Summary of Yemen’s Humanitarian Nightmare

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Yemen’s Humanitarian Nightmare summary
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Yemen’s brutal civil war has been depicted as a part of the broader Saudi-Iranian conflict. But as Yemen expert Asher Orkaby explains, the conflict has more to do with Yemen’s historic intranational disputes and Saudi Arabia’s concerns about the security of its southern border. By framing the conflict in the context of Iran, however, Saudi Arabia can dampen closer scrutiny of its bombing tactics, which have led to the collapse of Yemen’s economy and brought seven million people to the brink of starvation. getAbstract thinks you should know this about the conflict in Yemen.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What historic causes underlie the Yemeni conflict,
  • How Saudi Arabia has camouflaged its true motivations for intervening in Yemen and
  • How the conflict can be resolved.
 

About the Author

Asher Orkaby is a research fellow at Harvard University and the author of Beyond the Arab Cold War: The International History of the Yemen Civil War, 1962–68.

 

Summary

In March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states embarked on a military campaign against the Houthi rebels in Yemen who had ousted Yemeni president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and taken over the government. Saudi Arabia justified its intervention by emphasizing the need to counter Iran, which had provided some assistance to the Houthis. The Houthis had also been chanting anti-Saudi and anti-American slogans – a main reason why American officials supported Saudi intervention and allowed the use of US military bases. The roots of the conflict have little to do with the rivalry between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran, however. In truth, the fighting is mainly the expression of an enduring regional struggle between Yemeni governing elites and marginalized northern tribes.


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