Yemen operation revives Gulf War memories for some expats

Yemen operation revives Gulf War memories for some expats
Updated 12 April 2015

Yemen operation revives Gulf War memories for some expats

Yemen operation revives Gulf War memories for some expats

The Saudi-led coalition campaign against the Houthi militia in Yemen has, for some long-term expats in the Kingdom, revived the memory of the 1990-91 Gulf War.
Vinod Menon, a former journalist and a Riyadh-based war correspondent during the Gulf War, said: “The decisive action being taken by the Kingdom is aimed at liberating Yemen just as in the case of Kuwait.”
Menon said the only difference between the two conflicts is that while Kuwait faced external aggression, Yemen is facing a violent assault from within. “But in both instances the international community has stood firmly against the aggression.”
The Saudi-led coalition intervention — titled Operation Decisive Storm — involves ten countries, while 34 nations joined forces during Operation Desert Storm between January 17 and February 28, 1991. Operation Desert Storm was the Gulf War’s combat phase in response to Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait.
“We all hope for an early resolution of the conflict, with the legitimate government back in power in Sanaa,” Menon added.
Cenon C. Sagadal, who works for a bank and is connected with a Saudi consulting firm, also expressed his hope that the conflict will be resolved sooner rather than later.
“With the restoration of peace and order, the legitimate government could continue to function and deliver basic needs and services. Life would be back to normal for Yemenis so that they could go on with their daily business,” he said.
Sagadal said that the air strikes in Yemen inevitably brings to mind the Scud missiles that were fired by the Iraqis at Saudi Arabia, with some of them landing in Riyadh.
“One of the Scud missiles landed just off the King Fahd Road, near a five-star hotel,” he recalled.
He noted that expats of various nationalities in the Saudi capital sought refuge in places like hotels or remote areas where they could be safe.
“Some even went to Jeddah, thinking that the city was far for Scud missiles to reach,” he said.
His wife was one of the numerous evacuees to the Kingdom from Kuwait where she was working as nurse.