Monday, April 6, 2015

Without A Clear Strategy, the Civil War in Yemen Will Undoubtedly Spillover in Saudi Arabia Somewhere in the Near Future (06.04.2015).


What we are observing in Yemen is not a regular or a classic warfare. It is a type of guerrilla warfare between different actors mainly 1- Al-Qaeda, ISIS and their affiliates, 2- Shiite Houthis rebels, 3- Yemeni government forces and Sunni rebels.
In addition, we should bear in mind that we cannot fundamentally win a guerrilla warfare by military air strike alone. The broad military air strikes of the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq confirm this statement. The current dispute in Aden is also showing that despite Saudi-led coalition air strikes, the Yemeni Houthis are gaining the ground in this strategic port.

As such, the Saudi-led coalition is left with some limited options as follows.

1- Finding a diplomatic solution through negotiation with the Houthis. Pursuing this option needs massive effort and cooperation between various actors including 1- the UN, 2- Saudi-led coalition, 3- The current government of Yemen, 4- The Houthis rebels. This is a difficult task, but still is worthy to pursue. 

2-  Continuing with the same air strikes tactic across Yemen. Such a tactic does not function properly and is not effective in the long term as the Saudi-led coalition expects. Such a move in the long term, would spillover the Yemeni civil war beyond the geographical territory of Yemen. In this respect, Saudi Arabia is the most vulnerable state based on many reasons mainly: 1- Having border with Yemen, 2- the possible uprising of Shiite people in the Eastern Parts of Saudi Arabia itself somewhere in the near future.

3- Deploying the Saudi-led coalition ground forces into Yemen. Such a move would undoubtedly intensify the tension in a larger scale not only in Yemen but also in various parts of the Middle East in the name of war between different Shiite and Sunni groups for many years to come.  

Note: the UN should play its role in a professional and appropriate manner with regards to current tension in Yemen immediately; before it's too late.

M. Sirani                        06.04.2015