Saudi-led Intervention in Yemen

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asked Aug 21, 2023 in Cell Tracking by martinwilson (120 points)

The modern world can be characterized by a rising number of local conflicts. Each of these problems is an extremely negative fact that threatens peace and security in regional and global scales. The Middle East is one of the world's hottest spots in terms of armed conflicts that have occurred in the countries during the last few decades. Moreover cooperating with elite essay we will be able to find out, the last few years did not bring any improvement of the tough situation. One of the most remarkable conflicts in the region happens in Yemen. The breach of the peace occurred as Iran-supported rebels took over power in most of the country's parts. At the same time, Saudi-led forces did not tolerate such a situation, making their efforts in order to bring the Sunni government back to power. The situation went out of control and caused a major international concern for the last few years. Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen in order to protect Saudi interests in the region and in order to oppose the Iranian growth of power, with religious differences being an additional factor.

Moving chronologically and pursuing the best understanding of the problem, it is important to assess the Arab Spring of 2011 as the starting point of the crisis that eventually reached Yemen. During 2011 many Arab countries experienced Arab Spring – a phenomenon which was a series of revolutions which happened across the Arab world in the most non-democratic countries. Often backed by the United States and the other important International Relations players, rebels were trying to establish democratic rule over their countries. Even though the intentions of these processes can be generally assessed as positive, the actual results were negative in most of the countries that participated. Political chaos got over many countries, including Yemen. In this country, rebels forced a longtime authoritarian president, Ali Abdullah Saleh to grant his power to Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. This occasion was the decisive background occurrence that later led to further problems.

In 2015, it became obvious that Hadi’s rule did not satisfy the majority of Yemen’s population. Corruption, unemployment, and the other typical for developing countries problems made Hadi’s rule very unstable. Therefore, numerous strikes began happening across the country, with southern Shia separatists being the greatest threat to the regime. Iran, which could try to oppose Saudi Arabian domination in the Gulf, most probably, helped Shia rebels to conduct the full-scale revolution. These rebels are known as Houthis. When the Sunni government was finally overthrown, it became obvious that many of Yemen’s soldiers preserved their adherence to the previous president Saleh. Therefore, Houthis created a coalition with Saleh and his forces in order not to lose their chance to reconstruct the political regime in Yemen in a different way.

Such a situation, obviously, could not satisfy Saudi Arabia. With its great military might and political influence in the region, it could not allow Shia forces to overthrow and substitute the Sunni one. What is more, Saudis were concerned that Iran, most probably, participated in these fundamental changes, at least by providing arms to the Houthi rebels. As a result, Saudi Arabia could not simply watch a country in their region becoming an Iran’s satellite and intervened in the conflict. Saudi-led Sunni coalition conducted numerous airstrikes in March, 2015. These strikes, according to the Saudis, were aimed at restoring the legitimate regime of Hadi. However, it was proved that the bombings resulted in numerous casualties among the civilians. The UN officially condemned actions of Riyadh. The airstrikes were even classified as occurrences that may be further considered the war crimes. The official position expressed by the Saudi government in the international arena concerning this issue justified its actions by the fact that they were focused on restoring legitimate power in the country, though it proved that it was their large mistake that civilian casualties occurred.

In their turn, Houthi rebels conducted strike by missiles which landed close to Riyadh. Saudi officials reacted with a blockade of the new Houthi government. The fact that Saudi Arabia does not conduct trade and political ties with Yemen at this stage led the other Gulf countries to follow the same policy because Riyadh dominates in the region as the greatest power. Therefore, a major crisis came to Yemen at this stage. Even though humanitarian aid comes to the civilians in limited portions, the country cannot function normally as most of its neighbors do not conduct any relations with it, so it may even become a failed state. At the same time, as Houthi rebels are considered Iranian proxies, they are likely to be supported by Iran, at least for some time. At this moment, Houthis were not dislodged from Yemen’s capital, Sana’a. Therefore, the main goal of Saudi intervention was not reached. When it comes to humanitarian problems, Saudi foreign affairs minister has stated that no country provided more aid to Yemen than Saudi Arabia, proving that civilians are being supported by the country.

All in all, the situation in Yemen is extremely controversial and hard to understand clearly. Nevertheless, it is obvious that the president who came to power after the Arab Spring was dismantled in 2015 by Houthi rebels, probably supported by Iran. In its turn, Saudi Arabia, as a Sunni country and a leader of the Gulf region, intervened in order to restore Sunni government, which resulted in airstrikes and civilian casualties. At the moment, there is a political and economic blockade around Houthis who remain in the capital, Sana’a. Saudi Arabia and the other countries reportedly support civilians by providing aid, but it is not enough and the country is generally in a deep crisis.


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