The Syrian regime has expelled the Houthi diplomatic mission from the Yemeni Embassy in Damascus, dealing a diplomatic blow to the militia’s international recognition efforts.
Yemeni Government’s Request
A Yemeni government official revealed that the Syrian regime accepted a request from the internationally recognized government of Yemen to expel the Houthis from the embassy building. The official, who requested anonymity, stated that during their first encounter in over a decade last month, Yemen’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Awadh bin Mubarak instructed his Syrian counterpart, Faisal Mekdad, to expel Houthi figures from the embassy.
Syrian Regime’s Decision
This week, the Syrian regime ordered the Houthis to depart the embassy and the country, signaling Damascus’s willingness to re-engage with the Yemeni government following a decade-long boycott. The Houthis seized control of the Yemeni embassy in 2015, taking advantage of the Arab nation’s isolation of the Syrian regime following the violent suppression of protests.
Houthis’ Diplomatic Mission
After their expulsion from Syria, the Houthis maintained a single diplomatic mission in Iran. Najeeb Ghallab, undersecretary at Yemen’s Information Ministry and a political analyst, told Arab News that the expelled Houthis fled to Lebanon after “plundering” embassy property. He added that the Syrian regime was compelled to abandon the Houthis after it became clear that neither Syria nor Yemenis benefited from their presence.
Houthi Mission’s Lack of Benefits
“The Houthi mission did not provide anything to the Syrian regime or Yemen, but on the contrary, it sent a message that the Syrian regime does not adhere to international regulations. No one in the world recognizes the Houthis as a state, including Iran, which regards them as employees,” Ghallab said. Ghallab further mentioned that the Houthi mission in Syria did not serve Yemenis but had transformed the embassy in Damascus into a hub for “illegal activities” serving Houthi agendas in Syria and Lebanon.
Re-establishing Diplomatic Relations
With the expulsion of the Houthis from the Yemeni Embassy in Damascus, the Yemeni government is now considering re-establishing diplomatic relations with Syria and dispatching its own ambassador. This move indicates a potential shift in alliances and a desire to strengthen ties between the two countries.
International Recognition Efforts
The expulsion of the Houthi diplomatic mission from Syria deals a significant blow to the militia’s international recognition efforts. By being expelled from the Yemeni Embassy in Damascus, the Houthis lose a platform to represent themselves as a legitimate authority. This move highlights the growing isolation of the Houthis on the international stage and their lack of recognition as a state by any country.
Implications for the Houthis
The expulsion from Syria further limits the Houthis’ diplomatic presence and weakens their position in ongoing peace negotiations. It also underscores the increasing pressure on the militia group to engage in meaningful dialogue and find a political solution to the conflict in Yemen. Without international recognition and support, the Houthis may find it increasingly difficult to achieve their objectives.
The Syrian regime’s decision to expel the Houthi diplomatic mission from the Yemeni Embassy in Damascus is a significant development in the ongoing conflict in Yemen. It represents a diplomatic blow to the Houthis’ international recognition efforts and highlights their growing isolation on the global stage. The Yemeni government’s request for the expulsion and its consideration of re-establishing diplomatic relations with Syria indicate a potential shift in alliances and a desire to strengthen ties between the two countries. The expulsion also has implications for the Houthis’ position in peace negotiations and their ability to achieve their objectives without international recognition and support.