Yemen foes square off as fears of war, Saudi-Iran rivalry grow

Anti-Houthi protesters demonstrate in Yemen’s southwestern city of Taiz March 23, 2015. REUTERS/Anees Mahyoub

(Reuters) – Yemen’s top factions are squaring off for battle after months of skirmishes, turning respectively to neighboring Saudi Arabia and its regional rival Iran for help in what may become all-out war.

With President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi seeking a comeback from the port city of Aden while the Shi’ite Houthi movement controls the capital Sanaa, rival administrations are trading bellicose rhetoric as fighting intensifies and factions commandeer airfields for the next stage of the struggle.

Somewhat on the sidelines, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Islamic State are waiting to exploit what some fear could become Yemen’s worst conflict since a 1994 civil war.

“For years Yemen has defied all the odds and proved wrong those who said it was on the brink of civil war and about to collapse,” Farea al-Muslimi, a researcher with the Carnegie Middle East Center said. “But we may have run out of miracles.”

Yemeni Foreign Minister Riyadh Yaseen called on Monday for Gulf Arab help to prevent the Houthis’ getting air control…

Related: Background, here and here.

Saudi Arabia: Arabs will take action over Yemen if peace efforts fail

Yemen foreign minister calls for Gulf Arab military intervention

Pro-Houthi police troopers use tear gas to disperse anti-Houthi protesters in Yemen's southwestern city of TaizPro-Houthi police troopers use tear gas to disperse anti-Houthi protesters in Yemen’s southwestern city of Taiz March 23, 2015. REUTERS/Anees Mahyoub

  • Ron MacDonald

    The truth with regard to what is really taking place in the Middle East won’t be known until after Obama is out of office, let’s hope someone is held accountable.

    • Raymond Hietapakka

      The only ones held accountable are the dead.

  • Ed Ellison

    One thing for sure is that the Saudis are not going to allow Iran a foothold on the same peninsula, right in their own backyard..
    The real question here is whether or not the Saudis are prepared to use their own troops unlike every other time when they used proxies.
    The muslim civil war is just starting to get heated up.

    • Millie_Woods

      The Saudis have already tried to get the Paks to back them on the Yeman front. They declined.

  • winniec

    10% of the KSA population are Shi’ites who live with official discrimination. They are very resentful. Shi’ites all over Arabia are fed up with their second class status. A fertile ground for Iran to intervene and make trouble. Muslims can’t even compromise with fellow Muslims let alone cooperate with the dirty kafirs. Muslims are all supremacists and incompatible with democracy.

  • Noshitmos

    Just remember to not bring the remnants of this conflict, war, or Muslime madness to Canada in the future.

    God Save The Queen & Canada!!

  • Kit Ingoldby

    Just as long as we don’t get involved, I just don’t care.

    Let the followers of the religion of peace sort out their differences in their own way according to their own culture.

  • Minicapt

    Will no one think of the ‘Khat’?


  • cmh

    o great….now the feds can import 400 million of them to canada

  • chayisun

    This is a good thing, right? I mean this is islam against islam and hopefully they destroy each other, right? Of course, America and the West will stay out of it I assume. Right? The middle east as a war zone. Who could have expected that to happen with the “religion of peace” all over that area.

  • Raymond Hietapakka

    24 million in a 1,000km. x 400km. zoo, with the water running dry. Time to thin the herd.