Yemen: The epicenter of a regional war

Original content created by Lina Abisoghomyan
  Photo Credit: BBC

Photo Credit: BBC

A visual of the coalition


THE PLAYERS:

Yemen's US-backed president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi- has been in hot water very publicly since January of this year when a group of Houthi Shiite gunmen held the palace, claiming to protect it from security forces that were stealing weapons from there. They then followed by seizing parts of the country, including Western regions of Yemen that are largely Sunni. Mr. Hadi eventually fled to Saudi Arabia. 

 Houthi Shiite gunmen- practice Zaydi branch of Shiite Islam; captured Sana'a and have steadily begun to influence the political arena by declaring a new government. They are believed to be backed by Iran. 

Countries participating in Operation "Decisive Storm"- made up of Sunni-majority countries in the regions led by Saudi Arabia, who has close ties to the US. This coalition is made up of Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE, Sudan, Egypt, and even Morocco hailing all the way from the other side of the African content. 

  Photo Credit: Aviation Week

Photo Credit: Aviation Week

A Royal Saudi Air Force F-15S Strike Eagle, used in the Operation


THE BACKGROUND:

President Hadi has been an ally to Washington in the fight against Al-Quaeda, and this show of disapproval was sparked by the White House freeing five Guantanamo detainees in exchange for US Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl. The current chaos in Yemen has led many Western countries including the UK, France, and the US to close their embassies in Yemen. The lack of accountability in the country makes it a breeding ground for al-Qua'eda and the Islamic State. 

  Photo Credit: Military Times

Photo Credit: Military Times

Foot soldiers in Operation "Decisive Storm"


THE STORY

On March 25th, Operation "Decisive Storm" was officially launched. Recently, the White House officially confirmed that they have been providing logistical support in the form of drones and live video feed, but seem to have no clear explanation as to what their end goals in doing so are. The Middle Eastern partners in the coalition hope that they can use this operation as an opportunity to quarantine and contain the unrest in Yemen before it becomes uncontrollable. The upsurge in militants in the country threatens the region as a whole. Yemen is beginning to look like an opportune example of a proxy-war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and by extension the United States and Iran. 

  Photo Credit: RT News, courtesy of YouTube

Photo Credit: RT News, courtesy of YouTube

News screen reporting on Operation "Decisive Storm" by R