Wednesday March 25, 2015
The Civil War in Yemen is rapidly expanding. We have been forced to close our embassy and military base located there. It is now clear that Obama’s optimism for fighting terrorism in Yemen was misplaced. It hardly sets a standard for dealing with constant conflict and chaos throughout the Middle East. It now looks like the two major participants in this war are Iran and Saudi Arabia. In this region there has been competition between these two nations for hundreds if not thousands of years. The conflict ongoing in Yemen relates to the age-old conflict between Shia and Sunni Muslims. It also reflects the contest over who will control the oil in this region. Not only is there a conflict between the Shia of Iran versus the Sunnis of Saudi Arabia, there has been long-term animosity between Arabs and Persians.
Now there are essentially three factions fighting for the control of Yemen. Our support for president Hadi has failed and he is essentially out of power although still involved in the conflict. Former president Saleh, who remains a powerful force in Yemen, is taking advantage of the chaos in his desire to return to power. So far the various factions that we have supported over the years have been poor choices, as usual. Today the, Houthis, supported by Iran, seem to be the ones who have gained the upper hand. However there’s no sign that this civil war will soon end or without major ramifications throughout the Middle East and maybe even beyond.
This turn of events will not make the neoconservatives happy, nor will this go unnoticed by the Saudis. It seems that al-Qaeda has gained the grassroots support from a large number of Yemeni citizens. Currently the chaos in the three-way battle for control of Yemen will guarantee that even though we have been literally run out of Yemen, our interests will remain. Being “allies” of sorts with the Iranians in Iraq will not carry over to the US sympathizing with the Iranian growing influence in in Yemen.