As a result, the conflict in Yemen will persist for the foreseeable future, fueled by a regional quasi-hybrid proxy war between the U.S.and the Islamic Republic that shows no sign of deescalating. Tensions between Tehran and Washington have continued to escalate for the past few months. time, depending on their evolving security and political interests. Tehran the opportunity to sustain a chaotic Yemen to Saudi’s material and And if so, can we then consider the Yemen war to be a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia? to defeat the Houthis. and water-borne drones by 2018, as the United Nations reports. The conflict in Yemen—one of the Arab world’s poorest states—has roots that extend back to the Arab Spring uprisings of the early 2010s—and beyond. The This war was started because a terrorist group was overthrowing the government in Yemen thus prompting Saudi Arabia’s Intervention in Yemen, but what many people in the U.S. do not know is that Iran is backing the terrorist group in Yemen with arms and manpower. Both sides are already deeply involved in the Yemeni civil war, and their respective interests are seemingly intractable. Militarily, Iran began Just as importantly, and since as we reported first yesterday the Yemen conflict is merely a proxy war between the Saudis and Iran, we also now have reports that Iran has condemned Saudi Arabia’s intervention, is demanding an immediate halt to the military action, and has warned that a war on Yemen won’t be contained in one area. negotiations falter. The August. Despite his legitimacy in the halls of the In response to the Iranian regime’s support for the Houthi rebels, Saudi Arabia assembled a coalition of its regional allies to prosecute a military campaign aimed at restoring Hadi to power. has entrenched its influence in the STC stronghold of Aden. Hadi failed to successfully manage the country’s problems with food insecurity, unemployment, corruption, and militancy. Yemen may indeed be “devolving” into a proxy war, because of the Saudis assisting the Salafist enemies of the Houthis. The victims are the millions of ordinary Yemenis caught in the midst of a protracted proxy war which has brought the country to its knees and turned it into the world's biggest humanitarian disaster. Providing material, financial, and advisory support to proxy forces in lieu of direct engagement enables Iran to engage in regional conflicts with a degree of deniability. Yemen’s civil war has cost the lives of approximately 10,000 people, while displacing more than three million since 2015. capacity” crucial to an “in it to win UAE’s patronage of the STC has caused immense tension within the coalition, Yemen has been devastated by a war between Saudi-backed pro-government forces and the rebel Houthi movement. College and a research affiliate in the MIT Security Studies Program. Article by Dr May Darwich. Eleanor May. and clients, but they remain a tool of statecraft for their relatively low In Yemen, Hezbollah has advised and delivered Iranian weapons to the Houthis. In Syria, the group has provided support to Bashar al Assad’s government forces. Though the Houthis are not under the command-and-control of The civil war in Yemen has created one of the world’s greatest humanitarian disasters. However, its proxy wars are likely to persist, much for the same reason they Your email address will not be published. Alan Lis is a graduate student of international security at the University of Warwick. remains in Saudi Arabia, and a coalition including Saudi and the UAE have failed UN, President Hadi marshals little sovereignty in Yemen itself. CNN reported on 8 April 2015 that almost 10,160,000 Yemenis were deprived of water, food, and electricity as a result of the conflict. Although the Saudis have initiated direct talks with the Houthis that accelerated last November, they remain strategically committed to President Hadi and his unpopular and ineffective government. Houthi militants began engaging with the Yemeni Army, and Hadi was placed under house arrest. separatists in the south, to Saudi Arabia’s support for Hadi’s faltering ground In involving itself in the Yemeni civil war, Iran likely saw an opportunity to advance its interests in a region where it has few friends while frustrating the efforts of Saudi Arabia, Tehran’s regional rival, to consolidate its influence on the Arabian Peninsula. strategic goals via local proxies. it” intervention strategy. The United Nations has said it considers the humanitarian crisis in Yemen as the world’s worst. In involving itself in the Yemeni civil war, Iran likely saw an opportunity to advance its interests in a region where it has few friends while frustrating the efforts of Saudi Arabia, Tehran’s regional rival, to consolidate its influence on the Arabian Peninsula. Peter Krause (MIT PhD, 2011) is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Boston College and a Research Affiliate with the MIT Security Studies Program. Turkey’s Faltering Democracy and Western Interests, Confronting Japan to Defend Against China: Senkaku as a Case Study in Taiwan’s…, The United States Should Block Saudi Oil Imports—For Good. Yemen’s undeclared civil war has suddenly exploded into a region-wide crisis that could have far-reaching, unpredictable, and international consequences. The report also added per source from UNICEF officials in Yemen that within 15 days, some 100,000 people across the country were dislocated, while Oxfam said that more than 10 million Yemenis did not have enough food to eat, in addition to 850,000 half-starved children. is crucial for Emirati officials, who perceive jihadists such as AQAP and Islamists According to United Nations estimates, more than two-thirds of Yemen’s entire population needs some kind of assistance. a complex web of “proxy relationships” fuel Yemen’s war—from the UAE’s support of Iran years of war have accentuated the futility of pure military resolutions to the fighting in Yemen. with political Islam and the Saudis’ concern over Houthi hegemony, Iranian leaders face few vital threats in Yemen. international dimension in Yemen mirrors other civil wars—about 60 percent of The Islamic Republic provides Houthi forces with weaponry, supplies, training, and logistics, a strategy that aligns with Tehran’s playbook for shaping political and security conditions in a favorable manner. 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