Houthi-Saleh Conflict: Outcome And Impact On Yemeni War

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Houthi-Saleh Conflict: Outcome And Impact On Yemeni War

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Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed amid fighting between his supporters and their former allies, the Houthi movement on December 4. Until recently, Saleh loyalists had been fighting alongside the Houthis in a war against the Saudi-backed president, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, but a dispute over control of the Yemeni capital of Sana’a on November 29 triggered armed clashes that have left more than 125 people dead. On November 2, Saleh offered to “turn a new page” with the Saudi-led coalition if it stopped attacking Yemen and ended its crippling blockade of the country. The Houthis accused him of a “coup” against “an alliance he never believed in”.

Sources in the Houthi militia said its fighters stopped Saleh’s armoured car with an RPG rocket outside the embattled capital Sanaa and then shot him dead. Sources in Mr Saleh’s party confirmed he died in an attack on his convoy. His death marks a dramatic shift three years into a war in a state of stalemate. It risks the conflict becoming even more volatile.

Saleh, a former military officer, became the president of North Yemen in 1978 after a coup but, when north and south reunited in 1990, was elected as the first president of the new country. Saleh was an important player in Yemen’s descent into civil war, when his reluctant departure from power by the Houthis in 2012 brought his Saudi-backed deputy, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, into office. The Houthis, who champion Yemen’s Zaidi Shia minority, fought a series of rebellions against Saleh between 2004 and 2010. They also supported an uprising in 2011 that forced Mr Saleh to hand over power to Hadi.

But in 2014 Saleh forged an uneasy, unlikely alliance with his former opponents, the Houthis, to facilitate their takeover of Sanaa and ultimately to force Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia. While it lasted, the alliance benefited both sides. Saleh used Houthi firepower and manpower, while the Houthis gained from Saleh’s governing and intelligence networks.

In the past week, that equation changed as Saleh moved to increase his power in Sanaa and signaled that he was swapping sides, seeking a dialogue with the Saudis and their allies, including the United Arab Emirates. In a speech on December 2, Saleh appeared to indicate the end of his loyalists’ alliance with the Houthi fighters. He said he was ready to turn a “new page” in ties with the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis, if it stopped attacks on Yemeni citizens and lifted a siege.

Residents on December said a Saudi-led coalition air strike overnight killed 12 Yemeni civilians in one family in the northern province of Saada, the home territory of the Houthis. Army units loyal to Saleh have been clashing with Houthi fighters in the past five days.

In Tehran, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi called for calm and restraint. “All internal disputes should be resolved through dialogue to block the grounds for any abuse by the enemies of the Yemeni nation,” he said, according to a statement on the ministry’s website.

The war in Yemen has hit a stalemate, and it is hard to say which side is winning. “For Houthis, the definition of winning is just survival, and they’re doing a pretty good job at that; for the Saudis the definition of winning is restoring the internationally recognised government,” said Adam Baron, visiting fellow at European Council on Foreign Relations. “There’s a possibility that [Saleh’s] apparatus will be radically weakened, if not marginalised in the coming period; this leaves the Houthis as the key power in northern Yemen,” he added.

The conflict between the loyalists and the Houthis is exactly what the Saudi-led coalition wants, because together Saleh’s forces and the Houthis were strong enough to hold on to Sanaa and repel the forces of the Saudi-backed government and its Gulf Arab allies from much of the mountainous north. Despite that, even if some part Saleh’s former forces ally themselves with the Saudis, which seems at least possible now, that by itself won’t guarantee their victory. In turn, this means that Yemen, a now near-permanently unstable and divided state, becomes even more nagging a thorn in Saudi Arabia’s side, with constant threat of missiles and Houthi raids. Add to that growing power of Hezbollah and Iran in the region and you get difficult times for Saudi Arabia. If the Saudis won’t find a way to ally themselves with one of the sides in the conflict, their position will still be unfavorable.

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  • antonveckor

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c37bae23b98332530357f2359dc4673da14334005d4d1ba20c454da8f6315c76.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ac594c19b1c9d0d3c49fbe34c4e96e139bdf415ac2df11d24eb931b1f3ffbd62.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a307d2884e20eb437b9f72358f6209fa9e67ad94de81a466dd4bad95e4c1e279.jpg american president nixon was becoming anti-zionist and didn’t obey them completely, ( even more anti zionist was nixon’s vice president spiro agnew forced by zionists to resign and years afterwards shut down by zogs before moving in on nixon ) brave Arab hero leader Hafez Assad accordingly met him in Damascus Syria, that was the syrian president meeting with the jewnited states president ONLY ONCE since 1974 (two months later zionists forced nixon to resign from presidency after he met Hafez Al Assad in Damascus Syria!
    george bush and his kid george w bush are completely obediant zionist puppets and yemeni dead traitor saleh who fought houthis all way back to 2004, saleh met george bush and george w bush on many occations. There’s a ‘ who’s side are you on” difference of meanings between the meetings

    • MH370

      defiant like trump?

  • Pave Way IV

    The ham-fisted attempt by the Saudis/UAE to find a replacement for their useless and unpopular puppet Hadi has totally backfired on them. A secret scheme was hatched in Abu Dhabi last June to have Saleh elevate himself as the internationally-recognized leader of Yemen (with Saudi approval). That’s why Hadi is being held in the UAE – so Saleh could have taken over his spot. Saleh’s death has not changed their scheming – they still have Saleh’s son on ice in the UAE, ready to be released back in Yemen in another futile coup attempt.

    Saleh was intended to be a Hadi replacement recognized by the populations of both north and south Yemen. This would have allow the Saudis and UAE to exit the Yemeni war after negotiating favorable terms with their own new puppet Saleh, but only after having the Houthis declared as international terrorists by the US and GCC stooges. The US ForeverWar© mandate would then include Houthis, so CENTCOM could justify bombing them to extermination ‘while minimizing civilian casualties’.

    The rabid Israeli/Saudi demand for a Shia/Iranian Holocaust (or Shia-Zaydi Holocaust in the case of Yemen) would continue. At the same time, the Saudi Wahhabi Caliphate’s existing Shia-extermination efforts in Yemen via their ISIS and al Qaeda head-choppers would also continue.

    Both North and South Yemen are arguably more unified than ever in their growing universal hatred for Saudi Arabia/UAE and the US. This failed scheme/coup/whatever will only strengthen their resolve to throw Saudi and other foreign meddlers out of their country. ‘Saleh loyalists’ turned out to be a fraction of the number the Saudis/UAE hoped for. Most of the military (predominantly Shia-Zaydi) and population in the north (both Shia and Sunni) still support both the Houthis and Saleh’s political party (minus the traitor Saleh, of course).

    • Starlight

      No such thing as ‘saudis’ in the sense you use the word. You really should stop believing the nonsense dribbled in the NYT, Telegraph, Guardian, BBC etc. Bythinking you are AGAINST their position, you swallow their FAKE NEWS ‘axioms’ (fundamental facts) hook, line and sinker.

      KSA is 100% a british construct with more recent (but lesser) American involement as well. British puppets ‘rule’ KSA, always have and always will. And when an Empire power has puppets, you never ask “what do the puppets think?”

      The nasty little ‘civil’ way in KSA’s former SLAVE (literal) state, Yemen, was originally about a lot of little very nasty things- mostly giving KSA something to do with its expensive war toys. And there was the issue of the ‘spat’ between the wahhabi world and the shia world led by Iran. When wahhabi idiots messed it up as always, the British Empire stepped in with the RAF- the actual airforce that does the bombings across Yemen (under ‘saudi’ colours). The RAF has the biggest base in its existence in KSA, and most significant RAF assets are now based there- but in readiness for Iran.

      So what was this ‘Saleh’ thing? Well the Yemen war has become an unwanted distraction foer the Deep State and is causing issues in the current plan to have KSA declare war on Iran. Too many Saudis say “if we acnnot defeat hopeless Yemen rebels, what chance have we against Iran”- and say this even tho the real force attacking Iran would be British, French and American.

      Thus British diplomatic ‘geniuses’ decided to bring the Yemen war to an end, using the same method used in N Ireland (IRA etc). They paid Saleh to sort off switch sides, but in order to help a wider pay off of all the main leaders- amnesty, billions of dollars in payolla, generational promises to the leading families for access to the best the West has to offer. The British intended to buy off everyone to end the Yemen war.

      Why did this backfire? The Iranians (mostly) and the Russians (a little). The Iranians know how to play the Great Game. If the war ended in Yemen, the Deep State were that much closer to launching the war on Iran. So Iran had to sabotage the British ‘peace’ efforts. To do this, you assassinate anyone doing business with Britain or their proxies- under ANY excuse.

      Saleh honestly thought the crates of dollars he could offer the leaders of all parties involved (remember Blair’s invasion of Iraq, and the crates of dollars used there to ‘persuade’ key people to help the invasion) would be the perfect act of corruption, and have people falling over themselves to sign on board. The highly trained foreign mercenary that put a sniper’s bullet in his head clearly came as a great surprise to him.

      Now the dirty little proxy war will continue in Yemen. Russia knows its usefulness so will aid Iran. And the people of Yemen will continue to suffer in the name of preventing a much greater, far more terrible conflict. But nothing is going to stop the coming Iran war- NOTHING!

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      • Solomon Krupacek

        shut up with these british tales! you wrote 1x, ok, 2x, but save us before your shits in the future.

    • PZIVJ

      Just because Saleh spoke of a possible ceasefire does not make him a traitor.
      So now what, more death and starvation for the people of N Yemen?
      And how are the Houthis better off today, who is going to step up on their end to negotiate a ceasefire, as opposed to more suffering for the people. SO SAD :(

      • Pave Way IV

        The ceasefire part didn’t make him a traitor – the Houthis wanted the same thing and understand that the opposition has to talk to the Saudis/UAE for that to ever happen. The part the Houthis didn’t like was Saleh’s intention to abandon, then attack them once he formally joined forces with either the south (Hadi) or the Saudis/UAE or both. The Yemeni military in the north were supposedly led by Saleh, but most of them had no intention of throwing the Houthis under the bus and would never have handed over north Yemen to a Saudi/UAE proxy in exchange for a ceasefire.

        Saleh’s betrayal was against the very goal of the north Yemeni opposition: to kick out the Saudis/UAE and the fake, useless south Yemeni puppet state they created under Hadi.

        • PZIVJ

          Pave Way IV: “The part the Houthis didn’t like was Saleh’s intention to abandon, then attack them once he formally joined forces with either the south (Hadi) or the Saudis/UAE or both.”
          And how do you Know this? Did Saleh think he could take over Sanaa when it is surrounded by Houthi forces :/ It sounds more like kill the peace maker to me.

          • Pave Way IV

            “..And how do you Know this?”

            Saleh’s little island of government left in Sana’a had no real legitimacy with the people of northern Yemen other that the fact that they were supposedly allied with the Houthis in the opposition. Much of the government and military in the north supported the goals of the Yemeni opposition, not the Houthis in particular – although they had no problems with the Houthis.

            It was Saleh and cronies that tried to preserve their power and marginalized the Houthis throughout the supposed alliance. Houthis were good cannon fodder for Saleh’s north Yemen, but Saleh had no intention of sharing power with them in ‘his’ government. When the Houthis finally started demanding some representation in Sana’a for all their blood, Saleh ran off squealing to the UAE in June for a ‘solution’. That solution was to partition the north into Saudi/UAE-friendly Salehstan and terrorist Houthistan. All Saudi/UAE/US efforts would then be focused on the Houthi far north to exterminate the last of the opposition to their Yemeni takeover.

            The ceasefire Saleh wanted was from the Saudi coalition was for his fiefdom in Sana’a, not for the Houthis who were never officially ‘part’ of his government. Saleh described the Houthis as such: an uncontrolled militia that existed outside ‘his’ supposedly legitimate northern Yemeni rule. Those statements by Saleh started the recent clashes in Sana’a. The Saudi/UAE propaganda machine in western MSM quickly kicked in to demonize the Houthis as terrorists and religious/Iranian extremists opposing the ‘peacemaker’ (sellout backstabber) Saleh.

            “…Did Saleh think he could take over Sanaa when it is surrounded by Houthi forces…”

            He always had Sana’a – it was also surrounded and filled with a lot of Yemeni military in addition to the Houthis in the area. Saleh never wanted to fight the Houthi in Sana’a. He just wanted to keep them at bay until more of the scheme unfolded and the Saudis/UAE/US could send help under the guise of fighting terrorism. The Houthis pushed up the timetable by demanding representation in Sana’a – something Saleh had no intention of giving them.

            Saleh had never really opposed Saudi/UAE colonization of Yemen. In fact, it was a fantastic new money-making opportunity for the bastard and his cronies. Problem is that much of the government and military in northern Yemen immediately recognized his scheming and had no plans to shed any blood for him or knuckle under to Saudi/UAE rule. They were way more aligned with the Houthis and their anti-colonization fight. Thus, they didn’t show up in Sana’a to protect Saleh and ignored his calls for them to fight Houthis in regions outside of Sana’a. Saleh was left with about a thousand troops – his personal thug army and some borrowed from crony tribal leaders, some butt-kissing Yemeni Army brass and a few of their loyal troops and some shadowy unheard-of Yemeni SF units (supposedly UAE mercs). Even with air support, no match for the flip-flop army. Most of Saleh’s ‘loyal military’ just stayed home and let the Houthis take care of business. The Houthis acknowledged them directly by saying the battle was over and everyone was still part of the Saudi/UAE opposition.

    • Solomon Krupacek

      shia murderes, like garga. theheran hands off from ME!

  • Andrew

    I’m curious as to how closely related the Houthis are to the Rassids. Both come from Zaidiyyah Islam if I understand the situation correctly but I’m not sure what else is in common. It seems this sort of highland vs lowland divide has been around in Yemen for almost it’s entire history.

    • Saleh was Zaidi himself. It must be old fashioned greed motivating his faction to betray their co-religionists, the Houthis. Like in Braveheart when Longshanks buys the fealty of the Scot nobles to betray William Wallace.

  • antonveckor

    The Syrian Arab Republic government Baathist Army and the Syrian NDF will be victorious !
    https://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/france-mossad-tried-to-infiltrate-french-intelligence-services/ holywar.org
    http://der-dritte-weg.info/
    http://www.islamicinvitationturkey.com/2017/10/06/zionist-brothers-putin-salman-hold-talks-behind-closed-doors-in-moscow/
    Reporting the truth: smoloko.com purestream-media.com syriatruths.com informationclearinghouse.info
    electronicintifada.net http://www.12160.info
    to fight and resist the evil zionists ZOG ,the evil zionists rothschild’s evil israHell and and the evil house of saud crypto-jews in saudi arabia wahhabia who do nothing but damage ( who’s king in the late 1960’s addressed all the UN and arab countries requested them to recognize and accept israHell as a country) and their allies’s control/occupation of governments and the arab land of palestine and its neighbouring arab countries, to fight and resist those zionists is to fight to remove them from governments and economic power without removing them out of these office from these positions and freezing their USD currency assets monopoly dominanting global markets and trades( the 1 dollar bill has shapes of the stars of david ) wars instigated by zionists bankers on sovereignt independent states and and against their territory’s integrity will continue and the zionists’s scheme to establish a one global government control could be all set .

    they must be removed from these positons (by us who are fighting them and only by us ) in order to get international peace progress prosperity and a good better and more positive dialogue between all countries and their peoples who their own peoples will lead and decide what to do by and for themselves. manage what their internal and foreign affairs to other countries and people’s would be and not led by some private zionists’s monopoly organisation who wages wars on whoever they want and on behalf of whoever they control and whoever bans rothschild influence and rothschild’s-controlled banks into their country!

    should such a future international peace progress proccess dialoge between countires is to be then israHell turkey saudi arabia eritrea/ethiopia and pkk-rojava-peshmerga-kurdistan could be excluded because of their evil role of their tyranny and the logic of them even not being officialy recognised as countries (or maybe even by then they would already cease to exist before that) but rather occupiers of stolen lands by wars of aggression who occupy arab Palestine land and other neighbouring arab countries’s lands and their natural resources assets illegally from wars of aggression like e.g. Yemen and Somalia afghanistan with daesh and AQAP muslim-brotherhood-extremists and taliban and other plots of the the mossadistic so called “alliance of periphery” with their puppet collaborators alCIAda and MI6 .

    all of Western Sahara and its people will be freed from the corrupt dynasty government of morocco’s illegal occupation which has a long history of collaborating with the zionists’s mossad and will be a recognised country by all nations ( hassan II and the mossad were behind Mehdi Ben Barka’s dissapperance / kidnap / assassination !
    the jewish autonomous oblast isn’t enough for the evil zionists’s obssesion of world domination conquest . .
    History wasn’t written in ink , history was written in blood

  • dutchnational

    It seems to me there are only bad sides in this conflict and one general loser : the civillian population.

    Solutions? An autonomous Houthistan? Splitting the country?