By: Hashim Arain
There has been some movement in the region to try and help calm the situation down in Yemen, the one most notable country helping out is Saudi Arabia. According to Reuters, Saudi Arabia along with some of its allies has launched airstrikes around Yemen in order to contain the volatile situation there. At first there was support from the Yemenis for these airstrikes, but as Reuters notes, some Yemenis believe that the airstrikes have just made the situation worse.
The Houthi rebels have rampaged across Yemen in recent days, wreaking havoc across the country. According to the New York Times, the Houthis have taken over the city of Aden in Yemen, where a presidential palace is located. The NY Times also reports that the Houthis have wounded Saudi Arabian soldiers as well, and also that other Islamist militant groups located in Yemen have taken advantage of the chaos by freeing a leader of Al-Qaeda and some of its members from a Yemeni prison.
There’s obviously a lot of chaos and destruction happening in Yemen right now, and it’s difficult to see an end to all of this. There just seems to be quite a few extremist groups on the ground that it’s hard to pinpoint these group’s weaknesses. As The Economist points out maybe the reason why Saudi Arabia wanted to take part in the fight against the Houthis in Yemen, is because there’s belief that their backed by Iran, which is a rival to Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.
The Economist also reports that the Saudis and their coalition of allies, which include Qatar and the United Arab Emirates among others, have bombed, and gave weapons to Yemeni forces on the ground, yet the Houthis are still causing great damage within Yemen. The question is do the Saudis and their coalition need more reinforcements as the battle between them and the Houthi rebels and other extremist groups in the region goes on? I think they might need it if the situation gets any worse, which it very well might.
Yemen desperately needs stability and order right now, and with the way things are going right now, that could take a while. The big thing to look for in the coming weeks and months is to see whether other countries in the international community will come to aid the Saudis and others that are fighting extremist forces in Yemen. Other countries might be weary of getting involved in another Middle East conflict, especially the US. The question is, how long do these countries have to wait and see what happens in Yemen before they decide it’s necessary to get involved or stand back and watch? That’s the main question in the coming weeks ahead