Yemen’s air force is barely functioning, despite heavy U.S. investment
(The regime of Saleh was corrupt to the bones, but his Houthi allies claim they conquered most of Yemen while talking about anti-corruption and cleaning up the government. Are they different from Saleh? Saudi Arabian filmmaker Safa al-Ahmad who made a documentary on the pitched battle for Yemen says the following on the Houthis:
Once they were in power in Sanaa, they were controlling everything. They were less accommodating. They were still talking about anti-corruption and cleaning up the government, but their behavior on the ground was completely different. And to me that was the big thing, this whole contradiction between, “Oh look, we are victims, look what happened to us during [the country’s past]wars”—which was horrendous. Nobody can dispute that. But the Houthis, once they got control in Sanaa, started doing the exact same things, the things that [former President]Ali Saleh’s government was doing against them. They were disappearing people, kidnapping people, torturing them, putting them in prison for no reason.
Unfortunately, the Houthis are a militia. A militia isn’t capable of building a state—a democratic, just state. And so that quickly became very apparent. When they started opening fire and kidnapping [peaceful, anti-Houthi] protesters across [Houthi-controlled] regions, all of that made it really clear to people I think that the Houthis were there for power and not there to actually establish a democratic state.
So much for the Houthis anti-corruption war. The following, from Aviation Week’s archives explains the total absence of Yemen’s airforce from the present war in Yemen.)