U.S. Wants Saudis to Seek a Diplomatic Solution to Yemen's Civil War

(Washington Institute for Near East Policy) Simon Henderson - Since intervening in Yemen in 2015 to reinstate President Hadi, Saudi forces have been singularly unsuccessful in their fight against Houthi rebels. While allied military units from the UAE seized the port city of Aden and much of the south, the Houthis have been able to hold onto northwest Yemen, which contains around three-quarters of the population. Worse still from Riyadh's point of view is that Saudi Arabia has lost some of its own territory to Houthi forces - around a hundred square miles of Saudi land along the border is essentially under rebel control, if not actual occupation. Iran, the Saudis' regional archrival, has provided ample clandestine assistance to the Houthis, including long-range missiles that have struck as far as Riyadh and a drone speedboat that badly damaged a Saudi frigate. The U.S. view is that the war is unwinnable, and Washington wants the Saudis to seek a diplomatic solution to the war. The writer is director of the Gulf and Energy Policy Program at The Washington Institute.

2018-03-02 00:00:00

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