Thursday, November 12, 2009

Yemen insurgency ~ a three way fight?

The civil situation in Yemen has not been stable for years, but this just about takes the cake:

The National Army is fighting both a low grade rebellion in the South and a real insurrection in the North.

The Northern conflict (the al-Houthi tribal rebellion) has signs of being partly fueled by Iranian activities, and there is a large al-Qaeda presence around that region that seems to be anti-Houthi, but is often anti-Government as well.

The Houthi rebellion has now spilled over into Saudi Arabia, drawing a heavy Saudi response on land and a naval blockade of Red Sea routes of supply to the rebellion. The Saudis are (unofficially) painting their intervention as thwarting Iranian influence.

The National Army, led by a government that can't seem to decide if they are old-school Nasser-inspired Arab Nationalists or new-model Islamists, are being offered help... the American military...

...and... al-Qaeda's Arabian Peninsula forces.

I'd call this a three-way fight, but with all the players now deciding to jump in, it could be a five-way fight. That is, *if* everyone weighing in is really on different sides and no one is being played for the fool.

Any bets the Americans are at least one of the ones in motley?


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