Yemen in the spotlight as US, Iran, Saudi maneuver - analysis


Staff member
Yemen in the spotlight as US, Iran, Saudi maneuver - analysis
Yemen is now in the spotlight. Once again Iran believes to think it is winning. A setback for Saudi Arabia on any of the frontlines in Yemen will not be welcome news in Riyadh.
Published: NOVEMBER 13, 2021

Iran’s media has a message about Yemen: Saudi Arabia is withdrawing. That is what Fars News said this weekend. “Yemeni sources added that the Saudi coalition had withdrawn all its forces from the western coast of Yemen, including Tariq Saleh (an ally of the UAE) and Oluwiya al-Amalqa [who went to to Aden]. Yemen has won.” What the Iranians mean is that the Houthi rebels they back have won.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as well as other countries they work with, intervened in Yemen in 2015. Iran increased its backing for the Houthis to bog the Saudis down. The Houthis now use advanced Iranian drones and missiles against Riyadh. The UAE and Riyadh no longer agree on Yemen policy. The Houthis have been on the march. The US had opposed the Houthis during the Obama and Trump years but now the Biden administration has sought to dial back the conflict. Yet even the Biden administration is now angry that the Houthis for kidnapping staff of the US embassy in Sana’a. The UN has blacklisted more Houthi leaders.

Iran’s media says that the Houthis have recently advanced hundreds of kilometers along the coast. “The report comes as Yemeni media reported that a countdown to the liberation of Ma'rib province had begun after the Yemeni army and popular committees made significant progress,” says Fars. Meanwhile Iran is also signaling an opening to discussions with Saudi Arabia. Those talks could involve Yemen. In 2019 Iran launched a drone and cruise missile attack on Saudi Arabia. This was a warning that Iran could do worse in the future.