houthis and take the short-cut way to impose peace (defeating the terror group militarily), it appears to many Yemenis as though the international community is allowing Shiit terrorism to be an exception from the fight against Islamic terror.