TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC)-In March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of its regional allies -- mainly the united Arab Emirates and Jordan -- started a war against Yemen with the declared aim of crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement, who had taken over from the staunch Riyadh ally and fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, while also seeking to secure the Saudi border with its southern neighbor.
Three years and over 600,000 dead and injured Yemeni people later, the war has yielded little to that effect.
At the onset of the war, which began as an aerial campaign and never really went beyond that, Saudi rulers and the kingdom’s then defense minister, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, were confident that their clear military advantage would provide for an easy victory, which would in turn cement Riyadh’s position as a formidable force in the Middle East region.
After all, the regime had spent billions of dollars on the latest offerings from American and European arms manufacturers and it was time to put the huge inventory into good use.
The military extravaganza
Much to the delight of Saudi commanders, who had no real combat experience, some of the weapons even came with the necessary training courses.
In 2011, the US government approved a $29.4 billion deal to provide the Saudi Royal Air Force with 84 new F-15SA fighter jets and modernize an additional 70 F-15s the regime was already operating.
The deal also included "munitions, spare parts, training, maintenance and logistics," according to US officials.
This, coupled with more than 120 British-made Eurofighter Typhoon and Panavia Tornado warplanes on active duty, guaranteed -- at least on paper -- an easy victory over the minimally-trained militia that were the Houthis and their allies in Yemen’s tribal south.