Yemen Crisis; External Intervenes

BY: Daniel Ranjbar

War and violence have dominated the contemporary history of Yemen, a nation that has survived decades of armed rebellion and uprising to split and reunite into two countries.

PEJOURNAL – War and violence have dominated the contemporary history of Yemen, a nation that has survived decades of armed rebellion and uprising to split and reunite into two countries.

The civil war in Yemen has been a battle between the two factions, each calling itself the Yemeni government since 2015 with its supporters and allies. The war between the government forces of Abdul Mansur Hadi and southern Aden is based on the conflict between Aden and former forces of Ansarullah and pro-Ali al-Saleh.

Ansarullah’s forces marched into Taiz Province on March 22, invading other parts of Taiz and Maha and Lahj on March 25, reaching the gates of Aden, the base of the Hadi government. Hadi fled the country on the same day, and Saudi Arabia united under his command to launch a military strike to seek repatriation of the Yemeni government. The United States also provided the campaign with intelligence and logistical support. At least 400 civilians in Aden alone have been killed since May 2.

For five years, the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, has been in charge of the Houthis, with Saudi Arabia and its allies, along with loyalists Abdul Mansour Hadi, battling against the Houthi militias and their allies to overthrow their backed government throughout Yemen.

“Some believe that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have different roles in the Yemen conflict,” said Yemeni writer and analyst Bandar al-Hattar. “The two countries that initially fought to achieve the same goal, the two routes were often separated, but these separate paths naturally ended up colliding.” [1]

In this article, I’m going to explain the reasons for conflicts inside and outside of Yemen. I will try to show the other side of the coin and speak about supporters and countries who see their benefits in this conflict. In addition I will try to explain or introduce some parties or groups that may be invisible or look not important but they have so many effects on these situations.

The experience from International Relations shows that everything is not so easy happening, there should be motivations and profits, the image of this war and conflict in the International Community is very different; there is some idea in the last few years to solve this situation but from theory to practice there is a long way.

Yemen Conflict

Located south of the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen has wide maritime boundaries in both the Red Sea and the Aden Gulf. Its strategic position has given particular importance to the Horn of Africa aristocracy across Yemen’s southern and western seaboards and Sukatra’s island; Has given the freight. In fact, a large percentage of the Suez Canal traffic passes through Babalmand. Babolmand is therefore as essential as the Suez Canal.

In the transport of goods and weapons, the security of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait is of paramount importance for all coastal countries of the Red Sea. For example, in the 1973 Egypt-Syria war against Israel, in coordination with Cairo, the Yemen Arab Republic closed the Bab al-Mandab strait to the entry of ships and weapons into Israel, effectively preventing Israel from using and hitting much of its navy.

Egypt passed through the Red Sea, which had a significant impact on the course of the Sinai Front military operations. Business and tourism in major towns like Jeddah and Yanbu (Saudi Arabia) and dozens of other Red Sea coastal towns depend largely on security and tranquility in the Bab al-Mandab Strait.

Yemen’s Houthi control blocks Israel’s access to the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea and impedes easy access to the Persian Gulf by Israeli submarines to threaten Iran. This has made Yemen influence one of the highlights of Netanyahu’s talks with the U.S. Congress on March 3, 2015, but on the other hand, as a U.S. regional ally, Saudi Arabia is deeply afraid that Yemen will become an Iranian ally. That would cause the Saudi family the entire Arabian Peninsula. America’s problems with Iran, China, Russia’s strategic position in Yemen.

In a November 2014 U.S. Energy Information Administration report, the significance and definition of the Bab al-Mandab Strait states:

“The Bab al-Mandab Strait is an important bottleneck or strategic point between the Middle East and the Horn of Africa and is also the strategic gateway between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. It is located between Yemen, Djibouti and Eritrea and connects the Red Sea with the Aden Gulf and the Arab Sea. Much of the Gulf’s exports travel through the Suez Canal and through the Bab el-Mandeb Channel, the Third or Samed Pipeline. Serious estimates show that 3.8 million barrels of crude oil and petrochemical products were exported to Europe, the United States and Asia in 2013. A 2.9 million barrel increase per day compared to 2009.

The Bab el-Mandeb Strait is approximately 18 miles wide and limits the transport of oil tankers to two two-mile channels of traffic. Such two-mile canals coordinate the inbound and outbound paths. The closure of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait could deprive the Persian Gulf of Suez Canal and Third Pipeline oil tankers and divert them to the southern Cape of Africa and increase the time and cost of exporting oil Take the most important direct route through the Suez Canal and the Bab al-Mandab Strait to export goods and oil to Asian markets”[2]

In general, the most important political characteristics and the Yemeni party system after the merger, as well as the main reasons for the Yemeni people’s revolution and the unrest of 2011 in Yemen, can be mentioned a few things. 

A) Authoritarianism and totalitarianism

Ali Abdullah Saleh’s rule is one of the ruling political party’s authoritarian regimes. While Yemen enjoys considerable flexibility and is recognized as happy Arabs by Westerners, the strategic realities of Yemen under the influence of the National People’s Congress were shaped by signs of party authoritarianism and Strengthening the ruling party. Yemen, particularly in recent decades, has witnessed a long period of internal conflict.

B) widespread economic problems and corruption

Despite Yemen being the poorest country in the Persian Gulf, its elite and ruling class are suffering enormous economic inequality. “Apart from the support-follower bonds formed by the government and won the popular vote in the election, there are also extensive individual networks focused on bribery and partisanship,” Blades says. “There is widespread political corruption, according to one member of parliament, and the People’s Congress is doing little to combat misuse and illicit wealth. The press reports that the government of Yemen is surrounded by the huge corruption that exists at all levels of the bureaucracy.”[3]

C) Internal instability and insecurity

The popular uprisings and uprisings continued to overthrow the regimes of Ben Ali and Mubarak. The inspirational influence of massive non-violent social media protests triggered political repression, triggered political repression, and prevented the embrace of security regimes imposed on their people by Arab tyrannical rulers for decades. They’ve had a transition. Cafés in Manama used to screen Lebanese music videos, but these days were packed with pictures of Tahrir Square in Cairo, changing and affecting viewers and people, and the same was happening elsewhere in the country.

D) Unemployment and food insecurity

Extensive corruption, capital flight, severe degradation of the environment, high unemployment and ongoing wars in Yemen have led to a severe humanitarian crisis, with 55% of Yemenis suffering from food insecurity and lack of health services. What has exacerbated these problems is the presence of about 1.2 million refugees from Ethiopia, Somalia and Syria and over 300,000 internally displaced persons.

Yemenis are also greatly affected by continuing attacks on al-Qaeda and U.S. drones. Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East in terms of socio-economic conditions and at least 58% of its children suffer from malnutrition.[4] The annual population growth rate of Yemen is also about 3.2 million, while the natural resources of Yemen’s human and government are scarce and unable to sustain such population growth.

Domestic cast

Researchers believe that the Islamic Revolution in Iran influences the Houthi intellectuals and tribal groups intellectually. The prominent figure in his speeches spoke repeatedly in his speeches about the idolatry of the polytheists, the Quds Day, the need to combat ignorance, and the war against Israel.

Four major political currents exist in Yemen;

1. Former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was attributed by the current congress;

2. Saudi Arabia also funds the Wahhabi Reform Party;

3. The South Channel, which comprises Yemen’s bulk. This present in itself bears witness to three approaches to autonomy, federalism supports and minimalism;

4. The Zaidiyyah and Houthi currents, which are present in different parts of the country, especially in the Saada region, are said to make up 40% of the population of Yemen.[5]

In the tribal community of Yemen, the breach of peace has important consequences: the victim tribe has the right to kill a man from the killer tribe when a tribe member is killed. In the tribal areas, especially in the areas of Marib, Al Jawf and Shabwa, revenge killings have resulted in a cycle of intra-tribal violence that has threatened all generations and overshadowed the political and economic outlook of Yemen. It disrupts local business and children are unable to attend school, and it is very dangerous to regularly travel or travel.  Al-Qaeda is considered a serious threat to these local tribal structures to establish a degree of order as a foreign actor with its own political agenda. [6]

The prominent Houthi Shiite movement is also one of the main movements calling for the abolition of domestic oppression and the fulfillment of Yemeni people’s demands and the end of Saudi-American interference in Yemen. All this has led to figures like Allameh Badr al-Din al-Houthi and his children, who founded the Ansarullah movement, reflecting on the religion of the people of Zaidiyyah and its mission towards Yemen.  It seems that several ends have been drawn in the process of rethinking and reviving Zaidiyyah Yemen’s identity:

1) to provide a comprehensive reading of the Zaydiyya religion most closely associated with the Shiite Imamiyah; 2) The Houthis have “Nationalist” concerns with the revival of Zaidi’s identity. and 3) to pay particular attention to Islam’s political, social values such as the famous, the suppression of evil and jihad that have faded over time.[7]

Part of Yemen’s challenges are related to Ali Abdullah Saleh’s government’s political characteristics and structures. On the one hand, the US and Saudi Arabia are subjecting the Yemeni crisis to resistance mechanisms and on the other hand, on a regional scale, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The Yemeni people demanded similar demands from the Yemeni ruler, inspired by the successes and revolutionary conditions of other Arabs in Tunisia, Bahrain and Egypt. These demands tackled poverty and economic and administrative corruption, confronted al-Qaeda’s movements and social insecurity, social justice and dignity, and all Yemenis groups  inclusive and legitimate political participation.

Foreign actors

In times of internal pressure, the geopolitical divide in Saudi Arabia may be the basis for political separation. To date, Saudi Arabia has maintained the military and political strength required to maintain stability in the kingdom through oil wealth, repression, US military support, and partnership with religious (Wahhabi) leadership.[8] Diplomatic and foreign policy The government of Saudi Arabia is heavily influenced by Wahhabism and oil ideology and is therefore deeply concerned about the increasing influence of Iran in the region.

Saudi Arabia has undoubtedly played a major role in these developments in terms of the reaction of foreign actors to Yemen’s internal events during the Arab Spring and subsequently. Saudi Arabia has always played an interventionist role in Yemen and regarded it as its backyard, with most Yemenis claiming that Saudi Arabia plays a major role in its turmoil, irrespective of religion, political orientation or social class. There was no Arab Spring, and it was Islam that dominated the entire region and frightened America and its partners, the Arab allies.

The Saudi coalition’s most important actions are: military coalition and political support, economic and military blockade, disregard for international human and legal norms, protection of international organizations and powers, political and religious fronts, underlying economic and media wars, psychological and media wars, military attacks and civilian killings, de-legitimization of independent actors, and modern state-building.[9]

Saudi Arabia is exporting its oil through the Hormuz and Bab Mandeb Straits, and its oil exports will practically stop if the straits are closed. Saudi Arabia is looking south to counter this global bottleneck. For years, Saudi strategy has been manipulating the free sea in any way possible. Located in the south of the Arab Sea, the open sea is directly accessible from the Indian Ocean, but the provinces of Oman and Oman are a major barrier to free sea access, so Saudi Arabia has always tried.

By occupying Yemen and putting pressure on Yemen to remove these obstacles, Saudi Arabia has been supporting Oman and Yemen’s separatist movements for decades to dominate Yemen and Dhafar and to gain access to the free sea. There is no question that in these attacks and anti-Yemeni wars, the intention of Saudi Arabia is to occupy Yemen, as Saudi Arabia has formally declared it to belong to Yemen.

In order to secure the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and ensure the safety of its oil tankers, Saudi Arabia has already seized several strategic islands in Yemen. On May 23, 1998, according to the Yemeni weekly Al Wahdi, Saudi Arabia seized the Yemeni island of Deohorap in Yemen’s southern waters and refused to leave it.

Saudi Arabia called on Yemen to evacuate the beloved island of the Red Sea  in exchange for evacuating the island. Three Yemeni provinces, namely Najran, Jizan and Assir, were occupied by Saudi Arabia as far as Syria. Assyria is situated between Hejaz, Yemen and Najd in northern Yemen and stretches to the Red Sea. Jizan is located along the Red Sea in south-east Saudi Arabia and north-west Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has the province’s largest Red Sea hub. Najran is situated in northern Yemen and southern Saudi Arabia. One of the main air bases in Saudi Arabia is situated in the province. That is why Saudi Arabia and the United States play an interventionist role in Yemen and Bahrain and see these countries as their backyard. During the Yemeni revolt, Saudi Arabia played a conservative role.[10]

The most important orientations of Saudi Arabia during the Yemeni revolution and Yemen in general, the lack of democracy in Yemen, the prevention of the pace of development and attempts to regulate and monitor it, and the prevention of Yemen’s spread to other regions and countries, the preservation of the Yemeni government structure and the struggle for influence and attempt to split Yemen and annex other provinces of Yemen to ensure access to the sea and minimize dependency on the Hormuz Strait.

In general, Saudi Arabia’s most important foreign policy orientations towards Yemen’s political developments have been based on the following points:

1- Lack of democracy in Yemen;

2. Preventing the pace of change and trying to manage and control it;

3. Maintaining the structure of the Yemeni government and striving to empower individuals and affiliated currents;

4- Reduce the influence of the Houthi Shiites and currents close to Iran

Failure to meet these demands and Houthi demonstrations against foreign interference and the continuation of political corruption in the country that led to Abd Rab Mansour Hadi’s departure from Sanaa made Saudi Arabia feel insecure through the political developments in Yemen, Yemen began to attack the regional coalition.

The U.S. is another actor whose position has been crucial in the political outcomes of recent developments in the Arab world. As American author and researcher Richard Walker points out, U.S. forces are today one of Yemen’s most important political players.

Americans suppress the country’s Shiite movement on the pretext of combating al-Qaeda and terrorists, fueling religious divisions among Muslims, and fostering extremism among Yemen’s al-Qaeda members. In any case, Yemen is a strategic country and a way for Americans to access Asia and the Middle East; it can also help the United States to help the region’s key allies, such as Saudi Arabia and the Zionist regime, and against countries such as Iran and Iraq. That’s why Al-Qaeda and the West in Yemen have a kind of empathy and involvement in fighting the Shiite dominance there.[11]

The American role in the Persian Gulf and Yemen is under the current circumstances, a serious presence and a monopoly role, as well as a coalition for the West with countries and groups. US strategists believe that the United States has a great interest in preventing any regional power in the Middle East and North Africa. The presence of the US in the Persian Gulf and Yemen is the most serious change in the strategic environment of the region, which changes the balance to Iran’s detriment.

U.S. dependency on Saudi oil is now becoming a major military and economic relationship between the two countries. This dedication is a matter of tactical necessity from the American point of view. In the Yemeni developments, however, the growth of Islamism and the greater influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Zaidi, and especially al-Qaeda, has been of more concern and concern to the United States than anything else.

Conclusion

In Yemen, Abdullah Saleh’s government lacked the political legitimacy needed to continue to rule due to various political and social crises, and different classes and social forces were opposed, including youth, students, the most powerful tribes and political parties, as well as the Houthis and southerners. In this country, tribal divisions have supported some of the righteous regime’s tribes and groups. The most important factors in the sustainability and continuity of the Yemen crisis are the conservative role of Saudi Arabia and the U.S. strategic concerns.

Saudi Arabia is seeking to consolidate its borders with Yemen and prevent three Yemeni provinces (Asir, Najran and Jizan) from returning. This area is explored not only in the context of technology, but also in the dimension of software and debate.

Through accusing Iran of intervening in the Yemeni affairs, Riyadh is seeking to somehow protect its borders and national security. Riyadh is not pleased that a Shiite government in Iran has been formed near its borders and sees it as a risk to the export of crude oil from the Bab al-Mandab Strait and the Red Sea, thus disrupting the region’s balance of power. It counts, too. Nearly every Saudi trading by sea.

Direct access to the Arab Sea decreases the reliance of Saudis on the Persian Gulf and also reduces Iran’s fear of the capacity of Iran to close the Hormuz Strait.

Weakening Yemen’s infrastructure, Ansarollah and the Yemeni army, incitement and reinforcement of the separatist movement for easy access to the sea, ending dependency on the Hormuz Strait and others politics to the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2216 under the Seventh Chapter of the Anti-Yemen Charter and the United States and some other Arab countries in the region to confront the Houthi Shiites included the Saudi government’s aggressive approach to preventing the Yemeni revolution and bringing about democratic change in the country and to limit Iran’s regional influence.

Saudi Arabia and the United States strongly support the southern separatists of Yemen. The strategy to try to mitigate or reduce the tactical changes resulting from the victory of the Houthis by trying to divide Yemen. This strategy would ensure that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council have a southern shipping point in the Indian Ocean and that the US also has a footprint or center of influence and control in the Gulf of Aden, securing this shipping and base route.

An important strategy against Saudi Arabia’s campaigns, the United States, and the Zionist government can be to identify opposition and strategically reinforce Islamic Resistance forces, a strong defensive structure alongside diplomatic movements to avoid strategic neglect.

Basically, the role of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia in Yemen and Syria’s development is geopolitical and identity-based, and comprehensive regional defense and cooperation is the most profitable way. Saudi Arabia and Yemen’s direct involvement in Yemen exacerbates ideological conflicts and rifts in the Islamic world, and at the moment Iran’s movements in Yemen should focus primarily on proxy warfare and low-intensity war operations.Using the capabilities of Russia and China in managing regional crises, especially in Yemen, could also have fewer implications for security for Iran and its Iranian allies.

Saudi Arabia is deeply afraid that Yemen will become Iran’s ally, and Saudi Arabia is worried about what’s going on in Yemen because it fears that the entire Arab Peninsula will turn against the Saudi family. The US is also concerned about the events of this kind in Yemen and is deeply concerned about the influence of its global rivals.


[1] www.irna.ir/news/83459960/

[2] https://www.eia.gov/

[3] Blaydes, Lisa. (2011), Elections and Distributive Politics in Mubarak’s Egypt, Cambridge University Press.

[4] Kayhan International (July 22, 1992).

[5] Cordesman, Anthony H. (2010). “The New War on Terrorism,” CSIS, and Available at: http://csis.org/publication/new-war-terrorism. Jan 5.

[6] Al-Hajjri, Ibrahim. (2007), “The New Middle East Security Threat: Case of Yemen and the Gcc”, Available at: www.handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA469931.

[7] Sharqieh, Ibrahim. (2013), “A Lasting Peace? Yemen’s gong Journey to National Reconciliation”, Available at: www.brookings.edu

[8] Lynch, M. (2012). The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East, New York: Public Affairs.

[9] Zarhani, Seyed Hossein, (2015), “Crisis of Governance and the Arab Spring Case Study: Bahrain” Transformation of Muslim World in the 21st Century, international ILEM Summer School.

[10] Nazemroaya, Mahdi Darius. (2012). “The Geo-Politics of the Strait of Hormuz: Could the U.S. Navy be defeated by Iran in the Persian Gulf” Global Research, January 08, 2012.

[11] Ryan, Patrick W. (2015), “The Yemen Crisis and the Bab El-Mandeb Maritime Choke Point, April 14, 2015.available at: http://susris.com.

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