TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – A peace activist and journalist based in Virginia said the US, Britain, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, which seek to gain hegemony over natural resources of the Middle East, are primarily involved in provoking wars in the region.

“There are always the same three nations primarily involved in provoking these recent wars in the Middle East: US/UK, Israel, and Saudi Arabia,” Janice Kortkamp from Leesburg, Virginia, said in an interview with the Press Shia Agency News Agency.

“I believe the war against Yemen is part of the strategic plan of the three to gain hegemony over the natural resources of the region and the exporting of those resources,” she added.

Kortkamp became an independent, completely self-funded, journalist after “seeing Western media bias regarding Syria and how that bias was promoting war and destabilization in Syria and all the Levant”.  She has researched the current crisis for over four years. She has visited Syria three times over the past year, spending three months traveling around the major population areas and the outskirts of Damascus, Homs, Latakia (including Kessab) and Aleppo. She has also gone to Germany, Lebanon, and Kuwait to meet with Syrian refugees and emigrants. Through friends and contacts in Syria as well as reports from genuine news sources around the world, she tracks the situation on the ground in Syria on an hourly basis.

Following is the full text of the interview:

Press Shia Agency: Monday, March 26, marked the anniversary of the start of an ongoing devastating war on Yemen mounted by the Saudi-led coalition that has resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians and driven the country to the brink of famine. In the meantime, the Saudi onslaught on Yemen has also led to a cholera epidemic in the Arabian Peninsula country, which is one of the worst ever recorded in the world. What do you think about the heinous crimes committed by the Riyadh regime and its backers, mainly the US? In a recent vote, the US Senate rejected an effort to end support for the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen, according to media reports. The vote coincided with a White House meeting between Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, at which Trump lauded US arms sales to Saudi Arabia. What is your assessment of the Senate vote and the meeting?

Kortkamp: The Saudi war against Yemen is a crime against humanity. It is the slaughter and starvation of a huge part of a population. There are always the same three nations primarily involved in provoking these recent wars in the Middle East: US/UK, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. I believe the war against Yemen is part of the strategic plan of the three to gain hegemony over the natural resources of the region and the exporting of those resources. The motives and plans are complicated but the three (and their partners) have proven ruthless in pursuit of this goal. The islands of Tiran and Sanafir are being transferred to Saudi Arabia giving them control over the Gulf of Aqaba.  Israel has taken over the Trans-Israel pipeline to Eilat to export oil and gas from the Levantine Basin – Israel is seeing its long-held ambition of being energy independent and an energy giant being realized through its alliances with the US/UK and Saudi Arabia. This is also a major factor in the wars against Syria and Iraq as well as ambitions in Lebanon. Full control of the Gulf of Aden and Bab al-Mandab is crucial for shipment of oil and gas so an independent Yemen is a “problem” that must be solved. The strong independent states of Iran and Syria that have typically leaned north and eastward to Russia and China (and are involved in China’s Belt and Road project) stand in the way of the overall strategy as did Iraq. In the face of such massive potential profits, not only from petroleum but also via weapons deals, the merciless killing and suffering of the people of Yemen I doubt even enters into the calculations of any of the three instigators.

Press Shia Agency: The Islamic Republic of Iran has always expressed deep concern over the ongoing tragedy in Yemen and reiterated the need for implementing the four-point peace plan that Tehran submitted to the United Nations in 2015, which urges an end to conflicts, sending humanitarian aid, lifting the unjust blockade of Yemen, and launch of political dialogue with the aim of formation of a national unity government. What do you think about the peace plan and the role that the UN can play in this regard?

Kortkamp: I’ve seen over the course of studying the war against Syria that the UN is almost incapable of functioning as it is intended to. Instead, more often than not, it is used as a tool by the US and its allies to provide a veil of legitimacy to malignant policies and actions. The UNSC veto power of Russia and China have been the only positive use of the UN in terms of limiting absolute control by the US and allies over the organization. I met with a delegation of Yemenis and Yemeni-Americans as they were trying to solicit UN members’ help in protesting the war against their country. With very few exceptions, all doors were closed to them and they felt the body on the whole unconcerned with their pleas.

Press Shia Agency: How do you assess the political situation in Yemen? What is your prediction about the future of the country's crisis? In your opinion, how can the Yemeni groups end the power crisis through dialogue and negotiation?

Kortkamp: I’m sorry to say the situation looks grim and their cause would have already been lost I think it not for the nature of Yemen’s terrain and the courage of its people, however, without a strong unifying leader and ability for allies to give fighters significant assistance, militarily the defenders of Yemen are isolated and vulnerable. In my opinion, the people of Yemen need to strengthen and empower their parliament. Perhaps that body could produce a manifesto detailing dialogue and negotiations opportunities. The people also need to continue to be very active on social media and use that effectively to share the realities of the war as well as flooding media outlets with reports from people on the ground. A worldwide outcry needs to be heard on their behalf. Short of that, I just don’t know what the future holds.